- The Cowboys – humble AF, cuties, w/ an adorable backstory to show how close their relationship is consisting of one of them getting kicked in the head by a bull + the other stayed in the hospital the entire time w/ him ❤️ – they’re also hilarious, underestimated AF (esp. their 1st season). i’m even guilty of underestimating them when they returned for All Stars + then they won the very first leg (including that season’s prized Express Pass)!!! 😍 while their downfall is 100% navigation-related, their reputation stands that once they get to a challenge, consider it DONE. they figure their sh*t out. you absolutely love to see it. (i will never get tired of seeing them play – here’s to hoping they get brought back AGAIN🤞🏻) 🥇
- The Afghanimals (Leo + Jamal) – they play TAR like Survivor (Boston Rob-style, sneaky, manipulative, etc.), yet remain incredibly likable because of the pure joy they experience along the way. these two genuinely really enjoy themselves during every part of the race experience, it’s just nonstop joking around + laughing – also USC represent ! (update: JK H8 THEM NOW for U-turning the Cowboys. An unforgivable sin in my eyes. F*** U!!!) 😤💔 (jk…but also not….😬😅)
- Rob + Amber – obviously. (so obvious i didn’t bother moving them to the top of the list 😂 ), it’s wild how good they are at absolutely f***ing everything (!) – also, the second time they played, i really loved seeing Amber partake in some of Rob’s tactics + be a little shady toward a team w/ a damn good coverup for later on when confronted #impressive – i also liked seeing her call him out a little bit toward the beginning. they really are such a complementary pair + power couple goals AF. 💪🏻👩❤️👨
- The Globetrotters (Big Easy + Flight Time) – (Professional Basketball Players for the Harlem Globetrotters) these guys are so funny to watch + like the Afghanimals, are always enjoying every second of the race + completely unafraid to laugh at themselves – esp. when Big Easy’s physical size makes certain challenges extra difficult for them. they also give back – by generally keeping the mood light + being super friendly w/ all fellow teams, but even give back to the world too – one of my favorite moments of theirs on All Stars is when Big Easy is struggling to finish sewing a shirt + Flight Time decides to entertain the Sri Lankan clothing workers all around them w/ basketball tricks, bc he’s just sweet like that. 🏀
- Mark + Bopper – OK, not gonna lie…at first was like WTF CBS casting… thought these two were just real weirdos, really out there… lol, but then you get to know them along the way + i got SO emotional over these two! 🥺 these best friends from Kentucky really, really need the $ for their families, esp. Bopper whose young daughter has health issues. (he even shaves his head to get a Fast Forward pass in their first season!). these two are some of the funniest + nicest guys around + again are a team truly enjoying themselves along the way + express such raw gratitude for the experience, explaining that they would never have been able to see the world like this any other way ––a gift + a true once-in-a-lifetime experience for 2 of the most beautiful, kind, deserving souls. love, love, love. ❤️🥰
- Dave + Connor – a father/son team who both previously had cancer AND the last time they were on the race was cut short due to Dave pulling his Achilles tendon. Their second time around in All Stars was so adorable – it’s clear to see how strong of a team they make + how much they really love each other. Dave even reminisces seeing Connor receiving chemotherapy just a few years prior + not knowing if he would make it + here they are getting to see the world together. They’ve truly come full circle. Survivors AF. 🏆(also Connor looks so much like one of my ex boyfriends, it’s REALLY FREAKY lolol but they’re both sweetie pies 🥧 so if anything it worked in his favor + just made me root for him a little more*, if even possible… 😂)
- Tyler + Laura – ok, i just finished season 26, where the theme was real-life couples vs. blind-date couples, which i thought was a really interesting theme, especially seeing the results of the top 3 teams consisting of 100% blind-date couples! 😳 anyway, Tyler + Laura were the strongest, most consistent team throughout the race for sure – they were completely unstoppable, nothing could get in their way. they learned how to deal w/ one another remaining friendly, encouraging + maintaining positive attitudes even during distress (like when they misplaced their fanny pack! other teams would’ve lost their mf minds, but Tyler + Laura were cool as cucumbers and still managed to place near the top of that leg!) they really balance each other out + work together extremely well, while having fun along the way. they are totally #GOALS 😍 (hope they became a real couple after the race… will have to google later) ❣️
- **side note: season 27, episode 3 of the Amazing Race uses the same song/music from Survivor season 3 (Africa) – air dates ~14 years apart ❕
- TEAM FUN – i don’t even know what to say about them!! best vibes ever. they’re hilarious + love watching them genuinely enjoy every min. of the race. dream team. 🤗
- Colin + Christie – wow… the first time they played, wasn’t a fan, but seeing them play again 15 years later, it’s incredibly clear just how much they’ve grown together in that time 😍 just like Colin says – that they came back “with wisdom on their side” (vs. youth) – they really made me feel a lot more positive about getting older b/c they are incredibly fit, their minds are sharp, they’re able to have fun + be playful/goofy, and in addition, can manage their emotions + stay calm, cool & collected + make logical decisions under pressure (what the race is all about!). they are absolute couple goals b/c they worked so well together, always maintained kindness toward the other, + most importantly, each held their own – for example, Colin’s strength was great in some of the super physical challenges + his consistent reminders to stay positive/present improved overall team morale, while Christie’s strength seemed to lie more in the ability to really focus in on the main priorities each leg + her laser attention to detail is what really pulled out the win for them in the end during the final drum set challenge. (& had she not noticed they needed to grab a basket + the fish while in the round boats challenge, they would’ve lost time + possibly been out of the race in an earlier leg). they’re inspiring AF! anything is possible!!! 🌎✨
- The Green Team 💚 – absolutely love Justin for pretty similar reasons as Team Fun – he definitely seems like a child at heart (and i mean that in the best way!) w/ his big smile + fun-loving spirit! 🤸🏼♀️ At the same time, what I really love most about Justin is his passion for the Amazing Race. He was a Superfan before coming on the show (like The Amazing Race’s “Cochran”) + was crying when he made a mistake that almost lost him the race in the very first leg. Fortunately, he survived that round + went on to do extremely well, putting his knowledge of the game to use. I believe he would’ve gone on to win too, however, he makes an absolutely FATAL mistake in the final leg to the finish line when he doesn’t keep his taxi + therefore, comes in 2nd. One of the saddest (albeit most preventable😬) losses in all seasons of the show. 😭 love ya Green Team! xo 💚
- Cirie – in my opinion, to be a true great + one of the best to ever play, you need to be good at all elements of the game. of course Cirie is extremely likable and understandably a fan favorite. yes, she should absolutely be an inspiration to Survivor fans everywhere as motivation to get off the mf couch. and yes, she demonstrates an extremely strong social game, including using that likability factor to her advantage + a number of brilliant manipulation tactics, such as placing ideas into other peoples’ heads w/o them even realizing – but does she live up to all the hype? like i said, i think the best players are able to display a strong social game, BUT also need to have the ability to win challenges when they need to, in order to keep themselves safe in the game…. whether you can or can’t coast the whole way to the end the social-player way, it’s only one aspect – and for that reason… OVERRATED.
Andrea Boehlke – no idea why people stan this girl so hard…. the one time she tried to control the game it backfired + she was blindsided with an idol in her pocket….. also the whole “babysitting” shenanigans w/ Malcolm was so lame, booooo. she’s not as smart as she thinks she is – that’s all there is to it.
Amanda Kimmel – she only follows along with other peoples’ plans and whines and complains and has the dumbest big-eyed sad look on her face @ ALL TIMES. i was happy when i finally didn’t have to keep seeing that all the time… sheesh.😬 and the absolute pathetic grab at a clue (on the movie reward with Colby) girl… c’mon.
Ciera Eastin – yeah, yeah. she voted her mom out of the game in Blood vs. Water. anyone who stans for that reason, ru f-ing kidding me?! you’re telling me you wouldn’t vote your family member out of the game for $1 million?!?! it’s not like you have to run them over w/ a mf car or something, damn… also wasn’t impressed w/ the rest of her gameplay. you were a family member brought in, you’re not suddenly a Survivor expert, the tribe’s spoken – GTFO.
Sophie Clarke – to be fair, i liked her much more in Winners at War, but she didn’t deserve the win in her initial season….. by a long shot. just like Ozzy said, she did act like a whiny brat + rode Coach’s coattails to the end, so when Coach failed to live up to his word and take Ozzy to the finals… she just won by default. it was a very sad day for true fans. i just do not buy for a second she could have gone even half as far in the game as she did without all of Coach’s ideas, plans + manipulation of other players. kthxbyeeeee.
Overrated male players coming soon……. believe me, there will be a LOT. (are you so mad you already stopped reading + blocked me???? 😂)
J.T. Thomas – don’t think this one will be a shocker to anyone… i’m aligned w/ the pretty common belief that Stephen Fishback was the real strategy mastermind in Tocantins 😬 + his return in Heroes vs. Villains was an absolute mess (*cough, gave an idol to Russell, cough*) 🥴
Joe Anglim – simply a challenge beast who repeatedly fails to overcome his physical threat level w/ really any type of strategic move. relies too heavily on social game – doesn’t save him. 🙄
Woo Hwang – who takes Tony to the final 3??? hahahahhahaa 😩😂🤣 that’s it. that’s the entry.
Lex Van Der Berghe – really liked him in Africa. thought he’s a really smart strategist + overall great player, minus him being completely neurotic over receiving ONE mf vote (real Charlie Kelly ‘Pepe Silvia’ vibes – IFKYK 😂)… but then All Stars happened. made a complete fool of himself… backstabs his ally Colby, then his ally from his season (Ethan) + whines like a little baby when Boston Rob won’t sabotage his own game to try to save Lex from the chopping block. smdh.
|1||Wendy – annoying af, don’t think she understood the game, 100% socially unaware|
|2||Shi-Ann – so conceited, not smart, socially unaware, rude, too emotionally reactive|
|3||Courtney – not good at anything, whiny, annoying af|
|4||Michelle – rides coattails, no strategy|
|5||Dean – a dumb idiot. period.|
|6||Dan Spilo – kicked off show for sexual harassment 🤬|
|7||Aubrey – whiny crybaby, sucks at challenges, not as smart/sneaky as she thinks|
|8||Colton – this one should be v obvious|
|9||Francesca – the 1st boot, not once, but 2X – LOL|
|10||Naonka – don’t think she ever understood the game, dumb af, obnoxious|
|11||Shamar – he should’ve really just quit when he wanted to 😑|
|12||Abi-Maria – don’t understand her gameplay, way too abrasive + rude|
|13||Brandon Hantz – no respect for women or the game, legit think he should be checked out by a psychologist – the kid’s got issues|
|14||Jenna Lewis – full of herself, not v smart, annoying|
|15||Sophie Clark – too self-righteous, came off like a stuck-up brat, crybaby|
|16||Amanda Kimmel – crybaby, delusional|
“Momentum is huge in this game – when you have it, you wanna keep it.”
“It’d be nice to have a million dollars and take the girl away too.”
“Amber + I as a team are the best able to adapt to certain situations.”
“I gave 110% every single day.”
“You should never take yourself too seriously.”
OK, let’s start w/ the basics. He can catch fish, start a fire + build a sick shelter. Jeff loves him, he’s 1/2 of the best Survivor couple of all time + a total mf challenge beast. (and not afraid to talk sh*t/even does impressions of other players – hilarious 💯🙌🏻😂)
You really see how big his heart is, underneath the conniving goofball exterior, in All Stars (S8) when he gives up his family video bc he decides to make a deal w/ Jeff to give his up so everyone else can have theirs. (can’t remember if this was the very first time this was ever done?!) He does admit it was a little* strategic, but only through genuine tears, adding “my family is the most important thing in the world.”
Again, his real emotions come out when Amber is swapped to the opposing tribe + he wears an A on his shoulder + even promises Lex protection in the game to keep Amber safe. Lex decides to make the deal w/ BR + upholds his end of the bargain, but is ultimately the first person voted out after the merge w/ BR explaining that he promised to protect him “if I could and I can’t.” #savage This type of exchange w/ the opposite team was the first of its kind/at least the first where anything ever came of it (and at least the first ever shown before) + it’s one of many ways BR is a groundbreaking Survivor player – he tries ideas that he thinks of which haven’t been done before – definitely a risk-taker + an example of creative problem-solving at its finest.
Also, one of my favorite moments is when Rob won a reward challenge + chooses Amber to go w/ him, which results in both of them winning brand-new cars + they get to lie down in the back of his new truck together + have snacks/candy + watch a movie. So sweet. 😍🥰❤️
On top of that, his go-to move in the social aspect of the game we see for the very first time as early as S4 Marquesas when he makes up bs/lies to get other people to fight w/ each other – this creates a rift in their relationship, leaving both parties relying more heavily on Rob as an ally in their games. GENIUS.
Jury Management – ugh, ok, personally, I think the jury members were wayyyy too hard on Rob + it sucked bc there have been other seasons where people adopt similar gameplay + the jury respects the crap out of them, accepts the fact that they were blindsided as “just part of the game” + admit to being outsmarted without holding resentment for that strategy. But spoiler alert – in the end, it doesn’t even matter. 😉 (will be adding some S22 – Redemption Island commentary here soon) 👀🤠
Want to know more? The Boston Rob Rulebook = essential Survivor reading.
- Last year, I felt 2 different types of guilt. I felt weighed down with a lot of regret about not putting in necessary time + effort toward my passion for the game/its history + my ultimate goal of playing Survivor. I talked about it to very few people, but the ones I let in I believe could tell how important this was to me + I imagine were surprised by the way my actions didn’t align with what I was saying. The other source of guilt that was weighing on me was how, having moved out on my own, I felt I was neglecting one of my most cherished relationships (w/ my dad) by getting swept up in work + other social obligations. Again, my words weren’t aligning with my actions, b/c I would speak so highly of him, but then why am I here + not there spending time w/ him instead? Shouldn’t that be priority over whoever I’m saying all this to? Well, say what you want about 2020 – this year allowed me to actually get to know myself + I believe that now shines through in my actions. I moved back home due to the pandemic + prioritized the things I truly value in life. I read all the Survivor books I had ordered on Amazon that had started to collect dust, I researched a lot about the show online + I got a lot closer w/ my dad watching all 40 seasons together. ✨
- Survivor makes me “dig deep” (as Jeff Probst says) in life + all that i do (running/work/etc.) – it motivates me to constantly push myself more.
- Helps me to remind myself to be more open to new opportunities. I think about WWSD? (What Would someone on Survivor Do?/What Would the Survivor version of myself Do?)
- It made me want to be a good person. It sounds silly, because you think most people probably already want that or should want that… 😬 but IDK – it wasn’t really something I thought about. I guess it actually first started when I really liked someone I went out w/ a few years ago + it didn’t work out, because I’ve always thought he’s a better person than me. He’s good. In the feelings for this person, I first thought – I want to be good too. + Survivor really solidified that in me through the emotional turmoil of many players, constant final 3 tribal morality disputes, etc. – helped shape me as a person.
- Interacting w/ the Survivor community/other Superfans online during quarantine/the pandemic has been really refreshing, energizing, supportive, motivating, etc. to me in many ways. TY all for that. ❤️
- Helped me to be more vulnerable (this post included)/to feel more okay w/ sharing more personal things than before – especially if I’m talking about the show w/ someone bc it leads to a lot of deep questions/conversation topics/emotional discovery discussions.
- It helps me to always see things from multiple perspectives + think about a problem or situation from all angles. I strategize better (even just in daily life) b/c it changed how i approach everything/anything.
- It’s helped me to become more reflective – to take time to take a step back + assess (and began to meditate daily). (being sober for ~10 months now too has helped enormously) ☁️
- Finally, (for now – I’m sure I’ll be adding more…) Survivor has inspired me to write more these past few months than all of 2018-2019 combined + I’ve considered myself a writer/thought of that as a key part of my identity for some time now (~2011), but dropped off the past few years when it was no longer a part of my job.