Survivor Philippines: Ranking the top 5 castaways of the season

Screengrab via CBS
Screengrab via CBS /
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Survivor: Philippines is the only season to bring back multiple evacuated castaways, but it was actually the first time players that dominated this game.

When you consider the drought of entertaining Survivor seasons in the 20s, season 25: Philippines was definitely among the better ones. For that reason… and a forgetful memory, I was motivated to rewatch this unique season. It brought back three people that had a good reason to return as Skupin, Russell and Penner were all evacuated from the game prior to the merge in their respective seasons. Yes, Penner did complete his first season; Cook Islands, but he has way more potential and entertainment value than the other two, so it never hurts to see him again! 

It was interesting to watch these three returnees face completely different scenarios. Russell was part of a tribe that couldn’t win a challenge, Penner was persistently targeted almost every day, while Skupin coasted through on a couple of alliances. Although their previous seasons got cut short, Philippines did a great job of painting a satisfying picture of their characters to the point that we don’t need to see them again.

Even more entertaining than watching Penner survive Tribal after Tribal and Skupin injure himself every episode was the array of great characters and strategic-minded players. Even the most controversial castaway of the season in Abi-Maria played a Hidden Immunity Idol correctly and won a crucial Immunity Challenge when she needed it most. So here are the top five castaways of Survivor: Philippines, based on their gameplay.