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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Survivor 20 Ranking

In honor of having now viewed 20 seasons to completion I have updated my ranking of all the seasons. Not bad considering I only began watching Survivor a little more than a year ago. That is a lot of hours of TV watching, so maybe I shouldn't be so proud of it. Either way, it is some kind of feat. 

Currently, I am on episode 3 of Guatemala, after which at which I can get rid of the CBS app and just watch on Hulu. My wife will appreciate that we won't have a $7 charge every month so I can watch one show. 

20. Vanuatu-I had a hard time getting through this one. I found it pretty boring. Maybe it was just where I was when I watched it. I just finished it recently and I had to look up who the winner was and who the people were because I couldn't remember. In contrast to Kaoh Rong, which is the season airing while watching it, Vanuatu paled. The woman's alliance really did nothing for me. None of the characters really stick with me. Blah. 

19. Australian Outback

18. Cook Island

17. Fiji

16. Marquesas

15. Thailand

14. All-Stars-There was lots of drama and the love affair between Rob and Amber I know was probably riveting television in 2003. I found it all rather entertaining but mostly in a soap-operaie way. I found myself liking players less in this season than I liked them in their original seasons. Lex was one example. He may have been my favorite from Africa but I thought he really let Rob manipulate him in All-Stars. Of course this could have been due to the editing, but also to Rob's own abilities. I've never read this mentioned anywhere else, but has it ever been discussed that the FTC was a little boring due to the fact that Rob and Amber didn't really want to lay into each other. Also, with my unfortunate foreknowledge that Rob and Amber are still successfully married, there was a sense that it mattered very little who actually took home the money. 

13. Gabon

12. Worlds Apart

11. Africa

10. China

9. Pearl Islands-This is the last season that I remember being so much in the public consciousness at the time of its airing, even though I didn't watch Survivor back then. There were lots of memorable, fun characters including Rupert, FairPlay, Lillian, Andrew and Sandra. I, like many people, disliked the plot twist of bringing back Lillian and Burton, but maybe not as much as others. With that said, it seems like a pretty obvious twist to be made and it was bound to happen eventually. They had to get it out of the way, at some point. It went as fine as it could have, although I hated to see Andrew as the casualty of that twist. As far as the winner, I thought Sandra was a flawed, however worthy winner, who did a good job of bobbing and weaving and keeping her cool even when she clearly was frustrated. The Fairplay grandma thing that was all over the news at the time of airing was, frankly a little lame. I'm not sure I really get what all the hype was about. On the flip side, Rupert did live up to the hype. I very much enjoyed his personality and how he played the game. I can see why he was so popular at the time. 

8. Amazon

7. Micronesia-Time has it's effect. I reordered Micronesia to place it lower than Panama. 

6. Panama-I moved Panama above both Amazon and Micronesia. The more I thought of it the more found memories I had of this season over the others. 

5. Palau-From the time of the merge this season was pretty great to watch. The only thing that really made it compelling pre-merge were the personalities of the Ulong tribe. I really felt for them as they went back to TC every episode. Koror was relatively non-existent in my mind before the merge, although I did love watching Ian. While Tom could certainly be overbearing at times and a little unfair, IMO I did like seeing his leadership and style of honest play, that is so rare. A very solid season. 

4. Tocancins

3. Koah Rong-I hesitate to place the most recent season in such a high place because of how recent it is, but I thought this season didn't have a boring episode. It seemed that something unprecedented was happening every episode from the first Tribal Council where Alecia nearly sabotaged herself, to Tai's betrayal, to Aubry's badassery. Not to mention the crazy weather elements that nearly killed a guy. My biggest complaint of this season is the winner. Not unlike the general population, I really thought that Aubry should have won. Michelle certainly came into her own as a player, but Aubry was the architect of the entire season, and I hated that she came in second. 

2. Borneo

1. Cambodia-Moved up another notch. I suspected I would move this one up a spot, but I wanted to give it some time. A lot of these returning players I was not familiar with, because I didn't watch until recently, and I still haven't seen a lot of the newer seasons before Season 30, but I loved seeing the experience and perspective that players like Spencer, Andrew, Fishback (who was my favorite player from Tocancins), Wentworth and Kass. I also couldn't have loved a better winner than Jeremy. I thought his play was earnest, without malice or lack of feeling, but still with a sense of direction and purpose. His FTC speech was excellent.

From a Reddit post 12/30. My updated rankings. Not sure why but this post switched my numbering. It should start with 15 and rank down to 1.  

  1. Australian Outback-As the second season there wasn't much to compare it to, so naturally it was a hit at the time. I, however, was one of the few Americans not watching apparently, so the insane hype around it is odd to me, looking back at it. I had no clue what was going on. Now, as a fan, I hold no nostalgia for The Australia season and found it pretty boring. I honestly think that if it had been my first season to watch instead of Borneo, Panama, and Worlds Apart, I would not have kept watching. 
  2. Cook Island
  3. Fiji
  4. Marquesas-Just as I was starting to connect with particular players they are voted off. The crawl to the end was pretty uneventful and I lost interest as it went along. I'm glad to know Boston Rob is coming back, as that should be fun.
  5. Thailand-A lot of people don't seem to like Thailand, and the first is definitely a slog. However, overall it seems underrated, in my opinion. There's a lot going on here, even if it takes until the last few episodes to realise it. 
  6. Gabon
  7. Worlds Apart
  8. Africa- lots of great characters in Africa that made it pretty compelling to watch, even if the game play wasn't yet on par with later seasons. 
  9. ChinaPanama In addition to adding one of the seasons that I have seen since my initial ranking I've reordered my top 5 a bit. 
  10. Amazon-I was never bored in this season. Even when stuff wasn't happening the personalities kept me entertained. The only thing I would have liked was for Rob to have gotten a shot at the FTC. Reminds me of Tocancins in a lot of ways except with a less likeable winner. 
  11. Tocancins-moved it down a couple pegs. Still like it but it just doesn't hold the appeal over time the way some of the others have. 
  12. Micronesia
  13. Cambodia-One sluggish episode in the middle, but overall a riveting season. I was on the edge of my seat for most eps. I'm tempted to make it number one but I'm holding off because I'm afraid it's just the recentcy bias talking. 
  14. Borneo