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!

Parvati is someone who really knows how to play the game of survivor

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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.

Parvati is in second place Rob is first

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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.

She is so great because she picks the biggest villain on her season (Fairplay, Russel) and talks so much crap about them that the jury sees her as victorious over the villain.

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4Russell Hantz - Runner Up - Samoa

First of all, Russell is not even close to a great player. People seem to credit him as the only reason that the Galus lost, but Natalie was the one that made the first move with the Erik vote. Russell didn't believe Natalie turned things around, so he used his idol. The target before Erik was Jaison, so if Natalie didn't make the Erik vote happen, then only the would be left, the Kelly vote would have been the same but the time Laura was voted out, without Jaison it wouldn't be possible because John only flipped because he was scared of the rocks, so then all the Foa Foas would be voted out. Also, all of the Foa Foa Four were responsible for Shambo flipping, therefore Russell only has the Kelly vote for himself, meanwhile, he was treating all of the jury members like garbage, and claimed that he singlehandedly controlled everyone. And the funniest thing is that Natalie had other options to go to the end especially after Kelly was voted out, she could've gone along with the Galu ...more - russux

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.

Russell played in another season and did terrible.

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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

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.

Not flawless. A great player, but she made a few dumb moves, including an emotional decision to get rid of Kat, reducing her Salani numbers to 3 against the 3 Manono (who, at the time, played to force a tie against the 3 Salani). Also, she kept her hidden immunity idol as a souvenir when she needed to use it to protect her ally Chelsea (in not doing so, she risked losing Chelsea's trust, who knew she had the idol; and she also risked the other three players booting Chelsea that round and then Kim the next round). She also could have thrown challenges after the switch to protect the Salani numbers... she didn't and was only saved because Colton left. Other than that, great player.

"the ultimate strategic game. Always positioned herself so that everyone was on her side. Dominated the individual challenges. Played flawlessly. "

She is good but not that good

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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.

Super-Clever player, one of the best strategic players in survivor history, can't decide a specific one - one of my Top 4

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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.

Shes the women who got off the couch and played survivor

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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

I still think he's better than every Survivor player he changed the way this game will be played forever.

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

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!

The game is outwit, outplay, outlast, NOT outLIE, outMANIPULATE, or outSCREW... This game was meant to be who can survive on their own the longest, not a high school campus. It bothers me that people gave the price to Yul over ozzie and Parvarti over Amanda (granted Amanda needs to own it) both were taken BY them and at THEIR mercy, period. outwit is getting yourself sent to redemption island to outplay the competitor, to get back in and have the numbers to outlast the rest. The problem is that in the first season ever richard showed his true colors and ruined the perception of the game forever. the bottom line is that million dollars or not NO ONE could be a SURVIVOR like ozzy is. He is number one in my book, because he is the ONLY ONE yes ONLY ONE worthy to carry the name SURVIVOR

Except he doesn't. He never won. So he isn't worthy to carry the name SURVIVOR. Other than challenges, he was a terrible player. And lying, manipulating and screwing people over is part of "outwit". Parvati made it to the end because she made a strong connection with Amanda. (both much better players than Ozzy) Yul made it to the end because of his idol (he is also a much better player than Ozzy) Richard invented a whole aspect of the game, why do you think people consider him one of the best ever? (and better than Ozzy) The getting himself voted out to beat Christine was an utterly terrible move. Not only was it extremely risky it kept Cochran (yet another better player than Ozzy) around who ended up flipping do partly to Ozzy's terrible social skills. Christine obviously would have flipped, as Upolu voted her out. He basically risked getting himself eliminated to get rid of someone who would have joined them in order to keep someone who flipped on their tribe, leading in ...more - Lukeanimal

Simply the most exciting player to watch. Often the underdog who has to fight for his life with each challenge and get's the job done. He plays a pure game which is what I want to see. He mostly stays out of the drama and leaves that for others. The game is called Survivor. If yourself, of all of the people to ever play the game, who could really survive on their own for a year on an Island. I think there would be only one answer. Ozzy.

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The Newcomers

?Kelley Wentworth - San Juan Del Sur/Cambodia

The Contenders

11J.T. - Winner - Tocantins

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.

Great winner in Tocantins! Really bad in heros vs villians... Jury is out!

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

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

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

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 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.

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.

She is my all time favorite! And I think she should be higher

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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

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.

Opposite of Amanda Kimmel for jurors, but a great physical player and gave better BS than Tom Westman, and that's saying something

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

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17Brenda Lowe - 9th Place - Nicaragua

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.

She was beautiful and kicked ass in challenges. One of the sexiest and exotic woman to be on survivor. Gotta love the Asian beauty.

Most beautiful! Physically dominant. A couple bad choices/luck otherwise she's a winner!

V9 Comments
18Courtney 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

V6 Comments
19Amber Brkich - Winner - All Stars

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

Amber is not the least worthy winner! She won. Let it go people.

In amazing race as well - gatnetug

20Tony Vlachos - Winner - Cagayan

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

Found like 4 idols and didn't have to use them. Got Woo to bring him to the end. He just played amazingly

Might not be the most likeable guy every, but he did play an amazing game. He worked harder to win then a lot of other people who played in the past.

Tony was one of the best survivor players. His paranoia maid his the survivor winner he is

V6 Comments
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Related Lists

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

List StatsUpdated 28 Nov 2015

4,000 votes
121 listings
7 years, 221 days old

Top Remixes (41)

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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