Ah sweet irony. In an competitive game like Survivor many contestants have often been forced to eat their words, and many found that the game had a funny way of blowing up in their face! Whether verbal, situational or dramatic irony, many assertions made by castaways of what WOULD or SHOULD happen versus what ACTUALLY happened made for some very entertaining on-screen moments. This week our Massachusetts Ozlet, Bridget Velturo takes us on a crash course in irony and recaps some comically ironic moments, Survivor style.
10. Eric Gets Clotheslined by the Clothesline (Samoa)
The irony of this one is pretty self-explanatory. Shambo has somehow let one of the chickens escape its coop (surprise surprise, Shambo messed up). Erik, the self-proclaimed leader of Galu takes it on himself to use his quick speed to catch the chicken. So he bolts after the animal. He’s sprinting as fast as he can, but, oh no, he seems to have missed the fact that there is a clothesline hung right in the clearing. Erik gets whacked in the face and slams to the ground, becoming the first person on Survivor to get clotheslined. And the irony of it all is that he was clotheslined by an actual clothesline. A rare feat indeed.
9. Clarence Bets on the Chickens (Africa)
Poor Clarence. He bit off a little more he could chew when he signed up for Survivor and this ironic moment is a perfect example of why. A couple days back the Boran tribe had won “egg-laying chickens” as their reward (yay!). The problem, however, is day after day the Boran tribe mates wake up to find zero eggs in the chicken coop. Clarence is particularly upset about this food source providing no food and begs for the tribe to kill the chickens and just eat the meat. They come to a compromise and decide if no egg is laid by the time they wake up the next day, they will eat a chicken. Clarence no doubt went to bed that night with high hopes and a ready stomach. There’s no way the chickens will lay an egg, they haven’t laid a single egg in days. And THAT means Clarence is having chicken tomorrow. But, of course, since this is a list about irony, you know what happens. The tribe wakes up the next day and what is in the coop but one small, bite-sized chicken egg. Clarence has some choice hate words for the chickens (the bulk of which I bet was too inappropriate for TV) but all he gets in his belly is 1/5 of an egg. Not the amount of protein Clarence thought he was gonna wake up to.
8. Tyson Votes Himself Out (Heroes vs. Villains)
This is an embarrassing event for a now winner to have on his Survivor record. But I will ALWAYS w̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶g̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶f̶a̶c̶e (sorry, Freudian slip) remember Tyson as the guy who basically voted himself off. Long story short: Tyson and Boston Rob are up 6-3 in numbers against the weak alliance of Russell, Parvati and Danielle. The vote should be an easy 3-3-3 to flush the idol, but Tyson feel so comfortable that Parvati is going home, and he is just SO hungry that he can’t wait for a revote to start eating their reward of beef stew. So he, at the last minute, switches his vote from Russell to Parvati to speed things up. There’s no way Russell would play his idol on Parvati right? That would be stupid. But, just when you get comfortable in Survivor, you’re out and that’s exactly what ends up happening to Tyson. He strayed from the plan and, as a result, not only got voted out, but didn’t even to get to enjoy that beef stew that he was in such a hurry for.
7. Dreamz Points Fingers (Fiji)
Of course Dreamz makes a list about irony. Basically everything Dreamz does is a giant contradiction. But this one takes the cake for hilarious visual irony (yes, it even beats the clothesline). It’s Episode 4 of Fiji and Moto are facing their first trip to tribal council: always an uneasy time when no one wants to target anyone in case they end up getting targeting themselves. Dreamz, the brilliant Survivor strategist that he is, knows this is a delicate time and wants to try to decide the vote as democratically as possible. “We ain’t snakes yet,” he says. “So with that being said and out of the way, there’s two people we can afford to lose. And I’M NOT POINTIN’ FINGERS…. But it’s Cassandra and Lisi. And then he does what only Dreamz would do and POINTS HIS FINGER DIRECTLY AT CASSANDRA AND LISI. About .025 seconds after he says he’s not going to point fingers (I’m assuming he means both figuratively and literally), he points fingers, not only figuratively, but LITERALLY. SMH, Dreamz, shakin’ my head.
6. John Carroll Really Thinks Neleh and Pascal are Rooting For His Success (Marquesas)
This line is iconic for its irony. In Survivor’s early years, ALLLLLL the way back in Season 4 in Marquesas, John Carroll has just eliminated his biggest nemesis, some punk from Boston, and feels the game is in his hands. He actually is surprised at how easy his journey to victory will be, considering that it seems that some of his tribe, like sweet Neleh and stoic Pascal, are happy with 5th and 6th place. John is SO confident in his alliance that he ventures so far as to say these words, in all seriousness, to the camera: “Neleh and Pascal, I think, are really supporting my success in this game, and are really rooting for me.” When you say something THAT cocky in Survivor, you know you’re going to end up blindsided, and that is exactly what happens later in the episode. And who flips and decides to blindside the King of Soliantu? Why none other than Neleh and Pascal. The people supposedly “rooting for” him. And that experience, I’m sure, gave John Carroll a nice lesson on humility (and dramatic irony).
5. Johnny Fairplay Bets On Sandra Losing (Pearl Islands)
Usually if someone bets on something in Survivor, they’re going to end up eating their words (unless you’re Clarence, then you end up eating nothing) and that is EXACTLY what ends up happening here. It’s episode 2 of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Drake “bad-boy” Johnny Fairplay, who has this game wrapped around his finger, is about to make a wager. He explains to us that Sandra isn’t going to get very far because he doesn’t like her. “She’s not one of the final four.” He laughs, “And I got a million that says she won’t be the final one!” More laughter. Fast-forward all the way to the end and (SPOILER ALERT) Sandra is the final one! The irony comes in the fact that that Fairplay could have really named any other player he didn’t like who were bigger threats to win the game (Rupert, Burton, etc). but instead, he decides ALLLLL the way in Episode 2 to go on camera and bet against the one person who wins it all: Queen Sandra. And when the person who eats their words and looks like a fool is an asshole like Johnny Fairplay, the irony is sooooo much sweeter.
4. Matt Throws the Final Immunity Challenge (Amazon)
This one places so high merely because of the subtlety of the irony. Some of these entries you see the irony right away (Eric getting clotheslined is an example) but this one I didn’t even notice the irony of the situation until I re-watched Amazon. Before we get to the finale, WAYYYY back in episode 8, 2 episodes in from the merge when the physical threats are being targeted. And probably the biggest physical threat at that point in the game is none other than Matthew von Ertfelda. Rob, using Matt to give himself more power in the game, doesn’t want t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶r̶a̶z̶y̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶e̶’̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶a̶f̶r̶a̶i̶d̶ ̶o̶f his friend to be voted out, so he rips a page out of the now-coveted Rob Cesternino Survivor Guide and tells him the best strategy is for Matt to start throwing challenge and appear weaker. Matt comes in second in the next reward challenge and it seems that Matt has not heeded Rob’s advise at all. HOWEVER, fast-forward all the way to the Survivor: Amazon, and although Rob’s advice is now hazy in our memories, it becomes of the utmost important, for it ends up shaping the way Survivor: Amazon concludes. The final three are Matt, Jenna and Rob and Rob seems to have it in the bag. Either he wins the immunity challenge and he goes to the final 2 with Matthew, sure to win in a landslide, or Matthew wins and takes his best friend Rob who then slaughters Matty in the jury vote. Of course, there is the slight chance Jenna wins, but that would mean beating physical threat Matt and there’s a slim chance of that happening, right? Oh wait, except if Matt sees that he’ll be taken to the final 2 if either Jenna or Rob wins and decided to finally take Rob’s advice to throw a challenge to get further in the game. And that is exactly what happens, uprooting Cesternino and his highly strategic game. Rob gave Matthew advice which led directly to Rob being the last member of the jury. Irony at its finest.
3. Crystal Cox Wins the HELL Out of Survivor (Gabon)
This one cracks the top 3 simply for the fact that this is the ironic gift that kept on given for the entirety of Survivor Gabon. In her first confessional of the season, Olympic Gold Medalist, Crystal Cox, says she’s going to use her athleticism to “win the HELL out of” Survivor. And what follows is 39 days filled with one of the most ironic character-arcs of all time. For an Olympic runner and a self-proclaimed winner, Crystal manages to fail at basically everything she does in Survivor. Throughout the course of the season, she fails at climbing, sliding down waterslides, paddling, knots, balance, fire-making, FOOD AUCTIONS (yeas even this. She is the only one not to win anything, except Bob who left the auction early for Exile island), puzzle, and, the best one of them all, she, being 6-feet tall, fails to make a 5-foot tall basket. Winning the HELL out of Survivor? Not so much. Winning at irony for 39 days? HELL yeah.
2. Lisi “Catches” Mookie Digging for the Immunity Idol (Fiji)
This gigantic piece of irony all comes in the form of one little sentence uttered by S̶u̶r̶v̶i̶v̶o̶r̶ ̶G̶r̶e̶a̶t face-planter Lisi Linares. She speaks this epic line in a confessional after waking from her l̶i̶g̶h̶t REALLY HEAVY sleep and having seen Mookie “poking around” for the idol. Lisi decided to highlight the fact that she “outwitted” Mookie and explains the camera “I’m like, dude, you’re going to have to wake up really, really early to fool an old cat like me”. LOL. You may be asking “What’s so ironic about that? Lisi caught Mookie poking around red-handed!” Oh, well, what I forgot to mention is that Mookie, Alex and Edguardo had already managed to find the idol earlier that morning, RIGHT IN FRONT OF A SLEEPING LISI. And when I mean right in front, I mean basically under (see picture above). And that is the truly ironic part of it all, is that she, the “old cat” was fooled by the boys waking up really, REALLY early. She just doesn’t know it yet.
1. J.T. Gets Voted Out By His Own Idol (Heroes vs Villains)
This one wins purely for the fact that you could not have predicted it would have happened in a million years. J.T. giving up his personal idol? No way! J.T. giving up his idol to a member of the other tribe? No way x 2. J.T. giving up his idol to a member of the other tribe when the other tribe is comprised of villains? No way x 1,000,000. The circumstances leading up to J.T.’s vote-off are SO ridiculous, it makes the irony of the situation that much more great. Irony oozes from the television basically for the two episodes leading up to this ironic (and iconic) moment. It’s ironic in the first place that the Heroes think there is an all-women’s alliance on the Villains tribe when Russell is running the show. It is ironic that J.T. gives Russell the idol to vote off Parvati and instead the idol ends up in Parvati’s hands. And, the cherry on top, it is THE DEFINITION OF IRONY that The Villains all write down J.T.’s name, Parvati plays J.T.’s own idol (and her own) and J.T. gets the boot. Literally the amount of irony in this whole situation is poetic, and that’s why it grabs the number 1 spot.
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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