Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Players With Minimal Edits

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A complaint of many Survivor fans is the way that at certain times the show can shove the edit of one player down the viewers throat while neglecting to flesh out the story of the other players in the cast. Throughout the history of the show many players have been shafted by minimal edits and an appalling lack of screen time. Whether their invisibility can be justified or if the blame should rest on the player's own shoulders or productions is a constant source of discussion amongst the Survivor community. Today Ozlet Patrick Gustavson steps up to the plate to give these under edited players some much needed attention as he looks at the top 10 players with minimal edits. Read on to find out who made the list.

In the early seasons of Survivor, characters were the driving factor of the show. The editors told the story of the season, while giving the audience a glimpse of what these people were like, and how they contributed to said story. Even earlier boots would generally have a decently developed character arc, and would sometimes have their boot episode largely focusing on them. However, as the number of players per season has grown, it becomes more difficult for each player to get an equal amount of airtime, which is fair to an extent. But in some instances, there are players who are largely ignored for reasons such as having little strategy, having little impact on the game, or just being a flat character. This could be expected for earlier boots but it more and more often, players who make it deep in the game, deep enough to warrant them an edit, simply are invisible. These are ten players who at least made it to the merge in their season that received a minimal edit. This list will not include returning players. Even though there have been cases of a minimal edit on their returning season, they all received a strong edit their first time around to warrant their return. This list is also not based solely on confessional count. While that matters, other elements such as circumstance, importance to the season, and potential are all factors in these decisions.

10. Keith Tollefson – South Pacific

This was probably the most surprising of all the players on this list. After an initial viewing of South Pacific, I did not realize how little of an edit Keith truly received. In ten episodes (although two were spent on Redemption Island), he only received six total confessionals. It’s not like Keith was the most compelling or entertaining character, but he was Ozzy’s right hand man on the Savaii tribe, and generally, someone in the position he was in would surely receive more confessionals. Besides that all we really saw of him was be in a showmance with someone who will also appear on this list.

9. Whitney Duncan – South Pacific

See entry number ten. All joking aside, I was almost compelled to put Whitney and Keith down as one entry, because they were almost the same player. They were tightly bonded together and were in a strong alliance with Ozzy. However, Whitney’s edit was even worse than Keith’s! She only received four confessionals in eleven episodes. Really the only thing that was memorable about Whitney in the entire season off the top of my head was when she berated Cochran following his flip.

8. Artis Silvester – Philippines

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Based on the edit, it appears that Artis did not have a very good time in the Philippines. Not only was his edit minimal, but it was incredibly one dimensional. It seems like almost every time we saw him, he was complaining about something, ripping on Skupin, or just sitting there with a frown or a grimace on his face! His lack of confessionals prior to the merge can’t even be explained by how successful Tandang was, because we saw plenty from just about everyone else on that tribe! His grumpy antics were a bit entertaining, but he could have been a much better character if we had the chance to see more of him in order to see more sides of his personality. Not only did he have a miniscule amount of confessionals, his portrayal certainly did not help his cause.

7. Carter Williams – Philippines

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It is very difficult to talk about some of these players, because the show gave us so little from them to base opinions off of. Carter finished sixth place, lasting twelve episodes, and only received eight confessionals from that time. He seemed to be a very nice guy who was very close with both Penner and Jeff Kent. He was strong in challenges and was never really the target to go home up until his boot. However, there was not much strategy in the little we saw of Carter. Most of his confessionals were pretty standard, with nothing memorable, and was often perceived as out of the loop. He is the epitome of an invisible player. He was so insignificant in the season that it was obvious he would not win, and it was basically just there waiting until his inevitable departure.

6. Wes Nale – San Juan del Sur

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Some of the players on this list are honesty a bit boring or unmemorable, which could be a reason for their minimal edits, but Wes by no means falls under that category. He received just nine confessionals in ten episodes, and based on what we saw, he was quite a fun character. He was an absolute star of the episode ten immunity challenge, revealing his talent of eating chicken nuggets, and reminding Jeff Probst of his cameo in Two and a Half Men. He appeared to be very similar to his father Keith, who was a massive star and one of the biggest characters of the last few years, and there’s no reason to say Wes couldn’t have been that big of a character himself. It is hard to gage how good of a player he truly is due to the fact that we saw nearly none of his strategy. He was clumped into the minority that saw very little airtime following the merge, and was unexpectedly and anticlimactically voted off in the epic, double-idol tribal council. Wes had a lot to offer to the season and certainly warranted a greater edit.

5. Leif Manson – One World

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Similar to Carter, there really isn’t much to say about Leif. He was a member of Colton’s misfit alliance, but he never really got his footing in the game. He was deemed untrustworthy from the start, ala the Bill incident, which led to the infamous surrendering of immunity, and this carried on throughout a majority of the game, never really being in a solid alliance. He only had four confessionals in ten episodes: Colton averaged more confessionals in six episodes than Leif had in the entire season! It did not help his cause that he was on a season of bold personalities, but it is just so easy to forget about poor Leif.

4. Zoe Zanidakis – Marquesas

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When I started looking over confessional statistics, there was one that really blew me away. I did not expect someone from such an early season to get such a minimal edit, considering how good the early seasons were at developing characters. I was stunned to see that in nine episodes, Zoe only received five confessionals. I honestly thought it was a mistake, and had to re-watch Marquesas before I could believe it. It just goes to show how rare this was that the three people who were eliminated prior to her had at least thirty-two confessionals. All I could really gather from Zoe is that she was a member of the Rotu 4, physically strong, and strong-willed, but not overly memorable. Despite this, she did give an incredibly entertaining interview. What is really staggering about her edit was that everyone received a pretty fair edit in Marquesas, to say the least. It is just impossible to get over how someone from such an early season could be so invisible.

3. Rick Nelson – South Pacific

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Whenever a season has returning players, it is likely that they will take up a majority of the airtime, and South Pacific is the greatest example of that, and it is possibly the worst edited season in the entirety of the series. This is the third and most egregious player from the season to make this list. Rick should have played a major role in the season, making it all the way to the finale, ultimately winding up in fifth place. From the first episode, he was a part of the extremely tight Upolu 5, which would later even be tabbed as “the family.” This alliance was in control the entire game, but Rick only saw eight confessionals throughout all fourteen episodes of the season. However, being a crucial player in the game is not even the main reason I feel so strongly about his lack of an edit, it is more because of his potential as a character! Though he seemed a bit mild-mannered, Rick had some really funny moments such as his golden line about how “there ain’t no dragons,” and two memorable voting confessionals bidding Cochran and Brandon farewell. Rick could have been such a great, unique character, and the season really could have used a nice break from the polarizing characters such as Coach, Ozzy, Brandon and Cochran.

2. Brett Clouser – Samoa

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Even though Brett will wind up having the most confessionals of anyone on this list, I feel he certainly warrants the number two spot, and for a few main reasons: circumstance and importance to the season. Brett was one immunity away from winning Samoa in what would have been a landslide, and for the first eleven episodes of the season, he was almost nowhere to be found. In the first eleven episodes, he received only three confessionals, but went on to receive nine in the last three, when he nearly took the season, and that spike in confessionals and edit is the only reason he is not number one. Prior to the merge, Brett was just another member of the Galu tribe that was overshadowed by the Russell show. However, unlike other Galu members, who did see some airtime, Brett really was nowhere to be found, a likeable, strong challenge performer who was in no real danger of going home. Once the Galu tribe began to implode, Brett’s name was still never on the chopping block, despite his positive attributes. The likes of Erik, Kelly and Laura were ousted for various reasons in order for Foa Foa to take over the numbers. The next votes are what really get me: John and Dave Ball are targeted in the next two votes, and Brett’s name was not mentioned once. It’s almost as if he wasn’t even there! And then the remaining players, and audience, are shocked when this guy who has barely been seen or heard from, goes on an immunity streak and becomes the biggest threat to win the game. If Brett were to have won, he would have been the Fabio before Fabio. But based on his edit, Fabio looks like a Survivor genius in comparison! Perhaps if Brett had won his edit would have been much different, but for someone who was such a crucial piece to the story of the season to be son invisible for such a long streak of time, is simply inexplicable.

1. Kelly Shinn – Nicaragua

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This choice is certainly the obvious one, and likely the expected one. When you think of invisible Survivor players, Purple Kelly is the first that comes to mind. I actually attempted to not put her at number one, but the more and more I thought about it, it was impossible. For someone to be in the game for eleven episodes, and not give a confessional in nine of them, is truly baffling. Kelly’s first confessional came in episode seven. She then went another three episodes without one, before having a massive number for her standards (four), in the episode in which she quit. What is even more baffling about the situation is why she received this horrible edit. An argument to defend that would be because she quit the game. That couldn’t have held too much weight, because NaOnka, who quit the same episode, received fifty confessionals, the most of anyone on the season! I understand NaOnka was a massive character, but if the editors were punishing Kelly for her quitting, wouldn’t they do something similar with NaOnka? Also, quitters sometimes get confessionals and airtime hinting that they might quit at some point, with examples being Osten in Pearl Islands, Julie in San Juan del Sur, and even NaOnka. It did appear that Purple Kelly was not very strategic, and was not the most entertaining of players, but there are plenty of players who were not very strategic, or entertaining, that received some form of an edit. Would it have killed the editors to throw her a bone with a throwaway confessional here and there? Just to remind the audience that she was actually present. Purple Kelly was so forgettable on her season that she is now unforgettable in Survivor: some even tab the invisible edit as “The Purple Kelly edit.” She is the ultimate invisible player 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 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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20 Comments on Survivor Oz Top 10 – Top 10 Players With Minimal Edits

  1. Dillon Kay // March 2, 2016 at 9:17 am // Reply

    Don’t forget Brett was #5 on Top 25 Best Players Never To Have Won list.

  2. Kelly Wiglesworth in Cambodia, anyone? She was a mid-jury player on perhaps the best season ever (and was the first runner up EVER so should have been a star in Cambodia) and I’d need to look at the facts to be sure but I believe she only got one or two confessionals the very first episode and then NO more until the episode she was voted out when she got one short one.

    Ironically, Kelly Remington in Samoa was yet another player that had a bad edit.

    Perhaps the editors have something against the name “Kelly”? 😉

    • I mis-typed. Please forgive me. Kelly Remington in Worlds Apart is what I meant to say! 🙂 But yet another Kelly that didn’t have the best edit was Kelly Sharbaugh in Samoa.

  3. Alex Cousins // March 2, 2016 at 10:58 am // Reply

    It’s funny because I really enjoyed Keith, Carter, Wes, Leif, and Brett and were rooting for them to win. I think they all had a lot more to offer than what was shown.

  4. The Artist Formerly Know As Jeff Probst // March 2, 2016 at 11:49 am // Reply

    Honestly almost every Kelly ever should be included ( Gabon, Samoa, Nicarugua, SJDS, Worlds Apart, Cambodia)

    • Yep, Only Kelly Goldsmith is fully immune because of being on an early season (Africa) and not returning at any point.

  5. I include Kelly Sharbaugh (the Purple Kelly before Kelly Shinn). But yeah, good choices.

  6. Zach Chong // March 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm // Reply

    … Leif should be number one.

  7. Zach Chong // March 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm // Reply

    Scratch that. Carter number one, Leif number two.

  8. Can we start a campaign to get Brett Clouser back on? That guy was awesome.

  9. I would have liked if you got a little more in depth with each entry, maybe talking about reasons why each person might have gotten so little screentime (theories such as Whitney being punished for cheating on her husband come to mind).

    Really, this is a common theme in most of your articles and top tens. They have great premises, but end up having little real insight and just say things most Survivor fans already know. Discussions on such places as r/survivor are exponentially more insightful than your articles, and it shouldn’t be that way.

    I just think your articles should have more meat to them.

  10. Nathan Nixon // March 2, 2016 at 4:05 pm // Reply

    Where is Hope Driskill? She only had one confessional!

  11. Putting a quitter at no 1…..kidding.

    Would she be there if she was unattractive???

  12. Louie Estrada // March 3, 2016 at 12:25 am // Reply

    If you will notice with the exception of Zoe from Marquesas the rest of these invisible edits are from seasons 19 and beyond. This shows the this began the “strategy above all else” era pf editing that we are in now, and character devlopment is seen as either annoying or as filler. Yeah Keith and Whitney were not fun to watch (bit based on their season of kissing Ozzy and Coach’s ass), bit yeah based on their position, they could have gotten a bit more screen time. We were robbed of a Wes arc. He was funny, clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the Nale family tree.
    The game has changed and so has the editing, but its become to “game-bot” heavy. Cambodia being a PRIME example.

    Honorable Mentions
    Denise the Talking Mullet–China
    Natalie White–Samoa (probably why her game and win is underrated)
    Hell, half the cast of Samoa
    Half the cast of South Pacific
    Allie, Julia, Brenda and Eric from Caramoan
    Wiggles, Monica, Keith, & Kimmi from Cambodia

    • I think Louie brings up something interesting in the fact that most of these invisible edits have come after season 19, Survivor: Russell Hantz. Personally, I got annoyed at how much focus Russell got and I couldn’t wait for him to get his comeuppance and get voted out. And yet, in hindsight, I feel that his overexposure was warranted by two things. First, he was a new breed of player and that made him really interesting to watch, whether you were rooting for or against him. Second, the show had to set up the Foa Foa Four for the final four, for the sake of the narrative. In the end, the two arcs of the season were the implosion of Foa Foa and Foa Foa going against the odds, which didn’t leave much room for Galu (especially when a chunk of their time was spent setting up the fall of Russell Swan) and that explains why players like Brett and Kelly S were somewhat irrelevant to the narrative.

      From that point on, maybe focus was decided based on the quality of the player and what they brought to the overall narrative of the season instead of quantity (fairness in the distribution of focus). Some will feel this is unfair, others will feel it might have raised the bar with regards to the quality and/or relevance of what’s given to us..

      Also, keep in mind that we don’t know what they have to work with. Much as I love Kelly Wigglesworth, the few moments they did showcase her during Cambodia outside of challenges really fell flat when you look at other players’ insights into the game. That’s not what makes a viewer return for more. What makes a viewer return is growth and insight like we saw in players like Spencer and Jeff Varner, who was only there briefly but was also really compelling.

      Ultimately, I think that the individual edit comes down to:

      1) Do you bring something to the season’s narrative?
      2) Do you make for compelling viewing?
      3) Is your footage good and usable? (maybe some players tend to be really awkward or unnatural when the cameras are around, or they lack fluidity in expressing their thoughts or stammer a lot…)

  13. With the exception of Artis and maaaybe Wes, none of these players said or did anything interesting in the show or their secret scenes. (Carter is entertainment gold, but that’s largely because he has such a small edit and pops up once or twice an episode to say something bizarre). For the rest, I have no interest in seeing any more of them, and I think they’re examples of why production SHOULD occasionally minimise players’ edits.

    Off the top of my head, under-edited players that seemed genuinely interesting include:

    Sarah Dawson
    Hali Ford
    Rachel Foulger
    Allie Pohevitz
    Charlie Herschel

  14. I think Sophie Clarke should’ve been on the list. So many people in South Pacific (including the 3 you mentioned) were robbed of screen time. But there is no justification for the eventual Sole Survivor receiving such a lousy edit.

  15. Julia “Thrilla Vanilla” from Caramoan
    Pretty much everyone else from Samoa. Russell got ALL the airtime and eventual winner Natalie got robbed of an edit which is why she is maligned as a winner. Seriously, that’s why Samoa IMO is the worst edited because Russel who was more annoying than entertaining got almost all the screen time
    Wiggles–she didnt give the producers the narrative they wanted. Get over it Probst, she’s still survivor royalty and you guys screwed her.
    Kimmi and Kieth–Kieth is an old school player in a new school playing field amd in a season with WAAAYYYY too much strategy talk him and still funny Kimmi got no love.
    Hell, only old-school players who got airtime were Probst’s man-crushes Savage and Terry

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