Another Survivor Oz Top Ten is here again to cure your boredom for another week. Today, Ozlet Rileigh Marshall brings you ten of the best exits seen in the history of Survivor; that is, the most memorable actions, reactions, and last words of contestants once they have been voted out. While most Survivor’s choose to go out quietly, there are those rare few who decide to leave a lasting impression after the votes are read. Which Survivor exit will earn the number one spot in this week’s Top Ten? Find out below and leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom!
Apart from medical evacuations and quits, Survivor contestants generally leave the game in the same way. There may be a few parting words or an angry stare every now and again, but for most Survivor’s, the drama of the game often ends once the votes are tallied and their torches are snuffed. That being said, there are still those few contestants who decide to leave the game with a bang. Some made our jaws drop, others left us laughing, and some even managed to pull on our heartstrings. Here are ten of the most memorable exits from Survivor contestants over the past twenty-seven seasons.
10. Candice Woodcock – Cook Islands
Before she was Candice Cody, she was Candice Woodcock: single and ready to mingle in the Cook Islands. During her first season, Candice quickly started up a showmance with fellow tribe mate Adam Gentry, and she infamously chose to Mutiny against her new tribe in order to reunite with Adam after a Tribe Switch. However, her most overt display of affection was yet to come. After receiving the most votes at Tribal Council, Candice took final goodbyes to a whole new level when she decided to stage a full-on make out session with Adam in front of the whole tribe, the Jury and Jeff. Jeff got the last word, however, when he told her “A kiss is nice. Maybe if it were love he would have given you the Immunity necklace.”
9. Sarah Dawson – Philippines
Another Survivor exit that ended with a kiss was in the Philippines, though this time it involved someone that no one would have expected. Although Sarah Dawson’s game was fairly forgettable, she certainly gave us something to remember her for on Day 13 when, after being voted out, she decided to take full advantage of the fact that Jeff Probst was standing just inches away from her. As she waited for her torch to be snuffed, she gazed intensely into the dimpled host’s eyes. Many of us watching were left feeling startled, uncomfortable, and even a little bit jealous when she grabbed Jeff and gave him a kiss on the cheek before making her way out of Tribal. But it didn’t end there. At the Survivor: Philippines reunion, she got to finish what she started when she launched herself at Jeff and kissed him again, this time on the lips! I’m actually a bit surprised that it took twenty-five seasons for someone to try this.
8. Jonathan Penner – Philippines
If there’s one thing you can be sure of regarding Jonathan Penner, it’s that you can always count on him for some entertainment. After making a game-costing mistake in the Philippines, Penner once again found himself in the hot seat at Tribal Council. Despite his pleas to Lisa and Skupin to keep him around, he ultimately received the most votes, and without another Idol to save himself, he was eliminated from the game. However, it’s Jonathan Penner: he’s not going to go quietly. Donning his signature straw hat, he made his feelings for his tribe mates very clear, hugging Carter on the way out but refusing to hug Abi-Maria (“Yeahhh-no I’m not going to hug anybody else.”) As his torch was snuffed, he left some parting words for the host (“That sucks, Jeff”), as well as for the remaining contestants (“Guys, keep your sunny side up and suck eggs!”). In true showman fashion, he whistled all the way down the pathway out of Tribal Council and into the jungle, even doing a double take and raising up his arms for the cameras at the end. Now there’s a man who knows how to give a great exit.
7. Russell Hantz – Redemption Island
By the third time Russell Hantz was brought back for Survivor, he was well known as one of the most notorious villains in reality television; of course he didn’t stand a chance. He was predictably voted out and sent to Redemption Island early in the game, where he lost to Matt at the next duel. Love him or hate him, it was hard not to feel for the guy as he covered his face with his hat to hide his tears after Jeff told him for the first time that he was out of the game. His passion for Survivor was unmistakable, as Jeff noted: “Russell, you have beared your soul out here in ways that very few have.” After deciding that he had “too much respect for the game” to go out that way, Russell planted his final “Russell seed” by revealing who was in charge of his former Zapatera tribe and coercing Ralph into showing his Hidden Immunity Idol to the members of Ometepe. “You see, Jeff, I had to stay in this game somehow.” It was certainly a memorable exit, if not merely for the fact that Russell’s final words were that it would be his last time playing Survivor.
6. Jeff Kent – Philippines
Survivor: Philippines was a season full of memorable exits, but never have there been more epic final words spoken by a Survivor contestant than those spoken by Jeff Kent (A.K.A. the guy who hates returning players). It was a hilarious end for Jeff’s game in the Philippines, and if you need reminding of the infamous speech, here it is:
“You know what pisses me off? I think I’ve made about 60 million dollars playing baseball, and I want this frickin’ million dollars in this game and it’s not even a million bucks! It’s six hundred grand by the time Obama takes it! I’m a Game 7 World Series loser. You know, I’ve played in the biggest games in the world and the worst games in the world, but this just sucks.”
Jeff’s exit speech got so much attention that it earned him the award for Best Sore Loser (Exit Moment) in the 2013 Reality Wanted Reality TV Awards. So here’s a belated congratulations for you, Jeff. What an honour!
5. Brenda Lowe – Caramoan
It was the most controversial vote out of Survivor: Caramoan, causing huge debate in the Survivor community. This unforgettable blindside by Dawn, Cochran and Sherri came as a huge shock to Brenda and her fast-growing fan base, especially since earlier in the episode, she had given up her loved ones Reward for the rest of the tribe. Furthermore, in a scene shown a few episodes prior – which at the time seemed unusual but actually beared huge significance in retrospect – Brenda basically dissuaded Dawn from quitting the game by retrieving her retainer from the bottom of a lagoon. Brenda assumed that Dawn would be loyal to her for the rest of the game, as did many of the viewers; I think a lot of us forgot that this is, in fact, Survivor. After the final vote was read, a devastated Brenda said to her tribe mates “I was honest with you guys, I was genuine with you guys”, before delivering one of the most heart-breaking lines ever uttered on Survivor: “It hurts.” She walked off in tears into the darkness and couldn’t stop crying as she delivered her final words: “I’m just crying because I’m in shock. I think the reason it hurts so much is that I was hesitant to lie to people, I was so true to Dawn. Oh my God, it just hurts so much right now what I’m feeling.” It was definitely one of the most emotional exits seen on the show and one that will not be soon forgotten.
4. Richard Hatch – All Stars
After eight seasons, the Richard Hatch we all knew and loved was back again for Survivor: All Stars. Was he arrogant? Yes. Lazy? Of course. Naked? You better believe it. So when the time came for the King to be dethroned, it was simply destined to be entertaining. After hearing from Jerri that the men of Mogo Mogo wanted to vote him out, he decided to turn the tables and vote out Colby with the help of the women. “How dare you approach someone to get rid of me. You must go bye-bye now.” But when Tribal Council came, Richard suddenly realised that he had finally been outplayed as the votes were being read and he was the one whose name kept coming up. As Jeff delivered the final vote, his reaction was priceless: he yelled “I’ve been bamboozled!”, before giving Colby a hard slap on the back and taking his torch to Jeff to be snuffed for the first time. Wearing nothing but a pleated skirt and a wide grin, he danced around whilst chanting “Food! Food! Food!” before prancing down the pathway out of Tribal. It was a fitting end to his journey and one that is still memorable to this day.
3. Brandon Hantz – Caramoan
It’s probably not surprising that another Hantz made it onto this list, but if anyone could upstage Russell in terms of memorability, it’s his nephew, Brandon. Brandon’s meltdown in Survivor: Caramoan was one of the most talked about moments of the season and led to one of the most unorthodox exits the game has ever seen. After thirteen days on an island with Phillip, Brandon had finally reached breaking point when an argument with Specialist led to him dumping his tribe’s rice and beans onto the ground. With the threat of physical violence looming, the Favourites decided to forfeit the next Immunity Challenge in order to get rid of Brandon. Jeff called Brandon over at the challenge to ease the tension (literally giving him an impromptu shoulder massage in the process), though the shouting match with Phillip continued. Ultimately, Tribal Council was held then and there, and after a verbal vote from the Favourites, Brandon was eliminated from the game. No torch snuffed. No buff burnt. Still massaging him, Jeff then explained to Brandon that he was not allowed to go back to camp, and directed him to where he needed to go. Brandon left a parting note to the Fans (“Kick their ass.”) and to Phillip (“Phillip, you’re a bitch!”) before he disappeared around the corner. In his closing speech, he describes his exit as “glorious” and mentions that he wanted to “go out Braveheart-style.” I’m not sure if that’s how I would describe it…
2. Judd Sergeant – Guatemala
In contrast to Brandon’s explosive and unusual exit, Judd’s vote out in Survivor: Guatemala seems fairly conventional; Jeff tallied the votes, Judd received the majority, and his torch was snuffed. However, it was Judd’s reaction to the blindside and those infamous last words that he uttered to his tribe mates that make this Survivor exit so unforgettable. Feeling secure with his alliance, Judd was confident going into Tribal Council that it wouldn’t be him going home that night. Similar to Kat saying that blindsides are “always fun and exciting” before getting blindsided herself in Survivor: One World, Judd likewise shot himself in the foot by telling Jeff “The only way you move on is if somebody goes home. No hard feelings, but deal with it. That’s basically the way I look at it.” This made the look of surprise on his face when his name was read out all the more sweeter. Ultimately, the blindside led to one of the funniest lines ever said by a contestant: “Thanks guys. I hope you guys all get bit by a freaking crocodile. Scumbags.” It’s definitely the most quotable exit on this list and deserves its spot at number two.
1. Greg Buis – Borneo
And now for something completely different… Greg Buis set the standard for memorable exits in the original season of Borneo, and in my opinion, no one has lived up to it after twenty-seven seasons. Throughout the season, Greg was known for his goofy personality and bizarre antics; in his final moments in the game, it was no different. In fact, his last Tribal Council, from start to finish, was basically a showcase of the enigma that is Greg Buis. After voting for Jenna in one of the most classic voting confessionals ever (“First time for paranoia. Second time for irritation. And third time because my ear infection is clearing up.”), Greg sat quietly until Jeff delivered the verdict. It was then, as he grabbed his bag and reached for his torch, that he provided the number one Survivor exit on this list. Never one to take the game seriously, Greg, in an over-the-top and exaggerated manner, pretended to burst into tears while blubbering incoherently “Noooo, I don’t wanna go!” Even Jeff couldn’t help smiling. Greg continued to “cry” all the way down the pathway out of Tribal, and Rudy closed out the scene perfectly when he said “I believed him for a minute.” Greg’s final words were just as fitting as he said dramatically amidst candlelight “A twist of fate that maybe some didn’t expect and some… well… some did. An excellent game. Well manufactured. I harbor no resentment for any of you who voted for me, against me, or otherwise. I feel like it’s probably a pretty darn good time. Thanks guys.” It’s the most hilarious exit and my favourite in the show’s history.
· Shane Powers – Panama (“Oh my god, I’m going to have a chocolate ice-cream bar in about one minute. ONE MINUTE!”)
· Jamie Newton – Guatemala (“Blindsided, nice! Now THAT’S how you vote somebody out!”)
· Chicken Morris – China (“DAYUM!”)
· Wanda Shirk – Palau (*singing*)
· Andrea Boehlke – Caramoan (“Oh, you guys! That’s good. That’s really good.”)
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!