Survivor Rivals–Could It Happen?


Since the Blood vs Water twist there has always been the potential for ‘pairs’ seasons of Survivor. One such season that has often been suggested is that of a ‘rivals’ season, pitting two competing players against each other who have previously shared a disconnect at some point in their Survivor careers. Today in our Monday feature, Ozlet Bridget Vellturo sits you down to take a look at how she thinks it could work and which pairs would be great to see doing battle. Read on for more!




We’ve seen Survivor test tight-knit relationships for years. From exploring how close strangers can become in 39 days to investigating the morality of voting those new best friends out, Survivor is a social experiment. They furthered the experiment a couple years ago with the inclusion of family members and loved ones, altering the original notion of “16 strangers” and thus launching a new strand of Survivor strategy. But why stop with exploring the effects of severe hunger, pain and stress merely on loved ones? Why not see what these harsh conditions do to people with an already rocky past? How does your strategy change when there is an automatic road-block in your way from Day 1? Survivor is a TV show first and foremost after all and the drama of seeing people faced not only with harsh conditions but also their worst enemy would definitely result in an entertaining season.


The producers originally tried this”Rivals”format on a small scale with Redemption Island. However, Russell wasn’t even on the island long enough for the HvV rivalry to resurface. The whole rivalry basically fizzled out and the season became more about Rob’s solo journey. Now imagine not just one pair, but a whole cast with a messy past that is right there with them on the island. Not just on the same season, but on the same tribe. Think about how enthralled you were watching Shane Powers scream at Courtney Marit about homicides and shitty apartments? Or Abi screeching at R.C. for basically no reason at all? And think about getting to watch those entertaining social dynamics AGAIN. A guarantee that your favorite rivals interact right off the bat seeing as they are put on the same original tribe. The added stress of having a rival there is just another element that the contestants need to overcome in order to become the Sole Survivor.


And before Day 1? Why not throw in the BvW Day 0 twist, leaving each set of rivals stranded for the night alone. Can you just imagine Courtney and Jean-Robert being left on an island and forced to collaborate to start a fire? That in itself (complete with Courtney’s sassy confessionals, of course) could be an entire episode.


Ultimately this format will, hopefully, further raise the level of suspense and competition during challenges. Most people who go on Survivor are quite competitive already. Add someone they hate into the competition and the challenges are bound to be more intense. Think of the high-stress challenges between Aras and Terry in Exile Island? The two pushed each other to perform every challenge and by the end of the season the two were trash talking each other like they were on an episode of Nick Cannon’s Wild n Out. If that isn’t the definition of reality-TV entertainment, I don’t know what is. Throw two rivals intro the arena instead of two loved ones (like they did on San Juan del Sur) and there won’t be tears at the end of it, but there may just be some blood. Definitely a lot of bleeped curse words at the very least.


There have been a lot of great Survivor rivalries over the years, but here are my top 10 pairs: Who I think would have a particularly entertaining story-arc on a “Rivals” formatted season:

1. Johnny Fairplay and Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands)

2. Eliza Orlins and Twila Tanner (Vanuatu)

3. Shane Powers and Courtney Marit (Panama)

4. Aras Bauskauskas and Terry Deitz (Panama)

5. Courtney Yates and Jean-Robert Bellande (China)

6. Randy Bailey and Crystal Cox (Gabon)

7. Sugar Kiper and Corinne Kaplan (Gabon)

8. Troyzan Robertson and Kim Spradlin (One World)

9. R.C. Saint-Amour and Abi Gomez (Philippines)

10. Jeremy Collins and Josh Canfield (San Juan del Sur)

Honourable Mention: Morgan vs Kass (Cagayan), Sue vs Kelly (Borneo), Lex vs Kelly (Africa), Rob/Sean vs John (Marquesas), Big Tom vs Sue (All-Stars), Margaret vs Judd (Guatemala), Rocky vs Anthony (Fiji), Coach vs Brendan (Tocantins), Jane vs Marty (Nicaragua), Francesca vs Phillip (Redemption Island/Caramoan), Brad vs John (Blood vs Water), Tony vs Spencer (Cagayan), Chet vs the Elements (Micronesia)

What do you think of the potential of a ‘rivals’ season? Would it work? Who would you like to see take on each other? Let us know your thoughts below!




About Survivor Oz (2110 Articles)
Australia's Only 'Survivor' Radio Show! Tuesdays from 2PM AEST

25 Comments on Survivor Rivals–Could It Happen?

  1. I would love this, I maybe don’t agree with the top ten you picked but I definitely agree with the idea.

  2. YES but please include Maluntrisha and Lindsay

  3. Well, the Josh vs Jeremy “rivalry” never really existed, they were just the leaders of two competing alliances but they never clashed and really respected each other. Same thing for the Spencer vs Tony “rivalry”. Tony even saved Spencer twice when he could have voted him out.

    I think I would have put Sandra against Russell rather than against Fairplay, but both are real and good rivalries. Kass against Trish rather than against Morgan.

    I think I would have added in the most noteworthy honourable mentions:
    Brandon vs Frank (Africa), Tyson vs Sierra (Tocantins) and Colton vs Bill (One World)

    • I completely agree with the josh and Jeremy thing but Bill was a very boring player, he was not a good character and playing against tgis big character (Colton) plus cbs would never bring either of them…

  4. I think Jerri and Colby could be an addition to this list. It’s one of the original rivalries and it’s kind of a long running thing to pit those two against each other, as they were brought back in All-Stars and HvV with their rivalry in mind.

  5. This would be great, especially if it was based off pure dislike over rivalry. I.e:
    Sugar vs. Corinne
    Francesca vs. Philip
    Candice vs. Brad
    Missy vs. Reed
    Dawn vs. Brenda
    Jane vs. Sash

  6. The thought of a season like this makes me giddy with excitement. But the trick is to have two rivals that still hate each other to this day. For example, I’m not sure players like Troyzan and Kim or Jeremy and Josh would work now because they are good friends outside of the game. There would be more fireworks with continued rivalries.

  7. Chet vs the elements lol

  8. Tom Hartnell // February 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm // Reply

    Spencer vs Kass would be great

  9. If this idea were to be done, it should be with the One-World twist. And of course, Day 0 would be amazing. The idea of Margaret and Judd living together on an island alone would just be hilarious.

  10. Stepeime vs Cindy

  11. YES, YES AND YES, Best season that could happen imo, maybe besides all winners. But theres just so many good rivalries, although some of the once listed are actually on good terms, I want to see the once that hate each other more.

  12. Swap Kim and Troyzan with Kat and Alicia, they had a crazy cat fight at Ponderosa.

  13. I was against this idea prior to reading the article. But some of the twist additions in the articles and comments have changed my mind A One World twist, partner duels, day 0 and people who dislike each other cast. I’m actually torn whether to have it so pairs are on the same tribe, or not though. It’s almost a waste not to have them together, but it could work with them on different tribes. In casting, they should make sure not to hint the theme of the season to the players

  14. Please no-one from San Jun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Why the picture of the Nerd and the Nostalgia Critic? You got my hopes up 😦

  16. Rivals season needs to happen ❤

  17. Bring it on! I hope the producers are reading this!

  18. My idea (though not necessarily realistic)
    1. Rob v Lex – We all know this story
    2. Parvati v Amanda – Falling out still not repaired to my knowledge
    3. Rupert v Fairplay – Who the hell voted for me!
    4. Hatch v Sue – Amazing to think they were once allies
    5. Shane v Courtney – There will probably be homicidal threats
    6. Sandra v Russell – The burned hat, Heroes v Villains Finale. TV gold
    7. Spencer vs. Kass – Are probably still arguing over strategy to this day
    8. Courtney v Jean Robert – Courtney sound bites alone would be worth it
    9. Corinne v Sugar – See Corrine’s jury speech
    10. Jane v Marty – Still hate each other

    A couple others that could be funny:
    – Cirie v Penner (more a less a one episode thing but I would use any excuse to bring these two back)
    – Roger v Deena – The “bigot” vs the feminist
    – Alicia v Kimmi – I will always wave my finger in your face
    – Laura v Shambo – You just know Shambo’s would do something crazy
    – Phillip v Francesqua – Great though we’ve seen it twice already
    – Coach v Brendan – Dragon Slayed
    – Sherri v Reynold – I think a bit underrated as a rivalry

    • I am on with the Rivals Season…or should we call in Nemesis…also in it would be great if they live together in a single tribe with the leading Rivals picking the teams to compete in immunity or reward challenges. They may be given the Immunity Rings. So no merge only Heated, constant bickering rivalries on camp picking/joining teams and sharing/not sharing rewards….Very very good TV

  19. A rival season would be “okay”… BUT not as exciting as an idea I had recently!
    ***Think about this… What if they did a Survivor: Second Chances vs. All-Stars season?!!!

    Here’s how it would work:
    –One tribe would have pre-jury boot castaways who viewers wish would have gone farther and who had great potential but were unfortunately kicked out of the game too soon (such as John Cody, Kelly Bruno, and Jeff Wilson).

    –The other tribe would have returners who made it to the jury and got close to winning but unfortunately were clipped off just before clutching the million dollars (e.g., Ciera Eastin, Spencer Bledsoe, Brett Clouser, etc.).

    *The rivalry between the two tribes themselves would be great because the “Second Chances” tribe will want redemption and a chance to finally prove themselves, whereas the “All-Stars” tribe would want to get vindication from having made it so close…. only to lose it in the end.

    Here’s my idea of a Survivor: Second Chances vs. All-Stars cast:

    ~* “Second Chances” Tribe*~
    Jeff Wilson (Palau) – voted out Day 8
    Aaron Reisberger (China) – Day 15
    Jacquie Berg (Gabon) – Day 12
    Kelly Bruno (Nicaragua) – Day 15
    Matt Quinlan (One World) – Day 8
    Dana Lambert (Philippines) – Day 12 (Evacuated)
    Rachel Foulger (Blood vs. Water) – Day 7
    John Cody (Blood vs. Water) – Day 19
    Garrett Adelstein (Cagayan) – Day 6
    Nadiya Anderson (San Juan del Sur) – Day 3

    ~* “All-Stars” Tribe*~
    Kelly Wiglesworth (Borneo) – Lasted 39 days
    Shane Powers (Panama) – 33 days
    Peih-Gee Law (China) – 36 days
    Matty Whitmore (Gabon) – 38 days
    Brett Clouser (Samoa) – 38 days
    Holly Hoffman (Nicaragua) – 38 days
    Mike Chiesl (Redemption Island) – 36 days
    Ciera Eastin (Blood vs. Water) – 37 days
    Tasha Fox (Cagayan) – 33 days
    Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan) – 37 days

    *If they got even a close number of the above names to do a season like that, I could see it being such a huge success!

    ……In case any of the castaways named above couldn’t compete the season due to kids, work or whatever, other choices could be:
    ~“Second Chances” Alternates:~
    Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands) – Day 21
    Dan Kay (Gabon) – Day 21
    Dolly Neely (Vanuatu) – Day 6
    Jonathan Libby (Palau) – Day 1
    Marisa Calihan (Samoa) – Day 3
    Liz Kim (Samoa) – Day 18
    Alexis Maxwell (Cagayan) – Day 16

    ~ “All-Stars” Alternates:~
    Heidi Strobel (Amazon) – 36 days
    Nate Gonzalez (Cook Islands) – 27 days
    Alexis Jones (Micronesia) – 33 days
    Ken Hoang (Gabon) – 37 days
    Jane Bright (Nicaragua) – 36 days
    Hayden Moss (Blood vs. Water) – 36 days
    Jon Misch (San Juan del Sur) – 35 days

    —Let me know what you think of this idea! I think it would really make for a great, great season!

    • Alexis would have to be on the second chance tribe. Shes very popular and would probably have been the only beauty to actually play the game if she made it through the merge. Such ashame to see her go so early. Replace garrett with her

  20. I used to reject this idea but after seeing the potential of Blood vs Water in season 27 and the disappointment of BvW in 29, I believe it is time to implement this. BvW is a great format to bring back some lesser known returnees. I see the same logic existing for Rivals. Bring back people that might not be Legends or Winners. Save the Spencer’s and Malcolm’s for bigger things. A season of Rivals would be wonderful with a 3 tribe format. No where to hide from the person you hate.

    The only problem I see is if some of the rivals don’t have as much hatred as we would assume. Some Rivals would never ever work together. While others were just slightly annoyed.

    I don’t like the idea of Kass vs Morgan mostly cuz Morgan is boring. But Kass vs nearly anyone else from Cagayan would be gold.

    Great article by the way, love the Nick Cannon Wild n out reference

  21. Survivor: Rivals

    Corinne Kaplan vs Sugar Kiper
    Bobby Jon Drinkard vs Jamie Newton
    Alicia Calaway vs Kimmi Kappenberg
    Frank Garrison vs Brandon Quinton
    Courtney Marit vs Shane Powers
    Judd Sargeant vs Margaret Bobonich
    Abi Maria Gomes vs RC Saint-Amour
    John Carroll vs Sean Rector
    Kass McQuillen vs Trish Hegarty
    Rocky Reid vs Dreamz Herd

  22. Alicia vs kimmi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: