There is no doubt that in the game of Survivor some of the most successful alliances often have a core three, and more often than not this is the final three who are sitting in the FTC, and who have controlled the majority of the game. This week our Canadian Ozlet, Andrew Shadlock shares his pick of the top 10 formidable trios who despite having their ups and downs throughout their respective seasons, ultimately held tight and ran the game.
From the very start of Survivor it was clear that the way to make it all the way was by forming an alliance. Although some contestants on the first season thought otherwise, as Survivor progressed it became clear that in order to fill one of the coveted seats at final tribal you were going to need some people on your side. But what is the magic number? Is it the bigger the better? Or can you run the game with an alliance as small as two? There is no correct answer, it changes every season, But one common theme in many winners’ games is a tight alliance of three. Even before the days of a final three, alliances of three made early have run the game from start to finish. Here is a look back at some of the best trios who dominated their seasons.
10. Brian, Clay and Ted (Thailand)
From the start of Thailand the Chuay Gahn tribe looked like they might be in trouble, they were much older than the Sook Jai tribe and had lost the first three challenges. After John went home first, the remaining men on Chuay Gahn formed a bond and with the help of Jan and Helen they were able to remain in control of the game until they were the final five. This is where these three differ from the rest of the list, Brian turned on one of his own. Brian who at this point had a final two deal with basically everyone left realized that Ted was his biggest physical threat and convinced the other two women to vote with him and Clay to take out Ted. Ted still voted for Brian to win the million which shows how strong of a game Brian was playing. Although they didn’t stay loyal all the way to the end, these three lead by Brian were behind every vote off until Ted was sent to the jury and that’s enough to get them a spot on this list.
9. Albert, Coach and Sophie (South Pacific)
Survivor South Pacific is often regarded as a boring season, and I think part of that reason is because these three did such a great job of forming an alliance that was so tight it was referred to as a cult. The three started working together very early on and although they had help from other Upolu members like cowboy Rick and Edna, it was clear that these three were making the decisions and planned to sit together at the end. Although Albert might be seen as a weak link in the trio, as a group they made smart strategic decisions and won challenges when it really counted. By forming their alliance early at the Upolu beach they were able to build trust as the game progressed and ultimately filled all three spots at the Final Tribal Council.
8. Ian, Katie and Tom (Palau)
Ian, Katie and Tom had the advantage of not really needing to play the game until the merge since they had only attended one tribal before Stephenie defected to Koror. From this point on these three were making all the decision, they were behind every single vote after the merge and ended up as the final three. Although Katie didn’t seem to bring much to the table her personal relationship with Ian was enough to get him to give up his shot at the million after a record setting 12 hour immunity challenge. They had a great combination of the social, strategic and physical game and that allowed them to run the game from start to finish.
7. Cirie, Aras and Danielle (Panama)
Unlike every other group on this list these three started the game on three separate tribes. After the tribe swap they were all put on the Casaya tribe where a dysfunctional alliance of four was formed between Aras, Danielle, Shane and Courtney. Cirie was originally on the outs but as Courtney and Shane began to bicker Aras and Danielle were drawn closer to her and eventually the three worked together to blindside Courtney and Shane back to back. They would have been the top three if it wasn’t for Terry’s immunity idol. Although it took them a while to get together the three worked well together and were entertaining enough to get a spot on this list.
6. Gervase, Monica and Tyson (Blood vs Water)
These three got involved in an alliance early in the game along with previous winners Tina and Aras. They bonded over one common thing, their loved ones on the Tadhana tribe were some of the first to go leaving them alone in the game. They were separated briefly during the tribe swap, but reassembled at the merge to take down “King Aras” and were behind every vote out from this point on. Although they had some rocky moments fueled by Ciera and Hayden the three stayed loyal to each other, won challenges and eventually sat at final tribal as the final three.
5. Ethan, Lex and Tom (Africa)
Ethan, Lex and Tom are three of the most memorable castaways from the early days of Survivor. All three were extremely smart, likable and great at challenges allowing them to dominate in every aspect of the game. Despite being separated from Ethan during the first tribal swap in Survivor history these three always had each other’s backs. When they got to the merge it seemed they should have an easy run to the final three. What they didn’t expect was their ally the 56 year old Kim Johnson to win immunity. At the final four Kim’s immunity win meant they had to turn on one another, eventually voting Big Tom out. Then with another unexpected immunity win, Kim got to cast the final vote sending Lex to the jury and Ethan to the second seat at the final tribal council. Although they didn’t make it to the final three, they dominated the entire season strategically and became one of the most memorable alliances in Survivor history.
4. Tony, Trish and Woo (Cagayan)
Cagayan was a wild season with idols, blindsides and llama talk. Most of the excitement was caused by these three. Starting off on the Brawn tribe Tony and Trish formed a tight bond. After Cliff was blindsided and Lindsey quit Woo joined forces with his other brawn tribe mates to take on the rest of the brains and beauties. Although Tony gets most of the credit for their game he could not have done it without Trish and Woo. Trish convinced LJ and Jefra to work with them and was a major factor in the Kass flip which gave them all the power. From that point these three were a force to be reckoned with although Trish was left behind on a couple votes the other two wouldn’t have finished 1st and 2nd if it wasn’t for their third musketeer.
3. Colby, Keith and Tina (Australian Outback)
Despite some attempts by Jerri, Colby teamed up with Tina and Keith early on to form a strong alliance. They made it to the merge and after previous votes against Jeff sent him home, these three were in complete control. They played with their hearts taking out Jerri and Amber before former Kucha members Elisabeth and Roger but never lost control of the game. Although Keith and Colby had their issues the three of them worked well together and it was no surprise they ended up as the final three remaining in the outback.
2. Amanda, Courtney and Todd (China)
These three were together since the start of Survivor China. They first got together at Fei Long, they were lucky enough to stick together after the tribe swap and were behind every vote after the tribes merged into Hae Da Fung. The three became good friends and were completely loyal to each other. They orchestrated one of the most memorable blindsides in Survivor history taking out James with two idols in his pocket. Amanda, Courtney and Todd were amazing strategists, great social players and even formidable challenge competitors (Courtney did win an individual immunity). They played an excellent game together and were very deserving of all three seats at final tribal council and very deserving of the second spot on this list.
1. Amanda, Cirie and Parvati (Micronesia)
Amanda and Cirie must have realized the power of three from their first seasons because this is both of their second appearances on this list. Amanda and Parvati bonded instantly in Micronesia, and after a bit of convincing, Cirie joined forces with them and made a final three deal. Despite Cirie’s early concerns that Amanda and Parv were being swayed by the men on the island the girls proved that it was all girls till the end. When Parvati was separated from Amanda and Cirie at the tribe swap she brought in Alexis and Natalie to take out challenge beasts like Ozzy and Jason. Although Amanda wasn’t in the loop on the Ozzy vote, the three worked together like clockwork orchestrating some of the most jaw dropping blindsides in Survivor history. These three ladies became legends of the game and a final two twist robbed us of the greatest final tribal council battle of all time. From the first vote to the last Amanda, Cirie and Parvati played a game that was equally entertaining as it was genius. They made some of Survivors biggest challenge beasts look like jokes and are in my opinion the greatest trio to ever dominate a season of Survivor.
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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