Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 ‘Old School’ Players that Should Play a Second Time


Happy Wednesday S'Ozers, and that means its time for another top 10. In the spirit of the upcoming season of Second Chances, this week Noah Groves shares his list of players that should return for a second time, with his picks from the first 10 seasons of the game. There's no doubt there's plenty of potential on this list but what other 'old school' contestants would deserve a second chance on the Survivor merry go round? Share your thoughts with a comment below!

10. Tammy Leitner – Marquesas

tammy marquesas

I feel like Tammy is an often overlooked player in Marquesas, overshadowed by her ally John, she truly was the full package though. A strong challenge player, winning multiple challenges, a player with signs of a strong strategic game all while being an entertaining character and looks to top it off. Unfortunately not a lot of people probably remember her but I would imagine that Tammy’s second game would be much stronger, learning from her mistakes of the past and expanding on her already decent game. #Tammywasrobbed

9. Sean Kenniff – Borneo

sean borneo

One of the originals, the cast of Borneo is so good that you could almost put anyone from that season on the list. No seriously Greg, Colleen, Joel, Gretchen and Ramona would all be great to see back. Sean, along with Greg and Rudy is one of the first big characters in Survivor and gave us many a memorable moment, from Superpole 2000 and the alphabet strategy through to the esteemed beach bowling alley. Would Sean have learnt from his alphabet strategy to a more refined way of plying the game or would he try and continue going down each letter? Regardless Sean would be sure to provide more memorable moments in a future season and is a worthy returnee.

8. Christy Smith – The Amazon

christy smith amazon

Christy is the first of two deaf contestants to play the game and was one of the most notable players in The Amazon. Her storyline of trying to fit in and struggling to play the game added a new human element and different take on Survivor that mixed things up without feeling gimmicky. Christy wasn’t the best player but she did attempt the game and was a fantastic character, giving many funny or insightful confessionals. Christy was relatively young when she first played and given time to mature Christy would no doubt be a very different person when returning. Given the recent early ousting of Nina in Worlds Apart, Christy could have something to prove for the deaf contestants to show that those with a disability can still succeed in making it far.

7. Burton Roberts – Pearl Islands

burton roberts pearl islands

Burton has technically already had his second chance in the game when he returned thanks to the outcast twist in his season. But the improvement of his game was particularly noticeable, clearly learning from his mistakes and playing much calculated than before. Initially I was not a Burton fan but on subsequent watches of the season he does shine as a character. I am not sure if Burton could ever win the game but I would imagine he would play an all-round strong game in the social, physical and strategic aspects of Survivor. If Andrew Savage proves to be a success in Survivor: Second Chance then perhaps we could see some more old school players, and in particular Pearl Islands players return to Survivor.

6. Theresa Cooper – Africa

t bird

Man oh man, we were so freaking close to having T-Bird back on Survivor. I still don’t know if I have gotten over it yet…T-Bird was robbed! To be completely honest T-Bird was never really on my radar for people I want to see return but when I saw her name on the Second Chance candidate list it made so much sense, of course Teresa is a worthy returnee! Maybe it was because I had just accepted the fact that it would never happen, so the shock of it being a real possibility was a pleasant surprise. T-Bird was an amazing character in Africa and outside of the triad of Lex, Ethan and Big Tom, she was the highlight player of the season. T-Bird so desperately wants to play the game again and if she did, this determined drive would no doubt flood into her game and make her a worthy opponent. CBS needs to make up for T-Bird missing out on Survivor: Cambodia-Second Chance and get her back on the show asap, for the love of Frank Garrison we NEED to have T-Bird back to make up for this post live reveal blues that every Survivor fan is sure to be feeling.

5. Chris Daugherty -Vanuatu

chris daugherty

Chris is one of the three winners of the first ten seasons not to play the game for a second time and it is quite baffling why that is. Easily the star of Vanuatu and one of the biggest underdogs the game has ever seen, not only is Chris a dominant social, strategic and physical player but he is also one of the funniest guys to ever be on the show and a brilliant character. Admittedly there haven’t been many options for Chris to return, with Heroes vs Villains and Blood vs Water being the only options he could realistically have been back. Regardless Chris is still an amazing character who will be fondly remembered in the Survivor canon and is someone who many a fan want to see attempt to strut his stuff a second time around.

4. Sean Rector – Marquesas

sean rector

Sean is another Marquesas contestant making it on to the list and another player who really should return to the game. Even though he is a big fan favourite, it is slightly surprising that Sean didn’t make it on to All Stars over Boston Rob and personally I believe Sean to be the superior character of the two. Sean is hilarious in every scene that he is a part of and is an influential player during the beginning, middle and end of the game. Sean is perhaps one of the most likeable and genuine person to play the game and is arguably the greatest African American male contestant who hasn’t returned. Sean still has so much potential for what he can bring to Survivor and joins a long list of Marquesas players who should or could return.

3. Brian Heidik – Thailand

brian heidik

Winner number two to make the list, Brian Heidik is a frequent Survivor Oz guest who has said he wants to play the game again…so let’s grant his wish CBS! Mr Freeze is one of the best players to ever play Survivor and deserved a spot on the original All Stars. There seemed to be some sort of issue with money or something but it is still to this day sad to see he wasn’t a part of it. Over time Brian has fallen out of the public eye and has had some issues that have damaged his reputation (even more so than the porn) but does Survivor production and CBS really care about that if it means producing good television to watch. Brian is one of those winners who I believe could win for a second time due to his minimal appearances in the public eye, his charm that he has maintained and his detailed knowledge on the game and how to play people. Brian Heidik would promise to deliver on a second time around.

2. John Carrol – Marquesas

john caroll

Like T-Bird, John so very much wants to return to play the game. Survivor: Second Chance would have been the most perfect season for him to return to out of all the returning player seasons that have aired. Despite being the first member of the jury he played extremely hard and was one of the strongest players on the season, maybe even one of the most strategic players in the first four seasons of the show. While there are many pro’s you can say about John’s game, there is also some flaws. The great thing is he acknowledges these flaws and would learn from his first time around to play an even stronger game. I am not sure if we will ever get to see him back again unfortunately but if he was brought back we would be guaranteed someone who would play the game hard. C’mon CBS, get John back on the show to beat his in season rival Boston Rob’s Survivor record!

1. Twila Tanner – Vanuatu

twila tanner2

Joining Chris from Vanuatu is a brilliant character in Twila who I am shocked to this day that she hasn’t been brought back. The sole non-winning finalist on this list, Twila is a huge fan favourite who came close to taking the entire game in Vanuatu. She was a tough, no nonsense player who was strong in the challenges and quite underrated in terms of her gameplay. Twila is probably my favourite player who fits in the category of the ‘older woman’ and is truly the best thing about the season of Vanuatu…along with Chris of course. I can’t imagine too many people being upset with Twila being brought back to the show and she could really fit in to any returning player theme. She is a favourite, could be classified as a villain, she could play the game with her son who was a big part of Vanuatu and she certainly deserves a second chance from a fan vote. I am not sure if Twila actually wants to play the game but after twenty two seasons it is time for her to return and kick ass in Survivor once again!

Honourable Mentions (The Next Ten) – Greg Buis – Borneo, Gretchen Cordy – Borneo, Rodger Bingham – The Australian Outback, Vecepia Towery – Marquesas, Neleh Dennis -Marquesas, Helen Glover – Thailand, Deena Bennet-The Amazon, Ryan Opray-Pearl Islands, Lea “Sarge” Masters-Vanuatu, Coby Archa-Palau

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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18 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 ‘Old School’ Players that Should Play a Second Time

  1. Cam jackson // July 15, 2015 at 9:35 am // Reply

    Brian is great player but an awful human being. If they ever put him on the show I hope he’d be voted off first because I’m afraid he’d do so good I’d have to root for him

  2. I really feel that Jonathan Libby and Wanda Shirk from Palau should be on this list. It’s a crime that they haven’t had the chance to actually play. It would be interesting to see what strategies each one could have implemented.

  3. I’d definitely put a Youngster from Africa in over Christy, Sean K or Tammy, other than that, this is fine. I’d definitely have Ryno in over most of these, since he was massively screwed over twice.

  4. id put neleh over tammy i truly believe the reasons she didnt win over vecepia was because she was young and the older players didnt want to let a little girl who thought the world was all sunshine and rainbows to win the game i also thin Leann Slaby and Angie (Palau) deserve their second chance and so does Keith Famie and Silas Gaither

    • They were mostly just mad she flipped on them. but I agree. I actually think Tammy would be a terrible bring back, Id rather see V, Sean, Neleh, Gina or Hunter over her

  5. Gabriel Snuffles // July 15, 2015 at 11:42 am // Reply

    If we’re talking about rankings, then #jeanneistoohigh

  6. Hello dude // July 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm // Reply

    I know you put her on the Honarable Mentions but Denna is on top of my list. She does not get enough credit for how she played the game.

  7. If Greg, Elisabeth, Rodger, Deena, Sean R or Chris return, I will be so excited.

  8. Darrah should be on here for sure, and Elisibeth

  9. Zach Chong // July 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm // Reply

    you only said tammy to say #tammywasrobbed

  10. Jacob Buck // July 15, 2015 at 10:52 pm // Reply

    I agree that most of these people should come back! I really want to see Burton play again because when he returned he proved he is trying to win! I also want to see John Carrol come back

  11. I know everyone wants to see John Carrol return, but unfortunately he’s been blacklisted by Jeff Probst and unless you listened to the most recent RHAP episode featuring John, you would all know that.

    • He’s been on Survivor Oz more than he’s been on any other show and has never said he is ‘blacklisted’ he has said he feels as though he might be but nothing is definite

  12. Katherine Adams // July 17, 2015 at 9:23 am // Reply

    Good list, Noah. Unreal that Twila hasn’t been back — what a character. (I still can’t believe T-Bird wasn’t on S31. ARG!) I’d love to see Darrah back, as someone else mentioned; her interview with Survivor Oz sealed it for me. Carry on!


    • Wait – I now see that these are players from the first 10 seasons only. Carry on.


  14. Would LOVE to see Twila again but I think that Wanda from Palau takes the cake!

  15. Kelly Goldsmith deserves to come back, especially after getting screwed over when she was supposed to come back for All-Stars.

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