Top Ten Best Survivor Moves

Through the years there have been some very good strategical moves, but which ones make the top ten?

The Top Ten

1 Parvati Plays 2 Idols, Saves her Whole Tribe after Merge - Season 20

Incredible read of the other players' vote and left herself and Russell unprotected. All started by her "losing" the pole challenge to protect another tribe mate. Unbelievable.

Russell getting Tyson to vote himself off was less a good move by Russell and more a moronic move by Tyson. But THIS was a move! Parvati recognized Amanda's lies but still put her neck on the line by playing her idols for her fellow villains. Had Russell been in charge of the idols haveV would be drawing rocks.

At tribal council, Parvati played her 2 idols, gave one to Sandra and one to Jerri, saving the whole Villains tribe. - janiepierzina

Very overrated move. She wasted an idol. Yes it allowed them to do a pagonging, but keeping an idol for yourself would have been the wiser thing to do. It worked and was awesome. But it's not the best move of all time.

V 6 Comments
2 Cirie Orchestrates Erik's Blindside - Season 16

True winner of Survivor Micronesia

Go Cirie!

Cirie was the main mastermind of Fans Vs Favourites. She was the one who created the finak three alliance with Parvati and Amanda. She was the one who decided to get rid of Ozzy. She got Jason to step down from immunity. However, although she did do a great job at orchestrating this move; Natalie really was the major decider. Regardless, you can't deny that had James not been med-evaced she would have won the game in a final three against Parvati and Amanda. Top Player

Cirie wasn't given enough credit she owned FvF to by pulling off major moves such as this one. Too bad she couldn't have made it to the finals

V 3 Comments
3 Russell Gets Tyson to Vote Himself Off - Season 20

Should be number 1.

Craziest hail marry in survivor history. It wasn't smart gameplay but it was amazing to watch. It made no sense. To say Russell merely wanted to go out honorably is to not know the character of Russell hantz. That is the opposite thing he would do. Russell did the least Russell thing ever and was unselfish, convinced Tyson to change his vote, and swayed Jerri and Coach to his side. Insanity.

Best move of all time! Russell clearly knew Robs plan was 2 split 3-3. He knew exactly what he was doing. If tyson wasn't approached by Russell he wouldn't have changed his vote! Simple! #Logic

This wasn't a move. This was editing and luck. Russell played his idol on Parvati cause he wanted to go out in an honorable way or something, but Tyson decided to wing it and vote for Parvati. Tyson never talked to Russell, therefore, I don't agree with this move being on the list at all.

V 5 Comments
4 Pavarti and Cirie Orchestrate Ozzy Blindside - Season 16

Parvati had nothing to do with it! She's so overrated.

I just could not stand to see him at the finale still just fussing and whining about his departure. Like everyone was just gonna let you grab your million this time yeah right you crybaby

Cirie is the survivor queen. Bow down to the queen. Bow!

You people give parvati WAAAY too much credit. She didn't do anything this season other than help recruit 2 people into their alliance. She only won because of a surprise final two that robbe cirie, and bragged about those moves basically stealing cirie's thunder.

V 3 Comments
5 Sandra Convinces Russell to Blindside Coach - Season 20

LOVE this but give Courtney some credit- anyway, this did save Sandra's life and earn her another million dollars

This is a great move, this is what saved her. If she didn't get coach voted off, Courtney would have gone home and she would go next at 6 People left in the tribe. But she didn't play Russell, Russell still voted for Courtney! What she did was play Parvati and Danielle and convinced THEM to vote for Coach. I don't know why they say she played Russell if he didn't even vote with her. I guess because of his confessionals. But convincing Parvati and Danielle: 2 people is more impressive anyway.

This actually wasn't a big move on her part. Russell was going to vote Coach out anyway; he wanted to increase the misconception that a female alliance was running the villain tribe.

The only move Sandra made was when Courtney was voted out over her

6 Amanda "lies" about not having the hidden immunity idol. Uses it to blindside Alexis. Season 16

Yeah, Amanda did NOT lie at all. When she said she didn't have it, she really didn't. But she found it later.

7 Tom, Colby, and J.T. Blindside Cirie - Season 20

Cirie from past seasons was a dangerous player to take to the merge because she will just take control of the game until someone votes her out at the final 4. So getting rid of her 4th was sad but a smart decision

Tom uses the idol, causing a 3-2-0 vote because of J.T. 's flip, in which J.T. is able to take out the person controlling the Hero tribe, and able to take control himself.

8 Richard Hatch Makes Original Survivor Alliance - Season 1 Richard Hatch Makes Original Survivor Alliance - Season 1 Richard Lawrence Hatch was an American actor, writer and producer. Hatch began his career as a stage actor, before moving on to television work in the 1970s.

This should be #1. No one else thought to make an alliance, and when he did everyone said it was "unethical. " Yet, alliances have been a staple of the show the last ten years. He forged it perfectly: one person who can win challenges and be a threat (Kelly), one person who was more obnoxious (Sue), and one who was 100% loyal no matter what (Rudy), with Rich calling the shots to ensure victory. Best player ever.

The fact that no one else decided to form an alliance seems unfathomable today, but at the time only Rich had the gall and foresight to do it. The first and only time that seven different people had votes cast against them during a tribal (when they merged). Never seen again, nor will it ever be.
Rich created the way Survivor has been played for 32 seasons. Agree with previous poster that this should be number one for that reason alone.

Brilliant play

9 Yul Threatens Jonathan With Idol, Jonathan Flips - Season 13

This should be higher. This is probably up there with Parvati’s double idol as one of the best moves ever. Without this he doesn’t come close to winning

Still down in numbers, Yul used his idol to make Jonathan Penner switch back to his alliance, allowing them to have the power and eventually Yul took his alliance straight to the final four

this is a good example of a good use of the immunity idol!

10 Kelley Wentworth Idol Play

In that episode CBS also never ever shown a conversation that related with Kelley. Because all they show that all those 9 players trying take out either ciera or abi so when I saw that Kelley played the idol, my first reaction is "why the hell she use it? when she had show much difficult to find it." but after seeing the vote I convince my self that SHE IS THE BEST FEMALE SURVIVOR.

Easily top ten idol plays... she had a record breaking 9 votes, great intuition, great episode.


The Contenders

11 Malcolm Plays Two Idols and Dismantles Stealth 'R' Us by Blindsiding Phillip - Season 26

What an overrated move. Why play idols for his whole alliance? If had kept one for himself, he could have easily gone on an immunity run, and have it as back up. Also, not only did they take out Phillip, the least likely to win the game, but made everyone else aware of who they were voting for, so no one from Stealth R Us would turn on each other like Tyler and Will did from World's Apart.

Malcolm is one of the most strategic players ever! Great move

One of if not the craziest tribals ever

Phillup sucks at survivor and even though malcolm had a chance to take out a player without phillup stealth r us is sooo dead

V 1 Comment
12 Russell Plays Idol, Kelly Gets Voted off - Season 19

This vote was so hard! But Russell found the idol without a clue and everyone's reaction was hilarious! Besides, Russell's amazing!

This was not amazing it was just a simple idol play. Get rid of idols!

13 Cirie Blindsides Courtney - Season 12

Cirie was amazing here. She convinced two people to vote one way, one person to vote another way, and then vote with two other people to vote out her biggest threat. Its hard enough to explain the move, imagine trying to execute it.

This move is a bit overrated. There were 6 people: Terry, Courtney, shane, Aras, Danielle, and Cirie. Terry convinced Courtney to vote for Aras and Shane wanted to vote for Danielle. Cirie didn'tconvince them to vote this way, they just wanted to. She just saw the opportunity with Aras and Danielle to vote for courtney. That was all the convincing she had to do. Still a great move but it was opportunistic seeing all the other three votes would be split 2-1. She didn't make it that way.

14 Tina Gets Mitchell Voted Off - Season 2

Very underrated because the conversations weren't shown live but if you listen to interviews with Tina on survivor oz you'll hear that she convinced Colby to vote for Mitchell and force a tie while they were walking to tribal council. This eliminated Mitchell because of past votes and allowed Colby Tina and Keith to take the majority within the tribe and led them to eventually be the final 3.

This is the most underrated big move.

15 Rob Cesternino Betrays Alex - Season 6

Jenna, Heidi, Rob, and Alex had the power to vote off who ever they wanted. But, after Alex told Rob that he was going to be voted off at the Final Four, Rob turned on his alliance and got Alex voted off

Telling somebody they are going home is a big no-no on the game because the joke will be on the loudmouth. This means you Alex

I personally think this should be higher than 16th

16 Everybody Turns On John, Tammy, Rob, and Zoey - Season 4

The first time in survivor history when there was a shift in power

Finally, a tribe flip. That's all I'll say.

Now that's a survivor move right hear

A very smart move created by Sean and Vecipia or Sean would have gone home and than next V, so overall genius move from Sean and V to point out that that they were getting too arrogant and the Rotu 4 abused there power and it was one of the best momentum shifts (and the original) that the game has ever seen

17 Peih-Gee and Jaime throw immunity on purpose to have a Fei Long member voted out - Season 15

This was done to be even at the merge. Unfortunately Todd ruined their plan and Sherea was voted out at Fei Long Tribal Council

18 David Finds Two Idols Without Clues - Season 33
19 David Idols Out Lucy - Season 33
20 Natalie Convinces Jason Not to Play His Idol - Season 16
21 Susie Flips On Marcus.- Season 17

She flipped not only on Marcus, but the Kota Onion Alliance which almost won her the game.

22 J.T. And Stephen Vote off Tyson - Season 18
23 Jonny Fairplay and Burton blindside Rupert - Season 7
24 Stacy Convinces Everyone to Vote for Edgardo - Season 14

Dreamz told them Alex had the idol and either mookie or Alex would play it so Stacy suggested they all vote for edgardo instead

This move also exposes Dreamz who was playing both sides.

25 Boston Rob Convinces Ometepe to Blindside Matt; Twice - Season 22
26 Rob Convinces Lex to Save Amber - Season 8

Lex was so dumb keeping Amber in the game. I wonder how he made the final 3 in Africa

27 Richard Bows Out of the Final Immunity Challenge - Season 1

Knowing he could only beat kelly, but would surely lose if he back stabbed Rudy, Rich ingeniously threw the final challenge knowing both would take him.

So damn ballsy. This move just shows how cunning Rich was and how much he really understood the game that he was creating for others to follow.

Really clever

28 Kass Blindsides Sarah and Entire Former Apary Tribe - Season 28

How is it a good move when she went from #3 or 4 with a chance of winning to being a complete jury goat?

This was a good move for tony woo lj and jefra but definitely not kass

29 Ciera votes out her mom - Season 28

27. season 27

30 Jeremy announces at the FTC he's having a baby boy - Season 31
31 Malcolm gets Reynold to play idol for him - Season 26
32 Colton Proposes Their Immunity to Vote Out Bill - Season 24
33 Ken blindsides Charlie for revenge and shifts the power from Kota to Fang. - Season 17
34 Brenda finds out Andrea is gunning for her and blindsides Andrea, also flushing out the hidden immunity idol - Season 26

This blindside was awesome, it was a complete Showdown beetwen Brenda and Andrea, and Andrea didn't even know it. Also at tribal council there were some really awesome reactions, including the reaction of Malcolm, Reynold, Eddie and Andrea.

35 JT & Stephen Infiltrate Timbira, Get Them to Turn On Brendan - Season 18
36 Russel Uses JT's Idol to Vote Him Off - Season 20
37 Natalie convinces the Galu tribe to vote out Eric, causes Galu to self-destruct - Season 19
38 Tom emotionally manipulates Ian into giving up the final immunity in order to gain his friendship back - Season 10
39 Cao Bui Splits the vote - Cook Islands
40 Amanda orchestrates James' blindside - Season 15
41 Sarah votes out Sierra and gets her legacy advantage - Season 34 (Game Changers)
42 Ken Blindsides Ace - Season 17
43 Sash Takes Marty's Idol - Season 21

This was more of Marty's stupidity

44 Fabio Cries at Final Tribal Council - Season 21

Could be the reason he got NaOnkas vote

45 Vecepia throws immunity to Neleh at the Final 3 - Survivor Marquesas
46 Janu Quits to Keep Stephenie In - Season 10
47 Ken convinces Sugar to blindside Charlie - Season 17
48 Crystal convinces Susie to flip on the Onions.
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Best Survivor Players Best Survivor Seasons Best Survivor Winners Top Ten Greatest Survivor Players Never to Win Best Survivor Songs

List Stats

600 votes
48 listings
8 years, 269 days old

Top Remixes

1. Cirie Orchestrates Erik's Blindside - Season 16
2. Parvati Plays 2 Idols, Saves her Whole Tribe after Merge - Season 20
3. Russell Gets Tyson to Vote Himself Off - Season 20


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.