Time to move into the ‘big four’ categories of the Ozcars, as we continue to reveal the full lists of each award! Today we bring you the top 26 seasons, one of our most popular awards from last year. With the winner already announced, which seasons came close to cracking the top 5 and which ones missed out on the top 20? Read on to find out!
For the rankings of the seasons, we asked you to select your best season and worst season. Each vote for the best season was added to the seasons overall total. For the worst season, the total percentage of votes was subtracted from the overall score. The overall score also included Ozlet votes (for best and worst) as well as best and worst votes from Survivor contestants who appeared on the show. We have also included the finishing position of the season on last years poll for comparison.
26. Redemption Island – Total Score 34
SURVIVOR RANK: 12th (29% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 26th
POLL RANK: 20th (31% negative)
LAST YEAR: 24th (-2)
Will the 22nd season ever get a position better than last? It’s doubtful. Once again dominated the negative poll stakes and if it wasn’t at the bottom of everyone’s rankings in the Survivor Oz offices it wasn’t far away. Could’ve been good had it not been so easy to predict, and came with what many people say is one of the worst twists of all time. Let’s hope that no season will be worse in the future.
25. South Pacific – Total Score 103
SURVIVOR RANK: 15th (10% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 25th
POLL RANK: 26th (6% negative)
LAST YEAR: 19th (-6)
A massive drop from the 23rd season sees it scrape into second last place. Is it the fact that it also contained Redemption Island? Possibly, but it was a bad spell for the show to have two back to back seasons that were considered pretty poor. It was another season that always found itself in the bottom half of peoples rankings, and looks likely to stay that way for some time.
24. Fiji – Total Score 107
SURVIVOR RANK: 18th (12% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 24th
POLL RANK: 25th (11% negative)
LAST YEAR: 21st (-3)
If you take into consideration that two more seasons have been added to this list, then Fiji has in fact only dropped by one spot on this poll. A fairly decent result given it’s a season that not many people will ever rate. Personally I’m a huge fan of Fiji, but I can also see why it is regarded as one of the least desirable seasons. Has a bunch of contestants that deserve a second shot though, and I hope that we might get to see some of them one day, despite it’s reputation.
23. One World – Total Score 131
SURVIVOR RANK: 14th (22% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 23rd
POLL RANK: 12th (10% negative)
LAST YEAR: 20th (-3)
I’m a massive advocate for One World and feel that it deserves a second viewing to appreciate just how underrated it is. I for one wasn’t the biggest fan after a first viewing, but there is so much to appreciate about it if you take the time to marvel at the characters and relationships as well as the masterful game by one Kim Spradlin. It’s not my poll though, it’s the Ozcars, and according to all votes grouped together, it isn’t worthy of a higher position. Looks like I need to start a campaign.
22. Nicaragua – Total Score 138
SURVIVOR RANK: 22nd (10% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 22nd
POLL RANK: 23rd (5% negative)
LAST YEAR: 23rd (+1)
Nicaragua makes a big improvement from 2012, and goes from the second worst season to the fifth worst. Sure that still doesn’t sound amazing, but it’s pretty good considering it was the season that followed directly after Heroes vs Villains. That fact alone was always going to make it difficult to live up to it’s predecessor, but in a similar situation to One World I think it’s a season definitely worth a re-watch. It’s also a season with Purple Kelly on it. That fact alone deserves more recognition for the 21st season.
21. Thailand – Total Score 155
SURVIVOR RANK: 24th (9% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 21st
POLL RANK: 24th (10% negative)
LAST YEAR: 22nd (+1)
For so long Thailand was the whipping boy of Survivor seasons, with everyone from Jeff Probst to the staunchest of fans hating on it for years. But is Thailand making a comeback? Jumps up a position on the list this year and edges closer to the top twenty, it’s ‘popularity’ could be on the rise and it could only be a matter of time before it gains a ‘cult’ status. I’ll be the main pusher of this, as I for one think it is the most underrated season in the history of Survivor. So much so that I personally consider it the third greatest season ever made. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, I expect hate mail. But if it’s been a while since you’ve watched it, then do yourself a favour and watch it. Marvel in the beauty of it. And marvel in the ultimate skill that is Brian Heidik. You haven’t heard the last of my Thailand love. I guarantee it.
20. Caramoan – Total Score 203
SURVIVOR RANK: 26th (0% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 20th
POLL RANK: 8th (3% negative)
LAST YEAR: New Entry
The most recent season, Caramoan had a lot of potential to live up to but failed to deliver. Jeff Probst talked it up as one of the best, and given the first Fans vs. Favourites was a huge success, many people were expecting to have their socks blown off. But a string of lacklustre episodes with some lacklustre contestants made for a season that may take some time to move up the list. Not the worst season in history, but far from the best.
19. Gabon – Total Score 204
SURVIVOR RANK: 23rd (6% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 18th
POLL RANK: 19th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 18th (-1)
Survivor returned to Africa and for the first time we got to experience it in HD. But that isn’t enough for it to be a lot higher on this list. Drops a position from last year, Gabon is far from the worst season and personally I wouldn’t have it this low. But when the votes are added up, this is where it ends up. Should be higher next year.
18. Samoa – Total Score 205
SURVIVOR RANK: 10th (6% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 19th
POLL RANK: 16th (2% negative)
LAST YEAR: 11th (-7)
A massive drop, Samoa nearly cracked the top 10 last year and this year just hangs onto a top 20 spot. A season that you can’t escape Russell, Mr.Hantz certainly overshadows numerous other contestants that deserved more screen time. An interesting season that sees a group of people overthrow an even more powerful group, it certainly divides opinion on it’s overall greatness, especially if you can’t stomach Russell Hantz.
17. Tocantins – Total Score 230
SURVIVOR RANK: 17th (4% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 16th
POLL RANK: 14th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 15th (-2)
Tocantins attempted to return Survivor to it’s roots by having 16 contestants, no tribal switch and a final 2 but it was another season dominated by one character. Coach certainly was entertaining, but similar to Samoa he perhaps took away a lot of screen time from other people who could’ve made the season overall a better one. A strong relationship between Stephen and JT shouldn’t be overlooked, and still has the distinction of producing the only ‘perfect game’ winner.
16. Africa – Total Score 233
SURVIVOR RANK: 6th (6% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 17th
POLL RANK: 18th (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 14th (-2)
I don’t get why Africa usually ranks so low on these lists as I feel it ticked all the boxes with location, characters and gameplay. Whatever the case, it faces a two place drop in 2013 by finishing just outside the top 15. Probably produced the nicest winner in the history of the show, there were also other great contestants who we have seen return (Lex, Big Tom) and others that probably need to come back (Lindsey, Kelly). Would love to see it higher next year.
15. Guatemala – Total Score 237
SURVIVOR RANK: 20th (8% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 14th
POLL RANK: 22nd (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 17th (+2)
Happy to see Guatemala climb the rankings, as I personally put it in my top 10 seasons (something that I know Ozlet Heather agrees with). While the location might have been one of the hardest to compete in, it gave us a stunning look at Mayan culture and gave us some interesting gameplay, great characters and one of the most underrated wins of all time from Danni. The first season to mix returning players with new players, it set the bar for the future in the Survivor world and while we may be used to that ‘twist’ now, it was a new thing to witness back during season 11.
14. Panama – Total Score 257
SURVIVOR RANK: 19th (5% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 12th
POLL RANK: 13th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 13th (-1)
Always seems to float in the middle of peoples season rankings, Panama could be considered slightly underrated as a season if you compare it to others that are higher on this list. It gave us four tribes for the first ever time, as well as some of the most memorable people ever to have played the game. Probably had the most fierce rivalry of any season with the Terry/Aras battle, and gave us one of the most interesting and unique players of all time in Shane. It also gave us an astronaut. Nuff said.
13. Cook Islands – Total Score 260
SURVIVOR RANK: 8th (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 15th
POLL RANK: 6th (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 8th (-5)
A season that gave us three of the all time greats in Parvati, Ozzy and Penner, Cook Islands remains arguably the most controversial season of all time given the race twist at the start. Also gave us an amazing underdog story with the Aitu four coming back to dominate the game, it’s the one season that put up brains vs. brawn with Yul and Ozzy in the final tribal council. Also gave us the final three, which isn’t really a good thing.
12. Marquesas – Total Score 262
SURVIVOR RANK: 9th (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 13th
POLL RANK: 15th (2% negative)
LAST YEAR: 16th (+4)
A return to the tropical island setting for the first time since Borneo, Marquesas gave us an interesting season of players, strategy and entertainment and gave one of the most unlikeliest winners in Vecepia. It’s also known for the first ever power switch in the game, the purple rock and Rosie O’Donnell. It also was the first time we ever saw a certain guy from Boston, who I’m not sure if you’ve heard of. Maybe Google him if you’re unsure.
11. Palau – Total Score 281
SURVIVOR RANK: 13th (3% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 10th
POLL RANK: 17th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 10th (-1)
The location for the 10th (and 16th) season took out the Ozcar for best location, but it also produced a fairly decent season of Survivor first time around. The most lopsided season in terms of tribe domination, it’s the only season to not feature a merge, and the only season to see a tribe completely decimated and have only one player remain. Gave the popular Tom a million dollars, and also introduced us to Stephenie.
10. All-Stars – Total Score 286
SURVIVOR RANK: 7th (5% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 11th
POLL RANK: 11th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 7th (-3)
My all time favourite season, I’m disappointed to see it drop back three places. The first ever time we saw returning players, All-Stars is often considered the first season to have ‘evil’ and ‘hateful’ gameplay with so much negativity and distaste along the way. Having ‘friends’ play against each other for sure took away from the ‘stranger’ element of Survivor, but having the chance to see some of the biggest characters to ever play the game battle it out for another million bucks was a sight to behold.
9. Philippines – Total Score 302
SURVIVOR RANK: 16th (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 9th
POLL RANK: 5th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: New Entry
A great achievement for a post HvV season, Philippines cracks the top ten on it’s first attempt. Considered a ‘breath of fresh air’ after a run of seasons that disappointed, it gave us a return to a three tribe format as well as giving some three players a second chance that they rightfully deserved. Some great characters and amazing gameplay set the bar high for future seasons to continue in it’s legacy, it also gave us a winner who literally had to put up with Jeff Probst every single episode in a night time setting. Not bad considering she only had a few votes against her too the whole time.
8. Vanuatu – Total Score 307
SURVIVOR RANK: 25th (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 6th
POLL RANK: 21st (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 12th (+4)
A huge leap up the list for Vanuatu sees it surge into the top ten. I’ve always considered it to be vastly underrated, as the gameplay, characters and story often are overlooked when ranking other seasons. Probably the best comeback story of a winner in the history of the show, Chris went from a certain vote out to a million dollars in only a few weeks, and played all players superbly along the way. Alongside Todd and Brian, the biggest shock to me as to why he has never played for a second time.
7. Amazon – Total Score 320
SURVIVOR RANK: 21st (5% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 7th
POLL RANK: 9th (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 9th (+2)
Another season that improves from last year, Amazon gave us a battle of the sexes twist that proved so juicy it’s hard to think of it without it. From beautiful women taking their clothes off for chocolate and peanut butter to the birth of one of the biggest geniuses to ever play the game in Rob Cesternino, Amazon is the season you haven’t watched in a while that you should. Wouldn’t surprise me to see it climb even higher next year.
6. Borneo – Total Score 344
SURVIVOR RANK: 2nd (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 8th
POLL RANK: 7th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 5th (-1)
If you get the chance to watch Borneo again, marvel in the fact that you are actually watching Survivor. It’s hard to believe that this season turned TV on it’s head in 2000, as it really is quite tame and somewhat ‘boring’ compared to the entertainment feasts we get nowadays. Having said that, it gave us a different type of ‘entertainment’, as instead of having drama and specific characters thrown down our throat every week, it gave us real people instead and personally I would prefer that any day of the week. Takes a few weeks to get into if you haven’t seen it in a while, you soon get the feeling along the ride as to why this hooked so many people onto one of the most ground-breaking TV shows in history. Surprising not to be a finalist, Borneo is a true classic that will never be replicated.
5. China – Final Voting Percent 6.3%
SURVIVOR RANK: 10th (3% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 5th
POLL RANK: 10th (0% negative)
LAST YEAR: 6th (+1)
POSITION AFTER FIRST ROUND: 5th (357 points)
Swoops into the finals for the first time after just missing out in 2012, China unfortunately never gained enough steam to ever really challenge the top four. An incredible season that welcomed back a ‘get to know everyone’ format that had been missing for a few seasons, China is often seen as the season that ‘saved Survivor’ during it’s middle period. A unique location, it gave us memorable contestants such as Courtney, Amanda and James and produced one of the greatest players of all time in Todd Herzog. Don’t get me started on the travesty that it is to have never not seen him play again. If I get started, I won’t stop.
4. Australian Outback – Final Voting Percent 10.4%
SURVIVOR RANK: 1st (0% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 4th
POLL RANK: 4th (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 3rd (-1)
POSITION AFTER FIRST ROUND: 4th (425 points)
A masterpiece of television, the second season of Survivor was a Superbowl lead out show that would go on to be the most watched TV programme in the world for 2001. Every single player was memorable, and the location was made even more stunning given the harsh elements and the longer playing time the players had to face. It’s the season that has given us more returning players than any other (if you take out returning player seasons such as Micronesia, All-Stars and Heroes vs Villains) and it’s legacy remains as high today as it did over a decade ago. While it doesn’t contain the most strategic moves or ground-breaking gameplay, it gave us so many other moments and hours of great TV that you can’t complain about it. Will never ever be repeated and is a season I could watch 24/7 and never get sick of.
3. Pearl Islands – Final Voting Percent 12.6%
SURVIVOR RANK: 5th (2% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 2nd
POLL RANK: 3rd (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 4th (+1)
POSITION AFTER FIRST ROUND: 3rd (455 points)
Moves up a place from last year, Pearl Islands is as close to a perfect original players season as you can get. What can you find wrong with it? It has a near perfect cast, near perfect gameplay and a near perfect set of twists for the entire season. Can you honestly say you got tired of it at any point? Of course not. The players alone speak for themselves: Sandra, Rupert, Jonny Fairplay and of course Pete the Pelican. The pirate theme also added to a season that closed out the original era of Survivor in true magic style.
2. Micronesia – Final Voting Percent 27.3%
SURVIVOR RANK: 4th (3% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 3rd
POLL RANK: 2nd (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 2nd (No Change)
POSITION AFTER FIRST ROUND: 2nd (488 points)
When I first heard of the idea of mixing ten returning players with ten fans, I wasn’t hopeful. I would’ve rather a full all-stars season any day of the week. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it all turned out, and it certainly surprised many along the way. The season Jeff Probst declares as the best of all time, Micronesia gave us so many blindsides, different strategic elements as well as everything else under the sun that it was impossible to pick a winner throughout the entire season. Even going into the final tribal council, you would’ve found it hard to put money on either Amanda or Parvati to walk away a millionaire. Favourites aside, the fans weren’t exactly any slouches either, and all gave us great TV as well. We’ve had 19 of the 20 people from this season appear on our show, so if you haven’t caught up on Micronesia recently or haven’t heard all our interviews, catch up now. You will thank us later.
1. Heroes vs Villains – Final Voting Percent 43.4%
SURVIVOR RANK: 3rd (12% negative)
S-OZ RANK: 1st
POLL RANK: 1st (1% negative)
LAST YEAR: 1st (No Change)
POSITION AFTER FIRST ROUND: 1st (575 points)
Who could’ve imagined that a season coming 10 years after Survivor first had aired would ever set the bar as high as it did? 19 seasons had been filmed and all had their individual way of showing why Survivor was such great TV, but Heroes vs Villains put all of them to shame by giving us the greatest season of reality TV in the history of reality TV. Twenty of the best players to have ever played the game (which you could argue) up against each other through twists, turns, fights, tears, injuries and drama, you just didn’t know which way to look each week you watched. Dominated the category last year, dominated again this year. In 2014, it’s the Ozcar nobody will want to bet against it winning three in a row. A thoroughly deserving repeat winner. Congratulations Heroes vs Villains!
The next of the ‘big four’ continues tomorrow as we bring you the top 25 players never to have won Survivor!