At its simplest form the game of Survivor can be broken into three components of social, strategic, and physical game. While ideally it is beneficial to have a balance of the three, not all are necessary to succeed and some players manage to perform well despite struggling in one particular area. Today American Ozlet Anthony Rossi lists 10 players who struggled in the physical component of the game and looks at how big or little of an impact this had on their overall game.
10. Colby Donaldson – Heroes vs. Villains
To start of my list, we have probably one of the most dominant physical players in the history of the show with the exception of one season. Colby went from one of the dominant players in his original season to being completely underwhelming. Right off the bat, Colby was unable to match against Coach in the first challenge. Once the merge came he wasn’t able to last long in the endurance challenges. This fall from challenge fame really disappointed and frustrated many Survivor fans. Despite holding a record for the amount of challenge wins, he lands on this list, purely based on this one season performance. I do not think Colby is terrible in this season, because there are moments where he shines, but overall, he is pretty much a letdown.
9. Courtney Yates- China & Heroes vs. Villains
Despite placing second, Courtney was not a great physical competitor in the game of Survivor. In most challenges she was sat out, because she was found to be a great liability rather than an asset. One of her major challenge performances was in China with the chopping of the ropes where she lost the challenge for the tribe. I understand that it must be difficult for her to compete due to her weight, but still she did not come to compete. It’s a true testament to her strategic and social game that she was able to survive as long as she did, because her challenge performances would be a clear reason to target her.
8. Sandra Diaz-Twine – Pearl Islands & Heroes vs. Villains
The queen herself, despite winning twice she is not a top challenge competitor. Like Courtney, she was sat out many challenges. In most individual challenges Sandra is out early, if not the first eliminated. It was a difficult task to place Sandra on this list, because whilst she is the two time winning queen, she really struggled in a majority of the challenges she competed in. There were moments in her seasons in which she performed decently and that is the reason why she is not ranked lower.
7. Katie Hanson – Philippines
When Jeff Probst calls you out for your poor performance than you know you are doing a poor job. Katie was one of Jeff’s victims and unfortunately she couldn’t really prove herself despite being given a lot of opportunities. She needed to pick it up! Whilst she did struggle with the challenges, she along with the other Kalabaw members, were able to avoid tribal council for quite some time. I do however, blame Jeff Probst for calling her out more so than other contestants, but she wasn’t the stellar athlete like some of the others.
6. Angie Layton – Philippines
Oh Angie, often regarded, as one of the most beautiful women to ever play the game, but that didn’t really help her in the challenges. She competed in three challenges and performed poorly in all three of them. She wasn’t able to solve the puzzle, unlock a puzzle piece a few feet under the surface of the water, and was just generally useless all around. Maybe if she had some cookies she could have performed better.
5. Brianna Varela – Guatemala
Placing Brianna on this list was actually pretty challenging, because she faced some of the toughest conditions. The landscape was unkind and the heat was overbearing, but all other players this season could compete. Brianna was easily the worst at the challenges that season, even worse than Jim Lynch. Not only was she unable to understand some simple sports lingo, but she also appeared almost completely disinterested in the challenges.
4. Dan Lembo – Nicaragua
Just because you make it far in the game, doesn’t mean that you were a great competitor, which is exemplified by Dan. He finished in 5th place and never shined in any challenge (he did shine in the Gulliver’s travel challenge when he sat in the big chair). His most memorable challenge performance was probably when he had to throw the ball in the net and he couldn’t even jump. He may look strong and intimidating, but he could not prove that in the challenges.
3. Chet Welch – Micronesia
Oh, Chet! He was such a loveable character, but he was not fit to play the game of Survivor. The conditions were tough on him, but the challenges were also not fit for him either. Chet is most well-known for being dragged around by Joel in that one particular challenge, but he was also did not perform well in the other ones too. We must commend Chet for lasting as long as he did considering he was a target at every single tribal council he attended.
2. Crystal Cox – Gabon
Best of Crystal Highlights:
The Olympic athlete just misses out on the top spot to land in second place. Crystal lasted quite a long time in game despite her inability to compete with the others. She was not able to row, run, climb, complete puzzles, balance or slide. She was dead weight in most challenges and often her performances were simply embarrassing. The main reason that she was such a disappointment in the season was because she hyped up her abilities both pre-season and during many confessionals. Someone that could not walk the walk, but talks the talk.
1. J’Tia Taylor – Cagayan
Typically, players that are not physically fit try to stay under the radar in the challenges. Rarely do contestants place themselves in the pivotal positions. J’Tia is exception, because she was willing to put herself in the critical positions and performed terribly in all challenges. In the second tribal challenge she stepped up to complete the puzzle/brain portion of the challenge. Despite the brain tribe having a major lead, she single-handedly lost for the tribe. She may have brought some great entertainment, but she could not compete with the others.
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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