Top 10 Best Survivor Players of All Time

Top ten greatest players to ever play the American reality show, Survivor.
The Top Ten
1 Parvati Shallow Parvati Shallow is an American television personality and was the $1,000,000 winner of the reality television series Survivor: Micronesia.

It amazes me to see Rob M ranked number 2 on this list. The most overrated player ever, he doesn't come close to the greatest players like Parvati, Cirie, Yul Kwon. He got outplayed in three seasons, so Survivor producers realized the only chance he had was to team him up with a bunch of starstruck sheep morons and adding a stupid twist in case his tribe was too scared to keep him around, like the other tribe was with Russell.

Anyway, Parvati deserves the number 1 spot, although I believe others like Cirie, Yul Kwon, Yao Man, Sandra Diaz, and Tom Westman deserve it too. I credit Parvati's success to teaming up with Cirie, who is at least just as dangerous as Parvati. It is not a surprise both were targeted early in HvV, and Parvati showed how great she is at this game by aligning herself with Russell (who is a great player with terrible social gameplay) and playing him the entire season. It took a little bit of luck. If Russell wasn't there (or if all those people had the chance to watch Samoa before), I believe she would be gone right after Randy (or even before him), but she showed exactly how you play someone with a very aggressive style, like Russell.

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.

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 you're the best. Russell made it to the finals two seasons in a row, but he made people so mad that he couldn't win. He was definitely my favorite to watch. I had to see what he was going to do next.

Third is Parvati. She is not good-looking, but her 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. Bringing 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 was at the right place at the right time. However, 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 the final two. That was amazing. My top five list is Rob, Russell, Parvati, Sandra, & Richard. I believe this is the most accurate list.

3 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.

Outwit, outplayed, and outlasted everyone in the first two seasons, yet the tribe failed to see that because he wasn't nice and friendly. He embodied Survivor to the point where he dominated it. But for whatever reason, the tribe was so emotional they couldn't think logically about who the real winner was.

They got so caught up in their feelings they would vote for anyone but Russell just not to let him win. Now that says a lot. Easily the Darth Vader of Survivor.

Russell is the king of Survivor for making Survivor what it is today. His victory went beyond simply getting to the end. Instead, it went to rival over all throughout outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting those who failed to see his greatness out of despise and jealousy. His vigorous and almost clairvoyant gameplay made not only the survivors tremble in confusion but also had the viewers waiting for more of his "evil" magic.

Clearly, Russell is highly intelligent, although he cannot be considered a superior man by definition due to the virtuousness and righteousness qualifications needed as stated by Confucius. Russell can be king. Boston Rob and Russell 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 numbers game. Moreover, his... Immunity idols...

4 Sandra Diaz-Twine Sandra Diaz-Twine is an American television personality who became known for her appearances on the reality game show Survivor. She's well known for being the first person to win twice. (Tony Vlachos is the second person to win twice.)

Sandra has won twice, and still, she is not believed to be the best player. This fact only accentuates her skill, which is to this day unmatched. She always does what's needed for her to survive another day, never more and never less. Others do more or less, where when they do more, the jury turns on them, and when less, they get voted out. She is honest and outspoken, which fools other contestants into believing the jury won't like her. But they do. Sandra rarely has to defend her actions because she is consistent in her gameplay and pretty much brings her reasoning out in the open.

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

5 Yul Kwon

1. Yul should automatically be ahead 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 ahead of Rob because it took Rob four seasons to finally win the game, and it only took Yul one. People seem to forget that Rob didn't do anything in 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 alienated everyone. He got a lot of help from hidden immunity idols too. Yul is easily the best player that I have seen.

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

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 disappointing it would be to have to leave. Who would you vote for? Filled with kindness 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.

7 Kim Spradlin

She should've gotten a much higher score. She was like a crab under sand until she found her place. She was smart enough to only tell her best friend about her idol. She was good enough to be on Winners at War where she rocked it again. I disagree with her placement.

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. At the time, the Manono 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. She also risked the other three players booting Chelsea that round and then Kim the next round.

She 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, she's a great player.

8 Todd Herzog

He should be higher. He was brilliant and knew how to keep his allies from flipping, and deceived 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.

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

Best manipulative player ever, who proved that age has nothing to do with being a great strategic player. Physical ability is not as important as mental ability in the game.

9 Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth

Oscar Ozzy Lusth is my favourite player of all time. Yul won that season, and deserved to win for playing the best strategic game. But Ozzy was equally deserving as he played the best physical game. If you remember, this was the season when the teams were divided into cultures: Caucasian, Latino, Asian, and African-American. When there was a mutiny, both Candice and Jonathan went back to their own team, leaving Ozzy, 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 Ozzy and Yul played, the underdog team of 4 took it right to the end. Yul got 5 votes against Ozzy's 4, but Ozzy 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 Ozzy should be much higher than the likes of manipulative Parvati, and controlling Boston Rob.

10 Tony Vlachos

Tony is the greatest player of all time. He has won two seasons (Cagayan and Winners at War) while being considered an enormous threat during the entire time he was playing. He was great at winning challenges, great at finding idols, and he didn't even receive a vote against him in Winners at War. He essentially played a perfect game. His strategic gameplay was top-notch, and he was perfect at waiting for the moment to strike with a huge move to change the game.

On top of it, he is just so funny, entertaining, and likable as a person. He understood that Survivor isn't just a game. It's a TV show that is meant to entertain the audience, and he has provided more hilarious moments to the show than any other contestant I can think of. His "spy" set-ups are the most notable example of this. Tony is definitely the GOAT in my eyes.

The Contenders
11 Richard Hatch

He invented Survivor strategy. If he ever returned to the game for a third time, I don't know how well he'd actually do, but that doesn't matter. He paved the way for Parvati, Boston Rob, Cirie, Russell, Kim, and all the other Survivor greats. Without him, Survivor would not be what it is today.

Therefore, he is undoubtedly the best.

He literally made the game what it is today. People love him, people hate him, but beneath it all, he defined Survivor, making it the watchable, lovable scramble of exciting reality TV it is today. He is a legend.

12 Tom Westman Tom Westman is a Sole Survivor of the series Survivor. He competed on Survivor: Palau and Heroes vs. Villains.

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 have beaten him into quitting. What? Dominated physically, socially, strategically, and mentally. Never lost his cool. Never got into trouble. Always maintained control and managed jury votes.

He should have won a clean sweep, but Coby voted for the other person just to be different. Even more dominant than Boston Rob's Redemption Island win.

13 J.T. Thomas

In his first season, J.T.'s social game was so strong that people were sabotaging their own games to help him progress. He played a very good physical game towards the end and had a strong strategic game. I believe his strategic game is underrated.

Many people call Stephen the strategist, but Stephen has said that he and J.T. made the same moves. J.T. is the first person to play a perfect game and the only person to play the most perfect game. Since he also won the fan favorite award, he is considered the only person to have played the most perfect game.

14 Rob Cesternino

Rob C. deserves to be higher on the list. In Amazon, he likely would have still won even after flipping so much during the merge. He was one of the most influential players in the game, creating the idea of flipping on alliances. He deserves a lot of credit.

Yeah, in All-Stars he got booted early, but remember, everyone knew how much of a threat he was in strategy. He was voted out because everyone knew how dangerous he could be. So why are people like Russell called "great strategists," but no one mentions Rob Cesternino? His jury liked him despite all he did, and if both Jenna and Matt say that he deserved to be at Final Tribal the most, then that is a testament to his skill at the game. Rob C. is on the list of influential players in the game, right along with Tina Wesson, Richard Hatch, and Brian Heidik.

15 Malcolm Freberg

I think Malcolm is top 20 for me, mainly because there is nothing bad about him. He just plays the game. Physically strong, strategically and socially great, and excellent at finding idols and making alliances. He had the most potential of anyone in all 3 seasons, and got voted off because he was a threat in all 3 seasons.

That just goes to show how much of a player he is.

Why Survivor producers? You people designed the final immunity challenge for Malcolm to lose. Why do that? I would think that as a producer, you would want to prevent this. Anyway, if you think about any positive aspect that you want to see in a survivor, Malcolm had most of that quality.

The sad thing is, other Survivor contestants will be VERY aware of this.

16 Brenda Lowe

By far, my favorite Survivor player ever to play from the seasons I have seen (only a few). I really wish she had 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 most exotic women to be on Survivor. Gotta love the Asian beauty.

17 Stephenie LaGrossa

She made it to be the last person left on her tribe twice, and the first time, it happened before they even merged. She outlasted more tribal councils than the winner. Then, in Guatemala, she came back with a vengeance, knocking out any allies at any time and controlling everything the way she wanted.

Unfortunately for her, the jury of Guatemala were still holding grudges and gave the money to another worthy player, Danni.

She was more recognized for the bad parts of her game than the good, like James getting her voted out saying "she was bad luck," which isn't fair. Her tribe won a lot of challenges in Guatemala. Despite dislocating her shoulder, she was still seen fighting hard in that challenge, showcasing her strength.

Her endurance challenge in Guatemala was unbelievable, and it was also not fair because Danni was taller than her, making it easier to reach the rope. People didn't vote for Danni. They voted against Stephanie.

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

Seriously?! This guy blindsided all of his allies/threats with a smile on his face. Even more importantly, he sent out the ones who respected his gameplay, such as Malcolm, Andrea, and Brenda. He had such good control of the jury, he played every person except his closest ally in the game, and he won a bunch of immunity challenges.

He was the definition of outplay, outwit, and outlast.

Cochran is definitely one of the smartest people to ever play the game. He knew people would not see him as a threat, so he used that to his advantage. He knew who was going home every Tribal Council and he got rid of Malcolm, Andrea, and Brenda - the three people that could have possibly beaten him.

He made his moves with perfect timing, and on top of all that, he got every single jury vote at the end.

19 Spencer Bledsoe

Spencer is amazing. He excels in challenges, has a hilarious personality, and offers the best voting confessionals in Survivor history. For example, his confessional about J'Tia, where he said, "The fact that you're a nuclear engineer is genuinely, genuinely scary," is unforgettable. He's an awesome guy who deserved to win in Cagayan and Second Chance.

I remember actually predicting the final three of Second Chance by just picking three random players. When all three, including Spencer, actually made it, it blew my mind. This guy is an outstanding Survivor player, and he deserves to come back in the next All-Stars/Heroes vs Villains/Legends season.

20 Domenick Abbate

Dom rocked that season. He and Wendell were in complete control for pretty much the entire time. Domenick was definitely very deserving of the win, but I feel he was a bit more aggressive with his gameplay compared to Wendell's laid-back nature and stronger social game. Still, Dom is a great player.

While I do agree Dom and Wendell were in control of pretty much everything, Domenick was a lot more aggressive with his plans. I feel like this was the reason he lost. Nonetheless, he's a great player.

21 Tyson Apostol

The guy was quite a character and added tons of laughs in Tocantins, although he basically voted himself out in Heroes vs. Villains. But in Blood vs. Water, he was a machine. When the merger happened, he proved time and time again that he was the smartest player, as well as dominating in challenges. He played, in my opinion, a pretty flawless game from Day 1 to 39.

Won more challenges than any Season 27 competitor, stuck to alliances, manipulated players like Monica and Sierra, and when he made it to the final tribal council, we all knew who would win. He won 7-1-0 with only Vytas voting for Monica. Tyson, based on his Season 27 performance alone, should be in the top ten players list because he took over the game from start to finish.

22 Nick Wilson

He was a great winner. He used his alliance to make some amazing plays and stayed under the radar the whole time.

He was controlling the game while being underrated. Made some great plays too.

Played a great game. Was in control the whole time and no one could see it.

23 Denise Stapley

This woman reminded me of an older version of Stephanie LaGrossa, who was a strong female player noted for being the first player to be on a one-woman team (only for a short while). The point being, she dominated socially and gave every ounce of energy physically. She was never confrontational! She handled conflict like a pro. Not to mention, she is from Iowa! #IowaNation

I love watching older people dominate in Survivor because it is a hard game to win. I'm all about effort and what you do as a player to win, not riding the coattail of someone else. Denise was one heck of a player to watch, and I was so glad she scored with the jury across the board. She deserved it!

24 Ciera Eastin

Ciera is one of my favorite Survivors. She was strategic and also very likable. In Blood vs. Water, Ciera showed that she was willing to make big moves to win the game. She voted out her mom to prove her loyalty to the majority alliance.

Additionally, Ciera and Hayden caused a rock draw at the final six. If Tyson had drawn the white rock, Ciera probably would have won the game. In Cambodia, she survived multiple votes even after being in the minority alliance. She also blindsided Woo right before the merge because he was a huge challenge threat. Ciera is a really great Survivor player.

25 Benjamin "Coach" Wade

The first two seasons weren't that great, but in South Pacific, he really called the shots. That isn't to say Sophie was undeserving, but it's always hard being a returning player. To play the game that Coach did, I really think he should have come away with the million dollars.

He is my favorite player of all time. In Tocantins, he was socially horrible and his physical gameplay was lacking, but he improved in Heroes vs. Villains. In South Pacific, he was robbed.

Coach is hysterical. He makes me laugh. Now, I meditate because of him.

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