Russell Hantz’s Top 100 Greatest Survivors Ever

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Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /
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Survivor, Tom Westman
Survivor winner Tom Westman – (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images) /

12. Tom Westman (Palau, Heroes vs Villains)

Do you want to know the reason why the Ulong tribe couldn’t win a single immunity challenge during Palau? It’s because Koror had a man named Tom Westman on their tribe. That’s it. That’s the reason.

Tom dominated Palau from the start, from him leading Koror to victory in every single immunity challenge to then taking the reins in the post-merge, and that’s why he is considered one of the best winners of all-time.

There’s a reason why Tom was a target in Heroes vs Villains despite being so good in challenges. None of the Heroes wanted to take him to the merge in fears of he’d own all of them up like he did to his fellow castaways in Palau.

His ability to adapt into a new school season by finding an idol and successfully using it to idol out Cirie (who hasn’t appeared on this list yet – just saying) is proof as to how good of a player Tom Westman is.

11. Kim Spradlin (One World, Winners at War)

GODDESS KIM SPRADLIN! There’s never been a more obvious more winner in Survivor history than Kim Spradlin in One World, who ran the game from Day 1 to Day 39 and is, without question, the best winner in the history of the show.

Kim, despite being the ringleader and the one running the show throughout One World, was rarely a target and she was able to run the game the way she did because of her ability to read people and form social bonds with everyone. She’d look people in the eye and promise them the world, but knew deep down she was going to stab them in the back if it benefited her game.

Kim’s best move in One World was when she was able to convince Alicia that Tarzan was a mastermind planning to cut both of their throats. If you watched that season and remember Tarzan, you’ll know why that was such an incredible move by Kim.

It worked, as both pairs (Alicia/Christina and Chelsea/Sabrina) thought Kim was their third when she was the obvious threat to win the game. Throw in the fact that Kim won four individual immunity challenges that season and she really did own the season from beginning to end.

I was thrilled when Kim was on the cast list for Winners at War because I didn’t think we’d ever get to see her play again. Despite being one of the biggest targets from Day 1 on Winners at War, Kim made it to the merge and was the only person who was onto Tony and wanted to take him out. If she was able to do just that, she’d have won the game. No question.

Her fellow Winners at War teammates knew that about her too and that’s why no one wanted to play with her. The fact that they kept her around for as long as they did is yet another testament to her game. Kim Spradlin should be in the top five on this list and I am furious that she’s ranked here at 11.

Best. Winner. Ever.