In the history of Survivor, there have been some crazy moves. Some have worked out brilliantly and others…not so much. Cough cough J.T. These ten incredible moves however, were so amazing that in some cases, the player making the move was able to go on and win the game. These are the cream of the crop of all Survivor moves – the top 10 in the history of the show.
Honourable Mention: Amanda’s plan to blindside James
At the Survivor China merge, James was in a very dangerous position. Despite being a loyal member of Amanda and Todd’s alliance, he was considered extremely dangerous in large part due to having two hidden immunity idols. Amanda Kimmel devised a plan to send James home knowing it was extremely dangerous because if James played the idol for himself, there was potential for Todd to go home. James should have never gone home that night, but Amanda and Todd executed this move so well that James never saw it coming and he was sent home with both idols in his pocket. This move allowed Amanda, Todd and Courtney to go together to the final three.
10. Rob Cesternino taking out the swing vote
Christy thought she was in the best position at the final six of Survivor: Amazon. After Rob Cesternino used Christy as a vote in the previous tribal council to get out Alex, Jenna and Heidi were left on the bottom so they approached Christy and told her that she would be the next to go after them and that the guys would go together to the end. Rob then approached Christy and made sure she was still on board to vote out Heidi but Christy wasn’t able to hide the fact that she wasn’t sure on who to go with and had a huge smile on her face, relishing her role as the swing vote between the two alliances. To help him avoid being voted out, and afraid of Christy having power in the game, Rob rallied everyone else together to take out Christy instead. This put Rob back into the good graces of the women and allowed him to keep control of the game rather than losing the power in the game to the women.
9. Coach convincing Cochran to flip
At Savaii, Cochran wasn’t treated well. Ozzy always made him feel excluded and like he was on the bottom while Keith and Jim Rice always talked down to him. So when the merge came, Coach tried to convince Cochran to flip on to his side. Coach connected greatly with Cochran, empathizing with him, telling him that he knew exactly how Cochran felt and that he had been there before. He also told Cochran that he could either r go to rocks and have a chance of going home that night or come to his side and have no chance of going home. Cochran flipped and Coach was able to dominate the rest of South Pacific.
8. Natalie convincing Galu to flip on Erik
It’s unlikely that Foa Foa would have had the momentum to take their four person alliance all the way to the final four had Natalie not done this move. When Natalie White speaks, she speaks so softly and sweetly that you can’t help but trust her. So we can’t blame Galu too much for this bad move on their part, we just have to credit Natalie White for making it happen. Natalie told the Galu members that Erik was trying to get out Monica, and told them that they should just try and get Erik out instead, saying they had nothing to lose because Galu would still have a seven to four advantage over her and the other Foa Foa members. Galu then turned on one of their own and Erik was sent home, allowing Natalie and her allies to stay in the game longer and take control of the entire game, where they finished as the top four and Natalie won.
7. Sandra convincing Russell that Coach had flipped
After Rob Mariano had gone home the night before, Sandra and Courtney were the last two members of their alliance left in the game and were looking like the obvious targets to be the next two to go home. Sandra, feeling the heat, told Russell a lie that Coach was trying to get him out. Out of fear, Russell turned around and everyone voted for Coach and he was eliminated, despite the fact that he wasn’t actually tying to get Russell out at all. This was the perfect lie from Sandra and it allowed her three more days of safety and the chance to go on and win the game.
6. Richard Hatch and the First Ever Alliance
Nobody knew how to play Survivor in Season 1. About half-way through the pre-merge part of the game, Richard created a four person alliance with Kelly, Sue and Rudy. Nobody else created alliances that season and the general consensus was that it was a dumb way to play the game. This is heavily illustrated in the merge episode where every single person without immunity gets a vote, and then Richard and his allies combine their votes to vote off Gretchen. The alliance system seemed to work to perfection and it laid out the foundation for how to properly play the game of Survivor. Richard and his alliance went on to be the final four and Rich went on to win the season thanks to the creation of his alliance.
5. The dismantling of the Rotu Four by taking out John Carroll
The Rotu Four would have taken control of the entire game in Survivor Marquesas, if this vote had not happened. Sean Rector knew he was on the way out, so he was trying desperately to tell the old Rotu members (Kathy, Neleh and Paschal) that the Rotu Four were no longer with them and were going to vote them out. In the picture above he tells Kathy and Vecepia, “This is the order it’s going to go” referring to the order they would be voted off next if they did not try and change the game. Neleh finally decided that John Carroll should be the one to go and Kathy, Neleh, Vecepia, Sean, Paschal and even Rotu Four member Zoe, worked together to blindside John Carroll. That meant that Rotu Four was no longer in control of the game, allowing Kathy, Neleh and Vecepia to take control instead where they finished third, second and first respectively.
4. Russell Hantz convincing Tyson that he was voting for Parvati
With a six to three numbers disadvantage, Russell knew he had to find a way to eliminate a 3-3-3 tie. He knew that if it ended in a three-three-three tie that he or Parvati would go home on the re-vote. So he pulled Tyson aside and lied to him by saying that he was going to vote for Parvati. This prompted Tyson to change his vote to Parvati as well, when he was supposed to be one of the three voting for Russell. So when Russell plays his idol for Parvati, four votes come in for Parvati instead of three, only two go to Russell and Tyson is voted out by the votes of Parvati, Russell and Danielle. This idol play not only kept both Parvati and Russell in the game longer for the short term but it also kept them safe for the long term as Coach and Jerri flipped on their alliance to join Russell and his compatriots. This led Russell and Parvati to be able to take control of the rest of the game, where they finished 2nd and 3rd.
3. Parvati’s double idol play to protect the villains and vote out ‘JT’
Going into the Heroes vs. Villains merge with numbers deadlocked at five to five between the two sides, it was always going to be an eventful vote. Parvati asked Amanda to let her know if the Heroes were voting for her and when Amanda did exactly that, Parvati was able to use her incredible lie-detecting abilities to tell that the Heroes weren’t actually voting for her at all. So when tribal council came, she used both of her idols, to save Sandra and Jerri, not knowing which way the vote was going to go but believing that the Heroes had voted for one of those two. All of the Heroes votes went on Jerri and didn’t count, while the Villains were able to vote ‘JT’ out of the game with his own idol. The Villains were then able to take control of the rest of the game and Parvati was able to finish in second place.
2. Yul using the idol to flip Jonathan Penner
Yul Kwon using the idol to flip Jonathan Penner over to his side was the best use of an idol ever in Survivor. Going into the merge, Aitutaki had a 5-4 numbers disadvantage against Rarotonga. Jonathan Penner was someone who had sort of flip-flopped throughout the game and Yul knew he could use Penner to get what he wanted. Yul told Jonathan that if he didn’t come with Yul and his alliance, that they were going to vote for him that night and that he would go home. In Cook Islands the idol could be played after the votes were read so no matter who the five Rarotonga members would vote for, Yul would supposedly play the idol for that person, the Aitutaki members would vote for Jonathan, and he would be sent home. Jonathan had no other option but to flip and so he did. Yul also went about this in a really calm and relaxed manner, making sure to say why it’s the best move and option for Penner as well and asking him who he would want to get out. After this move, Yul and his allies were then able to take control of the game and Yul was able to win the season.
1. The Black Widow Brigade convincing Erik to give Natalie the necklace
After Erik won immunity he was safe once again and was looking prepared to go on an immunity winning streak that could take him all the way to the end of the game. But Erik was feeling very insecure and guilty about all the lies he had told the five women the day before. The Black Widow Brigade were able to take advantage of his insecurities incredibly well and all five women played a crucial role in this incredible blindside. After Erik won the challenge, the girls were looking down and out and it looked like there was no way that it wasn’t going to be Natalie going home. But then Cirie came up with an idea to get Natalie to convince Erik to give her the necklace. Natalie and Cirie both then had seperate conversations with Erik where they outlined all the great things it would do for Erik if he did it. They told him that it would restore him in the eyes of the jury and make up for all the lies he had told in the game and they told him that if he gave Natalie the necklace that they would vote for Amanda or Parvati to go home, whichever one he wanted, but that the only way they would do it was if he gave Natalie the necklace. Then at tribal council, Amanda and Parvati hammered him for all the lies he had told in the game once again, pushing him over the edge and making him even more against the two women. So he finally gave his necklace to Natalie to show his loyalty to Natalie and Cirie, only to be blindsided minutes later by all four women in a four to one vote. Absolutely amazing.
So there you have it! What moves did I miss? Do you agree with the order? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!