10. Tocantins (Season 18)
There’s seemingly a fair number of fans that aren’t particularly fond of Survivor: Tocantins. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why that is. You have an iconic—albeit annoying—character in the “Dragon Slayer” Benjamin “Coach” Wade, you have memorable blindsides, and you have a perfectly executed strong player-goat dynamic that goes all the way to the end.
Critics of the season will say that there aren’t many memorable moments, which is at least marginally fair. The two biggest moments of the season came when Tyson Apostol got blindsided, which was admittedly a tough moment for the show as he was a spark of dry humor and entertainment, and in Final Tribal Council when J.T. Thomas absolutely eviscerated Stephen Fishbach in front of the jury.
What makes Tocantins a great season of Survivor, though is truthfully the game that J.T. played as a whole. Not only was he an exceptionally strong strategic player throughout the season in how he maneuvered through various alliances and welcomed others, but he was also a physical force, which was highlighted as he won the final three Immunity Challenges. Had it not been for his monumental gaffe in Heroes vs. Villains when he returned, he might’ve had a legacy as one of the absolute best players to ever be cast away.