Survivor Oz Top 10–Top 10 Dumbest Moves On Survivor


Wednesday is here once again and it’s time for your favourite part of your Survivor Oz week with our weekly top 10! After CBS last week gave you their very own top 10 (which was a fail in itself), your host with the most Ben Waterworth sits you down with our version of the 10 dumbest moves in the history of Survivor! There have been plenty of moments in the history of the show that have made people question what they were seeing, but will your moments make the top 10? Click below to find out!

We’re used to getting our fair share of criticisms for our top 10s but for once we were glad last week not to have the worst top 10 on a Wednesday! Yes CBS came out with a very interesting ‘top 10 dumbest moves in the history of Survivor’ list, which did contain a few of the ones you would expect but was very heavy with recent seasons on it (three San Juan Del Sur moments, really?!). For some reason, this is a top 10 that we have failed to do, so now is the perfect opportunity to finally give you this list! I have gone over all the perceived ‘dumb moves’ in the history of the show and decided to make only one moment per season eligible for the final 10. Other moments that missed out I have included in the ‘honourable mentions’ and I am happy to say that no San Juan Del Sur moments made the final 10. Read on!

10. JT Gives Russell His Idol – Heroes vs Villains


This is a hard one for me to add because in all honesty the move itself wasn’t necessarily ‘dumb’ as there was no way JT knew of Russell and his past discrepancies on Samoa. But hindsight is 20/20, and the move itself cost JT and the Heroes any shot of winning the game. It was a risk, but a lot of moves on Survivor are. Had the move worked, then we probably would be praising it as one of the greatest moves of all time. But it didn’t, and instead it ends up on this list.

9. Jenna & Colleen Block Alliances – Borneo

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Slightly ‘controversial’ entry to move forward with the list, but it’s something that I feel doesn’t nearly get much criticism as it probably should. While Richard was all about alliances on Tagi, setting up the way in which Survivor would be played as the game move forward, Jenna and Colleen were instrumental in blocking any attempts made by Joel & Gervase to create their own alliances and stop the eventual ‘Pagonging’ that would follow. Imagine how different Borneo could’ve been had voting blocks and alliances been something that both tribes did, instead of just one? Well at least we got a great adjective to use out of it.

8. Woo Takes Tony To The FTC – Cagayan


Firstly let me point out you will not see Colby taking Tina to the end of Australian Outback on this list. It has been perceived as ‘dumb’ by many, but the guy lost by one vote. I can’t call a move that very nearly won him the game AND kept his dignity and respect at the same time as ‘dumb’. Woo on the other hand? Well did he ever stand a chance against Tony? Kass, yes. He pretty much had it won. Whereas the final vote of 8-1 against him was as close to a blowout as you can get without it actually being a blowout. Maybe Woo just likes $100,000 better than $1 million.

7. Penner Refuses Final 4 Alliance – Philippines

Survivor: Philippines

Oh Penner. One of the best characters ever to play Survivor, but he has never had luck in the overall strategic side of things. Cook Islands was all over the place, Micronesia was setting up for something before he got injured, then we had Philippines. It looked likely that he had learned and was able to get himself into a winnable position. But then when the opportunity comes to lock in a final 4, what does he do? Refuses the alliance and basically packs his own bags home. Simple rule of Survivor: if somebody offers you an alliance, just say yes. You can deal with the consequences later. If you refuse, nothing good will come out of it. Just ask Christy Smith.

6. Girls Alliance Keeps Chris – Vanuatu


Vanuatu was arguable the most divided season in terms of the sexes and it all came to a simple conclusion (or so it seemed) when Chad was voted out and it was 6 women versus 1 man in Chris Daugherty. Vote Chris out. Easy right? Especially given he failed to win immunity to save his spot in the game. Enter his then fiancé/now wife Lorie to sway the women into keeping him one more round and take out one of their own. Pretty simple. They’ll get him next time right? Wrong. Chris wins immunity. Damn. We’ll get him NEXT time. Oh wait, nope. No we won’t. Oh we will get him eventua…oh shit he wins??!?! CRAP! One of many cases of ‘the winner could’ve gone at that point’ but to me the one stand out and a fairly bad move by the girls alliance not to simply battle it out to the end and cut their final thorn in the side.

5. Brandon Gives Up Immunity – South Pacific


I honestly debated putting Brandon up higher than this as I feel him giving up immunity is overlooked by a certain other future Caramoan player giving up immunity, but he slides into the top 5 with his ill-timed decision to give up his security in the game to Albert and then promptly be voted out. Not one to discuss the strategic abilities of Brandon Hantz, he was on a very good track towards the end to make it to the FTC and if Jim Rice is to be believed in his recent interview with us, have a very very good shot at winning the game. Can you imagine that? Brandon Hantz winner of Survivor? Stranger things have happened…

4. James Gets Voted Out With Two Idols – China


Another simple piece of Survivor strategy for you kids: if you have not one, but TWO idols at the final 7, it’s a smart idea to just play one to guarantee final 6 and get yourself that little bit further. Even if he had of played one right after the other, that’s final 5. FINAL 5! In most seasons that gets you into the final episode which then gives you a real good shot at making the end! And let’s take a look at how that final 5 could’ve been had the same voting patterns followed after his vote out: James, Denise, Courtney, Amanda and Todd. A very very different season there had James gotten the opportunity to fight it out towards the end. James we love you and we know you always get this one moment brought up over and over again, but dude! PLAY YOUR IDOLS NEXT TIME!

3. Lex Keeps Amber Over Jerri – All-Stars


Another moment that I feel doesn’t get looked as ‘dumb’ as much as it should, Lex single handily handed the game on a plate to ‘Romber’ with this one move. Yes, similar to JT/Russell earlier Lex couldn’t have possibly perceived what was happening with ‘Romber’ and that Lex wouldn’t be loyal to him and putting his trust into Rob was the move he thought best fit his endgame given the pre-game alliances that had been forged. But in what way did Lex feel that he would have Rob loyal to him after not playing the game with him AT ALL during the first 25 days? I feel even the most hardened friendships out of the game would struggle to connect and remain loyal with each other without factoring in all the events that occur in those 3 and a half weeks before they finally make the merge together. Lex had the prime opportunity to take the game into his hands then and then, cut Amber, make Rob have no choice but to be loyal to him and give us an entirely different ending and winner. I love you Lex, but dude that’s a tough pill to swallow.

2. Erik Gives Up Immunity – Micronesia


The quintessential ‘dumb move’ in Survivor history. Erik makes final 5, wins immunity, has the opportunity to have the girls turn against each other and possibly continue on an immunity run right through to the end. But a young man surrounded by beautiful women will do strange things. Including giving up your security in the game and actually believe that they would be true to their word. Oh Erik. We love you. It’s a shame the girls didn’t at that point.

1. Manono Gives Up Immunity – One World

Survivor: One World

What’s dumber than one person giving up immunity? AN ENTIRE TRIBE GIVING UP IMMUNITY! The Manono men had the game on a plate and besides one small blip in the radar, had won every single immunity challenge to that point. The women were all over the place, and the men knew it. But with great power comes great responsibility. INCLUDING GIVING UP SECURITY IN THE GAME! I should point out that the ‘stupidity’ side of things comes from 7 out of the 8 who followed one man and his power. That man? Colton of course. No person in the history of the show has been able to transform their game so quickly and be the obvious first boot to literally controlling and running the camp in the space of a few days. The ultimate ability in his power? Getting 7 other men to willingly go to tribal on their own accord, fully knowing that each of them had a 1 in 7 chance of going home. The perfect irony would’ve been of course to vote out Colton that night, but nope. Follow him and follow him they did, take out Bill and go into a tribal swap with even numbers as opposed to the advantage. All it would’ve take was that extra man to potentially really switch things up, and the season would’ve been completely different. Jeff Probst’s (rehearsed) face on the night said it all.

Survivor One World Recap Jeff Probst episode 4

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Tyson gets himself voted out (Heroes vs Villains), Garrett  prevents tribe from discussing strategy (Cagayan), Rotu 4 and THAT challenge (Marquesas), NaOnka quits the game (Nicaragua), Matt re-aligns with Rob after returning to the game (Redemption Island), Cochran flips at the merge (South Pacific), Ciera flips one vote too late (Blood vs Water), Everything Drew did (San Juan Del Sur)

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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26 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10–Top 10 Dumbest Moves On Survivor

  1. Good Picks and nice to see that Eric didn’t make the dumbest move ever

  2. Osten selling his clothes on day 1 and it’s not even a contest.

  3. Have to say JT move was the dumbest – he gave his idol to someone on the Villians tribe, someone he never met before. To me that’s incredibly stupid, they are Villians for a reason.

    • This was dumb – and Ben didn’t mention that yeah – even though he didn’t know Russell, he is “a villain for a reason,” to quote Rupert. But this was more of a risk that paid off horribly. Most of the other moves were not thought out and were because they were being manipulated. Had JT been right, the Heroes would’ve had F5. Had, for instance the Manono Tribe been right… well there wasn’t any “right,” as someone would’ve gone home regardless. Same with Erik – eliminating Parvati over Amanda really wouldn’t have changed his game at all and he was completely misreading the jury.

  4. Good list, Ben. Especially the top 8- I don’t really consider JT’s play as dumb as the Heroes needed to try and affect the game in order to form a majority bloc at the merge. It was a play with a view to winning the game, rather than to try and get as far as possible. As for Jenna & Colleen being anti alliances, that’s not really a dumb move as going into the season, most players thought the game would be about surviving the elements- however as Rudy noted, it became clear that the show was really about surviving the people

  5. Good list 😀

  6. I completely agree with your list more than CBS’s. I hate they put so many season 29 dumb moves. Voting out John Rocker wasn’t a stupid decision. It was brilliant. Just because he was an athlete doesn’t mean he’s the most useful or even althetic. What also goes against their idea is that the next immunity challenge after he’s gone, their tribe wins. Huh? Would you look at that? Once he’s gone camp life is smoother and they don’t have a neausance to deal with later on.

  7. I’d add Brandon in Survivor Africa.

    He is the swing vote between Samburu, his former tribe and Boran. He votes with Boran because he hates Frank. This gives the Borans control of the game and the ability to vote off the remaining Samburus. Brandon is the first Samburu they eject.

  8. The runner-up DREW! SOOOOOOO FUNNY! I totally agree.

  9. Good list, but to be fair to Penner he was trying to stop the alliance of 6 from getting spit up. I think the dumber move was for Skupin and Lisa to go to the final 4 with 2 people they had no shot of ever beating.

    • That being said, it was not wise of Penner to deny an alliance. I mean it is not like the alliance of 6 were breaking away, I mean it was just an in case if Abi won Immunity, and she did. It was already Final 8 and that you need a sub-alliance to get going. That is why Skupin and Lisa sided with Malcolm and Denise — they can’t cling into someone that on their face said that they won’t work with you, and Lisa still knows that Malcolm was a threat and planned him to blindside at F6 if not for Immunity.

      The “dumb” thing is that Lisa and Skupin did is not voting out Denise at Final 5, and especially Final 6 as a substitute to Malcolm. Maybe it is Denise hiding her threat level pretty well (I saw in a RHAP post-elimination interview of Carter that she wasn’t even considered as a target), but they really should’ve at least weaken Malcolm by blindsiding her, then voting out Malcolm/Cater at Final 5 and 4.

  10. Well, Lex’s move was not that dumb as his tribe would have been in minority even with Amber voted out, so trying a cross tribal alliance was probably his best option at that moment, even if it didn’t work.
    Same thing for the girls keeping Chris, it shouldn’t be in that list as the girls who took that decision all went further in the game than they would have gone if they had voted him out.
    The honourable mentions are really good choices and much more worthy to be in this top 10 than the 2 entries I just mentioned.

  11. Solid list. I would put Woo’s choice even higher since it was so close to the end of the game. Unlike some others like keeping Chris where it was hard to know the future, it was clear that Woo would have won if he kept Kass. I also think Penner’s move looks worse in hindsight because he was voted out and wasn’t just obviously dumb. That’s also true for JT’s choice, where the audience benefited from knowing information that he didn’t have. That said, this is a much better list than the awful one that CBS just posted. Nice work!

    • I agree with the Woo choice… also, I don’t think Colby should be off the hook. Whether he lost by 7 votes or 1 vote, he, like Woo, would’ve won against the other alternative (in this case, Keith) without question. In Survivor you win or you lose, it doesn’t matter by how many votes – you still lose!

      • Agree

      • Colby and Woo both were very aware their decision may cost them the game and they both were seemingly ok with it. What we may call dumb, they may call honorable. I guess its perception.

      • Colby’s move doesn’t belong on here because he was still in a winnable situation that he put himself in knowing the risks. Woo on the other hand put himself in a situation were he had no shot at winning vs. a situation he was guaranteed. Was Colby’s move technically dumb? Yes, but not worthy of the Top 10.

  12. This list is near prefect. However, I would remove “JT Gives Russell His Idol”, drop each entry one spot, and make “Tyson Gets Himself Voted Out” the #1 entry on this list.

    I am in the minority of Survivor fans that don’t consider what JT did a dumb move, just an incredibly risky move that was ultimately unsuccessful.

    The logic behind this move has been argued to death. So I’ll omit the laundry list of reasons why it is/isn’t a stupid move. But the fact that some people can think of legitimate, strategically beneficial reasons to justify JT giving Russell the idol speaks volumes. The prospect of eating sooner was Tyson’s only reasoning for voting Parvati instead of Russell. He put the final nail in his coffin…over hotdogs.

    Also, I disagree with the point, “Russell was on the Villain’s tribe for a reason.” When you consider that Sandra, Coach, and Danielle were on that tribe, it doesn’t seem like the standards for being a villain were set very high. So can everyone in the comments stop pretending “He’s a villain for a reason,” is a valid argument?

  13. After Survivor’s last episode, what about à top 10 schocking eliminations, in the sense “schocking even watched on TV, getting us blindsided when the votes were tallied”? It may include Ozzy, Leann, Kent, Jeremy, Sarah, …

  14. I just thought of a move that gets overlooked a lot and I believe belongs in the top 10 if not the top 5. In Survivor Guatemala People don’t vote out Danni. It was WAY worse than not voting out Chris. With Chris there was some strategic value in numbers for some people. With Danni? Nothing. Rafe and Steph kept Danni over old weak Lydia because they had it somehow thought they could beat Danni, but not Lydia? Ridiculous!

  15. I think Lex still would’ve had a chance to control the game had he kept Jerri over Amber. So Mogo Mogo goes in with 4 members to Chapera’s 5, which can still be overcome considering that not only does Lex have Tom as a possible ally since their time on Africa, but there’s also the fact that Alicia has been pretty much on her own ever since Sue’s quit, so it wouldn’t be too hard for the ex Mogo Mogo tribe to bring her over if they persuaded her that she was guaranteed at least final five with them. So if she flips and Lex correctly uses his friendship with Tom to his advantage, then the tables have turned and the Rob/Jenna/Rupert alliance is now left scrambling.

  16. How can we forget: Shiann assumes they merged? Lol

  17. Keep in mind, if Penner takes the deal, he may still not win.

  18. john hughes // July 2, 2015 at 8:18 am // Reply

    Where is Johnathan’s 2nd flip during the 13th season? Ratting out Yul’s hidden idol would have been very risky, but it would have evened out the tribes. Betraying both tribes gave him a zero shot with the jury. Bad strategy and bad socially.

  19. Stephenie and Rafe bringing Danni to the final challenge over Lydia; that’s still in “Top 3 dumbest moves” in my book.

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