10. Sherri Biethman – Caramoan
Her pre-merge game seemed strong, and she was fighting the unfair advantage of being a new player against returning players, but her insistence of keeping Shamar around when he became an obviously toxic presence within the Fans tribe meant that once a Tribe Switch happened, she had no other choice but to align with the returning players, as Eddie and Reynold wanted her gone. From that point, her only option was to ride the returning players all the way to the end of the game in the hope that she could somehow pull off a win against Cochran, who might have been the most popular player within the season to reach the Final Tribal Council since J.T. in Tocantins. The fact of the matter is: she was never, ever, ever going to win against Cochran. It’s easy to sit on the couch and gain that information from a forty-three minute edited television episode, but she must have known he was pretty popular. She wouldn’t have made this list if it weren’t for her Final Tribal Council performance though; nerves can get the best of anybody, but it was excruciating to watch. I hope she gets another chance because in different circumstances I can imagine she’d do very well, but she was a goat in Caramoan. Sorry Sherri!
9. Becky Lee – Cook Islands
She wasn’t helped by the fact that she was in a Final Three with Yul and Ozzy, in what probably remains to this day the closest battle for the title of Sole Survivor. But I don’t see how anybody can argue that Becky, in any situation, wins at a Final Tribal Council, whether it is a Final Two or Final Three. In the first episode of Cook Islands, we saw the formation of an alliance between Becky and Yul, and she remained loyal to that alliance to the very end of the game, despite the fact that she had absolutely no shot at winning in a Final Two/Three against him. The whole ‘attach yourself to a power player and they’ll take me to the end’ strategy is a valid one if everybody hates the player you attach yourself to. But Yul wasn’t hated at all; in fact, he was highly respected. Her fire building skills at the Final Four Tribal Council, in front of the Jury, were also plain embarrassing (but pretty amusing). So yes, sorry Becky, but I see you as a pretty large goat.
8. Natalie Tenerelli – Redemption Island
Natalie did what Becky did, but she took it to the next level. Again, I hold no grudges against players who attach themselves to the power player in the hope that the Jury will be annoyed with the person sitting next to you and vote for you instead. That’s a valid strategy. But it didn’t work. And when it doesn’t work, you look pretty stupid. The Jury didn’t respect her game play, it was frustrating to watch as a viewer, and she handed Boston Rob the win. She was young; probably a little too young and naïve to play a game such as Survivor. She came across as a really nice person, but there is no other way to describe her than as a goat.
7. Stephenie LaGrossa – Guatemala
Stephenie was portrayed a tad differently in Guatemala than what she was in Palau. In Palau, she was America’s sweetheart; the poor innocent soul who was left alone because her lame tribe mates couldn’t be as brilliant as she was and help her win a challenge. In Guatemala, she seemed self-righteous, greedy, annoying and also not impartial to completely unnecessary blindsides against people in her alliance that she might have actually beaten in a Final Two. Stephenie was in the first season to mix returning and new players together, and helped by her popularity and star status, she managed to cement herself in a strong position in a dominant alliance. Around the Merge, both Jamie and Judd saw Stephenie as their number one ally, and she would have certainly had a much better chance of winning sitting next to one of them in the Final Two than she did against Danni or Rafe. But, as so many people do when they find themselves in a position of great power, she over thought her hand; needlessly blindsiding Jamie, Judd and Cindy all but confirmed that they were never going to vote for her in the Final Tribal Council. Voting out Lydia at the Final Four was also silly considering how much better Danni was challenge-wise, but I would argue that she couldn’t win against anybody at that point, so it’s relatively insignificant for this article. Interviews with contestants also suggests she sat around complaining about how hungry she was for the whole thirty-nine days, which would have been significantly grating considering the amount of Reward Challenges she was taken on. From hero to zero in one season, and with only one vote from her best buddy Rafe, there is no other way to describe Ms. LaGrossa than as a solid goat.
6. Rob Mariano – All Stars
This might be seen as a tad controversial considering Mr. Mariano only lost by one vote, but I would argue that he had literally no chance of winning at the Final Tribal Council of All-Stars. All-Stars was the first season in Survivor history to feature returning players, and Survivor viewers got to see for the first time what is now a staple of any returning player seasons: pre-game alliances. There was the pre-game plan to eliminate all the winners, as well as many other agreements that seemed to have been made before the cameras started rolling. These people were friends in real life, so this is completely understandable. Boston Rob was apparently a very popular member of the Survivor community pre-All Stars, and he set about destroying some close friendships for what was, in his eyes, a game that should not be taken personally. He blindsided Rob Cesternino, spent confessionals insulting people like Sue Hawk, Colby Donaldson and Ethan Zohn, and came across on camera as somebody who relished embarrassing people. That was just pre-Merge. Rule 101 of Survivor is that unless the Jury respects you, you cannot win. The whole Lex ‘you take care of her, I’ll take care of you’ debacle has been written about extensively, but Rob knew by doing that he wasn’t going to get Lex’s vote at the end. He made a Final Two deal with Alicia when there was no real necessity to do so, thus losing her vote in a Jury situation. He blindsided Big Tom at Final Five unnecessarily, thus losing any chance of Tom voting for him at the Final Tribal Council. He also socially ostracized Shii-Ann throughout the post-merge, and would have been aware she would probably vote for Amber due to her publicly saying at the Final Six Tribal Council that she was going to vote for the person she thought was playing the best game. And bang, right there Rob is going into the Final Tribal Council knowing he can’t get four out of the seven votes. And that’s not considering his treatment of Kathy, who surprisingly forgave Rob and voted for him anyway. There was no way Rob was winning All-Stars. And that’s why he was a goat. A goat for his future wife is the best possible situation to be a goat from a financial sense, but a goat he remains.
5. Phillip Sheppard – Redemption Island
Oh, Phillip. You divide opinion like no other, but one thing is for certain: Lee Harvey Oswald has more chance of going down in history as an American treasure than you did of winning Redemption Island. From Day One you came across to your tribe mates as overbearing and bossy, and your claims of being a former Federal Agent gained you more suspicion than the respect you were looking for. You sold your vote to Boston Rob, and did exactly what he said throughout pre-merge. When the Merge occurred, you continued to ostracize every single member of the former Zapatera tribe and became the number one spokesperson for Ometepe unity, despite the fact they spoke to you with disdain throughout the game. You accused Steve of racism in one of the more uncomfortable episodes in Survivor history. But I held hope, Phillip. You said constantly it was all an act; that you intentionally wanted to annoy everybody to appear to be the perfect goat to take to the end. I was so hoping for an amazing Final Tribal where you shed the Emperor’s clothes and revealed your master plan and your identity as a fantastic actor. But you then told everybody to just vote for Boston Rob. So although you knew what you were doing, you actually became the goat you were trying to be perceived as. Ironic, isn’t it?
4. Sugar Kiper – Gabon
Sugar is one of those contestants whose edit seems to be entirely misleading as to what her other tribe members thought of her. She was made out to be the hero; somebody who was sent to Exile Island an unprecedented five times and somebody who was fighting for the good guys to win, stopping at nothing to vote out the ‘bad guys’ in Corrine and Randy. She took big bad Randy’s cookie and gave it to Matty, and it was edited in a way that we were supposed to cheer, and laugh at Randy for getting nothing. She made Bob make Randy a fake Idol with the only purpose of making his exit all the more humiliating for him, and again we were supposed to laugh at Randy for being an idiot. She was undoubtedly a massive part of the game that unfolded in Gabon; she voted for the eliminated person in every single Tribal Council she attended, whilst never receiving a vote herself. She tied the vote at the Final Four to take Bob to the end with her, despite knowing that her chances of beating Bob were non-existent. It almost seemed like Sugar wanted to turn the entire season into ‘the Sugar show’, which she certainly achieved. But in doing so, she managed to ostracize the majority of the Jury and it earned her a grand total of zero votes in the Final Tribal Council. So although Sugar was a massive part of the reason Gabon was so unpredictable and entertaining, she does earn the title of a goat in my eyes.
3. Dreamz Herd – Fiji
Dreamz was a contestant with a back-story that should have resulted in him being edited as a plucky underdog, and somebody no one would want to take to the end because there was no chance of beating him. I mean, the guy was homeless; how can you make a homeless guy the biggest villain of the season? But Dreamz managed the impossible. He had a poor social game, resulting in him rubbing most of his tribe mates up the wrong way. He betrayed the four-horseman alliance, which would result in at least three Jury members holding him responsible for their downfall in the game. But Dreamz became one of the biggest goats in Survivor history when he decided to go back on his word in front of the whole Jury with the infamous ‘car-gate’. The moment he kept that car, there was absolutely no chance whatsoever that Dreamz was going to get a vote, let alone win Survivor: Fiji. And that makes him one of the biggest goats in Survivor history.
2. Russell Hantz – Heroes Vs. Villains
Russell’s game in Heroes Vs. Villains should be put in a ‘Survivor Guide to Not Win a Jury Vote’, if such a book is ever made. From the very beginning of the game, Russell set about alienating absolutely everybody physically possible. It was almost astounding to watch; searching for Idols whilst the whole Villains tribe is bonding over some Coach-chi is a sure fire way to ensure that nobody on that tribe likes you very much. Russell set about blindsiding the vast majority of the Jury and making alliances with everybody on the island without any intention of following through with his promises. He blindsided Coach, he alienated Courtney, he blindsided J.T. after swearing on his kids that he was with him, he alienated Amanda by laughing around the campfire about how stupid J.T. and the Heroes were. He blindsided Candice two days after promising her Final Three, he blindsided Danielle in one of the most unnecessarily, vindictive moves I’ve ever seen and blindsided Rupert one day after swearing on God he was with him. He voted out Colby after promising him a Final Three deal and he blindsided Jerri right at the end. It is absolutely remarkable what Russell managed to achieve; he sent every single Jury member out of the game at the height of his or her hatred for him and his game play. It was textbook goat play, and Russell did it better than almost anybody.
1. Lillian Morris – Pearl Islands
Despite the fact she received more votes than some other people on this list, I still believe that she is and probably will remain the biggest goat in the history of Survivor. Lil comes across as an incredibly nice person, but my word she managed to annoy pretty much everybody during her stint on Pearl Islands. She lost the Morgan tribe’s only fishing hook after insisting on fishing by herself, which got her promptly voted out. If rumours are to be believed, she was voted back into the game not because she deserved it, but because she annoyed the other Outcasts so much that they didn’t want her to come on their pre-merge holiday. And when she came back into the game, she managed to completely dominate the game like no other, despite seemingly having no idea how to play the game. Lil managed to vote correctly in every single Tribal Council, which is an amazing feat. The problem was that every single Jury member held her responsible for his or her downfall in the game. Couple that with being gratingly annoying and the fact she was an Outcast, and there is absolutely nobody on that season that wouldn’t have beaten Lil in a Final Two. And if Jonny Fairplay would have beaten you, then you are the biggest goat 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!