Another season of Survivor is over and the winner of Cagayan has been announced! But were they the best player? Did any other players deserve to make it further than they did? Who was completely underrated and who was completely overrated? Join Ben and Jarryd as they sit down and give each contestant a grade in the official Survivor Oz – Survivor: Cagayan Report Card! We guarantee you that some contestants parents will be glad to see their reports whilst others will be hiding them on their way home!
(CONTAINS SPOILERS – If you haven’t seen the finale of Survivor: Cagayan and do not wish to know the final result, do not click below!)
Voted Out Day Three
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: F
BEN’S THOUGHTS: For someone I picked pre-game to make the final 3, he certainly turned out to be a disappointment. He struggled to get the social game really on his side and it was never likely after the opening moments that he was going to last long after choosing the tall athletic guy as the ‘weakest’ player. However, he wasn’t as terrible as many people paint him out to be and he definitely had game if the situation for him was different. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t, and he joined the ‘exclusive’ (but unwanted) first boot club.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Pre-game, I thought David would be fantastic. He seemed cunning, devious and I felt he’d have a real ‘eye’ for the game. Sadly, barely ten minutes into the season, he proclaimed to everyone that he’s already thinking of the end game, choose Garrett as the weakest member of his tribe for “strategic reasons” and has people lining up to vote him out. So my hopes were crushed and his future in the game was doomed. In theory, it was silly of the Brains tribe to send him home on Day Three given what he would have offered to the tribe over the likes of J’Tia. However, the mistakes he made very early in the game were extremely stupid and in terms of the game play he showed, he didn’t deserve to remain in the game past Day Three. His statements on Day One are up there with Survivor 101 of how not to play the game and I feel he really let a lot of people down. Socially, I think he would have been okay, but to display his strategy on a silver platter for everyone to see was painful. Overall, a pretty terrible showing from David who looked to have the goods before the game began.
Voted Out Day Three
BEN’S GRADE: D
JARRYD’S GRADE: F
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Very similar to David, Garrett played way too hard way too fast and did it with an arrogance that was never going to work on a three tribe season where the number of players on a tribe is fewer than usual. For someone who claims to have studied the game so much you would expect better, and trying out a Boston Rob style ‘no talking strategy’ that early is going to bite you in the ass. Similar to David in that had the circumstances been different he would’ve shone, but he’ll have to hope for an invite back and possibly a ‘best 2nd boot Ozcar’ to redeem himself.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Garrett wasn’t much better than David when it comes to game play. Like David, I gave Garrett and F purely because he was a shocking strategic player. His reaction and the “strategy” he attempted to implement after the Brain’s lost the second Immunity Challenge was laughable. Trying to get everyone to talk openly open the game not even a week in, when you don’t have definite control of the outcome of the vote, (or the game), was truly horrible game play. Physically, Garrett could have been the best player this season but in the few challenges he competed in, he hardly set the world on fire. His arrogance and will to not want to get caught up in the drama of everything, did make me think that he wanted to quit, but whether he did or didn’t will always be continuous. As for all the training and studying he did in preparation… I think he may have overestimated how many hours he actually put in. His preparation was probably watching several seasons that were given to him whilst in lock down.
Voted Out Day Eight
BEN’S GRADE: C
JARRYD’S GRADE: D
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Brice simply had the wrong side of the numbers and had luck go against him. Technically he didn’t do anything wrong, but in a game such as Survivor luck usually is the key factor in whether you win or lose. How different the game could’ve been had Jeremiah sided with Brice and Morgan and pulled it off. Would’ve been interesting to see how it would’ve turned out. Brice was fun, fresh and an entertaining guy who I feel we didn’t get to see as much as we should’ve. I feel he has a real Coby Archa style game in him like I said before the season, and it’s a shame we never got to see it. He did get to hang out with Morgan more so than some of the others in the game. You champion.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I never had much hope for Brice and it came as no surprise to me that he was walking away from the game in its early stages. His personality was far too outlandish for Survivor. Nothing against the kid, but when your on an island with the same people, all day, every day, with nothing to do, you don’t want to be surrounded by someone like Brice because he will drive you insane very quickly. In saying that, his personality made him a big social threat so it was an easy way to get rid of him. I feel he was disadvantaged with the twist this season and could possibly have survived a little longer on a season featuring a two tribe format, however, the game play he displayed in his short time in the game, did little to suggest he would have been a key player in a season with a different twist. Physically he couldn’t perform in challenges and I don’t think he had enough strategic sense to cause any chaos regardless of the type of season. Why? Because he tried to create an alliance with Jeremiah who was never going to turn down a guaranteed four person alliance to be a third wheel in an alliance, that had they prevailed and won the battle of control at Tribal, would have been split down the middle and been in trouble once a Switch or Merge occurred. Poor strategy.
Voted Out Day Eleven
BEN’S GRADE: D-
JARRYD’S GRADE: F
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I don’t care what anyone says, but if you dump out your entire tribes food supply and somehow survive, there is no way you’re getting an F from me because call it luck or just circumstance, that is something else! J’Tia I have to say was the biggest disappointment in terms of strategy and game all season as so many people went in thinking she would be the favourite and could win the entire game. Alas it wasn’t to be, but we found ourselves one of the best characters in the last 5 or so seasons of the show. I could see her coming back on a season to stir the pot, and maybe we might get to see all this promise that was there from this nuclear engineer?
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Where do I start? Her incompetence in challenges? Her inability to have any form of strategy? Or perhaps what she thought was a social game? On the whole, J’Tia probably takes the cake over both David and Garrett as the worst player of the season. How she survived two Tribal Council’s is totally beyond me because she didn’t deserve to stay ahead of David and Garrett – who could have helped the tribe win challenges and changed the outcome of the game completely. Her moment of glory – dumping the rice – isn’t something anyone should be proud of, especially when the people who you dumped the rice on don’t have anything else to eat. Yes, Survivor is a game that involves lying, cheating and stealing, but ruining a food supply is off-limits in my book. I really hope J’Tia doesn’t return, but she’s a big character and I can see it happening. If she does it will be extremely disappointing because her spot could be much better served going to someone who is there to play the game and deserves to return.
Voted Out Day Fourteen
BEN’S GRADE: C+
JARRYD’S GRADE: C
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Cliff was never going to go far with his background which is a real shame, as he seems like such a likeable and awesome guy. The guy actually did nothing wrong (similar to Brice) and again was all down to numbers and not being on the right side of them. Still baffles me why Sarah was so adamant to get rid of him sort of randomly, and I feel as though there was a bunch that wasn’t shown in that situation. However he was portrayed as super likeable and somebody who no doubt was a huge social threat on top of him being a physical threat, so all are obviously key factors. Now that we’ve had the ‘cop curse’ broken in a winner, will we ever get the pro athlete curse broken? Ethan Zohn not included of course, but I hope one day we can see it be broken.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: As an NBA fan, I was super excited that a former player would be appearing on this season. Cliff is an all-round nice guy and I was excited to see how he was going to deal with lying in the game. Unfortunately, Cliff was a bit of a let down this season. Unlike former sporting players who have appeared on other seasons, Cliff didn’t great a great deal of airtime, his past in the NBA was never really discussed and he felt like a supporting act to the other players of the season. It was really disappointing to see him edited this way, but given he didn’t make it very far, it was to be expected. I think if Cliff had made it deep into the game, his storyline would have been far more compelling. In terms of game play, his social game was always going to be a strong point; hence the reason he was voted off. He held his own in challenges, but it was his strategic game play that let him down. I feel he got sucked into a “locker room” like mantra where we didn’t want to go against his “team mates”, (in this case his Brawn tribe members), which made his game very one-dimensional. That of course stems from his basketball days and being involved in a team environment for much of his life.
Quit Day Fourteen
BEN’S GRADE: F
JARRYD’S GRADE: D
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Let me start be clarifying that the only reason Lindsey gets an F is because she quit. Had she not quit it would be around the middle to high C mark. So clarifying that first. Pushing that aside, Lindsey tried her darndest to stick around and play, but with numbers against her she struggled and when you have an angry fiery Trish coming at you as well, things are going to get worse emotionally. It seems as though we can never have the ‘alternative girl’ do well in Survivor which sucks because we have such a great history of great characters that would be amazing to go all the way. Unfortunately for Lindsey she couldn’t break that duck and I was incredibly sad to see her go.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Lindsey was another who was a massive disappointment this season. I had massive hopes for her pre-game to embrace the “alternate girl” stereotype, who would play a well-rounded game. That was never the case. I felt she struggled to find her feet from Day One and was always viewed as a weaker member of her tribe. Socially, some of the antics we saw around camp weren’t ideal, (dropping farts is funny if your five), and she never really gave Trish a chance to develop anything with her, which put her against her early on – she was complaining about Trish’s laugh very early on in the game. Her strategic plan was to be big Cliff’s puppet and follow his orders and when he left, she imploded and had no idea which direction to go in. Quitting the game never impresses me in situations when it’s entirely on you. For me, Lindsey’s quit was her taking the easy way out and not sticking it out and fighting for her right in the game. Just last season, Jeff scorned Colton for quitting after not getting on with his tribe, yet Lindsey did EXACTLY THE SAME THING and Jeff carried on about her being brave for teaching her daughter a lesson. In my book, the only lesson she taught her daughter is how to run away from your problems.
Voted Out Day Sixteen
BEN’S GRADE: C-
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I’m glad people will read my thoughts on Alex before they read the incredibly stupid and bias opinions below of my fellow colleague, because honestly how Alexis deserves the same grade as Jefra, has one lower than LJ and is ranked ABOVE Tasha is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen come from Jarryd’s head! Wowzer boy! I know you have questionable tastes but please! Haha..putting that aside, Alexis was nothing more than a background player who has happy to play with numbers and go along with the majority. She had a weird thing against Morgan which was never fully explained and when the blindside came, it was all too much for her. Which I have nothing against, it shows passion for the game and I respect that from her. But I didn’t see enough from her to warrant anything higher than a C-. B- from Jarryd? That’s worse than my F for Brenda in Caramoan…
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I may have a slightly biased opinion on Alexis, but I think she played the best game out of the three female Beauties and one of the better games out of all the females this season. Whilst she didn’t even end up on the Jury, her game was cut short due to a twist in the game that left her on a tribe with few allies. Had she ended up alongside LJ and Jefra was sent to Aparri, her game would have gone very differently, so she definitely suffered from some bad luck. Her social game was her strong point, as she worked her way into a dominant alliance on the Solana tribe very quickly. However, as well as that, she also showed admirable strategic game play – she came up with the plan to split the votes at the first Tribal Council the Beauties attended, saving herself and eliminating Brice. Had the foursome not split the votes and Brice and Morgan had of used an Idol, things would have gone very differently for the Beauties this season and I think Alexis needs credit for this move. Whilst she was quick to jump onto the Brains after the Switch, she should have stuck with Jeremiah and this was a poor decision on her behalf. I think we were robbed of seeing a potential big name player after the Merge, who would have offered more bite than Jefra and Morgan had she had the opportunity to play an individual game. Socially and strategically she offered more for me that Jefra and Morgan did this season, hence she was voted out because she was a threat, rather than because it was the easy or only option.
Voted Out Day Nineteen
BEN’S GRADE: D-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Sarah seems like a fun person and a great lady and one I can’t wait to get on this show to chat to me about everything I’m about to say and prove me wrong. But to me she is the worst player of the season and avoids getting an F as I from now on will reserve that for quitters or people with super extraordinary circumstances. Initially she was my choice for first boot and that first episode I thought “wow how wrong I am, this woman is great!”. But how quickly things turned. She went from suspecting Tony was lying to her and not being happy about it, to finding out he was lying to her but then being fine with it? She then somehow got it into her head that she was in control and was cockier than Russell Hantz in full flight and then was promptly blindsided. Her FTC performance was also laughable, accusing Tony of being a liar and going against his badge when she was voted out, despite the clear fact of not bringing up that she wanted him out first. Her confessionals seemed to paint an idea that she had no idea what was going on and was routinely being taken for a ride, and there just was nothing there from her edit as well that gave her any substance as a player. Her one shining light that I feel she needs to get credit for (despite me not really understanding it) was the Cliff vote, because that was HER idea to which Trish would later use to her advantage. All that aside, I just wished she could’ve stayed like Sarah in the first episode and proved me wrong, but it just wasn’t to be.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Sarah had so much potential after a strong first episode where she looked to take control… then, she met Tony. What’s the old saying that mum’s say about a daughter’s old boyfriend? – I didn’t like him the minute he walked in the front door? That pretty much sums up Sarah’s “relationship” with Tony. The minute she created an alliance with him, her game took a turn for the worst and she went from someone who wanted to control the game and play hard, to a lap dog that followed orders and did what she was told. Yes, that is a little harsh, but in reality, Tony took control over her and influenced her game. Had it been the opposite and Sarah had controlled Tony, I’d be singing her praises louder than anyone else. I didn’t hold Sarah very highly pre-game so it was refreshing to see her offer something in the first episode. Sadly, I gave her up as a bad job halfway through episode three and never looked back, knowing that my assumptions of her before the game and her not going very far, were probably going to come true. Strategically, she had no idea. She aligned herself with a dominant male character and let herself get controlled. Then, when she was free of him after a Switch and sitting in a perfect position in the middle of two alliance of three, she says she’s in the worst position possible… no idea! I was glad to see her go when she did a very poor job at playing both sides and acting as if she held all the cards. That kids, is the perfect example of how not to play the swing vote card in Survivor. Sarah, you let a lot of people down this season and I for one, don’t want to see you return again.
Voted Out Day Twenty-Two
BEN’S GRADE: DD C+
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Oh Morgan. It started off so well! Most confessionals in the first episode, showing some actual gameplay and strategy and socially being around the key groups. It looked like all the pre-game stereotypes were going to be broken! Things turned against her though quickly when Brice went, but she still floated by and survived week after week and looked like a real background game could be played. But again, numbers went against her, and things turned slightly catty towards the end for her. The stuff against Kass was interesting, and I feel as though her comments at the night she was voted out were easily prompted by Probst. But at least she got to the jury and we got to see her every week! BRING HER BACK AND LET HER SHINE!
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I think Morgan tried to break the stereotype of the hot, pageant girl but overall failed. (This may just be what we saw in the edit though). Morgan may be a lovely person in real life but she came across as very shallow, acting as if she was the queen bee of the island on occasions. Her personality is based around her looks, she knows she hot and guys are going to find her attractive but she is yet to have enough life experience to be able to use this very effectively. Maybe it’s just me, but in certain points of the season, I honestly thought Regina George, (Rachel McAdams character in Mean Girls), was playing the game because she game across as catty, not flirty. Morgan didn’t really show enough of anything to suggest that she could have been a great player had the season worked out for her. She was okay in challenges, was okay socially despite not being universally liked, but strategically she lacked a lot of game sense and when thinking about this and her need to sleep a lot, it makes me thing she was a recruit for this season and hadn’t seen too much of the show. Whilst she didn’t do as badly as I thought she would, she was never a threatening player in the game. Give her five years to experience life and work out how to use her looks to get exactly what she wants and she’ll come back and win the game.
Voted Out Day Twenty-Five
BEN’S GRADE: B+
JARRYD’S GRADE: B
BEN’S THOUGHTS: I think LJ getting voted out was one of the biggest shocks in recent history of Survivor, as he was a shoe in to win at that point. Behind the scenes yet strategic, having the numbers and strong in challenges, he was on a roll and it was the right move for Tony to blindside him. Whilst not exactly the most exciting confessional giver or player, he still was calculated enough to stay on top of things and get in to the right moments when it counted. Everyone liked him, that means votes at the end. And the ladies love him outside of the game. That means votes in real life. LJ was a shining light this season, and easily one of the best players.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: LJ was flying high and on paper, should have made it a lot further than he did once his alliance established dominance. However, he got comfortable, he was set to go all the way to the end with his alliance of six and didn’t make moves to secure his place in the game. LJ seemed very switched on and I expected him to go all the way or to go out swinging like Malcolm in Caramoan; he did neither and his demise wasn’t as exciting/shocking as it should have been. Tony played LJ like a fiddle in his boot episode and it goes to show just how little LJ was thinking. In saying that, Tony’s move to get rid of him was fantastic because LJ was a solid player this season in all aspects of the game. He was very likeable, performed well in challenges and had a good strategic mind on him despite it letting him down in the end. Had he taken out Tony instead, he would have gone all the way with Jefra and it would have been a landslide vote because she, like Woo, would have been a follower. LJ showed enough to warrant a return gig and I think we’ll see him again one day. If he returns, he’s got a few things to work on to improve his game.
Voted Out Day Twenty-Eight
BEN’S GRADE: B
JARRYD’S GRADE: C+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: My pre-season tip to win, Jeremiah played an extremely underrated game and I think deserves a lot more credit than he gets. Often perceived as ‘dumb’, he was always aware of what was going on around him and was floating through enough whilst remaining aware that he could’ve made a strong push towards the end. He worked out that Tony was playing him with the idol clue, he was always cluing in to other moves and staying out of enough trouble for him to come out smarter than he ultimately did. Had some JT vibes going for him at some points but not quite enough for him to go further. Circumstances were different, he was a real threat.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Ah “Jeremy”, the good, old country boy. At the end of the season, Jeremiah was just that, an old fashioned, softly spoken, nice guy from the south, who’s big secret was being a male model. It became clear fairly quickly to me that Jeremiah was never going to have it in him to really play the game and make cut throat decisions because it’s not the type of person he is. This is largely why he didn’t get much of an edit; what sort of interesting storyline do you give someone who is nice to everyone and avoids drama?I believe Jeremiah also struggled with the strategic aspect of the game, relying on the likes of Alexis, LJ and Spencer to guide his decision making in the game, meaning he would have been dragged along as a follower/goat had his alliance made it to the final days of the game. The ‘Caleb Bankston of Cagayan’, Jeremiah’s big moments were in the third episode when he stayed loyal to Alexis, Jefra and LJ and then again when he sided with the Brains after the Switch. Overall, he won’t be a memorable character in years to come.
Voted Out Day Thirty
BEN’S GRADE: B
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Jefra was a real surprise packet and for large portions of the game I thought she could come through for the win. She was right with LJ, and had that pairing made the distance she could’ve been the one to come out smelling like roses if LJ had to get his hands dirty. Socially adapt and well liked, things did turn against her after the LJ vote and despite her best attempts, it was a blindside that would cost her spot in the game. Was sporting enough to go out with her head held high and not be bitter about it, Jefra was a classy player who I feel is in the top 10 best of the season.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Jefra showed so much promise before the Merge and every episode after the Merge, she received less screen time and confessionals that changed from thinking about the game to explaining the obvious, her days left in the game became quickly numbered. Early on, she was showing all the signs of somebody who could have gone deep into the game with a strong alliance then found herself sitting in a position where she could have easily taken the game by the horns and won. I liked that she aligned herself with a much bigger threat, (LJ), because it took the target off her, (where she was able to create a nice framework for herself), and place it on LJ. Her alarm bells about Tony were going off from the beginning, yet, like LJ, she failed to act upon them until it was to late to do anything about him. Had she been quicker about getting rid of Tony, (say when LJ was still around and their alliance had established dominance), she would have been far more successful and would have turned her game around – similar to Ciera last season. I also think getting split from Alexis and then Alexis getting voted out really put a spanner in her plans which she never recovered from. Unfortunately for Jefra, when the game was in the balance and it came time to play, she was nowhere to be seen. She’ll be in a few people’s hearts for some time but like Jeremiah, she won’t be a stand out character from this season in a few seasons time.
Latasha “Tasha” Fox
Voted Out Day Thirty-Three
BEN’S GRADE: A-
JARRYD’S GRADE: C-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Don’t read Jarryd’s comments below, he is an idiot. Tasha was a star of this season and outside of a few, the best player of the season. Potentially the best female actually now that I put this to writing, but I would argue that a bit later on with some other comments. I had a massive turn around on her too, because early on I felt she was overrated and that people were just being stupid by claiming she could win. But just as people see the light at the end of the tunnel, I saw the light at the end of the island with Miss Fox and she was killing. 3 immunities and coming a close 2nd in 2 others, strong strategically and socially aware throughout the game and always able to come out on top and adapt when the cards went against her, there was no way she wasn’t winning this game if she had of lasted just a couple of rounds longer. Tasha NEEDS to come back and win this game, the woman is all kinds of amazing and awesome and an absolute shining light in the Survivor world! Now skip over Jarryd’s comments unless you want to be enraged and move on to Trish!
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Complain all you want, I felt Tasha was a very overrated player this season. Yes, she was there to play and win, which I give her credit for, however, she complained about her tribe members making stupid decisions/moves yet she was a part of many of them. Firstly, she was involved in getting rid of David, then orchestrated the blindside of Garrett – two strong males who would have easily outperformed J’Tia and Kass in early tribal challenges. Not to mention, she kept around the worst performing tribe member, (J’Tia), even after she threw out most of their rice! You don’t keep someone like that in the game as a goat that early on! Later in the game, she failed to recognise and fix the breakdown of communication between Kass and Sarah, seemingly “siding” with Sarah in an argument that would go on and result in Kass flipping against the alliance and screwing her game. She should have been sent home in place of Morgan the second episode after the Merge but only survived because she was deemed worthy of staying because she got out of bed every morning. As for her Immunity run, she correctly remembered some coloured tiles, balanced a block of wood on her head and landed some balls in a slot. I wouldn’t say she dominated in any of those challenges, more that they were relatively easy compared to other challenges this season and that she had the luck on her side. I will say that she was an okay in challenges, (she may have won three Individual Immunities but she didn’t perform well in tribal challenges), held her own socially and relied on Spencer a lot to create or force situations to keep the pair in the game. She survived longer in the game than she should have by pulling off Immunity wins and was promptly voted out as soon as she didn’t have protection because she was viewed as a threat in challenges, nothing more.
Voted Out Day Thirty-Six
BEN’S GRADE: B-
JARRYD’S GRADE: B+
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Trish summed it up perfectly when she said she helped Tony get to the end. And that to me sums her game up. I want to give her a lower ranking, but when your number one ally you are with for the most part wins and they have to take you out to help themselves win, I think it’s a bit pointless to do so as without Trish Tony wouldn’t have won. Having said that, I feel she is overrated in terms of the moves fans lay claim to her making throughout the season. Every ‘move’ she made was by circumstance and luck, and didn’t exactly take much to come up with. She was also far too aggressive in some circumstances which although is fun to watch, doesn’t bode too well in a game where you’re meant to be socially adapt to win. Phillip Sheppard is often ridiculed for his ‘crazy’ outbursts against players, yet Trish does them and it’s ok? Again, great to watch, but not great for gameplay. On a personal note, I like Trish, she seems like a nice and funny lady with a laugh to tell your grandkids about. But as a player, not enough there.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I think Trish was slightly underrated this season, but I don’t think she deserve some of the credit that her fans have been asking for. She summed up her game in the best possible way during her Jury speech – she helped Tony to a place in the Final Tribal Council. In her speech she stated all the things she did for Tony, (getting people to trust him, putting out spot fires), and whilst they are all noble acts, they didn’t help HER game. Trish’s entire strategy and game was focusing not on advanced herself further but advancing Tony further in the hope he would drag her along with him. Whilst that is by no means a bad strategy, Trish needed to have a moment where she stood up and took credit for all the work she did for Tony by blindsiding him. If she had of done that, she would have received a lot more respect from people. Her social game was questionable because she couldn’t keep her emotions in check with some people. Blow-ups at Kass and Lindsey wouldn’t have helped her if they were deciding on giving her a million dollars. Obviously she was horrible in challenges but given how skinny she was it would be hypocritical to make judgment on them. Trish gets a B+ because whilst she did play a decent game, she wasn’t playing ‘her game’ but ‘Tony’s game’, which cost her in the end.
Voted Out Day Thirty-Seven
BEN’S GRADE: A
JARRYD’S GRADE: A-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Was I the only person at Survivor Oz who liked this guy and thought he would go far pre-game? Go back and read my comments about him in our pre-game assessment because I spoke about how I thought he was great and would go far and would be asked back again. Two out of three so far! While he perhaps didn’t live up to expectations of being super ‘evil’ like I thought, the guy was calculated and strategic and played one of the best games in the history of the game in terms of someone who ALWAYS had his back against the wall yet somehow survived week after week after week. He was so close in getting Tony to save him at final 4 to then allow him to stay further, and had he done that he would’ve won. Simple. That last challenge was his, and he wasn’t getting beaten at FTC. To me he is a blend of Cochran and Malcolm, and the fans clearly love him enough to see qualities of both in him. There is no way in hell we won’t see him back again, and much like Cochran, I can see a second time winner in Spencer. Props to you sir!
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Like Probst, I feel I should apologise to Spencer because pre-game, I hated the guy. I thought he’d be a cocky, arrogant, little schoolboy who needed a good smack to the face to get a reality check. Turns out I was wrong. Yes, he may have been cocky, but he was a level-headed, super fan, strategist who deserved to fight through all the adversity he had to face and make it to the Final Four. Whilst some of the decisions he made in the gave showed his lack of life experience, he did a brilliant job considering his papers had been signed and stamped by the three female Brains on Day Seven. Spencer showed good signs in all three aspects of game play, performing well in challenges, proving a persuasive social player and showed good signs strategically. There is no doubting that Spencer will return and play the game again and I think he’ll be a lot better for it because he will have the experience in both life and in the game to be able to make the big decisions and big moves when it comes to crunch time. Spencer did make a lot of mistakes and I feel that if he had trusted some members of his alliance more and shared the information about his Idol, they could have planned a move to use the Idol effectively and even the numbers between the majority and the minority – perhaps even as early as the episode in which Morgan was sent home. Despite their rivalry during the season, Spencer deserves a lot of respect for his Jury speech. I don’t think it changed the outcome of the game drastically but it was still brilliant.
Kassandra “Kass” McQuillen
Voted Out Day Thirty-Eight
BEN’S GRADE: A-
JARRYD’S GRADE: F
BEN’S THOUGHTS: Kass played a brilliant game and you don’t make final 3 by being a bad player. Call her a goat all you want, but without her flip flopping throughout this season several people who made it to the end wouldn’t be at the end and there would be no rating them as highly as I have been. Spencer was gone if it wasn’t for Kass saving him. Her flip at the merge and siding with Tony and Trish would’ve mean different outcomes for them too. Sure she was brass and honest along the way, but she did enough for people to keep her as a ‘goat’ to make it that far. She didn’t see herself as a goat, and lets not forget she is a lawyer folks. Her FTC speech would’ve been EPIC. As much as I love Tony, his FTC performance was a huge let down and had he been next to Trish then who knows what could’ve happened. It could’ve taken a Todd style performance from somebody who knows how to face a jury and get them on her side to make her a millionaire. We saw the jury saying they would’ve voted for Woo at the end had he taken her, but it was also made public in one of her post game interviews that four jury members told her she had their vote at FTC and would’ve been a toss up for a 5th between her and Woo. So I don’t take that reunion vote as concrete given the time that had passed in filming and the finale. It’s also interesting the perception of Kass as a ‘bitch’ given her style of play resembles several other male players without them getting the same amount of criticism along the way too, or even perhaps some younger more attractive females in the same situation. Kass is Survivor gold, and to me battles it out with Tasha as best female of the season. Bring her back CBS!
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: Nothing Kass did during the season made her a good player. She was horrible in all non-puzzle/non-puzzle section challenges and her social game left her hated and viewed as the biggest goat in the history of Survivor. She helped decimate the Luzon tribe by choosing to side with the girls in voting out Garrett instead of sending home J’Tia. She then found herself in a decent position and flipped on her alliance for no reason, making her hated by her former alliance and placing her at the top of the list of the majority alliance to be taken along to the end, under the wing of someone as a goat. Her confessionals were hypocritical and laughing, as she spoke ill of her tribe mates for making poor decisions that she herself was involved in. She complained about their inability to play the game, yet little was she aware that she was setting herself up for failure in the game. If Kass had made the Final Tribal Council, regardless of who was sitting next to her, she wouldn’t have won. There’s even a case to be made that J’Tia could have beaten her because at least she didn’t betray multiple alliances. There is no doubting that Kass will return, which I believe is a blight on the game. She was the textbook definition of a goat, yet because she was controversial and caused drama, (which shows that she doesn’t understand the social game), she is seen as entertaining. She claimed that because she was a women she was seen as a “bitch” for making big moves, the problem is that the “big moves” she made weren’t blindsides planned by her, but a flip to screw five other people in the game and leave her feeling good about herself. Kass truly represented how to play the game if you want to finish with no votes in the Final Tribal Council but guarantee yourself a place as a “character”, (not a “player”), for a future returning players season.
Yung “Woo” Hwang
BEN’S GRADE: B
JARRYD’S GRADE: B-
BEN’S THOUGHTS: This is the toughest one of the season. Firstly, you don’t make it to FTC without some skill, so Woo can’t be ranked lower than a B given he made it to the end. However, he did make a highly questionable choice at the end which means I can’t give him higher than a B. The guy also seemed clueless at most situations and was just happy to tail along and see where people would take him. That isn’t a bad strategy though, as we have seen it work for some in the past and then win. The comparisons Kass made with him and Fabio were accurate, although in fairness to Fabio he was a far more calculated and aware player than he is ever given credit for. Woo just…I don’t know. He is likeable. He is funny. He is athletic. And he is nice. But as a Survivor player? I just can’t put a finger on it. I wouldn’t have been angry had he won like some people, but I also feel it wouldn’t have been as satisfying given his edit. Clearly had he won, his edit would’ve been MUCH different. But yeah. It’s hard to fathom what I’m trying to point out there with him, but I feel he played one of the most unique and interesting games we have ever and perhaps ever will see.
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I never really felt Woo was seriously playing the game because his confessionals and scenes were almost laughable at times when discussing what was going on in the game. I think he reminded a lot of people of Fabio but was nowhere near as good as Fabio was in Nicaragua. I think Woo had a lot of good attributes to his game he just never put his foot down and used them. Physically, he should have gone close to winning almost every Immunity Challenge, he had enough knowledge of the game to understand what was happening and apply decent strategy, (which he didn’t), and he was arguably the nicest and most loved player by his cast mates this season. Whilst I was glad he decided to send Kass home on Day Thirty-eight so that Tony won the season, he made a stupid decision to stick with Tony. I understand his game was to play by the code of taekwondo, however, when a million dollars is on the line and you have a one hundred percent chance to win that money if you go up against Kass, you need to ignore what your conscious is telling you. I don’t think Woo was deserving of finishing this season as the Runner-Up because I, like Spencer, believe he was Tony’s goat from early on. He’s such a nice guy but unfortunately he’s yet another name that will get lost in years to come.
BEN’S GRADE: A+
JARRYD’S GRADE: A
BEN’S THOUGHTS: An absolute stellar game from a stellar guy. Pre-game I thought early jury would be good enough for him, but within 2 episodes I was rooting for him to win. Funny, entertaining, strong, strategic, socially adapt, evil, calculated. Do I go on? To me he jumps up as a top 10 winner, and I feel that the notion of a ‘Russell Hantz game will never win Survivor’ has gone out the window with Tony’s win. For sure they are different players, but there are massive similarities between the two which I feel many people are overlooking as they don’t want to admit that the style of play we say Tony have can win. So many great things come from his victory. The fact that a law enforcement officer finally has won the game. The fact that the biggest character of the season won the game. The fact that somebody can lie and do so boldly and dirtily (swearing on dead parents for example) won the game. The list goes on. That accent and voice is a winner too, and the guy is a hero also in real life which makes it hard NOT to like him. Tony is an utter superstar of Survivor and the thought of him now on an all-winners season in the future is just tantalising. Tony you are awesome! You da man! And you as a ‘poleessse orfeeser’ is a deserving winner of Survivor!
JARRYD’S THOUGHT’S: I’ve been saying it for weeks, Tony played a fantastic game. Just looking at Tony, he is a massive target that anyone playing Survivor should get rid of early on. Not only is he physically a dominant figure, but also a very cunning and manipulative player who had the ability to lie to your face without showing any emotion. Tony’s alliance with Trish was brilliant. Whilst Trish did do a lot of work to aid Tony, the pair aligning together was smart on Tony’s behalf because Trish is non-threatening and was never going to be smart enough to turn the tables on her ally because she is a genuinely kind person. With his ability to find Idols, break promises to others by not directly breaking his promise to them and putting together and keeping an alliance of goats close to him until the end, he played a great game for a new player. Whilst his game had flaws and the edit made him out to be a bigger character than I think he was around camp, he managed to control people and use his life experience and life skills as a police officer to his advantage; which for anyone reading wanting to apply for the show, should do – always play to your strengths! His strategic game was very solid. It had some flaws but given he won the game in a landslide vote, you can’t criticise these moves. I believe his social game was also a strong point. There so no denying that he played a similar game to Russell, the difference though is that Tony was a genuine person and got to know his tribe members, unlike Russell, showing that Tony had a social game and Russell didn’t. The only thing that Tony didn’t manage to do was win challenges. However, when you’ve got Idol/s in your pocket and an alliance that won’t go against your word, you probably don’t need Immunity. I think Tony was clearly the best player of the season and was very deserving of winning the title of Sole Survivor. As Spencer stated, he played the game better than anyone else and played the game how it should be played, making him deserving even though he burned a lot of bridges and slit a lot of throats on his way to Day Thirty-nine.
Do you agree with our report card? Who did we get right? Who did we get wrong? Comment below to let us know your thoughts!
Remember, you can read our episode recaps and download our recap interviews with some of your favourite former players from during the season here!