Survivor Island of the Idols: 5 players who would be great mentors


In about three weeks, Survivor: Island of the Idols will introduce the idea of mentors helping out the cast. Here are a few veterans who also could have made the cut.

When Jeff Probst revealed the theme for season 39 of Survivor, nobody was shocked about there being yet another island where advantages and idols could be discovered. However, what did come as an interesting twist is the fact that Boston Rob and Sandra Diaz-Twine will be residents of that island.

These two legendary winners will be tasked with guiding the first-time castaways in the ways of the game. There’s no doubting the qualifications of these two Survivor legends, but after 38 seasons of the show, there are plenty of castaways who would also make for great mentors.

Just clarify, there is a big difference between being a great player, and being able to be a good teacher. So you’re not going to see overly aggressive players like Russell Hantz or Tony Vlachos on this list, or old school players who haven’t kept up with the evolution of this game. Here are five experienced players that could have been in Boston Rob and Sandra’s position.

Ozzy Lusth

If you were abandoned on a remote island, who else would you want with you than Ozzy? The only person who has spent more time on Survivor than Ozzy is Probst himself! It’s true that he has never won the million, but he holds the record for most days on the island and is the only castaway to make the merge four separate times!

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In terms of shelter building, finding food and other survival aspects, Ozzy would be the perfect mentor for first-time players. Although we tend to think of him as a physical threat, he’s someone who can also offer valuable strategic advice as well. Ozzy has found two idols, planted a successful fake and has played with both newbies and some of the game’s best.

Cirie Fields

One of the most important aspects of Survivor even in this advantage-ridden era is the social game. Cirie Fields might just be the best social player to graze our televisions. Not only did she prove that to be true in her best seasons back in Panama and Micronesia, but she also showed her ability to adapt her gameplay in Game Changers.

It’s true that Cirie isn’t exactly a survival expert nor someone who has a positive history with advantages and idols. That said, her expertise in the social game and experience alone is enough to make her a huge asset for visitors to the Island of the Idols.

Parvati Shallow

If anyone belongs in the same conversation as Boston Rob and Sandra, it’s Parvati. She’s made it deep into the merge all three of her seasons, reached Day 39 twice, and arguably played the best game in both Micronesia and Heroes vs. Villains (and that’s saying a lot). Her trademark charm and ability to manipulate relationships is a skill that newbies should do well to imitate.

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More than being a flirt, Parvati adapted her gameplay each season to perfect the art of playing Survivor. Her knowledge of the game and awareness of how to play people and get the best of them would make her a great advisor on the Island of the Idols. Although she hasn’t played in nearly ten years, she still showcased a solid understanding of how to use idols to her advantage.

Tai Trang

This two-time Survivor player might not have the legendary status of the other people on this list, but it would be ignorant to overlook the value Tai could bring as a mentor. Finding four Hidden Immunity Idols in two seasons is remarkable, and his expertise on idols is on par with season 39’s theme.

Tai was also a great provider for his tribe and would be very helpful in offering survival tips. He’s played twice in the past six years, both with a group of first-timers and returnees, so he’s more in tune with this modern age of Survivor than many old school veterans. Plus, making it to Day 39 and Day 38 in consecutive seasons isn’t an easy task to replicate nowadays, giving him plenty of experience to share.

Stephen Fishbach

The four players above are great examples of tremendous social threats and survival experts, but no one can compare strategically to Stephen Fishbach. Although J.T. usually receives the praise for his winning game in Tocantins, Stephen was very much a part of his success. He proved to be ahead of his time, not only when he lasted to Day 39, but also in Second Chance.

It was in season 31: Cambodia where Stephen was responsible for making the revolutionary concept of voting blocs popular. His ability to dissect gameplay at such a high level would make him a huge asset for the castaways pondering their situation in the game. If you’re not convinced, just listen to Fishbach on the Know-It-Alls podcast after each Survivor episode and try to find me someone who understands the strategy behind the game more than he does.

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A few of these five castaways might not be the most popular or successful in the show’s history, but their unique abilities qualify them as helpful mentors. Unfortunately for these five, they didn’t make the cut, so it will be interesting to see how Boston Rob and Sandra live up to their mentor status.