Best Survivor Players

Top ten greatest players to ever play the American reality show, Survivor.

The Top TenXW

1Parvati Shallow - Winner - Micronesia

While I think she is a good player, Parvati is a bit overrated, especially for her game in Micronesia. He is attributed with the blindsides of Ozzy, Jason, Alexis, Erik, Natalie and was called the "leader" of the black widow brigade. I believe most people believe she was the leader of this alliance because she created it which does earn her some strategic credit. However, making an alliance is great but to be the leader you have to be the decision maker on who goes home. In that aspect her game lacked. Cirie had the idea to blindside ozzy not parvati and organized the votes to do it so she should get the credit. The decision to blindside Jason was pretty unanimous, they had all the votes, all they had to do was make sure he didn't play the idol since he went to exile (a potentially dumb move on Natalie's part to send him to exile knowing she wanted him out and knowing there was an idol there)but all they had to do was reassure him he wasn't playing the idol in the first ...more

Parvati is the best Survivor player ever. While some criticize her flirty ways in cook islands she managed to go relatively far even when she was on the outs. In FvF she decimated. If you watch tribal councils in the final 4 and 5 every suspects Amanda to take home the million. However between those tribals and final tribal Parvati manages to put herself in the perfect spot to win. It is more or less accepted that two of the best moves on survivor history were when Parvati handed out two idols to her fellow villains and of course Erik's tragic blindside. Both of these moves Parvati played an essential role in. In HvV Parvati had a target on her back from literally day one. Somehow, though a whole tribe was focused on getting her out, she managed to make it to final tribal. She never managed to get paranoid and ended up playing not one but two idols for her tribe (an underrated move in my opinion). To those that suggest she just let Russell make the moves let me point out that this ...more - toptens217

Watching the FvF season, she is magical. Never bitchy, always cunning, always playing and always smiling. She had fun every season she was out there and won the respect of chauvinists like Coach, Russell, Jonathon based on her strategic/physical play. She never flies under the radar, she manages to make the bold plays to keep herself in the game. Case in point if you have Russell vs. Parv - remember when she played her 2 idols and gave one to Jerri, one to Sandra and saved her whole tribe in one fell swoop? The look on Russell's face said it all.

Parv rules!

I like her strategy and her knowledge of the game

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2Rob Mariano - Runner Up - All Stars

Rob is the best. To me, he won twice, the first one was just conceded to his wife. The second win was epic, to win when you should be the biggest target proves your the best. Russell made it to the finals two season in a row, but made people so mad, that he couldn't win. He was definitely my favorite to watch. Had to see what he was going to do next. Third is Parvati, she is not good looking, but her looks are personality just draws you in, and you start to think she is better and better looking. You want her around longer and vote out other people. Bring two idols to tribal council and saving her alliance and changing up the whole game was one of the best moves ever. Next is Sandra who won twice, but I just think she is at right place right time, but to do it twice is pretty impressive. Coming in Fifth is Richard Hatch. He started it all, jumping off the final immunity to eat, knowing, either of the remaining players would take him to final two, that was amazing. My top five list is ...more

Rob Mariano is by far the best survivor in history. Russell "beating" him in Heroes v. Villains? Yeah, that never happened--he would've been out only a few weeks in had it not been for Tyson. Rob has played flawless strategic games and has proved himself to be physically and mentally dominant over all. He carried Amber to victory in All Stars, was robbed of playing more in Heroes v. Villains, and embarrassed every single player in Redemption Island. He is strong, charming, and smart--and he outwits, outplays and outlasts every other survivor in history

He isn't the best player ever (in my opinion, there is no definite correct list) because he took 4 tries to win, and when he did win, it was against all new players on his fourth try which at the time was more than anybody, ever. I would put him just outside my top 10. (my top ten would be mostly one time winners) - Lukeanimal

Rob has showed that he's the best because he controls what people think and do. Although I love how Russell plays the game, at the end it was all the same, over and over, from season to season.

Overrated, only won redemption because he was placed among idiots and hated competitors, also Jeff Probst has an obvious favoring towards him.

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3Sandra Diaz-Twine - Winner - Pearl Islands

Sandra has won twice, and still is not believed to be the best player. This fact only accentuates her skill which is to this day unmatched. She always does whats needed for her to survive another day, never more and never less. Others do more or less, where when they do more the jury turn on them, and when less they get voted out. She is honest and outspoken, which fools other contestants to believe the jury wont like her. But they do. Sandra rarely have to defend her actions because she is consistent in her game play, and pretty much bring her reasoning out in the open.

Because Sandra is still underestimated she stands a good chance to win again if there was another all star season. My favorite player ever.

Sandra is the greatest player ever. She won twice, which is very impressive because she only played two times. She is a liability in challenges, but this is best survivor players, not best challenge winners. She's very good at lying because she speaks her mind so often that people think she always tells the truth, so when she lies, nobody can tell. She's also good at changing peoples votes even when they're not in her alliance, like in heros vs. Villains when she made russel's alliance change their vote. People always underestimate her until she makes it to the end, where she blows away the jury in final tribal council to the point where they can't vote for anyone but her. I would love to see her in another all-star season.

Why did Russel win? The only reason he made it to the end twice is because people brought him there because they knew they could easily beat him in the final vote. That's why Sandra, Parvati, and Natalie are great players, and Russel is not. Russel sucks! ...more

Won twice, let other players take the bullets while she stayed out of the line of fire, made lasting relationships with fellow players which allowed her to get crucial jury votes, and knew exactly who's name to write down and when, while making important moves behind the scenes. Simple as that.

Sandra is the best ever only player to go in a season 2 times and win she never got voted out she should be number one.

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4Russell Hantz - Runner Up - Samoa

Russell is the king of survivor for making survivor what it is today. His victory went beyond simply getting to the end;instead went to rival over all through outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting those who failed to see his greatness out of despise and jealousy. His vigorous and almost clairvoyant game-play made not only the survivors tremble in confusion but also had the viewers waiting for more of his "evil" magic. Clearly Russel is highly intelligent although he cannot be a superior man by definition due to the virtuousness and righteousness qualifications needed as stated by Confucius;Russel can be king. Boston Rob and Russel Hantz had a lot in common in terms of gameplay, however, Boston Rob does not hold a candle to Russell because of his inability to highlight the numbers. Rob sees his fellow survivors as numbers, while Russell sees them as pawns capable of damage through his influence to rival the numbers. This key feature is what put Russell above others, especially in a ...more

However, Russell will NEVER win until he learns that Survivor is a social game. I would put him around 30th or so. - Lukeanimal

Was ripped off in Samoa and again (Though to a lesser extent) in Heros vs Villains, Utterly controlled the game in Samoa and did similar in H vs V, and only didn't win both seasons because the jury was too bitter to reward good gameplay. The master of mind games, always seemed to know exactly what to do in order to manipulate the situation at hand and almost always got things the way he wanted. (If you need examples of that, just look all through Samoa and especially at the Boston Rob and Danielle eliminations in H vs V) The ultimate supervillain of survivor.

Played the best strategic game ever. Gained the trust of Foa Foa premerge and was never in danger of going home. Controlled the vote by controlling how everyone else voted. Once the merge came, his tribe was down 4 members to 8, but he took out all 8 Galu members and made the finals. Unfortunately, the bitter jury did not recognize how great he played the game. Still, had it not been for him, Natalie and Mick would never have made the finals, and Brett would have won. No player can predict the future, they can only make their best move given their current situation, and Russell did that. He played the best game, but as game theory goes, the best players does not always win. - Dxvoppix

He is one of the best strategic players. He should have won Samoa. He was robbed by a butter jury.

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5Yul Kwon - Winner - Cook Islands

1) Yul should automatically be in front of Parvati as he ousted her in the season they played together. Parvati wasn't even a threat in that season because Yul was too smart for her.

2) Yul should be in front of Rob because it took Rob four seasons to finally win the game and it only took Yul one. And people seem to forget that Rob didn't do anything the first season he played. He was gone early.


3) Russell is a great player but he still hasn't won the game because he pissed everyone off. He got a lot of help from hidden immunity idols too. Yul is easily the best player that I have seen.

Yul is the best strategic player out there. He totally should have been in another season.

How is russel number 1 if he never won? Yul was the ultimate player

Yul was a really good guy he won against Ozzie witch is really hard

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6Kimberly Spradlin - Winner - One World

She is the beast among all women players still played the game. She won four immunity challenge and miss one just by some seconds. Also she had such a confident alliance that she never had to give a thought on playing the idol. Also she never really backstab any one, although she blindsided most of them. She is the "HERO".

Won individual immunity four times. She won the trust of everyone and convinced everyone who was voted out that she was aligned with them. Blindsided every single member of the jury and still won their votes in the end.

LOL, what is she doing so high up? She's a good player, but she played against 17 retards. It was just like Brian in Thailand or Boston Rob in Redemption Island.

Single best one time player ever, dominated like only Boston Rob came close to equaling & he took four tries to do it.

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7Todd Herzog - Winner - China

He should be higher. He was brilliant, and knew how to keep his allies from flipping, and decieved them in such a way that they still liked him enough to vote for him in the end. His brilliance at the last tribal council didn't hurt either. - ilovekelly75

Todd absolutely dominated his season, and I'm not sure if he should be # 3 or if Parvati should be, but to me these two are pretty well tied. - OfficalReality

Great game all around. Text book final tribal council. Hands down, amazing player.

Controlled the Fei long alliance

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8Cirie Fields - 4th Place - Exile Island

Whenever she was in jeopardy, she pulled some sort of strategic move in order to stay safe. This continued until she wasn't in jeopardy anymore.

When it was a toss-up between her and Melinda, Melinda continued to use the phrase "I'll be pissed! " at tribal council, while Cirie cried and explained how dissapointing it would be to have to leave. Who would you vote for? Filled with kindess and "I'm sorry", she quickly made it to the Final 4 after pulling one of the brightest number moves and eliminating Courtney.

This continued in Micronesia, although her couch-mother strategy was changed to a more strategic game. She managed to blindside person after person including Yau-Man, Joel, Ami, Ozzy, Jason, Erik, and finally Natalie.

Despite her performance in Heroes vs. Villains, she is the ultimate strategic player and is able to analyze you and boot you off with a sweet smile and a funny laugh.

C unning
I ntelligent
R eliable
I ngenious
E xtraordinary

The queen of the under the radar strategy has proven that you don't have to be the leader in order to get things done. In Survivor Micronesia, Cirie has proven that if she wants you gone, you're toast.

She is painfully robbed every season she has played

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9Richard Hatch - Winner - Borneo

Yes, he was the first Survivor winner. Yes, he "invented" the game. But let's face it: He was playing against a bunch of morons.

He created the way Survivor was played. His innovations are still being used today, above everyone else's

The only reason Richard won was that the jury and everyone on the season was new and did not know what was going on

He is the inventor of Survivor!

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10Oscar (Ozzy) Lusth - 2nd Place - Cook Islands

Ozzie is my favourite player of all time. Yul won that season, and deserved to win for playing the best strategic game. But Ozzie was equally deserving as he played the best physical game. If you remember, this was the season when the teams were divided into cultures: Caucasion, Latino, Asian, and African-American. When there was a mutiny, both Candice and Jonathon went back to their own team, leaving Ozzie, Yul, Sundra, and Becky in a team of 4 against the team of 8, which included Parvati who took another two tries at the game before winning. Because of the fabulous way Ozzie and Yul played, the underdog team of 4 took it right to the end. Yul got 5 votes against Ozzie's 4, but Ozzie won the car. They got to the end without scheming and lying, and cleaned the faces of the stronger team of 8. Both Yul and Ozzie should be much higher than the likes of manipulative Parvarti, and controlling Boston Rob.

Being manipulative is part of the game, and other than challenges, Ozzy is a pretty terrible player. - Lukeanimal

Ozzy in the Top 10 Best Survivor Players? Let me break him down, in Cook Islands I absolutely loved Ozzy and was at first impressed with his challenge performance as he won 5 out of 6 immunities. But then we get to Micronesia, UGH! I was annoyed with him as he made that terrible jury speech against Parvati which just showed he was a crybaby and a sore loser! So F______ What! Then in South Pacific, he gets even worse than Micronesia, as he was way too arrogant on Redemption Island. And he got voted out three times and he could've still won the game, that should not happen at all. I miss the Cook Islands Ozzy and I loathe the South Pacific Ozzy. His competitive game is good but he does not have strategy other than win challenges nor social skills. Sorry to all the younger fans out there, but Ozzy's Top 10 inclusion on this current list is a big joke. I agree with 8 of the 10 choices but Brian Heidik should replace Russell and Either JT or Tom should replace this birdbrain of a beast

Best performing player in the Survivor: South Pacific... Deserves to win the game... He fought all the way to survive, winning every challenge and every competitor that came in his way... The only reason he lost: He did not win the final immunity challenge and other contestants need to get rid of him or else he will definitely win the USD1mil if he gets to the final 3! Well played Ozzy!

Being awesome in physical challenges and providing for the group is good, but not enough. He and Kwon are the responsible for that great power shift in Cook Islands. Unfortunately for Ozzy, being a physical beast is not enough to win this game. Strategy is everything, and Ozzy has none, witch makes him a terrible survivor player. Sad, but true.

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The Contenders

11J.T. - Winner - Tocantins

In his first season, his social game was so good that people were blowing up their games so he would make it further, he played a very good physical game near the end and a good strategic game. I believe his strategic game is underrated. Many people call Stephen the strategist, but Stephen Has said that he and JT made the same moves. He is the first person to playa perfect game and the only person to play the most perfect game. Since he also won the fan favorite award, he is considered to be the only person to play the most perfect game.

Okay in Tocantins nobody ever voted for him at all, he played a perfect game, in fact, Brendan accutally wanted him to win. He wanted to help J. T (even though in that same episode we see Brendan getting voted off but whatever he is a huge fan. ) J. T played the one of the best games ever in the Tocantins, in Heroes vs. Villians his niceness and having Russell play back-to-back seasons and all the castaways not actually being able to see him in action was good for Russell bad for everyone else.

He was seriously hot and amazing guy. I loved the way toward the end, some people even knew he was going to win, but they took him to the end anyway. All without even trying. He was just the best.

So good everyone in jury voted for him to win.

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12Malcolm Freberg - 4th Place - Philippines

Why survivor producers? You people designed the final immunity challenge for Malcom to lose. Why do that? I would think that as a producer, you would want to prevent this? Anyways, if you think about any positive aspect that you want to see in a survivor, Malcom had most of that quality. The sad thing is, other survivor contestants will be VERY aware of this.

So much potential! Played great for most of the game then... Gone. He could have prevented that & won. So let down. I wanted him to win, I cheered for him, I prayed for him but somehow all the work/effort gone in a moment when he could not give Denise an answer. It was so disappointing... MALCOLM!

He played a strong game both times. The only reason he was eliminated from either season was that he was a threat to win! He managed to carry his Three Amigos alliance into the merge and got both of them farther in the game.

Such a strategic player. I'm an admirer!

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13Rob Cesternino - 3rd Place - Amazon

He was a great player and a credit to all of the other players in the horrendous amazon season. He called the shots on who when t home and when. He also brought humor and fun to the amazon season, unfortunately his time was cut short on All Stars

The "best player to never win" made it to the final three by flip flopping alliances more times than had ever been done.

He was the original Survivor nerd and he proved it for being the most intelligent player in the early seasons. He basically invented blindsides because in the previous five seasons Nearly,90% of the voted out knew they were going home

Smartest player to never win! Awesome work Cesternino!

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14Tom Westman - Winner - Palau

Are you kidding? 27th? He played a perfect game. First he led his team to the most dominant immunity challenge streak ever. Won individual immunities. Then he got rid of his greatest threats in order. Coby, Stephenie and Greg. Then at the end in the greatest final immunity challenge ever he guilted the only person that could maybe of beaten him into quiting. what? Dominated physically. Dominated socially. Dominated strategically and mentally. Never lost his cool. Never got into trouble. Always maintained control and managed jury votes. He should of won a clean sweep but Coby voted for the other person just to be different. Even more dominant than Boston Robs Redemption Island win.

The best all-round player ever. He was the leader of the most dominant tribe in survivor history. He ran the show with his social and physical game. He was a provider for the camp. He was tough as nails in the elements without any sign of weakness or wearyness. He made all the right strategic moves for a decissive victory. - rabidsquirrel333

Far and away the Best Player ever to play the game. A true leader, dominant in challenges and a winner.

Tom played one of the most solid first time games ever.

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15Amanda Kimmel - 3rd Place - China

She Came runner up twice. She Would have won, though she was bad at final tribal councel in Survivor China. She went staright into Micronesia, without seeing survivor China, So she couldn't fix her FTC Mistakes. She Was a powerhouse on Survivor Heroes vs villains, but she only lost because the heroes sucked at strategy. She was a big target at the merge, and that's why she got eliminated. Russell Hantz called her the female version of Boston Rob

Amanda is a very good player. She knows who to make alliances with and for how long should she keep it. She could have won both China and Micronesia if she only had better jury answers.

Amanda orchestrated the blindside on James in China and Alexis in FvF she deserves credit where credit is due. She also plays great strategic and social game every time, her only fault is her jury answers.

She is should be ahead of at least Yul

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16Chris Daugherty - Winner - Vanuatu

Definitely in the top ten of all time. To start so weak and then to survive and win over the woman's alliance... That was absolutely incredible and he does not get the credit he deserves. Very smart mental player who should have been in at least one of the "all-star" seasons. - jamster3

Deserves respect and praise, totally dominated his season. He had control of his original tribe, twist tribe, and after Twilas plan he had control of everyone and everyone trusted him, after backstabbing all of his friends, he gave the best BS at tribal and is the first and best at perfecting BS, better than Tom westman, needs another season

I think Chris is very underrated. As is the season. Even Probst said that this was one of his favorite winners. Chris played a great social game and played every single person while laughing and making jokes. Hell he won even though there were 6 girls against his 4 guys and it's true, he was saved by Twila, but every winner needs that once in a while. Every winner has been saved by an alliance or fellow contestant before. This guy is great.

So lucky! Kinda smart, liked some of his efforts but hard to watch. He was lucky.

V4 Comments
17Brenda Lowe - 9th Place - Nicaragua

From what I saw from her in Caramoan, she is the definition of overrated! She did nothing in the game as she basically followed Cochran's crew until she was gotten rid of. And her speech on the jury was one of the most bitter tings I have ever heard, Dawn basically did what she wanted her to do (take out her broken teeth) and still didn't get her vote. All of you play Brenda as the victim and Dawn as the antagonist but that was not true at all as she was the most bitter person on the Season 26 jury.

By far my favorite survivor player ever to play from the seasons I have seen (only a few). I really wish she won Survivor: Caramoan but there is always another chance. Now she is pregnant and is ready for a whole new adventure. Brenda is the best!

Probably better than Parvati when it comes to physical strength. But I like them both. I hope for a showdown like Heroes vs. Villains 2. Brenda for the hero and Parvati for the villain.

With how bitter she behaved on the jury was plain childish and plain cruel and you still see her as this sweetheart? Come on people she embarrassed Dawn to basically satisfy herself.

V8 Comments
18Tony Vlachos - Winner - Cagayan

Tony was amazing. I was a little salty at first when he won because woo was my bias. Then I realized how he swayed everyone's votes and even had the special power idol. He convinced people to not vote for him since he had the idol but secretly he couldn't use it. Woo took him to the end and unanimously won. He is like a nicer and better version of russel. Deserves to be way higher up.

Pretty much he is a less evil, funnier Russell Hantz. Similar idol finding capabilities. The only downside is the fact that he had the Tyler Perry idol, which helps a lot. Still should be in the top 10 all time, he was one of those contestants that seemed to never run out of energy!

Why are people disliking the pro-tony comments? Tony played a great game dominated the entire time and convinced Woo to take him to the end which is just amazing. One of the best players/winners ever

Tony has a great strategic game but for some reason was always paranoid for no reason (after he received 4 votes after morgans boot)

V6 Comments
19Courtney Yates - 2nd place - China

She is Survivor's ultimate bitch. She is the smallest person to ever play Survivor and yet she manage to finish in second, ahead of Amanda. In Heroes vs Villains, she did get voted off but still made sure her only ally left in the game, Sandra, was going to win by manipulating the jury. If it wasn't for her, Parvati would of been the only person to win Survivor twice, not Sandra.

Courtney is short, just like me, and she managed to come in 2nd place in China and 10th in heroes vs. Villains. I love courtney because even know she's short and sometimes can be weak, there's always a fire in here that never allows here to quit.( go courtney! )

Courtney is my second favorite player of all time (right behind Parvati). Sure, she wasn't great in challenges or the mos strategic, but is the funniest player ever and makes the show even more fun to watch! - Hunter14

V2 Comments
20Amber Brkich - Winner - All Stars

Amber is without a doubt the worst winner of all time. While I do agree like Tom said, every winner has done something right and deserves to win. Yes I do agree with that but with Amber she mostly relied on a lottery style game and others to save her. If I was the only juror on the infamous All Star jury, Rob would get my vote because he was head an shoulders above everyone else that season.

Amber is one of my favourite Survivor gals. She was athletic and smart in the challenges and played a good social game in All Stars. Won the game and the guy. You go girl!

Let it go people just because you win doesn't mean that you are great

Hi Amber I love you

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Related Lists

Smartest Survivor Players Top Ten Greatest Survivor Players Never to Win Best Survivor: Blood vs Water Players Best Male Survivor Players Best Survivor: Caramoan Players

List StatsUpdated 31 May 2016

5,000 votes
126 listings
8 years, 41 days old

Top Remixes (43)

1. Parvati Shallow - Winner - Micronesia
2. Todd Herzog - Winner - China
3. Kimberly Spradlin - Winner - One World
1. Rob Mariano - Runner Up - All Stars
2. Parvati Shallow - Winner - Micronesia
3. Russell Hantz - Runner Up - Samoa
1. Richard Hatch - Winner - Borneo
2. Yul Kwon - Winner - Cook Islands
3. Parvati Shallow - Winner - Micronesia

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