Starting today, each week we will bring you a different top 10 related to Survivor written by one of our growing crew of Ozlets, with the purpose of bringing debate and discussion amongst the Survivor fans and community! Kicking us off is one our new Ozlets James Heimann, who takes us through the top 10 greatest alliances in the history of Survivor. With 25 seasons to cover, there have obviously been numerous great alliances that have changed the course of a season for various reasons. But which ones make the top 10?
There have been many alliances in the game of Survivor, without a close group of people you can trust, you cannot expect to make it very far (as many Survivor’s have learnt). From number 10 down the number 1, here are the greatest alliances Survivor has even seen
10. James ‘JT’ Thomas & Stephen Fishbach – Tocantins
At number 10 is the alliance between J.T. Thomas and Stephen Fishbach in Survivor: Tocantins. This unlikely match; the country boy from Samson, Alabama and boy who lived his whole life in New York City, outwitted, outlasted and outplayed everyone else and made it to the Final Tribal Council. J.T. would go on to receive every single Jury vote and to date is the only player to play a ‘perfect game’, with no votes cast against him in the entire game, receiving every single vote at the final tribal council as well as winning the ‘fan favourite’ award.
9. The Upolu Tribe – South Pacific
Coming in at number 9 is the Upolu tribe on South Pacific. An apparent ‘cult’ was created within the tribe, (led by returning player Ben “Coach” Wade) which ‘Pagonged’ the former Savaii tribe after super fan John Cochran flipped on his former tribe mates to avoid a “purple rock situation”. From then on, Upolu eliminated Savaii one by one until they were down to the final 6 (with Ozzy Lusth returning from Redemption Island). The alliance is remembered as being overly religious, and although not everyone got along, all members were very dedicated and loyal to the tribe, hence the cult-like labelling of Upolu.
8. Rob Mariano & Amber Brkich – All-Stars
Whether you want to or not, you can’t forget the strong twosome of Boston Rob and Amber Brkich (Mariano), who formed an early alliance and made it all the way to the final 2 in Survivor: All-Stars. Amber would go on to defeat Rob in a 4-3 vote at one of the most heated final tribal councils of all time. Boston Rob and Amber also aligned with Rupert Boneham and Jenna Lewis and the foursome made it all the way to the final four. At the final five, Rob began an argument between Rupert and Big Tom, which ultimately led to the latter being voted out. The alliance is memorable for not only making it to the final four, but for also starting the relationship and subsequent marriage between the two.
7. All Women Final 5 – One World
At number 7 we jump forward into a new era of the show, with Survivor: One World setting a new record when Kim Spradlin led the women to the first all-female final 5. The women’s alliance of Kim, Alicia, Chelsea, Sabrina, Christina and Kat methodically eliminated the men, until there were only six left. The chain was however broken when Kat was sent to Ponderosa in one of the most memorable blindside’s in Survivor history, before order was restored after Tarazan was booted out and only women were left. What was referred to as ‘The Women’s Alliance’ became one of the most memorable alliance’s in Survivor history and the winner Kim Spradlin is regarded as the social “glue” that held this alliance together.
6. The Tagi 4 – Borneo
Coming in at number 6, we have to go straight back to where it began in Survivor: Borneo, with the first alliance in the show’s history setting a precedent for the next 12 years of Survivor. The alliance consisting of Richard Hatch, Kelly Wigglesworth, Sue Hawk and Rudy Boesch formed a tight voting block and went on to become the final 4 left in the game. Without Richard realising that to make it far in the game and win you would need to form a close loyalty group of people (or alliance), the game would no doubt be very different to what it is today.
5. The Aitutaki 4 – Cook Islands
Number 5 sees the alliance created when Jonathan Penner and Candace Woodcock mutinied in Survivor: Cook Islands, leaving the Aitutaki tribe down to four people: Yul, Ozzy, Sundra and Becky. The Aitutaki 4, with Yul’s intelligence and Ozzy’s challenge skills continued to win, despite their obvious numbers disadvantage. Post-merge, Yul convinced Jonathan to vote with Aitutaki, which led to the final four consisting of the Aitutaki 4. A good ol’ Survivor “Pagonging” as well as a true underdog story.
4. Lex Van Den Berghe, Ethan Zohn & Tom ‘Big Tom’ Buchanan – Africa
At number 4 is Lex Van Den Berghe, Ethan Zohn and Tom “Big Tom” Buchanan who held a tight alliance when the Boran tribe and the Samburu tribe merged in Survivor: Africa. The 3 former Boran members (who all played together again in Survivor: All-Stars) were loyal right up until the final 4, where Big Tom was voted off and Kim Johnson decided to take Ethan to the end over Lex. The Boran alliance of Big Tom, Lex and Ethan is memorable for not only making it to the final 4, but also for being so popular.
3. Colby Donaldson, Tina Wesson & Keith Faime – Australian Outback
As we reach the top 3, we have to venture back to our home country in Survivor: The Australian Outback, and the memorable final 3 alliance that was formed. The strong alliance of Ogakor members; Tina, Colby and Keith, stayed strong and loyal to each other right up until the final 3, where Colby, after winning the Final Immunity Challenge, was faced with the decision to either take Tina or Keith to the Final Tribal Council. He would ultimately choose Tina and lose to her by one vote. Tina and Colby would return for All-Stars, with Colby also returning for Heroes vs Villains.
2. Denise Stapely & Malcolm Freberg – Philippines
At number 2 we see the most recent season in the Philippines forming one of the strongest and unlikely duo’s in the shows history, which led two people very far into the game. Malcolm Freberg and Denise Stapley started off together on the ill-fated Matsing, before being separated when the the tribe was dwindled down to two. After Denise miraculously survived her first tribal council away from Matsing, the tribes merged which reunited them together, as well as reuniting an alliance which would make it all the way to the final four. At that point Denise aligned with Mike Skupin and Lisa Whelchel and voted out Malcolm. Although this alliance may not have made it all the way, it certainly beat the odds and survived many difficult situations and will be remembered as another true underdog story.
1. The Black Widow Brigade – Micronesia
The best alliance in the history of Survivor comes from one of the best seasons of all time in Micronesia. A strong, core, female alliance consisting of Parvati Shallow, Cirie Fields and Amanda Kimmel (with a little help from fans Natalie Bolton and Alexis Jones) changed the face of the entire season and set the bar high when it comes to dominant female alliance. This alliance is recognised for making big moves in the game, which ultimately advanced them right to the end, with Natalie, Cirie, Amanda and Parvati all advancing to the final 4. From the infamous voting off of Erik Reichenbach, to the blindside of challenge dominator Ozzy, ‘The Black Widow Brigade’ is one arguably the most memorable female alliance in the show’s history and for it’s cunningness, manipulation, outwitting, outlasting, and outplaying nature, it is awarded the greatest alliance in Survivor history!
What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there ones that didn’t make the top 10 that you feel should’ve? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!