Most Underrated Seasons in Survivor History: No. 2 – Guatemala
For whatever reason, Survivor: Guatemala has become the forgotten season in Survivor history since its initial airing in 2005.
Maybe it’s because no first-time player from the season had returned to play again until Danni came back for Winners at War (and that was likely only because of the lack of female winners). Or maybe production wanted this season to be forgotten about because of Danni beating Stephenie and/or Steph’s reputation taking a hit because of her attitude on this season.
Whatever the reason, Guatemala is often forgotten about and a lot of fans barely even remember much from it other than that Danni won and Steph was a meanie-head. That’s really too bad because Guatemala is one of my favorite seasons.
I mentioned how Stephenie was on it and she’s one of the reasons it’s a good season, as we see her transform from a hero into a villain overnight. Steph might be a bit of a bully in this season, but she played a really good game and it’d probably have been enough to get her the win in newer seasons of the show.
The cast in general was very fun, as we had Rafe, Judd, Jamie, Gary, Amy, and Brian. Judd is the star of the season and if people can remember anything from season 11, it needs to be Judd standing up in the middle of tribal council and saying “You have A.D.D.!” while mimicking Margaret. Judd telling his tribemates that he hopes they get eaten by a crocodile after getting blindsided is pretty great too. I just really love Judd, can’t you tell?
The challenges in Guatemala really nailed the theme of the season and the location was one of the best we’ve seen on the show. It was a tough season too, as the very first challenge the tribes had to compete in involved them hiking 11 miles to their campsites and that proved very taxing on everyone, especially the men.
Season 11 introduced two key elements to the series, which makes it even more perplexing how it’s forgotten about. The Hidden Immunity Idol and the captains twist both originated in Guatemala and both of those have become Survivor staples. Little did we know how big of an impact that little idol that’s “definitely on the ground” would have on the future of the show, but it did and it’s all thanks to its creation in Guatemala.
A knock on Guatemala is that the cast wasn’t very diverse, but this season was filmed and aired in 2005. I’m not saying that makes it okay, but the world was a much different place at that time.
Aside from that, Guatemala is one of the best the show has had and it’s a shame that it gets forgotten about. Season 11 easily one of the most underrated installments of Survivor.