Despite the shadow that loomed over Survivor: Island of the Idols, several castaways had some strong performances that are worthy of remembering.
When you look back at the contestants from Survivor: Island of the Idols, you might be surprised at the great group of players that came out of this underwhelming season. Often times this season had a good balance of smart strategic gameplay, with a mix of fun, dynamic personalities.
Even though this is a list of the five best players of the season, there were more than five castaways that showcased their ability to play a strong game. Jamal, Kellee, Missy, Aaron and Jason all had their moments but didn’t have a complete enough game to warrant a top-five finish. Here are our five selections for the best all-around performances of Survivor: Island of the Idols.
5) Dean Kowalski
DKchillin started off the season a little too chill. He received little airtime and didn’t play a prominent role in most votes. His biggest move for the first 30-something days was playing a Hidden Immunity Idol that someone else gave to him and told him to use. If he wasn’t helped by Kellee, Dean would’ve been blindsided.
Playing a complete game is important, but making successful big moves late in the season is far more valuable and impactful to the jury than pulling off blindsides before the merge. Dean did just that, coming out of his shell and proving why he deserved to be in the Sole Survivor conversation.
Beyond his Idol Nullifier, Immunity Necklaces and idol find, Dean proved that he listened to Rob and Sandra’s jury management advice. The way he stepped up at Final Tribal Council made everyone think twice about Tommy being the easy winner pick. We often see many castaways adapt their gameplay for when they return to Survivor, but Dean made huge adjustments to his game within the same season. That alone makes Dean worthy of being on this list.