Who are the greatest contestants to ever play Survivor? Here are numbers 90-81 on Russell Hantz’s rankings.
In the latest round of greatest Survivors rankings, Coach Wade opens things up by telling us a story of when he was at Exile Island in his original season of Tocantins. Apparently there were giant cats near him while he was out there.
Let’s get to numbers 90-81.
90. Devon Pinto (Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers)
Oh what could have been.
Were it not for the stupid fire making twist that allowed Ben to make it to the final tribal council, it’s very possible that Devon Pinto could have been the winner of Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers. He played a very good social game, as Joe Mena mentioned in the clip, and those with top notch social games are HUGE jury threats. He’d have been the favorite over Ryan and Chrissy.
Devon wasn’t eliminated because he was unpopular, but rather because he couldn’t make fire against Ben. It’s a shame because he’d have been a very well-liked winner and I felt really bad for him when that twist randomly appeared and knocked him out.
89. Woo Hwang (Cagayan, Cambodia)
In the same way Devon could have won his season, Woo Hwang SHOULD have won his season, but made a boneheaded decision along the way. Cagayan was a rare “newer” season where there was a final two, rather than a final three and he won the final immunity challenge (by seconds, at that), giving him the right to pick who goes to the end with him.
The right choice would have been to take Kass, who was widely disliked by the jury and rubbed everyone the wrong way. Instead, Woo went with his heart and took Tony to the end. Tony played the best game out of anyone in Cagayan, so the move was shocking and it wasn’t surprising when Woo was not rewarded with the million dollar prize.
To this day, we all look back at Woo’s decision because it proved to be even bigger when Tony won for the second time in Winners at War. It’s doubtful that Woo would have fared as well on Winners at War had he been the winner of Cagayan.
88. Corinne Kaplan (Gabon, Caramoan)
A great travesty in Survivor is that we didn’t get to see Corinne Kaplan on the Villains tribe in Heroes vs Villains. Seeing her and Parvati on the same tribe would have been a lot of fun.
Corinne’s gameplay revolved around her being brutally honest with people and playing the “jerk” card. She showcased that with her juror speech, which was downright nasty and is still one of the legendary speeches to this day.
In Corinne’s second run of it, she was taken out pre-merge because she couldn’t get along with Phillip (who ironically appeared in her segment). We haven’t gotten to see her since Caramoan, but she teamed up with Eliza Orlins on The Amazing Race a few years ago, which was fun.
87. Christian Hubicki (David vs Goliath)
I’m excited to see Christian Hubicki play again someday and it seems all too likely considering how popular he was during the original airing of David vs Goliath. He was smart, likable, and made great alliances that had his back during the game.
We all remember when his long-time ally Gabby was ready to turn on Christian, but instead, he played an idol and took her out. Christian was a huge threat after the merge and that’s why there was very little chance of him winning the game, but hopefully we get to see him on a future season because he was very entertaining.
86. Gervase Peterson (Borneo, Blood vs Water)
The first ever African American to play Survivor, Gervase Peterson took 13 years between his first and second season. In Borneo, he was a bit of a controversial player for some comments he made to the women and in Blood vs Water, he put a target on Marissa’s (his niece) back by talking trash to the other team.
Ultimately, he made it to the end and finished third, showing he could adapt to the new school style of play.
85. Danielle DiLorenzo (Panama, Heroes vs Villains)
One of the most physical women we’ve seen on Survivor, Danielle DiLorenzo made it to the jury in both of her seasons. She made it all the way to the end in Panama and did so with the train wreck that was the Casaya alliance.
She was able to beat both Aras and Terry in the final immunity challenge and made the decision to take Aras over Terry. She’d likely have lost to either player, but she had a better chance against Aras for sure. Before that, she beat Cirie Fields in the fire making tiebreaker to get to the final three.
Danielle’s return to the game saw her align with Parvati and Russell in Heroes vs Villains where she’s most remembered for fighting with Amanda over the clue for the idol and her meltdown at tribal that ultimately got her voted out. Russell noted in the segment that Danielle deserved more credit than she gets.
84. Carolyn Rivera (Worlds Apart)
Carolyn Rivera had to fight her way into the final three of Worlds Apart and did so by beating Rodney in fire making. On the way there, she managed to align with the right people and had no problem telling people how it was.
She found an idol and also was the only woman in her season to win individual immunity, which she did a couple of times. She was one of the strongest people in challenges and it’s a shame we haven’t seen her return for another season yet.
83. Zeke Smith (Millennials vs Gen X, Game Changers)
Zeke Smith is unfortunately remembered most for Jeff Varner’s ugly outing of him at tribal council in Game Changers, but prior to that, he proved he was an awesome Survivor player. We all remember him and David going toe-to-toe in Millennials vs Gen X that ultimately ended with David winning that battle.
In Game Changers, he did well, but once again wasn’t able to make it to the top due to his aggressive gameplay and his likability factor. Zeke was always someone who made moves when he needed to and was always ahead of the competition when it came to making decisions.
82. Keith Nale (San Juan Del Sur, Cambodia)
There was this time where I was attempting to answer a Survivor trivia question that asked you to fill in every contestant who has made it to the finale episode at least twice. Keith Nale was the name I kept forgetting and that’s because he wasn’t a great strategist, but the man was a beast in challenges, especially for being older.
Keith’s most remembered for his “Stick to the plan” comment at tribal council in San Juan Del Sur, which is still pretty funny to this day. Keith continued to stay in the game in both of his seasons despite being a huge threat because he was able to win challenges when he needed to.
Had Keith made it to the end on either season, it’d have been interesting to see how he fared against a jury and if he had been able to win.
81. Phillip Sheppard (Redemption Island, Caramoan)
Redemption Island was a boring season as is, but just imagine if Phillip Sheppard hadn’t been on the season. Yikes.
Phillip was a character, to say the least. That was a big reason as to why Boston Rob wanted to take him to the end with him in Redemption Island and somehow, Phillip was able to receive one jury vote to secure second place that season!
In his return season of Caramoan, Phillip played a better game, but was still very unpopular and was the victim of an idol play by Malcom Freberg.
There you have it. The next round of greatest players ever, according to Russell Hantz’s YouTube channel. What do you think, Survivor fans?