It’s Wednesday again, which means another Survivor Oz Top Ten is on its way. Today, Ozlet Ben Powell counts down ten of the best scene-changing lines in Survivor history. Survivor has brought us many memorable quotes throughout it’s twenty-seven season run, with notable favourites including Eliza’s, “It’s just a f**king stick!”, Rupert’s, “Who the hell voted for me!?”, and most recently, Marissa’s “F**k you, Brad Culpepper!” in Blood Vs. Water. However, certain lines carry more significance from a story-telling point of view, essentially changing the tone of the scene and helping shape the season as a whole. Ten of these have been listed below. Can you think of any other important quotes from Survivor that should have been included? Read on and leave us your thoughts in the comment box.
10. “This is the order, how it’s gonna go?”- Sean Rector (Marquesas, Episode 8)
The fall of the Rotu Four started with a single conversation. It was the now famous Coconut Chop challenge that saw the dominant alliance that was destined for the Final Four get too cocky and too ahead of themselves and inadvertently, with prompting from Sean, reveal their pecking order. They eliminated Sean, then Vecepia, then Kathy, and without even thinking, they eliminated Neleh and Paschal, the very people who the other three had been hounding about overthrowing the alliance for the past two days. All it took was an aloud observation of the events to help it snowball, and that very night, Paschal and Neleh joined together with Kathy, Sean and Vecepia in order to overthrow John Carroll and put an end to the Rotu Four for good.
9. “He doesn’t have Immunity…”- Erinn Lobdell (Tocantins, Episode 9)
The Timbira tribe in Tocantins was exactly double the size of the Jalapao tribe by the time the Jury had started. Unfortunately for all of them, they were about as cohesive as water and another liquid substance that has never heard of water before. Brendon didn’t like Coach, Coach didn’t like Sierra, Sierra didn’t like Tyson, Tyson didn’t like Sierra or Erinn, and Erinn didn’t like any of them. So at the Final Eight, everyone was set to vote out Sierra because she was a member of Timbira and nobody liked her. She even lost her chance at Immunity and was set to go. However, while Sierra didn’t win Immunity, neither did Tyson, who had proved himself to be a huge physical threat after winning the first two Immunity Challenges. While Jalapao were ready to vote out Sierra with Coach, Debbie and Tyson, Erinn came up with the plan by pointing out Tyson’s lack of Immunity to the Jalapao alliance. This eventually snowballed into all four of them putting aside their plan to vote out Sierra in order to target the biggest Immunity threat there. Tyson was indeed voted out that night, or in his words “outfoxed by an idiot”, and it all came from one suggestion by Erinn Lobdell.
8. “As far as Rob and Butch are concerned, I’m going to the Final Two with both of them.”- Matthew von Ertfelda (Amazon, Episode 12)
For most of Survivor: Amazon, Matt was treated as little more than a joke by both the show and his fellow competitors. He’d never seen Survivor before applying to go out there and was constantly on the outs, only partnering with Rob Cesternino to survive. To help them survive better, Rob, over the course of the season, started teaching Matthew basic strategy and how to advance further in the game, which in the end would prove to be his undoing.
During the Final Five Reward, Matthew revealed to the confessional that not only had he made a deal with Rob to go to the end with him, but he’d also made a deal with Butch, which would later lead up to Matthew making a deal with Jenna to take her to the end. At some point in the competition the student had surpassed the master and Rob’s fate was in the hands of the very person he taught strategy to. This quote was the culmination of what was to come and what had already happened behind the scenes: Matthew von Ertfelda outplaying Rob Cesternino and landing his coveted spot in the Final Two. Matthew would end up not winning the game, as he only had two friends on the Jury, but he would go down as an unlikely Survivor hero, having been the only one capable of outplaying one of the greatest players to never win.
7. “I wonder if he would give Nat his necklace… probably not, huh?”- Cirie Fields (Micronesia, Episode 13)
In a season already so full of twists and unexpected turns, nobody was sure what was going to happen going into the final episodes of Micronesia. Erik was an Immunity beast who was really good at challenges, while the remaining members of the Black Widow Brigade were not nearly as strong as he was. His place even further in the game seemed assured thanks to this fact, but one of the most memorable moments of the series occurred when a simple idea was pushed.
Cirie wanted to see whether or not Natalie, with whom Erik was possibly the closest, would be able to convince Erik to give up Immunity should he win it. It was a long, convoluted plan that involved mental manipulation and having to guilt a young, easily influenced 22-year-old nerd who had never been around women as attractive as Natalie, Parvati and Amanda in his life. And of course, we all know what happened. Natalie convinced Erik that the other women didn’t like him and that in order to redeem himself in their eyes and the eyes of the Jury, he needed an act of good favour, such as giving up Immunity when he needed it most. It worked and Erik was sent home that night, leaving four of the Black Widow Brigade to make up the Final Four. All this was accomplished thanks to an idea so crazy that it shouldn’t have worked, yet it did anyway because it was so crazy it had to.
6. “Why don’t we vote off Edgardo?”- Stacy Kimball (Fiji, Episode 10)
Episode Ten was the climax of Fiji; the showdown between the Four Horsemen (Alex, Dreamz, Mookie and Edgardo) and the rest of the people left in the game (Stacy, Yau-Man, Boo, Cassandra and Earl). The Four Horsemen had an Immunity Idol and the element of surprise, as they were keeping it a complete secret as to who it was being used on. If they played it right and voted out Cassandra, it would split the alliance in two, leaving a spooked Stacy with nowhere to go but with them and the inevitable Four Horsemen Final Four. Fortunately, much of the Immunity Idol metagame was being written in Fiji, and the second-most ingenious plan behind Cao-Boi’s Plan Voodoo was created by Stacy.
Rather than having to guess between the two people who were the biggest threats who may have the Idol, why not go for the third person in the alliance who definitely does not have the Idol. It was accepted as quickly as it was pitched, and Edgardo, plus the rest of the Horsemen, were blindsided that night as Alex played the Idol when he didn’t need to and cost them the game. It’s one of the most underrated moves in Survivor strategy history, and thanks to Fiji’s infamy as an unpopular season, it has almost been forgotten in its usefulness (it could have saved Galu in Samoa or the majority Villains’ alliance in Heroes Vs. Villains had it been used in the same manor). However, the moment itself coming from an underrated character such as Stacy Kimball will forever be remembered by the abruptness of the suggestion and how quickly it was accepted.
5. “Russell wants me sitting next to him because he knows I’m not gonna get a single vote. But I don’t know about that…”- Sandra Diaz-Twine (Heroes Vs. Villains, Finale)
Russell Hantz may have played one of the most clumsy end games of all time in Heroes Vs. Villains, and it’s no more evident than his insistence on having Sandra sit next to him in the Final Tribal Council, who had been pandering to the Heroes on the Jury more than any of them. Russell was completely under the belief that Sandra “didn’t play the game” and would not win against either him or Parvati.
Every single person left in the game at the Final Four knew that either Sandra or Parvati had the Jury locked up, and Sandra had the Heroes, now the majority of the Jury, on her side. However, if the fact that Sandra had a majority Jury rooting for her success wasn’t apparent at first glance, her confessional, after Russell said to her face that he wanted her in the end with her, couldn’t have made it any more clear. Sandra knew that the Heroes were never voting for Russell, and she even had a former ally on the Jury in Courtney. This confessional, to anyone it wasn’t apparent to, hammered the fact home that Sandra was almost definitely about to become the only returning player with an unblemished record.
4. “I’ll give you Immunity, I’ll drop off, if you take me to the end with you, okay?”- Vecepia Towery (Marquesas, Finale)
In a season of the unexpected, nobody could have predicted what would happen at the end of Survivor: Marquesas. It was the Final Three and Kathy Vaverick O’Brien looked set to make the Final Tribal Council, possibly to win it all. There was only one obstacle in her way and that was the Final Immunity Challenge. For a while she was doing alright and lasted way longer than was expected of her. However, a misstep in trying to cover up her cleavage saw her fall out of the challenge.
It’s not five seconds later that Vecepia performs one of the most cutthroat and underhanded moves at that point in Survivor history and immediately makes a deal with Neleh to drop out and take her to the Final Two. Keep in mind that Vecepia had just saved Kathy at the previous Tribal Council and they had an alliance to go to the end together. In an act of pure cutthroat intention, Vecepia immediately forgoes that deal and strikes another one with Neleh right in front of Kathy, cutting the throat of easily the most popular player of the season. The unexpectedness of this matched perfectly with the way the season was going. Survivor was becoming exciting and unexpected again, and this quote, showing complete disregard for promises and alliances, showcases that.
3. “My grandma’s sitting at home watching Jerry Springer right now.”- Jonny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Episode 10)
In the episode right after Rupert was voted out, tragedy struck. During the Reward Challenge, Fairplay’s friend Dan came along as his loved one, and it was revealed that, much to his horror, his grandmother had died. Everyone was in such a state of shock that they all (excluding Sandra, who didn’t believe him) basically forfeited the Reward Challenge so that Fairplay could spend time with Dan and find out more about what happened. Everyone thought that it was a real humanizing moment for Jonny Fairplay after a season of debauchery, and hoped that he could recover.
How wrong they were.
In the very next scene, starting with this now famous confessional, Fairplay reveals that the entire thing was a lie. His grandma’s at home watching television. She’s not even close to being dead. Fairplay and his buddy Dan had just pulled off the biggest lie in Survivor history, and from that point on it completely altered his chances in the game. Nobody wanted to vote out a guy whose grandmother just died, and he used that to his advantage and cut deals for the rest of the season that he had no intention of keeping, all under the guise that he was doing it in his dead grandma’s name.
2. “I swear on my two kids that I’m gonna screw you and Burton.”- Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands, Episode 12)
Jonny Fairplay and Burton were controlling the game by the penultimate episode of Pearl Islands. They had complete control of who was going home nearly every week and nobody was going to vote them out. To top it all off, Fairplay’s grandmother had just “died” and he was using her death as the ultimate bargaining chip; “I swear on my grandmother’s name” became some of the most common words uttered out of Jonny Fairplay’s mouth during those final few episodes. Everybody could believe him if he said that, because who would lie on their recently dead grandmother’s name?
The only person who didn’t believe him was Sandra, and when the women looked poised to join together and vote out Burton and Fairplay, Fairplay tried to cut a deal with Sandra to show his loyalty. He promised on his grandmother’s name he would take her to the finals, and in return he made Sandra swear on her two kids that she would remain loyal to them. But this is Sandra. Sandra hates Fairplay. Instead of going through with this, Sandra proves that his lie is worth nothing to her when she declares that under her breath she was going to screw them over no matter what. It was the first time in the season that the “dead grandma’” promise didn’t work, and it was the event that changed the end game of the season.
1. “Oh my god… it’s me.”- Gretchen Cordy (Borneo, Episode 7)
In an essence, a single line changed the entire tone of the show. Survivor up until that very episode had been essentially about voting out who didn’t deserve to be there or who wasn’t contributing to their tribe. But in one of the best episodes of the series, that all changed.
The Tagi Four were an alliance that was now going to vote out the opposing tribe. However, what criteria does one use when, in the previous six episodes, it had all been about going into the challenges and camp life strong. Well Richard wanted to vote out Greg, a mental and physical threat, but he unexpectedly won the first individual Immunity Challenge. So who else could have been next but the universally loved Gretchen?
Gretchen was the leader of Pagong. She was a hard worker, she kept the morale up, she was their survivalist who knew almost everything about surviving in hostile situations. Her job before being a teacher was to teach U.S. Army soldiers how to withstand torture. Everyone, even the people in the production crew, thought she was a sure-fire winner or a lock for the end game. And that’s exactly why she was targeted, because she was so intimidating a threat to the Tagi Four that she needed to go. And when those first three votes came up revealing that she was the one whose head had been put on the chopping block, she uttered her immortal line that changed how the show was looked at forever.
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!