Survivor Oz Top 10–Top 10 Worst Final Tribal Council Performances


It’s Wednesday… which means it’s also SURVIVOR OZ TOP TEN day! This week, host Ben Waterworth wraps up his two week series on the Final Tribal Council. Last week, Ben bought you his top ten best Final Tribal Council performances so it’s only fitting that this week he brings you his top ten WORST Final Tribal Council performances. There have been many names in Survivor history who have fallen because of their performance in front of the Jury, but just who does Ben think was the worst? Read on to see who made the list and leave a comment with your thoughts below!

Last week I brought you the top ten best Final Tribal Council performances in the history of Survivor. This week it’s time to go the other way and bring you the ten people I feel just didn’t cut the mustard when it came to their shot at winning a million dollars. Many people on this list looked likely to win, but then choked when it mattered most. This list by no means takes away from the overall player in Survivor they are, and doesn’t serve to discredit their overall time on their respective season. It does however put them under a spotlight of what NOT to do when given the opportunity of a lifetime to sway a group of people into giving you a life changing amount of money.

10. Rob Mariano – All-Stars


“When the merge came along I made a promise to somebody that I wasn’t able to keep, because of promises I made to other people. In the end, that’s where everything started to go south for me. Obviously when you have a jury that you have to vote out, it’s going to come back and haunt you one way or the other.”

Rob started the Final Tribal Council with a smile on his face and a level of cockiness that he thought would take him to a million dollars. He left with his tail between his legs and his pride severely hurt. It was never going to be easy for him, he knew that; but considering he barely stood up to his game and whimpered along with apologies and false tales of remorse, he just dug himself an even deeper hole. I for one think Rob played a better game than Amber in All-Stars, but in the end what counts is how you sell that game to the Jury. Rob didn’t do that, therefore Rob lost. Let’s not even get started on that little ‘cry’ he had and his ‘excuse me’ moment. Really Rob? Really?! It wasn’t all bad news of course for him, as he did walk away with a millionaire wife and his own million dollars fourteen seasons later.

9. Phillip Sheppard – Redemption Island


“My son will be very proud of me the way I played the game. The hell with you! The hell with you! By the way I didn’t come out here to gain your respect, I came out here to kick a little ass and I think I did that. I didn’t do it in the challenges, I did it in the social game, and that’s why none of you knew how close I was to Boston Rob.

When you start off by essentially saying your entire game of getting to the end relied one person, and you then thank them for taking you to the end, you’re facing an uphill battle to walk away a millionaire. And to then call Rob a ‘mastermind’ and have him smiling all the way to the bank, it’s just not going to happen. I’m not here to talk about his total game play though, as I know that’s another debate for another time, but Phillip on Redemption Island just didn’t seem to have any other end game except go to the end with Rob, which was frustrating as he was just like a whole bunch of other sheep that had the same viewpoint. There was a small part of me thinking that maybe he could pull out an unexpected win (we’re talking like 0.0001% of me here), but as soon as you go from thanking a person who is meant to be your rival, to full on arguing with the Jury, it’s not going to end well for you.

8. Russell Hantz – Heroes vs. Villains


“You know everybody thinks this is a game of luck. In some cases it is, in my case I don’t believe it is. I played as hard as I could possibly play, and for some reason I feel that people look at me when I come here like I did something wrong. I tried to play hard. That’s what I did. If I did anything to offend anyone, I apologise. But I played the game, that’s all I can say.”

This hurts me to put Russell on a ‘worst’ list, as much as it probably pleases most of you to see him on here. I’m not going to sit here and defend his game play and strategy, as this is about his Final Tribal Council performance. His second time around, it just didn’t seem to gel for him. Going into Heroes vs. Villains it was safe to assume he thought he already was a millionaire given his first time in Samoa. But there was just something about the way he handled himself a second time around that wasn’t there. Not saying his first time around in Samoa was by any means a ‘good showing’ (which we will get to soon), but there was almost a level of ‘not caring’ on his shoulders. Perhaps it was his thought process that he had already won once so what did it matter a second time? Or being up against two winners, he thought it was in the bag no matter what. Hell, he even at least attempted to apologise this time around! Whatever the case, he didn’t learn from his previous mistakes, and just made them all over again, this time though to a bunch of players who could see right through it. He never stood a chance to win, let alone get any votes. He just had to sit and bare it, and try his very best to prove why he thought he was the best.

7. Twila Tanner – Vanuatu


“All I said is that you talked too damn much, and you do! I told you that to your face! You feel that I’m a lying, deceptive bitch? Well I think you’re a spoilt, rotten little child! And if you don’t owe me an apology for how you feel about me, why should I apologise to you for the way you feel about me? I just don’t feel I owe you an apology.”

Twila played a great game, and one that was overshadowed heavily by THAT lie with her son and his name. But when it came to the Final Tribal Council, she choked under pressure. She argued with the Jury members, she was too blunt in her assessment and she didn’t seem to feel the emotional vibe of the night. That exchange with Eliza was one of the most cringe worthy moments ever in a Final Tribal Council in Survivor, and it was clear that as an outspoken woman who doesn’t hold back, that she was unable to hold it back for just a few moments to help her get that cheque in the end. It was a shame, as I for one loved Twila and would’ve considered her one hell of a winner. But she didn’t do enough to win the votes, and was lucky to walk away with any.

6. Chelsea Meissner – One World


“Is it ok if I stand? Is that ok or no? I feel like it just helps out a little bit!”


Chelsea is another one on this list who by no means played a terrible game. I for one thought she would be fighting it out for second place with a few votes, rather than be the ‘no vote getter’ of the season. But just as things seemed to be going well for her with her ‘stand up’ request, it went downhill fast by essentially saying the reason she was there was because of Kim. It seems to be a big ‘no no’ in Survivor to all but admit you rode coattails to the end, and then go as far as to say that you feel the previously said person should be the one who wins, not you. I for one thought that in making it to the Final Tribal Council, you would want to win a million, not give it away. I’m sure Chelsea would love to have that moment all over again.

5. Sherri Biethman – Caramoan


“I’m a very successful business woman. I have 75 employees, and I run several successful businesses.”


Here’s a tip for future contestants: if you are a successful business man or woman and make it to the Final Tribal Council, don’t flaunt the fact that you are successful in front of a group of people who are about to give you a million dollars. Why would anyone want to make you richer than you already are? It was the start of a quick downhill journey for Sherri, who went on to argue with contestants, stutter at being nervous and seemingly lose her way during the entire night. It was a shame, as I think Sherri played a great and underrated game and easily deserved a lot more credit than she got. But you can play the ultimate game of Survivor and then throw it all away in the space of a couple of hours when faced by those who you helped kick out.

4. Russell Hantz – Samoa


“I came here to do what I said I was going to do and go all the way to the top and win the game. I made huge strategic moves all the way through the game. It just went like dominoes from there. I ask you, if either one of these outwit me, then give them the money. If either one of these outplayed me, then give them the game. But you know what? I don’t think that they have. The truth is where it lies. It’s ya’lls big decision to make tonight and may the best man win.”

The pain continues as I have to put Russell on this list again. His first time out in Samoa was the one that hurts the most as a Russell fan, as I may fight to the death my reasons as to why he played great during the game but then ultimately choked when it mattered the most. Yes, we know you were strong and dominant. Yes, we know you turned things around and essentially made the game play out just how you wanted. But when you have a group of angry individuals with the power to give you a lot of money, you don’t rub it in their face. Take Todd for example in China. A dominant player who could’ve played it like Russell, but he was still humble enough in doing so and hid just how ruthless he was well behind smiles, charm and the ‘friendship card’. People on the Jury don’t want you to say how great you are. They don’t want you to declare how stupid the two people sitting next to you are either. It’s about closing the game out, and settling it in a way that still makes you a champion. For Russell he was in the Wimbledon final up two sets to love and was serving for the win. But his serve was broken, he lost the set, then the next one and just couldn’t recover to close it out and ultimately would lose. The sad fact is he will never get another shot the same way he did a first time, and I hope maybe one day he will stand up and realise that.

3. Amanda Kimmel – China


“I feel very blessed to be sitting here. This was a hard 39 days. It’s finally come to an end. There are some things that I’ve done that I’m not proud of. There are people I voted for that I didn’t think I would’ve voted for.”


Just like Russell, Amanda very nearly made it twice on this list with both her Final Tribal Council performances. However, given China was her first time, and both performances were similar, I have to give it up for her China Final Tribal Council performance. I thought she was the clear favourite to win on my first viewing, but she struggled in answering the questions, became too apologetic and seemed to contradict herself with every answer she gave. It was just awkward to watch, and the fact that she didn’t have a chance to review her first performance, hampered her a second time around in Micronesia. She still snuck away with a vote which is more than some people ever have had. But with two people next to her giving an amazing performance and her seemingly choking under the pressure of the situation, she never stood a chance.

2. Stephenie LaGrossa – Guatemala


“I first of all want to start off by thanking all of you for making this an amazing experience for me. I know there are a few people who are a little upset with me, so I can’t wait to talk to you and I hope to ease your mind just a little bit. I’ll be as honest as I’ve ever been.”


Oh Stephenie. So much potential yet things just went pear shaped at the end. Sure, there were people on the Jury who were never going to give you the light of day so you can argue the level of ‘bitterness’ was there. But when the person next to you gives a stunning performance and you self-destruct on the pressure, your bank account isn’t really going to significantly change. With Bobby Jon she started off with admitting to two people she backstabbed, but then said she didn’t regret anything or would change. No mention of who she backstabbed or an attempt to apologise. Also, her constant ‘thanking’ of the people as they walked in front of her and sitting down just seemed a little too much. This seemed even more awkward after Lydia asked her why she should vote for her after she was backstabbed by Steph, only for Steph to ‘thank her’ for being so loyal. Just a couple of examples of how truly bad things went for her. Don’t think that works for a million dollars Steph, and once again you find yourself in a runners-up spot.

1. Katie Gallagher – Palau


“Actually, I don’t expect your vote Janu. So, I don’t know that I need to do that to give you, positive and negatives. I mean I can do that if you need me to, but I don’t expect your vote.”


Katie Katie Katie. What can we say? It’s all well and good to essentially ‘luck’ into a Final Tribal Council position after Ian quits and hands his place to you, but to waste it so badly against someone who was going to beat you anyway, it’s just a pain to watch. Nothing against Katie as a person or a player, but it was like watching that naughty kid in class who you just expected to be bad, and then when they were being told they were being bad they just wouldn’t shut up or stop and made things so worse for themselves that you just knew it wasn’t going to end well. That interaction with Caryn essentially summed up her entire Final Tribal Council, and refusing to answer Janu’s question was probably the biggest single mistake ever made at a Final Tribal Council. If you haven’t seen it in a while, watch it and cringe. The fact that she had a ‘saving grace’ in Coby who just couldn’t stand Tom, saved her from being the first ever ‘no voter’ in Survivor history. But as much as Todd might be the one person you need to watch before going on Survivor to learn what to do in a Final Tribal Council, Katie is the one person you need to watch to learn what NOT to do when entering a Final Tribal Council.

Dishonourable Mentions: Amanda Kimmel (Micronesia), Sugar Kiper (Gabon), Natalie Tenerelli (Redemption Island), Sash Lehman (Nicaragua), Mick Trimming (Samoa), Cassandra Franklin (Fiji), Parvati Shallow (Heroes vs. Villains), Kim Johnson (Africa), Clay Jordan (Thailand), Lil Morris (Pearl Islands)


 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!

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26 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10–Top 10 Worst Final Tribal Council Performances

  1. This list was very impressive to read. I never really put much thought into ranking the Survivor castaways like this but everything you said seemed fair and made sense. IT was well written and it was a fun trip back Survivor memory lane.

  2. I do so enjoy remembering ye olde Survivor days and contestants. I sorta liked Twila telling Eliza off, though. I’m one of the few who didn’t think her lie was any worse than the millions of others told by others over the years. She got backstabbed by the women in that final challenge, as I recall. (Yay! Reason to go re-watch it!) And Amanda: I DO think people were rough on her about doing the “doe-eyed” thing. That’s just how she looks! LOL! I can’t be mad at someone because they look a certain way. Sorry about Russell, Ben, but… As for Katie, Has she ever been interviewed anywhere? I’d love to hear her thoughts on what happened. Generous Ian definitely helped her earn the #1 status on this list.

  3. I really thought that Sugar was going to be number 1. Her FTC performance was truly awful. I actually thought that Katie had some good arguments and managed to get Coby’s vote when she probably went into the FTC getting 0 votes.

  4. I’m inclined to forgive Katie. She knew she had no chance in hell of ever winning; she just wanted to stick it to Janu. I might have done the same thing. She did a heck of a bad job, but at least she didn’t throw her chances away. Her chances died when she decided to vote for Jenn at the final 4 tribal council. She maybe could have beaten Jenn, but obviously not Tom and probably not Ian.

  5. Steph?!

  6. I was never a Russell fan but agree he deserved the Samoa win. They all got played hardcore they just couldn’t admit it. He screwed up in HvV because his whole ploy was “If I played against people who had played before I’d win because they respect the game.” He got way to cocky and thought he would be rewarded for being too extra with his game.

  7. I think he played an awesome game and otherwise should have won, but I am surprised Stephen isn’t on here. Tyson has said the Wizard lost his vote at the Tocantins final, and I believe Erin has intimated something similar. Debbie said post-show that if she had known how well Stephen had played while she was out there she would have thought seriously about giving him her vote, and you have to imagine that with the right arguments Stephen might have been able to sway Taj and maybe even Coach.

    But, after playing a near perfect game for 38 days, he really dropped the ball – so to speak – at the Final Tribal Council. He probably still wouldn’t have won against Mr Popularity, but there was no need for it to be a blowout.

  8. I disagree about Katie lucking into the final two, because both Tom and Ian said that they would have taken her regardless. She put herself in a strong alliance where she was all but guaranteed a final two spot. As for her performance, I do agree it was weak, but certainly no worse than some of the others on the list. Janu has said that she never was going to vote for Katie, so it’s not like she blew the Janu vote (although refusing to answer could have turned off other voters). Katie’s single biggest mistake was thinking she could out Tom’s dirty game play, which she tried to do with Caryn and it totally backfired.
    I would have gone for Sash for worst performance, partly because he is a good talker, and a good strategist, and he lost every vote to Chase and Fabio, who were neither good talkers or strategists. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smarter person with ZERO ability to read a jury. And the wink. THE WINK!

  9. greta list but where is stephen???? unlike katie or twila who probably wouldnt have won regardless – he actually could have!!!

  10. I am surprised Coach (South Pacific) is not on this list. No way, c’mon… even on “Dishonourable Mentions” list? You have Natalie Tenerelli (RI) who by no means could’ve get one vote, let alone five votes? Instead if Coach would have “feel the emotional vibe of the night” and explained his game he could have easily swayed two jurors. Especially because at least three ex Savaii had stated after the game that had they knew what good game Coach played, they would have seriously “reconsidered” their vote (Jim, Dawn, Whitney), while other ex jurors didn’t said the same about half of your list.
    So, I rather see Coach instead of lets say Russell (HvV) who had zero chances on that FTC.
    I think “worst FTC performance” means when you had a chance and you blew it with a poor performance in precisely that tribal.

  11. what about Albert Destrade? I thought it was really really bad/pitiful

  12. Katie’s FTC performance really wasn’t THAT bad… Janu even said at the reunion that she wasn’t going to vote for Katie anyway so who cares.

  13. We need to make special mention for Lisi’s idiotic question at Fiji’s Final Tribal Council.

  14. What about Colby? I remember his performance in front of the jury was really terrible and cost him the victory.

  15. Jsjdifjdjeisiskzjssudidjsj // July 10, 2013 at 7:32 am // Reply

    I would have put dreamz, stephen or lill in rob’s place. Other than that, good choices.

  16. i think sherri’s was the worst. that was so painful to watch, i just sat there with my jaw dropping, speechless.

  17. I think Amanda deserve to get the worst ranking in this category.
    Because she literally lost to be a winner because of final speech twice.
    specifically micronesia, She could have had a huge chance if he had conducted a good speech.

  18. I would argue that Kim Johnson (Africa) does not deserve a dishonorable mention. She actually ended up with more votes to win than she had coming in to the final tribal council. Yes, she picked on Tom with her answers to Brandon and Kim P’s questions, but I feel like she was correct in assuming that she would never get Tom’s vote anyway.

    Probably her biggest error was in her response to Frank’s question, where she tried to seem nice when Frank was all about strength. Still, it wasn’t a terrible answer – it fit with the image that Kim had presented of herself throughout the game, and wasn’t disrespectful or anything like that.

  19. You missed Sugar. At least Katie made an attempt to swing votes and actually received a few. Sugar just plain out was like “eh”.

  20. Clay should not be in the worst category, he should be in the best!

  21. Umm… Sugar?

  22. Even though he won gabon, I would put bob someone on the honorable mention. I watched it recently and he did horrible. The only reason he won was because Everyone hated sugar and people like Corrine and randy hated Susie

  23. How about for number one, we just put the entire final three of Gabon? Sugar stank, everyone hated Susie, and Bob lost Mattie’s vote on that last question.

  24. And Stephen! Gaaahaah! Did he not want votes?

  25. I say Becky from survivor Cook Islands needs to be on the list. All she needed to do was play the idol which she refused from Yul and they wouldn’t have to endure a 90 minute let’s try to make fire challenge. Yul got her to the end anyways.

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