9. Palau (Season 10)
There are quite a few quirks that make Survivor: Palau one of the better seasons that the show has gifted us. For one, the lack of a true merge makes the season stand out from the rest—especially because it was a twist that basically came out of necessity.
After drafting teams with captains, and eliminating the two players not picked out of the gate, the Koror tribe just simply dominated when Immunity was on the line. They won seven of the first eight challenges, thus taking the number of players on the opposing Ulong tribe down to only two while eight strong remained with Koror. Even after those final two members went and joined the tribe, they really didn’t stand a chance.
More memorable than that, however, is how things played out in the Final 4. From early on in the game, Tom Westman (the winner), Katie Gallagher, Ian Rosenberger and Jenn Lyon were part of an air-tight core alliance. Though they all made it to the Final 4, personal conflicts arose when Ian began to plan to blindside Katie and then everything went bonkers. The end result was Ian conceding the final Immunity Challenge (after 12 FREAKIN’ HOURS) to Tom essentially out of guilt, which ended with him being eliminated.
From there, Tom bested Katie at Final Tribal Council and was named Sole Survivor. It’s about as dramatic of a finish as you can imagine and it’s no wonder that most people remember Palau so fondly.