Survivor: Guatemala, the 11th season of the show, is one of the less talked about seasons, but it has its fair share of memorable moments in spite of that.
Even though Survivor: Guatemala gets forgotten about, there were definitely memorable moments from the show’s 11th season. Let’s jump right into season 11’s biggest moments with a twist that was first introduced and continues to be a staple in the show to this day.
The Very First Hidden Immunity Idol
For the newer fans of the show wondering how the Hidden Immunity Idol came about, look no further than the show’s 11th season. Once the two tribes merged, it was announced that there was a Hidden Immunity Idol hidden somewhere in the tribe’s camp.
The winner of the challenge received a clue to the whereabouts of the idol and that lucky recipient was Judd Sergeant. Of course this led to the classic “That thing is totally on the ground” line from Judd and then Gary Hogeboom – who ended up finding the idol – caught Judd looking in the trees.
That cleverness helped Gary find the idol and he used it and saved himself for a few more days. The idol seemed groundbreaking at the time and it’s been cool to see the twist evolve over the past 15 years.
One Returnee Per Tribe
Fans were treated to seeing their favorites return in season 8, but Guatemala was the first time the show opted to bring back just two players with each one serving as a captain for their tribe. The two returning players were Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard who both played on Survivor: Palau (the season prior to this one) and were part of the dysfunctional Ulong tribe.
While waiting to bring these two back for a later season probably would have made more sense, Survivor knew how popular Stephenie was during Palau and wanted to get her back out there as quickly as possible.
Both players made it to the merge, with Bobby Jon being the first member of the jury and Stephenie finishing as the season’s runner-up.
11 Mile Hike
After finding out that the team would be having returning players on their tribe, it was also revealed that their first challenge would be an 11-mile hike through the jungle. The first team to get to the finish line would win the better camp.
Guatemala was one of the toughest seasons in the show’s history and this 11-mile hike proved just that. The big, tough guys all were dropping like flies and fortunately one tribe had Margaret Bobonich, who was a nurse and able to help some of them through this journey.
The Nakum tribe made it to the finish line first and won the better camp, but by the end of the hike, both teams were beat up far more than at the beginning of any other season.
“You have A.D.D.”
One of the classic moments from Survivor: Guatemala was when Judd and Margaret clashed, which was an ongoing theme throughout the season. The most memorable moment between the two, however, came at tribal council when the two were going at it. Judd stood up and, relaying what Margaret once said about him, dropped this gem, “You have A.D.D.” while pointing.
Guatemala doesn’t get much love, but fans definitely remember this moment and it’s still one of the all-time one liners to this day. Bring back Judd!
Stephenie’s Evil Twin
As mentioned earlier, Survivor: Guatemala marked the return of Stephenie LaGrossa to the show. She stole our hearts the season prior when she was the final member of the doomed Ulong tribe and without a doubt, fans were all pulling for her when the show got underway.
Then, something weird happened. Stephenie became very unlikable and was rude to a lot of her tribe mates. She was able to get into a majority alliance and pick people off at the merge, but along the way, she made a lot of people mad and that, in turn, made the final tribal council between her and eventual winner Danni Boatwright quite easy for the members of the jury.
When Stephenie was brought back for Heroes vs Villains nine seasons later, there could have been a strong case for her to be on either tribe. She landed on the heroes tribe because most people still liked her, but her appearance on Guatemala backfired on the producers in more ways than one. It was Steph’s game to lose and not only did she not win the season, but she lost some fans along the way.
Danni’s Under the Radar Game
Danni might not be the flashiest winner in the world and she’s typically ranked in the bottom tier of Survivor winners, but she played a crafty game. Going into the merge, Danni was in the minority alliance of her, Bobby Jon, Gary, and Brandon Bellinger against the six members of the Yaxha alliance.
Brandon, Bobby Jon, and Gary went in three of the first four tribal councils after the merge and that would have made Danni a pretty easy pick off. Instead, Yaxha started turning on each other and Danni was able to maneuver her way to the final three where she then won individual immunity and took Stephenie to the end with her.
While some might say Danni skated her way to the end, but the fact that she was dead in the water after her alliance mates went home and continued to stick around shows that she is an under appreciated winner.
Survivor: Guatemala doesn’t get the love it deserves and that’s too bad. Until Danni was brought back for Winners at War, no contestant from Guatemala had returned for a season. Stephenie came back for Heroes vs Villains, but Guatemala was not her original season.
Even with Guatemala being forgotten about, the Hidden Immunity Idol was introduced this season! That’s a twist that has continued to this day and Guatemala started the phenomenon. It also was the first season to introduce the “two players returning as captains” twist.
What were your favorite moments from Survivor: Guatemala?