Survivor season finale recap: The Right Person Won

The season ends on a satisfying note, but where does it rank compared to other installments?
Ep. 15 | Aired Dec 19, 2010

Image Credit: CBS

The reunion show was just…weird. I have zero idea what Fabio was saying so I'm not even going to attempt to decipher it. Next thing you know Chase was making like Sekou Bunch and performing a song from the stage, Terry Bradshaw was talking nonsense from the audience, and Holly was bestowing cowboy boots on Dan. In between all the madness — which also included  Jane winning the $100,000 Sprint award, Boston Ron bragging about his new baby, and Shannon incredibly attempting to make himself look like even more of a jackass — Probst got off the line of the evening with "Marty, did you fluff off Jane?" (Please allow me a minute to wipe a disturbing mental image from my mind.)

And then Probst revealed the big twist to season 22: Redemption Island. I have plenty of info on that in a separate post (click over to read "Survivor: Jeff Probst explains the game-changing "Redemption Island" twist"). But without further ado, it is time for the updated Survivor season rankings. Where will Nicaragua fall? Well, fall is the operative word. Read on to find out:

1. Survivor: Borneo (Winner: Richard Hatch)
Think back to when this show first came on the air — and how we had never seen anything like it. The season may not quite hold up when watched next to some later ones, but nothing will ever be able to duplicate that sense of wonder and excitement...

2. Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (Winner: Parvati Shallow)
…although this one came damn close. It wasn't just the most insane four-episode-run in Survivor history (with Ozzy, Jason, and Erik all getting blindsided, and then Amanda pulling out one last hidden immunity idol). It was also great characters (Chet and Joel are the 21st-century odd couple) and the perfect mix of solid and stupid gameplay.

3. Survivor: Heroes vs Villains (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)
The Russell vs. Boston Rob feud made for the best pre-merge run of episodes ever. And the greatness just kept on coming. Filled with huge memorable moments like Tyson voting himself off, J.T. giving Russell his immunity idol, and Parvati handing out two immunity idols at one Tribal Council. Loses a few points for having so many three-timers, though, including a few (Amanda, James) that we simply didn't need to see again. The fresh blood of Micronesia keeps that season one slot higher.

4. Survivor: Amazon (Winner: Jenna Morasca)
Probably the most unpredictable season ever from week to week. Some people hate on Morasca as a winner, but she won challenges and played a great social game.

5. Survivor: Pearl Islands (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)
Rupert stealing shoes. Fairplay getting drunk at Tribal Council. Osten sucking at everything. It was all delicious. Loses points, though, for the awful Outcasts twist, which also led to a disappointing final two.

6. Survivor: Palau (Winner: Tom Westman)
I loved watching one tribe decimate the other, culminating with Stephenie becoming a tribe of one. And the challenges may have been Survivor's best ever.

7. Survivor: Samoa (Winner: Natalie White)
Russell's controlling of the game (especially post-merge when his side was down 8-4) was truly a work of art. Evil genius art. He was robbed in the end, though, in the most controversial jury decision ever.

8. Survivor: Marquesas (Winner: Vecepia Towery)
An underrated season that saw the first totem pole shake-up: where people on the bottom got together to overthrow those on the top. Yes, it was a weak final two, but it also had a woman peeing on a guy's hand. Plus: Purple rock!!!

9. Survivor: Cook Islands (Winner: Yul Kwon)
What a difference a mutiny makes. It was listless until that fateful moment when Candice and Penner stepped off the mat. Then, we finally had underdogs to root for. The Tribal Council fire-making tiebreaker between Sundra and Becky may be the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life.

10. Survivor: Australian Outback (Winner: Tina Wesson)
An overrated season. Probst loves it. I didn't. Solid but unspectacular. Pretty predictable boot order as well. Dude did burn his hands off, though.

11. Survivor: China (Winner: Todd Herzog)
Really good cast. Really bad location.

NEXT: The bottom 10 seasons, and where Nicaragua lands

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