It's another top 10 Wednesday and your host Ben Waterworth is chiming in with his thoughts to get you through hump day! With Survivor in its 30th season right now, there are plenty of seasons over the years that aren't all that well liked by the fans. But as Ben tells you today, this hate isn't necessary justified and perhaps it's time you sat down and watched these seasons again to have your opinion changed. Sit back and have your eyes cast upon ten seasons that are unfairly hated! Click for more!
There is a saying said on this show by a former player relating to pizza and seasons, and for sure that is true. But in all the seasons of Survivor there are always seasons that the fans never seem to like. Like ever. Today I give you ten seasons that often are hated by fans but I feel really need some love, because they really aren’t that bad, and I would even argue are better than a lot of seasons that are universally loved. Read on…
Panama generally isn’t ‘hated’ as such but often considered a ‘middle’ season by many fans. It’s often been regarded as having mediocre gameplay, a fairly stale format and a winner who many weren’t satisfied with. In fact Jeff Probst named Aras as ‘the most boring winner ever’ in the lead up to his second time on Blood vs Water. However Panama has an amazing cast of characters, several of which are constantly forgotten through all the big names we’ve had from it. The Casaya alliance and their constant fighting was gold to watch, and given then Terry and Shane are often the two most ‘near miss’ players to have never returned, it goes to show there is a lot from this cast and season that needs love.
When I first watched Africa, I thought it was loved. However I was 15, and young, and well, wasn’t exactly in touch with the majority of the Survivor fan base. Over the years it has come to my attention that Africa is often derided by fans due to its location and ‘boring’ gameplay because of it. But overall I think that the cast is amazing, the location is super memorable and several moments set the groundwork for how the game is played. The switch folks? I mean without that, how would we ever have the game we have today? And Big Tom, Lex and Ethan all together are almost as iconic as Jeff snuffing a torch. And then there is Kim Johnson in a thong…oh yes, I went there.
The good news about Guatemala is that it seems to slowly get more appreciated every single year it passes which is fantastic. It still however has many critics which is hard to stomach given the amazing cast, location and in my eyes one of the most unique and amazing wins in the history of the show by Danni. How no original cast member from a season featuring memorable contestants like Jamie, Amy and Danni has ever returned baffles me, and it’s something that hopefully CBS will rectify one day. If not, it will be a travesty on all Survivor fans.
Similar to Guatemala, I feel that Vanuatu is now appreciated in its own right enough that I nearly didn’t put it on this list. However I think that there are still enough doubters out there for it that it needs to be on here. One of the most amazing and unique wins ever by Chris mixed with an incredible cast of characters and some stunning cultural scenes make this a season that should be close to every fans heart. It has some of the nicest people outside of the game too and the most fan friendly as well, making Vanuatu a season hard to dislike if you are a super fan of the show.
I feel Nicaragua is now slowly coming in to it’s own as a season that is respected by fans, but it was difficult given the season followed what is usually considered the greatest season of all time. I will admit as a fan watching it first time around it was a bit hard to stomach some points live after Heroes vs Villains, but the cast and the pure unpredictability of the season really makes it come into its own. Be honest, did anyone think Fabio would win they saw the cast? That’s what makes Nicaragua so great and unique: the unpredictability. Possibly the most unpredictable season of all time with one of the most underrated casts of all time.
I get it. Haves vs haves not. Not a great twist in the overall scheme of Survivor. It made it very very one sided. But watch it again and put that aside. Look what you have in the cast. Dreamz. Yau-Man. Rocky. Anthony. Alex. Sylvia. Earl. Boo. Lisi. Need I go on? This is a cast that had that twist not been in place could very well have been applauded as one of the best in terms of characters. And the gameplay is stunning. Earl is a Survivor god and his win to me is probably on par with Danni as the most underrated and overlooked win in the history of the show. This is a season you must watch again sooner rather than later.
At the time of writing this we are approaching the half way point of Worlds Apart and I have to say that personally I think this season is struggling to even closely match San Juan Del Sur to the same point. SJDS was labelled as boring and uninteresting by many and the lack of perceived gameplay by some made it hard for some fans to take. But I feel it’s similar to Nicaragua in that it came off the back of a universally loved season and it was always going to be hard to follow up. The Blood vs Water twist with new players made it interesting, and we had a cast that had some of the most individually unique characters we have ever seen. Keith. Jon. Drew. Rocker. What a bunch. And the editing. Wow. In a season that was setting it up to be a Josh or Jeremy win, to have both taken out by the mid point and the eventual winner Natalie and runner-up Jaclyn barely being seen in the first half of the season made it a hard season to predict. But so many moments are worth mentioning that I just can’t fit it in. I’ve already re-watched it, and to me it gets better the more you do.
3. All Stars
If this was my list on best seasons of all time, then I still put All-Stars at number one. And I for one know that opinion is laughed at. But let’s go back to 2004 and think of the excitement levels that surrounded these great players all coming together to battle it out for the title of ultimate All-Star. The excitement was huge. And each week that grows and grows seeing these iconic players battle it out.
Yes, so many greats were taken out early, but it was always going to happen and we got a chance to see a new breed of player come to the forefront and set the bar for how Survivor was played in the future. Without All-Stars, we wouldn’t have villains. We wouldn’t have ‘evil’ play. We wouldn’t have the Survivor we have today. There is no way. And while many people hate the negativity of how the season went, it’s a season that created the path for the new breed of Survivor and has so many character moments that are overlooked because the season is hated. Stop reading this and go and watch it now. You won’t regret it.
You knew I was going to put this on here didn’t you, but I bet you were expecting me to put it at number one right? Well you thought wrong! Thailand has always been that season that is universally hated by fans and was the first true season to be labelled as ‘the worst’ and even to this day Jeff Probst publicly shames it. It’s classified as ‘boring’ or ‘predictable’ and the negativity with the Ghandia vs Ted at the start is often a big player in why it’s hated. But just stop and see the wonder in it, as it has possibly the most complete gameplay by a male contestant in the history of the show. Yes that’s right, the king Brian Heidik and his win. I had to bring him up right? Well his dominance of the game and how he manages to articulate and control every aspect of it is a wonder to watch.
Outside of his master class of Survivor gameplay there are so many other great moments to behold. It’s funny! Like, really funny! Think about the Jan moments, the Helen confessionals, Brian and his memory lapses, Shi Ann and Robb, so many moments! The players outside of Brian too are ones that need to be remembered. Helen and Jake are incredible. Ted has his moments and Clay is extremely underrated. So so good. It’s making me want to watch it right now. And hopefully you will too! All hail the king!
1. One World
I just re-watched One World for about the fourth time and to me it’s the biggest mystery in Survivor fandom as to why this season isn’t liked. It is just so so so so so so good! The cast, wow. Probably the most complete cast since China in terms of characters and memorable people, even the perceived ‘duds’ have their qualities you remember them for. The twist on living on the beach together created an amazing opening with so much animosity towards each other which was great to watch. We had the characters that stood out: Colton and well…everything he did (and his amazingly underrated gameplay too), Troyzan, Tarzan, Alicia, Kat, Leif, Jonas…amazing. And then there is Kim. One word that should strike fear into any Survivor fan or player as she played quite possibly the most perfect game in the history of the show. Can anyone actually say anything she did wrong? At all? That’s the beauty of her and this season. It’s just got so many moments that draw you in. The challenges. The interactions. Even Samoa somehow looks different and unique in it! Take my word for it, One World is a gem. A classic. And the most unfairly hated season in the history of Survivor.
What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there seasons 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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