Smartest Survivor Players

Top ten smartest players. Not greatest but smartest, most devious and cunning to ever play the American reality show, Survivor.

The Top Ten

1 Parvati Shallows

I don't understand why B. Rob is #1! It took the guy 4 times to win and the only reason he won that time is because he was up against the stupidest cast ever! Parvati has played the game 3 times, made it to the end twice and her worst placing was 6th! That's skill! Compare that to Rob, who didn't even make the jury 2 out of the 4 times he played!

This game is 30% physical, 34% strategy, 35% social and 1% luck. Parvati not only tops Russel in all of these categories, but she also achieved something that he couldn't do which is winning a season. She should be 1st with Boston Rob (who is still behind her since she beat him, but not by much. )

Parvati shallows is still the best female survivor winner of all time and I love her strategy and if she played survivor again I think that she could win again I love her so much I think that she also gets the award for the hottest female survivor player and winner to ever play and I think that she should come back.

As good of a player she is, she is not the smartest but still is very cunning. -

2 Rob Mariano Robert Carlo "Rob" Mariano, known by the nickname Boston Rob, is an American television personality, widely known for appearing in several reality shows, including Survivor, and The Amazing Race with his wife, Amber Mariano.

Russell got lucky with there being so many immunity idols in his seasons! Rob didn't need them--he's an original strategist who dominated with brains not idols. He's charming, strong, smart and and amazing puzzle solver and strategist. He's perfect!

I have never seen a better strategic game then Mariano's game in Survivor Redemption Island. When someone on the jury defends your game by saying that everyone else should vote for you and only you, even when they were not in an alliance with you, you know you dominated the game.

He was against the 2 biggest goats in history. Of course everyone wanted to see him win given the alternatives. - quackerpacker

Dominated Redemption Island and All-Stars (though snubbed at the end). Was well on his way to dominate Hero's vs. Villains except for an idiotic move by Tyson. He's a master manipulator and back-stabber, but unlike Russell he has a solid social game.

Win in redemption island and (if can count also kind of a win in All star) He play very strong strategies, and still get like 90% vote in the final. (leave it to rob to bring a 19 years old coattail and a crazy man with him, who else can they vote)

3 Cirie Fields Cirie Fields is an American nurse and reality TV personality who competed on four seasons of Survivor.

Made final 4 first time she played and final 3 second time she played. Had amazing social AND strategic game yet has never won. But unlike boston rob, she didn't have to be placed on an island full of star-struck idiots who were almost oblivious to the idea of oposing boston rob. His game is painfully unimpressive when he has the worst competition is the history of survivor. Cirie would have won Micronesia if it were final 3.

Executed most of the blindsides in Micronesia and also being a very smart and strategic player from the very beginning. Surprised she isn't ranked higher, especially below Parvati.

She probably isn't the best overall Survivor player ever, but anyone who denise she is the smartest player ever is either an idiot or a racist.

Smart, strategic, silent killer, very socially aware, excellent skills at reading other players and assessing their strength and weaknesses.

4 Yul Kwon

Yul Kwon was the smartest player ever! He lead his team of four and defeated a team of 8. He persuaded Jonathan to come join them with his immunity idol. And then he blindsided Jonathan in a couple of votes, and still got Jonathan's vote in the end. If that's not smart, I don't know what is.

How is John Dalton Rob M and Richard Hatch higher than Yul? He never lost his cool ONCE! He was able to get more votes than Ozzy the superhuman dolphin!

He was definitely more than capable in the physical challenges of the game, but when it came to it, his brains defeated Ozzy's unmatched brawn. He definitely played one of the smartest survivor games ever.

Managed to outsmart and manipulate everyone in the game while seeming likeable at the same time.

5 Tom Westman Tom Westman is a Sole Survivor of the series Survivor. He competed on Survivor: Palau and Heroes vs. Villains.
6 Jonathan Penner

Knew the game was about storytelling, and manipulated other people with that rhetoric. He may have made some bad moves but he was a brilliant player who very clearly had things figured out.

7 John Cochran John Martin Cochran, commonly referred to as simply Cochran, is an American reality television personality and television writer.

He practically pulled the greatest underdog of survivor history. Even when he may not have made the best move his first season, Cochran ultimately redeemed himself in the second season after he kicked butt in challenges and manipulated both Brenda and Andrea. Hats off to him.

Cochran's game in survivor caramoan is very underrated. He orchestrated 2 main pivotal blindside on Andrea and Brenda and had a voice in just about every other elimination. Did he have an easy ride before that? Yes but that shouldn't be a flaw in his game, luck just came his way and he capitalized on it. He didn't freak out like Malcolm, (my second favorite player of that season) who was so used to going to tribal from his first season that the break he got from the favorites' immunity streak caused him to overstrategize.

His redemption in his second season proved his true passion for the game. He teamed up with whomever was necessary to get to the end, and the check of one million dollars. - MrRealityTV

8 Richard Hatch 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.

Hatch invented the game. There would be no legendary players without him.

9 Sandra Diaz

Sandra dominated strategically better than Russell, in my opinion. What she did was take Russell's weakness, which was finding out that someone was targeting him, and using that to her advantage. She may not have been as strong as him, or anybody (okay, maybe one of the weakest players of all time), but she knew that people would be taking her to the finals because they perceived her as weak, and that they could beat her, but she was able to use her strategy to win the game. That alone makes her the smartest survivor, for outsmarting the most manipulative and strategic players.

Two time winner and good at under the radar. But if she were just a little more physical she would be out soon after the merge. -

The Queen of Survivor - best player ever. - iheartswine

How is she not number 1? She won twice without winning a single immunity challenge. She is the smartest survivor of all time

10 Russell Hantz Russell Hantz is an oil company owner and former contestant of the reality show Survivor. He played 3 seasons, and never finished higher than 2nd.

Not only the smartest, but the greatest. The point is to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast - Russell did this the best, he got screwed over by two bitter jurors. #TwoTimeWinner Russell Hantz is the greatest Survivor player in history

Dominated two seasons! Dominated both misfits and all-stars he can control people so easy and he can also have his allies wrapped around his finger, he had one of the best players in parvati wrapped around his finger, because he can control peoples minds like no other. The best there is the best there was and the best there ever will be RUSSELL HANTZ

Russel Hantz was both strategic and manipulative. He knew all the best ways of getting in people's heads and making people do what he wanted, like, for instance, hiding the machete so no one could eat coconuts. Although he wasn't the most likable survivor castaway, he was still the smartest.,

Yes, Russell made it to the end twice, but as soon as people new his game-- he could no longer do that. In Survivor outlasting isn't enough! You must make it to the end, while placing the right people on the jury. If the jury doesn't respect your game &/or you you can never win, no matter how many time you outlast! Russell isn't mike hollaway-- he'll never win this game; therefore, can not be the best.

The Contenders

11 Todd Herzog

Knew the game inside and out and used his knowledge to control the game. He then went on to give the best Final Tribal Council performance of all time.

I'd still say his was hands down the best performance at any final tribal council. He knew every single member of the jury and how to manipulate them.

So smart compared to his size -

His plan to get someone weaker than him (Courtney) someone stronger than him (James) and someone he could trust (Amanda) was just brilliant I'm suprised he wasn't ranked higher

12 David Wright

That fake idol move was funnier then Ozzie, his looked REAL

David: I am making a fake idol for someone to find.
Jay: (finds the idol) OH MY GOSH! I HAVE A IDOL!
At the immunity challenge...
At tribal council...
Jay: I am playing this idol.
David: (snickers)
Jeff: This is...
David: (stifled laughter)
Jeff: NOT a hidden immunity idol. Any voted cast for Jay WILL count.
Ken: I am playing my legacy advantage.
Jeff: First vote: Ken. Does not count. Jay. Jay, that's two votes Jay. Fifteenth person voted out and the eighth member of our jury: Jay.
Jay: Wow, you got me good.
Jeff: Jay, the tribe has spoken. (snuffs his torch)
Most hilarious fake idol ever!

13 Rob Cesternino

Said by Jeff at the season's reunion to be the smartest player to never win at the time. Sadly, he was passed by many after more smart guys came. -

One of the smartest players to never win, and doesn't get nearly enough credit for pioneering one more new way to play the game.

He was the first guy to really play the way he did and not really have any survival skills to back it up. Genius!

He still is the smartest player never to have won.

14 Candice Cody
15 James Lim

Despite him going out Pre-Merge in Ghost Island, Jeff confirmed that James had the highest recorded IQ out of anyone who has ever played the game. Even in his small amount of time he did get to play, he masterminded by far the best blindside of the season (Morgan's), and let all of the blame seep onto Libby, getting away with it 100%. He probably wont, but he's definitely the Ghost Island player I'd want to get another chance.

16 Earl Cole
17 Chris Daugherty

There is a reason he won his season. The reason he went undiscovered is the season was outshined by the two seasons that went together with it. He made such great BS that everyone trusted him, even the women

Makes everyone look like a chump. He didn't hide behind an idol either.

King of BS, inventor of BS, full of BS, and was somehow veiwed as a good guy by america, even after doing the same thing Brian Heidik did, and Chris did it better, nobody got sore

18 Spencer Bledsoe

On the bottom since day 7 and makes it to final 4

WHAAA?! Spencer KNEW there was a final two coming in Cagayan! AND he solved a nearly impossible puzzle in Cambodia in less than FIFTEEN SECONDS! So WHY IS HE SO LOW?

19 Brenda Lowe

No one gave her any credit because she was on a horrible season. Put her on any all star season and she easily makes the jury and is one of my top choices to win. She is cunning, athletic, and not afraid to make the tough decision. I feel bad for her that she was on Nicaragua and not any other season.

20 Aubry Bracco
21 Courtney Yates

Not strong in challenges but knows how to play the game

22 Shii Ann Huang
23 Kelley Wentworth

She played the perfect under the radar game

24 Tony Vlachos
25 Amanda Kimmel

Why is Parvati #1? What did she ever do besides the double idol play? Cirie, Amanda, and Natalie did more than she did on the BWB, Nate was the strategist of the Raros in CI, she won against a jury that was biased because of Ozzy's speech that made it seem like Amanda was just a nice girl and Parvati was cutthroat and strategic, couldn't manipulate Russhole to vote out Sandra at final 4 though even if she does she loses to Jerri, and she wasn't even smart enough to respect the future jurors on HvV. Parvati's a good player but I will never understand why she's #1.

Amanda, however, hardly gets enough credit. She masterminded the James blindside in China and made much more social relationships than Todd and Courtney, but her final tribal council performance screwed her over. In Micronesia, despite being low on the totem pole after the Ozzy blindside she managed to weave her way into the Black Widow Brigade using her relationship with Parvati and prior all girls final 3 deal, ...more

26 Malcolm Freberg

Awesome strategies that made sense, but just didn't pan out.

27 Christian Hubicki

Scientifically broke down physics in immunity challenges, variance in survivor twists, and many other algorithms in his ponderosa video. Solved a slide puzzle in 2 seconds flat. Shame he didn't get far.

28 Robert Crowley

Very deserving to win... Even jeff probst was amazed with his fake hidden immunity idol and all of the kota tribe liked him a good leader and a good winner

Created 2 fake idols during one season which lead to him winning

29 Andrea Boehlke
30 Brian Heidik

He created the strategy that rob mariano used to win redemption island except for the fact he needed to try four times and twice didn't make the merge

31 Francesca Hogi
32 Angelia Layton
33 Stephen Fishbach
34 Mike Holloway
35 Chrissy Hofbeck
36 Dave Ball
37 David Murphy
38 Yau-Man Chan
39 Sean Kenniff

People say that Richard Hatch developed strategy, but Sean actually did.

Alphabet strategy was truly brilliant. Kept the blood off his hands as long as he could before they took out this mastermind.

40 Ozzy Lusth Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth is a reality star, well known for playing on the his reality show "Survivor." He played in the seasons "Cook Islands," "Micronesia," "South Pacific," and "Game Changers."
41 Ben Driebergen

Ben a smart player? Ha! He had very little strategy and rode the Hustlers' asses before going against them, and only relied on idols to survive. Even Russell wasn't reliant on immunity idols and could keep his alliance together. Ben is the worst winner ever!

42 Johnny Fairplay Dalton

Biggest liar to play the game. -

43 Colton Cumbie

If you have no likability and quit twice in survivor, you're unintelligent and definitely not one of the smartest players.

I hate him so dearly but I sorta have to agree with this

44 Willard Smith

He was cool that he didn't even watch his own season!

45 Heidi Strobel
46 Jenn Brown

You are in my top 20 for the hottest players to ever play

47 Jon Dalton
48 Joe Anglim
49 Kass McQuillen

Very intelligent except for flipping on Aparri, but in general taking Sarah out was amazing.

50 Michael Yerger
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