There is no doubt that Kass McQuillen has been one of the most divisive players to ever play Survivor. During the 28th season of Cagayan she aggravated, annoyed, and entrenched herself as one of the most unique, matter-0f-fact and memorable older female contestants we had ever seen. But as much as some people may be put off by her aggressive gameplay and brash personality, there are many other reasons t0 embrace all that Kass brought to the series. This week our Norwegian/Aussie Ozlet, Ferdinand Joppe explains in his debut Top 10 the 10 reasons to love all that this feisty attorney brought to ours screen, and why her controversial style may deserve more credit than what she has often been given.
10. A true fan
One of the many reasons Survivor Cagayan is such a good season is the fact that so many of the players were actual fans on the show and Kassandra McQuillen definitely knows her Survivor history. Kass quickly knew how the audience would perceive her as well as being able to recognise what type of players her fellow castaways were most like, e.g: Woo-Fabio. Knowing the rules and conventions of the game made Kass a better player as she knew which rules to follow and which to break.
Woo is like Fabio, winner of Survivor Nicaragua. He’s a cute surfer dude who’s just been like “Cool, awesome! What do you want me to do? How do you spell their name?”
Everyone loves a good fight in a reality-show, be it on the Real Housewives Of Orange County, Top Model, Date My Mum and of course on our very own Survivor. Kass certainly delivered the drama on this season, she had fights with almost a third of the cast, which might be a new record?
On Luzon she fought with J´Tia and Tasha (although most of this was apparently cut), but it wasn´t until the merge we started to see the real “I´m not here to make friends”attitude from McQuillen. First of we had the cat-fight between Kass and Sarah. I personally loved this fight as it was almost like being back in high-school with bitchy little comments between two people who clearly are not getting along. After the Sarah boot, “Pillow/Old Dog” – also known as Morgan got grumpy and we had some pretty sweet bitchy confessionals from both women. Towards the end we also had the epic llama-fight (which would have made more sense to the viewers if people actually knew that Kass had told the rest of the cast she was not a lawyer, but was working on a llama-ranch?).
In the end we had the ultimate hag-off between Kass and Trish. Although I was not a big fan of this fight as I think it became a little too personal with Trish attacking Kass´s family (not shown on-screen) and Kass pulling the bird on Trish as she is voted out. I also disliked the appearance-mocking “blue-eyed banshee”, especially since Trish had been attacked by Lindsey in similar way. Come on boys and girls, argue based on actions, opinions and the like, don´t piss on someone´s looks. Nevertheless Kass gave us more fights in one season we could ever dream of!
I know people love to complain over the hashtags, personally I giggled a little bit every time they pop up, yes they are tacky, especially self-proclaimed nicknames, but hey gotta love some tackiness every now and then (Weird Al agrees with this message) Which other Survivor contestant has their own dedicated hashtag which trended? That’s our girl..
After being the laughed at in most Immunity Challenges Kass nailed the penultimate immunity challenge after being stuck for 20 minutes on a pole managed to beat Spencer and Woo in a puzzle (sorry, beating Tony in a puzzle is not anything to brag about). If you pay attention throughout the group challenges one can see her as well that Kass kicks ass in the puzzles, although frustratingly the other castaways often seem to be ignoring her suggestions. One thing is for sure, Kass is severely underrated in puzzles.
6. Twitter/Social Media
Kass was not only an entertaining player on the island, she has brought all her rabble-rousing and sass to the world wide web as well! If you are not following Kass yet you should, wether you love her or hate her there is heaps of fun to gain from following her. *This was the first season I actually checked out the cast pre-season, and in the early weeks of the season Kass followed me, alas that didn´t last when her popularity raised :(.
You broke my heart McQuillen, but I will never unfollow you!
Kass successfully voted out 9 people! That is half the cast! She also managed to, although if it was intentional or not is, flush out several idols; Garrett’s, Tony’s, LJ’s and Spencer’s. Even if she didn´t actually flush them out, she always seemed to be able to read who had and idol (some of this information is from deleted scenes and Twitter).
I love Survivor, so like if you’re sitting watching this, I’m like “Don’t do something stupid, Tash! Don’t do something stupid Kass!” But what is stupid?
Men usually eat up most of the screen-time in their respective seasons(* There are of course exceptions, such as Cirie, Kathy V.O etc.) and there are few women who manage to get as high of an amount of confessionals such as Kass. She has actually the fifth most confessionals ever by a female player on Survivor.
Kass also seem to be a bit of an introvert who isn’t always over-the-top around the camp, so a lot of her dead-pan comical-side is only shown through her confessionals. What was great about Kass’ confessionals was the different sides to them, they showed both weakness and strength in character which helped to build a complex and interesting character. I think this is great job on the editing department who could have turned her into just another one dimensional character, but luckily they chose not too.
3. Destroyer of Stereotypes
This might be my favourite reason as to why I love Kass. Survivors are usually type-cast so that it is easier for the viewer to identify with whom to cheer on and who to bitch about. Older women are usually type-cast into three different categories A) “The Crazy Lady” ´think Sandy, Kathy- who is usually voted out early. B) “The Mother/Caretaker” who is usually a follower until they are cut before the end or ends up (often unfairly) as a goat. C) “The Fit Cougar” – Think Laura M, Monica, these women are kick-ass in challenges, but are often viewed as annoying by their tribe-mates.
Kass on the other hand does not really fit into any of these categories, she was great at puzzles, but struggled in other challenges, she did not appear to be very “motherly” towards any of the other contestants nor would I, although Morgan might disagree, call her crazy. Kass refused to walk the easy road many has ventured on before her and instead decided to take on the difficult task on creating her own path.
“I’m no longer the new enemy, Tony’s the enemy. And what do I always say bonds people well? Hatred and enemies.”
Kass´s gameplay divided the Survivor fanbase throughout the season. Many loved the way she played the game and the drama that came with it. However it was not only the jury who disliked the stone-faced lawyer´s personality and gameplay. The fact that she became the downfall of fan favourites Spencer, Tasha and Morgan is possibly the biggest reason many disliked her, others probably just didn´t like her humour and personality. She nevertheless became one of the biggest water-cooler topics for any Survivor fan the last year.
“Just the human in you wants to forgive someone and be friends again. So I was banking on that when I made my move. That the five people I allegedly betrayed would get over it, because there willl be many more betrayals.”
One of my favourite Kass moments is in the finale as she talks to her husband about how everyone hates her because she played like a man, not a woman, and if she had been a man she would have been praised for the moves she made. The fact that this is probably true makes me both angry and sad. Kass knew she was on the bottom of the alliance at the merge, she didn´t feel comfortable as this was not an alliance she had made by choice, it was forced upon her. I don´t think I heard anyone cry “bitch” when Malcolm turned on the other fans in Caramoan. Survivor is unfortunately often a pretty sexist TV-show and Kass refused to follow the conventional rules just to please the patriarchy society and because of this many shun her, however this is also one of the reasons she has accumulated a big fan base as well.
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!