To date only one winner has been able to win on multiple occasions but that doesn't mean that if other winners were to return for an All Stars Season, it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility for it to happen again. This week, our American Ozlet Jordan Rose makes his top 10 debut with the top 10 winners that he believes could be likely to win again if they were recast in a returning players season. Do you agree with his picks? Read on to find out and leave your thoughts.
Note: Players are ranked in order of likelihood of winning again. It is assumed that all players would be willing to play again, and would be cast. They would be playing in an All-Stars season (a la Heroes vs. Villains), and not necessarily an all-winners season.
10. Vecepia Towery – Marquesas
Vee was the first real surprise winner, and the first to fly under the radar. She started out on an unsuccessful tribe but was never a threat to be voted out (until the Final Four, when she won immunity). Her ability to cause drama without being in the center of it let her slide by undetected vote after vote. The downside to her game was that she was not particularly well-liked by the other players, but the jury consisted of several who didn’t want to lose to Neleh. Vee is now 49 years old, and if she can get past the first few votes, she is not a physical threat and could sneak through to the end.
9. Natalie White – Samoa
The only surviving Foa Foa woman to make the merge in Samoa, this quote-unquote “Dumb-ass Girl” surprised the players and the audience with her social game while riding Russell’s coattails. While Russell bulldozed through the Galu tribe with his mercilessly aggressive gameplay, Natalie used her charm to get her foes to like her. Should she get to the merge on a return, she is a real threat to get to the end and pick up some jury votes with her social gameplay.
8. Kim Spradlin – One World
In my opinion, Kim played the most well-rounded game in Survivor history in One World. She led the first-ever women’s alliance to reach the final five, and did so with social grace and incredible strategic prowess. Unfortunately for her, she would be a major threat on a return and should get taken out early, or perhaps just after the merge. However, if she makes it anywhere near the end, watch out.
7. Sophie Clarke – South Pacific
Sophie was never at the forefront of the game in South Pacific, letting Coach and Albert take all the bullets while she stood in the background and got to the Final Three. She won immunities, including beating Ozzy when it counted the most. She also had a very good Final Tribal Council performance, where she took credit for her alliance’s strategic moves. Five former Savaii juror votes were all she needed to secure her win. On a return, Sophie could certainly be underestimated and has matured in the four years since she played. And if she’s in the numbers, she’d be in a great position to get to the end.
6. Todd Herzog – China
The sneaky tiny flight attendant, Todd, comes in as the lowest of only three men on this list. Other than Jean-Robert (who called him out as a good strategic player early on), no one really considered him to be a major threat to win, especially considering how many enemies he made along the way. If not for his fantastic Final Tribal Council performance, he probably would not have won. However, Todd’s overall gameplay was very solid and could very well work again on a return.
5. Jud ‘Fabio’ Birza – Nicaragua
Nearly every player in Nicaragua wrote off Fabio from the start as a loveable goofball who had no strategic brain and was no threat to win. However, he ingratiated himself within the tribe with his personality and before they knew it, he was winning immunities down the stretch when he was in trouble. He had a great final tribal council performance which earned him the victory. (Rumor has it that he should have won more decisively than 5-4 over Chase.) Fabio’s game is unique among all the winners, and he should be taken out before the last few episodes on a return. But, should he get in the numbers, he is an immunity threat and likeable enough to get many votes from the jury.
4. Sandra Diaz Twine – Pearl Islands & Heroes vs Villains
Sandra, of course, has been at the center of many a debate as to whether or not she is the best player of all-time. I can see both sides of the argument, but there is no doubt that she is an incredibly intuitive player, always able to pick up on the state of the game and adapting. Sandra also is great at “telling it like it is”, which is how she ingratiates herself with the tribe. The one thing she needs to count on is for the target to be on other people rather than her. If she makes it past the first few votes, she can coast to the end again as a nonthreat. You heard it here: Sandra can become a three-time winner. Just make it to the merge, Sandra.
3. Earl Cole – Fiji
The strong but quiet leader of the Moto alliance in Fiji, Earl strategically dominated the game like few had before him. He was one throwaway vote from playing a perfect game, and was the first unanimous winner in Survivor history. Earl was able to stay in the shadow of Yau-Man, who was considered a bigger threat to win the game, while also calling the shots during the post-merge. Should he return, he is good enough in challenges to last to the merge, can lead an alliance after the merge, and has enough social charisma to be in prime position to get to the end. Earl could very well slip by undetected to pick up a second win.
2. Natalie Anderson – San Juan Del Sur
Natalie’s game in San Juan del Sur can be split into two parts. In the first half of the game, she was good in challenges, was in the middle of the power alliance, and made friends on both tribes. After her good friend Jeremy was voted out, she got into the driver’s seat, leading her alliance into the final six, while winning challenges along the way. She never received a vote, and won decisively in the end, with two of the three votes against her coming from loved ones of the other finalists. With her laid-back strategic game pre-merge, and aggressive post-merge play with challenge wins, Natalie is a real threat to get to the end and win on a return.
1. Danni Boatwright – Guatemala
Danni was one of the more unlikely winners in Survivor history, when she came out as the surviving member of her alliance in the final six to win. What separates Danni from most of the other winners on this list is the ability to make solid relationships with all of the people in the tribe, even those not in her alliance. She got her foes to respect her, to the extent that they wanted to keep her around longer. Before they knew it, she was in the Final Tribal Council with what was pretty much a guaranteed win against Stephenie. She is also a strong challenge competitor, but not too strong to be considered a serious threat. Add all of those qualities, with getting in the numbers, Danni is my pick to win on a return, and possibly even an all-winners season.
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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