Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Reasons to Love Kass McQuillen


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?”

9. Confrontational


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!

8. #ChaosKass


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..

7. Puzzle-Beast


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!

5. KassTration


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?

4. Confessionals


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.”

2. Controversial


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.”

1. Feminism


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!

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25 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Reasons to Love Kass McQuillen

  1. Tom Wright // August 6, 2014 at 9:41 am // Reply

    Nope she still sucks

  2. I would not put it better.
    I was on the side of the fanbase that liked Kass’s game. You mention Malcolm – Cochran also made the same move in South Pacific. And yet, somehow Kass managed finish higher than either of these guys.
    I think part of controversy regarded Kass’s game is to play hers she wrecked the games of others in a way that probably haven’t been done before.

  3. Love ChaosKass! 🙂

  4. Well when Malcolm flipped he was a fan favorite already. I don’t this survivor is sexist in any way. Cochran made the same move Kass did and he as well had a divided fan base but after he made the move he wasn’t a dick to his other cast mates on the former Savaii tribe. Kass was to the old Appari and I feel that was the reason she was perceived as a bitch. I personally didn’t like her because I think switching on an alliance for another automatically makes you on the bottom of the other one and I feel that was a horrible strategic move. I also didn’t like how she talked down to the people she flipped on. Almost like rubbing salt in the fresh wound. But she was entertaining even though I wasn’t a fan and I definitely see her returning in the future. But I feel bringing sexism into survivor is rediculous and should never be done.

  5. She is delusional and likes using the gender card to explain why she is hated when in fact it is because she is a horrible, horrible person. All the jury members hated her, even those she was supposed to be aligned with and those she didn’t betray. And if that many people who spent 39 days with you in trying situations dislike you, there is a particular reason that goes beyond being an older woman.

    Others have been criticized for saying negative things about her, but can you count how many times she has called the other idiots? In post-game interviews, she always makes it appear that she is the smartest and the most strategic of the lot. What a laugh!

    Stop using the “just because I’m not a man” card, please. For us women, it is thoroughly insulting. If the fight for equality for women is to be represented by this self-unaware, overly emotional, delusional and thinks-too-good-of-herself woman – then, no thanks.

  6. Brett Bingaman // August 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm // Reply

    As a viewer, I loved the game Kass played. It was very entertaining and you never knew who was going to be voted out. If I were playing with her, her game would have been frustrating to me. She’s so unpredictable. You would never know if she were going to vote with you or against you for looking at her the wrong way. Her game reminded me of a less under-the-radar Sandra in Pearl Islands.

  7. Thanks Joppe for putting into words why us Kass fans love her!

  8. These things make her interesting and enjoyable to watch; NOT lovable…

  9. I like #chaoskass… she brought a huge amount of spice at Cagayan… she played hard in the game… 🙂

  10. Katherine Adams // August 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm // Reply

    Great article! I loved #ChaosKass; she made the season a great one. I really believe she got trashed more because she’s not the typical “older woman.” That last immunity challenge she won was epic; I cheered out loud. Hope she comes back…

  11. Kass is one of the most engaging players in the history of the show, period. The fact that we got both her and Tony out of the one season (plus lower-tier all star contenders like Spencer, Sarah, Morgan, Trish, Woo and Tasha) speaks volumes about Cagayan.

  12. Entertaining? Yes. However, Kass’ snarkiness and the way she treated her fellow cast mates will NEVER make her loveable. Team SPASHA all the way!

  13. I won’t deny that her game greatly contributed to Cagayan being a great season, but she still contributed by being hateable.

  14. Greatest Kass’t of all time!

    (Since Borneo)

  15. Kass was a smart strategist and was great at puzzles. She was able to read people extremely well. While she may have been hated, that was just because she scrambled to further herself in the game and wasn’t afraid to get into a fight. It’s really nice to see her get the credit she deserves

  16. Can’t stand her. Her game is illogical, and she dug her own grave. I can respect her immunity win but that’s it. Other than that she’s a delusional idiot.

  17. I was a fan of hers until that scene where she just draws out the gender card when 5 people whose game she took away (because she wasnt popular with them) hates her. Not to mention the alliance who she sort of saved in the process dislikes her too after spending time with her.

    This is why people need to educate themselves on feminism. It’s the ultimate victim mentality. When you suck or you fail, blaim the society, blaim men, blaim the trees, better yet, blaim the jews. That’s right, I see the resemblance.

  18. Don’t like her and the feminism BS she’s purporting. Her being disliked has got nothing to do with her being a woman. I’m a woman and I dislike her and ashamed that she would be considered a symbol of feminism. She’s good TV, though. 🙂

  19. All the Kass apologists really drive me round the F-ing bend. She was a train wreck of a player; one of the worst of all time. Most of her “moves” – if you can even call them that – were motivated by ego, not strategy. (That’s just one of the reasons she was such an insufferable presence throughout Cagayan.) Her switching from a pretty dominant position in the numbers alliance at the merge to a position where nobody owed her anything at all in her new “alliance” must rank as one of the dumbest moves of all time – right up there with J.T. and Eric Reichenbach. What made her move so much worse is that it screwed up the games of players who had so much more game than her, but of course she didn’t make that “move” as part of some brilliant strategy to take them out. It was motivated by jealousy, because of all the momentary attention Sarah was getting. (If she actually used her head and wanted to get Sarah out of the game – even if motivated by jealousy alone – she could have waited one vote and gotten rid of Sarah the next round.)
    I would go so far as to say that Phillip – perhaps the premier Survivor egotist – played an infinitely better game than Kass in Caramoan, and he even had the decency to overcome his self-centredness and fall on his sword to help the alliance – that he started – when things got dicey for his tribe.
    I likened Kass to Donald Rumsfeld in the comments section of Michel Trudeau’s weekly blog on Rob Has A Website (go read his entries; it’s excellent) when he covered this season, and I think that is a pretty apt comparison. Like Rumsfeld, Kass’s vaingloriousness knew no bounds. (Unfortunately, she played the game in the age of Twitter, which led to that insufferable hash tag. No question #knownunkowns would have trended in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion if social media was as omnipresent back then, as it is now.) Spinning her bad moves after the fact as bold and fantastic plays – even taking credit for “flushing out two idols”, which had F-all to do with her, and which made me want to vomit while I was watching her smug face – is perhaps the apex of her “genius”.
    Kass will never win this game, because her rampant egoism and vaingloriousness would taint whatever position she has in the game. If she was top, she’d let everyone know she was top dog. If she was a swing vote, she would let everyone know she was a swing vote; just like Sarah did. If she was at the bottom, she’d be taken along as a goat, and she would gloat to everybody afterwards that she outlasted them – kinda what she did during this season. As Noah Groaves said, she was a goat, plain and simple; perhaps the most clear-cut one of all time.
    I’ve saved the best for last. Her ultimate spin job, a masterpiece of spin: when she said that “she played like a man, not a woman, and (that) if she had been a man she would have been praised for the moves she made.” That made me want to tear my hair out, if I wasn’t already bald. Kass, you belong in Washington. If you wanna take pride in “playing like a man,” well, you played like a really, really bad male player; I’m talking about the worst kind – the ego driven, alpha types, who we’ve seen flame out a thousand times before on the show. So put that feather in your cap. No doubt you’ll use your “lawyer powers” to spin that into gold.
    This article made me want to write a counter article entitled “Why Kass sucks worse than almost any other player in Survivor history,” but I think my rant here will suffice for the time being.
    I understand people’s frustrations with the way the middle aged female is usually portrayed in Survivor, but please, for the love of all that is decent, Kass does not deserve to be celebrated as a refreshingly alternative representation; her moral compass is way too off for that. Someone like Denise – who actually won her season – is a much more deserving and positive “Destroyer of Stereotypes”.
    I will say this: I loved having Kass on this season – as an example of how supposedly smart people, or at least people who fancy themselves as smart – are probably the most corruptible archetypes in the world. She was the Survivor stand-in for every Robert McNamara and Paul Wolfowitz and yes, Maggie Thatcher we’ve had to suffer in the real world.

  20. I’d be very interested in seeing her play again.

  21. Sorry, but this article is all crap. First off, Kass is a part-time attorney who went to an unaccredited law school. “Feisty lawyer?” HA! She probably files insurance claims and doesn’t even step into a courtroom.

    And no, Kass is a confirmation of the crazy old lady that you claim she is dismantling. If Tasha called herself “TroublesomeTasha,” she’d have gotten her own hash-tag, too. It’s just like Ciera getting a complex edit in BVW: It’s not because Kass and Ciera are interesting (They aren’t); they’re just willing to bite the hand that feeds them in rewards for cameratime.

  22. Michael moore // November 10, 2014 at 6:18 am // Reply

    i call her kasshole

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