Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Games Ruined by Idol Plays


Since season 11 hidden immunity idols have become a staple of the game. People have played these idols and gotten out one of the biggest threats of the game. This week Alec Culver our Utah ozlet, takes a look at the top 10 games that were blown up by a played idol. This list is just the people who didn’t receive the majority vote but an idol being played was what ended their game. This so far in 20 seasons since it was introduced has only affected 17 people so far. I’m not counting Kimmi’s vote out because it was a totally different story.

Note: This is the top 10 games ruined by idol plays not the top 10 idol plays, so this is about the person who went home, not the person who played the idol.

10. Wes Nale – San Juan Del Sur


Based on the edit there was no way that Wes was going to win the season but from what we did see he wasn’t playing a bad game. People liked him and he was in a decent spot until not 1 but 2 idols were played that sent him home. We would have loved to see our favorite Taco and Chicken nugget eating champion son of Keith continue in the game but idols ended up being his downfall. He is the only person ever to be voted out when 2 idols were played that canceled out the two highest vote getters as well so that was the only way for him to go home that night.

9. Bobby Jon Drinkard – Guatemala


This one is an interesting one. However I couldn’t exclude the first victim of an idol being played. Bobby Jon was not supposed to go home that night but the first ever hidden immunity idol was played by Gary and then the majority alliance had no other choice but to vote Bobby Jon out. With the idol rules being written at this point this isn’t the most iconic idol play but it did screw Bobby Jon over and his game. Not to mention that the viewers had no idea that Gary had the idol which made it even more of a shock when he played it. Although the idol didn’t cancel out any votes, I still would say that Bobby Jon was the first victim of the hidden immunity idol.

8. Ciera Eastin – Cambodia


Ciera was always fighting from the bottom in Cambodia. She seemed super focused on making moves and the trading bloc system was implemented. The system was being implemented to perfection as after the Kass vote out and a timely idol play by her closest ally had saved them for a couple tribals in a row. She had helped make a move to get rid of Wigglesworth and now they had plans to get rid of Stephen but Jeremy pulled out his idol to save his ally. If it wasn’t for Jeremy’s idol play then Ciera could have made it very deep into the game and so it truly ruined her game.

7. Kelly Remington – Worlds Apart


Going into the merge Kelly was in a great spot. She had her majority alliance with the Blue Collars and was someone that Rodney wanted as part of his strong 4 alliance. However, a lack of distrust from the no collars towards Kelly and a very well-played idol ended up being her downfall. In the first few episodes she was just there and wasn’t seen as a threat to win. However, in the episodes leading up to the merge she was being portrayed as someone who could win this game. This idol ruined her game and given the people that Kelly was most loyal to went to the final 4 proves that she could have won this game if Jenn didn’t play that idol.

6. Pete Yurkowski – Philippines


Another victim of the split vote to flush out an idol. To be honest there was probably no way even if Abi didn’t play her idol that Pete would have survived this tribal council. However, Pete’s game was a piece of art up until the tribal council before this one. He was in a prime position to win the game before Skupin flipped and then Lisa flipped. Pete was seen as a great player and it was eventually his alliance with Abi-Maria that was his downfall. However, his game was still ruined by Abi playing his idol as there was a slim chance of him surviving the tribal council and maneuvering his way to survive a few more. He was one of the more underrated players of the season and someone I feel deserves the second chance to see how he would play without Abi by his side.

5. Andrew Savage – Cambodia


Savage was in a great position when he got blindsided. As noted in the tribal council he was one of the leaders of the majority alliance. He was never a target to anyone besides the 3 girls at the bottom. Everyone was coming to him when it came to plans on who to vote out and he seemed to have everyone wrapped around his fingers. He was getting a big winners edit as well especially that by the end of the episode he was the person to have the most confessionals (or tied) in the season. He was seen as the leader on Bayon, he was seen as the leader on Angkor, he was seen as the leader of the majority alliance and he was getting a much more positive edit then he was on his first time around. However, Wentworth played the idol perfectly and for some reason the majority alliance decided not to split the votes and it ended up ruining the game that a lot of people were starting to believe was going to be the winner, myself included and I’ve been saying the same person since episode 1. It was a shocking blindside and it was the perfect person to vote out when an idol was played because he was playing such a great game.

4. Baylor Wilson – San Juan Del Sur


Baylor’s edit during the season was hit and miss. She had a huge edit in the first half of the season and a slow edit in the middle portion and a strong edit at the end. However, Natalie decided that Baylor was the bigger threat to get out than Jaclyn and Missy and so she wanted to get rid of her. Baylor was the only real threat to win at this point other than Keith. Natalie was just emerging as a threat to win and so it was a big blow. Baylor’s game was ruined by this play especially when Baylor and Missy thought that Missy was the one going home. However, Jaclyn and Natalie must have seen something that was a huge threat to Baylor because they voted her out instead and so that shows that her game was ruined by this idol play.

3. J.T. Thomas – Heroes vs. Villains


The first victim of the first ever double idol play. Of all the Heroes in this season he was by far getting the best winners edit. He was playing both sides and even if people will argue that his strategic game was flawed it was being portrayed as he was the leader of the Heroes alliance. It was a little fitting that his own idol was the one that ended up being his downfall but that was poetic justice that since it was his plan for him to go down with it. However, if the Heroes had come out on top in that tribal council, he probably would have been at the end and he could have been the person to be undefeated when it comes to Survivor but a double idol play sent him to the jury.

2. Phillip Sheppard – Caramoan


Was Phillip annoying? Yes. Was he up to his old tricks? A little bit. Was his game dramatically improved? Hell yes it was. He was the leader of the Stealth R Us alliance and as we had witnessed a couple of episodes earlier everyone seemed to trust him. He might not have won the game but he actually had a great shot at winning the game as well. Looking back this wasn’t the best move by the Amigos to take him out instead of someone like Cochran but they took out the leader and it was just a few tribals after this one that the Stealth R Us alliance starts to form cracks in it. That goes to show how important he was to the alliance and how great of a game he was playing. His game was truly ruined by an idol and that is why he is so high on this list.

1. Tyler Fredrickson – Worlds Apart


This one was a shocking one. We all knew that Mike was going to play his idol that night, there was no question about that. So the majority alliance had decided to split the votes and give 2 votes for Dan and then he would go home. However, Carolyn and Sierra decided that Tyler had become too big of a threat and although you had Carolyn going back and forth on whether it was the right choice or not to vote Tyler or Dan out, it was shocking that she still voted her closest ally out. Tyler was a huge threat to win the game, even with his sub-par edit. If you watch the Ponderosa videos, everyone said that Tyler was the best player in the game and if he made it to the end then they would vote for him and that is probably why Carolyn voted him out. Once Tyler was gone you knew that it was either Mike or Carolyn winning the game but before that you thought it was going to be Tyler no matter who he took to the end and that is why his game was ruined by the idol play, even if the idol play was painfully obvious.

Honorable mentions: Stacy – Survivor: Fiji, Alexis – Survivor: Micronesia, Kelly – Survivor: Samoa, Cirie – Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, Tyson – Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, R.C. – Survivor: Philippines Dan – Survivor: Worlds Apart

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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28 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Games Ruined by Idol Plays

  1. Without Cirie and Tyson, this Top 10 cannot be considered seriously.

    • My guess is they left it off because Terry didn’t even have to play the idol at that tribal council. I agree it should have been on the list with Tyson’s as well.

  2. Tysons from HvV should have been top 5 for sure. Without that play, the entire season 20 is completely different. Russell goes home that night, Jerry doesn’t flip, Robs alliance doesn’t crack. Everything from then on changes as russell was easily the most influential that season

  3. RB Liljestrom // January 13, 2016 at 10:57 am // Reply

    Good list. My only gripe is your portrayal of Carolyn’s chances at winning. First and foremost it was moronic for her to take out her closest ally that early for 2 reasons. First she sent him to the jury early with a lot of animosity towards her. It’s tough to win when your biggest ally is poisoning the other jurors because of an unnecessary betrayal. Secondly, Tyler had the best shot at taking Mike out in an immunity challenge. She was never going to win. Other than that great article. Thanks

    • I disagree with you. I think Carolyn had a great shot. Tyler wasn’t really that bitter towards her. Like yeah he was upset, but anyone would’ve been. And tell me how he poisoned the minds of the other jury members. Like give me proof. And since she knew she would have to get rid of him, it’s better to do it early because that way he would have a week (he was voted out day 32) to calm down and lose more animosity versus a day or two, which is when people are most upset. Plus he was good at some challenges, but bad at others. He was one of the first ones out in two of them. And Carolyn had more wins than him at that point in time. And it’s not like mike was a challenge beast at that point… He had 2 wins (the same as Carolyn)

      • RB Liljestrom // January 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm //

        I listened to all of the exit interviews. If Tyler wasn’t bitter why didn’t he vote for her? He was pissed. Jenn’s last words after she was voted out ,”I hate Momma C!”. Carolyn received a very favorable edit. As a matter of fact Dan said her edit was the best given to any of the players. She wouldn’t have beaten anyone on the jury with the exception of Will. Even that would have been up in the air. Tyler was voting for Will initially but Will couldn’t keep his vote with his dismal FTC answers.

  4. I’d have Tyson over Savage. That’s ir

  5. You give way too much credit to Savage’s game and his winner’s edit. Also I’m not sure Phillip’s game and chances at winning were as good as you pointed out. For one thing it was funny you mentioned his alliance forming cracks soon after he left, when of course it was going to after most of the minority group was voted out.

    I also think KSharbs should have a spot on this list. We didn’t see much of her, but I think she was in one of the strongest positions among the Galu group. The fact that Foa Foa targeted her is evidence of that.

    • I totally agree with your comment on savage. However I disagree with kelly. The reason Foa Foa voted for her was not cuz she was in the best position, it was cuz they wanted to get rid of one of Laura’s allies. Besides, out of those 7 Galu left she was in the minority of three, since the guys were a trio and shambo easily would’ve gone with them over Laura’s trio

    • I really originally wrote this like right after Savage got voted out but made a few tweaks so at the time his game was seen as great but after seeing how others viewed him on the show and at ponderosa my opinion changed but his game was in a good shape to at least make it to the end if it wasn’t for the idol play and that is the main reason he is on here

  6. Cirie and Tyson not on the list seriously. I kept reading hoping to see them on it. List can’t be considered good if these good players are not on it.

    • Well the idol did not ruin tyson’s game… He did… It was him going against what he was told to do. Had he stuck to the plan he would’ve been fine. And with cirie, it was too early in the game to consider it messing hers up.besidss, it was jt flipping that messed it up not the idol

    • I mostly didn’t include those ones because of the fact that they happened so early in the game. If those had been closer to the merge then yeah for sure but Cirie’s was like the 5th person voted out and Tyson like 6th so it was too early to really see how much of a shot they had at winning because well the game was still in the moving motions and wasn’t really in the set in stone stages like a lot of this list is

  7. I do not think Pete should be on this list. The idol play had nothing to do with ruining his game. Sure, it’s what sent him home, but he was on the bottom then anyways and had abi had no idol they would’ve probably gotten rid of him over her. But what ruined his game was skupin and Lisa flipping. Skupin flipped in the poor vote and Lisa made it clear to them before tribal she was flipping. The idol didn’t ruin his game.

  8. Kept expecting to see Tyson on the list… really disappointed that he’s not on it, and Pete and Wes are.

  9. // January 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm // Reply

    Good article. There have been a few wasted idol uses. But that’s the risk you take to stay in the game!

  10. Kimmi from Cambodia should definitely be here. If it wasn’t for Jeremy’s idol she would have had a good shot at winning.

  11. Ciera

    #10 Cirie Fields (Heroes vs Villains) — Putting her so low because her being ousted by Tom’s idol was so early in the season and she would probably have been a target at some point however she is probably the best player to have never won so I have to put her on my list.

    #9 Tyson A. (Heroes vs Villains) — I don’t feel that Tyson had a great chance of winning HvV when he was ousted but some people in his alliance certainly did and that’s why I’m putting him on this list.

    #8 Andrew Savage (Cambodia) — Although Savage was playing a decent enough game I do feel it was overrated and I felt like he was fairly unlikable (even Jeremy admitted to the fact Savage was fairly unlikable and it would be tough for him to get jury votes). However, Wentworth’s idol play was very impressive and I have to put Savage on the list but just not as high as the author had him.

    #7 Kelly Remington (Worlds Apart) — I never found that Kelly had a super big chance of winning up to the point when she was voted out, but her blue collars did make it extremely far with her closest ally ending up winning so I must put her on this list.

    #6 Phillip Sheppard (Caramoan) — Was Phillip playing a better game than in Redemption Island? Yes. Was Phillip playing a game that could win? I don’t think so. That’s why I have him sixth not second here.

    #5 Tyler Fredrickson (Worlds Apart) — Was Tyler playing a good game that could win up to the point when he was idoled out? Yes. Was his game ruined by an idol worst than anyone else’s game in Survivor history? Heck no. Not in my opinion.

    #4 R.C. Saint-Armour (Philippines) — I thought RC was playing EXTREMELY well up until she was voted out and I at times was pegging her as the winner. She could have won had she not been idoled out. For sure.

    #3 Baylor Wilson (San Juan del Sur) — Just like what the author said, Baylor, Keith, and Natalie all had good chances of winning at this point in the game with none of them as the “odd’s on favorite”. This close to the end Natalie’s idol play was a huge blow to Baylor’s game and I hope Baylor gets a second shot at winning the game that she almost won the first time.

    #2 Ciera Eastin (Cambodia) — In my opinion the moment that Jeremy won the game was when he idoled out Ciera. Ciera was playing a great game having orchestrated the Woo blindside, been a key part in helping Wentworth plan the Savage blindside, being an instrumental part in the Wiglesworth blindside, and then orchestrating the Fishbach vote-out. Like the author said if Ciera hadn’t been idoled out that night she could have made it very very very deep in the game, and quite possibly won. I would LOVE to see her back to have another shot at winning.

    #1 J.T. Thomas (Heroes vs Villains) — The reason I put J.T. at #1 is that his chance of winning when voted out was similar to Baylor’s or Ciera’s for me however the chance of any hero winning the game came crashing down the night Parvati idoled out J.T.

  12. Are you an idiot? Baylor was strongly disliked by the jury, and viewed as a goat. Natalie has publicly stated that she got rid of Baylor instead of Missy because Missy had a broken foot and wouldn’t compete in the upcoming challenge.

  13. I noticed everyone has overlooked Boston Rob from Heroes vs. Villains. I understand it was to early but if it wasn’t for that idol play I forget but I’m pretty sure Russel goes home instead of Tyson leaving Boston Rob controlling the majority.. This leaves a stronger villains tribe in challenges which means the probably win at least 2 of the next 4 challenges instead of 1. Rob is to essential to the tribe to bote off so it’s probably Parvati, Danielle or both that end up going home pre-merge. Then when the merge hits Boston Robs got 6(him Sandra Courtney Jerri Coach and Tyson). They now hav the majority vs four of Colby, Rupert, Amanda, JT, and Candice. The only problem Rob has to manuever is JT’s idol. Or hell JT might’ve given Rob his idol! Nevertheless, Rob can probably take out a hero or two then hav a solid core of villains that will be loyal to him. Does he win… Maybe. He can definitely go on an immunity streak against his competition. The main reason I hav him over Tyson in who got screwed more is because Rob had all of them wrapped around his finger that he could easily take out Tyson before Tyson took him out.

  14. Alexis should be on the list and not just an honorable mention. Amanda was going home that tribal without the idol (remember Cirie, Alexis, and Natalie, and Erik all voted for her). In that scenario lets say Erik still gives up his necklace at 5 and then it’s Parvati, Cirie, Natalie and Alexis. Natalie and Alexis aren’t voting for each other. Parvati probably votes out Cirie thinking it’s a final 3 (Parvati had a closer bond with those two than Cirie did). In the final 3 immunity challenge, Parvati was the first to drop out when she faced Cirie and Amanda so I would think either Alexis or Natalie win and takes the other. Alexis was regarded as the bigger jury threat (hence parvati & amanda blindsided her over natalie) so Alexis wins.

  15. One person you omitted (from both the Top 10 & the honorable mentions) Boston Rob. Although Russell’s idol play didn’t send Mariano to Ponderosa, it definitely ruined his game. It was too early to tell, but Boston Rob certainly could’ve (and in my opinion, would’ve) won the game.

  16. I belive that Philip woudn’t go far and shouldn’t be #2. Tyson needs to be on this list because if he never flipped Russell would have went home and Rob’s allience would have taken out Parvati and Danielle.

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