Survivor Winner Rankings - #38/38
07-03-19 10:57 PM
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WARNING - This series of rankings will contain heavy spoilers for the TV show Survivor. Don’t read if you don’t want to get spoiled.
Hey there. For those who don’t know I’m a huge fan of the CBS Reality TV show Survivor and I devote a lot of my time in watching and analyzing the show and its players. In this little series I’ll be sharing my Survivor winners rankings in which I analyze and rank the 38 winners we’ve had and the games they played. I will try to be critical of their gameplay and refrain from letting bias interfere, though I can’t promise to be 100% unbiased towards some of these winners. I’m starting from the bottom and we’ll go up my ranking from there.
Today I’ll be covering the winner I have ranked #38 out of 38, aka the worst winner in my eyes.
Check the thread descr
With that said let’s get started.
#38 / 38 - Chris Underwood (S38 - Edge of Extinction)
We’re starting off our list with our most recent winner as of the making of this thread. And I hope most analysts of the show put him here as well. Chris is, in my eyes, undeniably the single worst winner we have ever had on the show. And for one very simple reason - he was voted out. He lost. He got voted out third, on day 9 out of 39. Normally he’d be a forgotten player; he was mediocre at the game and didn’t have a big personality. He was just straight up boring television. But luckily for him he was placed on the one season where someone in his position - aka a loser - could actually come back in the game for a second shot at it. I hate this twist and it definitely screwed over some of my favorite players this season.
Now Chris actually started off okay. He was put on a tribe of 9, Manu, and immediately found himself in a majority alliance of 6 (Kelley, David, Wardog, Lauren, Rick and himself). He was pulled in as a number but it’s still better than the 3 people on the outs (Reem, Wendy, Keith).
After his tribe loses the first immunity challenge they chose to vote out Reem, the older lady who isn’t part of the alliance of 6 (plus Keith who kind of jumped ship) in a 4-3-2 split vote. Things take a turn for Chris when they lose the second immunity challenge as well. Keith struggled a lot and finds himself in hot water, so he tries to plead to Chris that he’ll be his loyal lapdog to put it in simpler terms. Now this sounds like a great deal for Chris, giving him an unsuspected ally and keeping him safe should the minority people happen to have a hidden immunity idol. Unfortunately he fails to convince his tribe to keep Keith and Keith goes home 6-1-1, putting Chris back where he started.
His tribe ends up losing yet another immunity challenge and for the third straight time Chris is forced to vote someone out. But instead of targeting the last remaining outsider in Wendy, Chris decided he could use her vote to target Kelley, who was in a power position at that point. He talks to David and Rick and successfully gets them on board, giving him 4 out of the 7 votes, which is enough to send Kelley home. It’s really a great plan, if only it were that simple. For some reason he also feels the need to include Wardog on this plan, who has been pretty close friends with Kelley for a while. Wardog obviously snitches on him and at that point David and Rick don’t want their spot in the alliance ruined so they end up going back to Kelley’s side and Chris promptly gets voted out 5-2 on day 9.
Normally this would be the end for Chris and his stint on Survivor, but by the luck of the gods the players on this season can choose to go to a separate island after getting voted out to maybe get a chance to get back in the game. Obviously Chris opts to do this and becomes the third inhabitant of the Edge of Extinction. There is practically nothing to do or find on this remote island, and he’s accompanied by a mad woman and his loyal lapdog. Not a fun time for Chris, as he eagerly awaits a shot to get back in the game. Throughout the next couple episodes we see that Chris has been slowly providing the people on “The Edge” with some fish, which boosts their opinion of him. Well, everyone except his loyal lapdog Keith, who starts to hate Chris’ guts and even ends up finding a disadvantage he can give someone during the challenge to get back in the game. He naturally chooses to use this on Chris. Chris meanwhile finds an advantage that lets him practice one section of this challenge. Good for Chris.
On day 17 they finally get a notice letter that there will be a chance to get back in the game. Everyone is super excited and Chris really wants to win it and get away from The Edge. He did pretty well during the earlier portions of the challenge, including the one he practiced, but unfortunately for Chris the disadvantage he got from Keith makes him just barely lose out to Rick, which means Chris did not get to go back in the game ...
… Syke! Not only do they get 1 chance to get back in the game, they will actually get a second some time down the road! Chris is very happy about this, as well as the fact that from now on they get to sit in on all the Tribal Council as members of the jury.
Chris continues to just exist on The Edge, until the second letter arrives on day 35. Same things happen as before and this time Chris barely manages to beat out Joe for the win, meaning he gets to finally re-enter the game after being out of the running for 26 days. BUT WAIT! Not only does he win that as the prize, he also wins a FREE immunity idol with it! Granted, he has to give a part of it to someone else and survive the next vote to be able to use it, but there are now 6 players left which means if he and his idol make it past one round he automatically makes it past the next. He gives Rick, who has been an outsider the past few votes the part of his idol he has to give away for this round and they promise each other final 4.
Now normally I’d be okay if things went on normally from here, but it came to light that before Chris went back in the game, all the other people on the edge wrote letters to their friends still in the game telling them to trust Chris and keep him around. Because that’s totally not jury interference and is completely fair game! Now I will be honest, Chris gets lucky here but he also makes what is in my opinion the greatest move of his game. He knows from his time on The Edge that Lauren still has an immunity idol and was not really well respected by the other jury members. He goes up to her and basically -as he said it- used his salesman skills to convince her that the jury would respect her game if she plays her idol on him. I don’t know why Lauren thought this was a good idea but she listens to Chris, and Victoria, who was the only one sane enough to want Chris out immediately, (sadly) gets idoled out of the game in a 0-0-1 vote after Rick also plays an idol he had been holding onto.
With 5 people left and with his idol intact, Chris is guaranteed to be in the final 4. Rick wins immunity meaning 2 of the final 4 have already been locked. At tribal council Chris plays his idol after a bunch of fake ones planted by Rick were played by Lauren and Julie, and Lauren goes home in a 0-2 vote.
Chris now sits in the final 4 along with Rick, Julie and Gavin. He knows that instead of a vote, there is a firemaking showdown to determine who gets eliminated from the game. All Chris has to do is win the challenge though and he’s sitting in the final 3, which to his credit he does. All seems well for Chris until at tribal council he does what nobody else has had the balls to do yet; he gives away the final 4 immunity necklace. The thing that directly gives him a shot at a million dollars. Normally this would be deemed crazy, but Chris knew that if Rick won the firemaking showdown he would win the game. He also realized that both Julie and Gavin were unlikely to beat Rick in said showdown, meaning he had to take fate in his own hands. Mad props to Chris for this move as he did end up beating Rick and after convincing the jury why he deserved it, he won the game in a 9-4 vote.
That endgame might make him look like a great winner, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Yes, during those last 4 days Chris showed he was a capable Survivor player and he did the most he could with the time and tools he had, but for ⅔ of the game he was sitting on a remote island catching a few fish and watching the ocean. No other winner has ever been voted out of the season they won, which automatically puts Chris at the bottom of the barrel.
And that’s all she wrote. I do think my bias towards this winner showed this time so I’d just like to point out that while I hate Chris’ win, I do not hate Chris for winning. He’s a chill guy from what I can tell, I’m just not a fan of how the season turned out. I’m hoping they never do a similar twist again because to me it takes away from the integrity of the show.
Next time I’ll talk about my #37 ranked winner. I’ll just say they’re pretty explosive.
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