Would you risk your own game to save someone else? Many players would outright say no. But if done properly, the gamble can pay off in spades. Russell Hantz demonstrated how during his time on Survivor: Heroes vs Villains when he used his immunity idol to save Parvati Shallow.
Although “Boston” Rob Mariano thought it suicidal still the time, describing the Russell as “kamikaze”, the bold move worked and Russell was able to take control of the game.
3… 2… 1… Let’s Go!
Cirie Fields did not have an Excel spreadsheet during her time on Survivor: Panama, but we’re sure it would have come in handy based on the amount of strategizing she conducted. Cirie did not want Courtney Marit to reach the end with Shane Powers and Terry Deitz, and so she orchestrated what has come to be known as the 3-2-1 vote.
While the majority of the final six had agreed to vote off Aras Baskauskas, Cirie got Aras and Danielle DiLorenzo to put down Courtney’s name and told Shane that Danielle was the one to vote for, while Terry stuck to the original Aras plan.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Contestants spend weeks (even months!) working on their strategies, but sometimes it all comes down to the luck of the draw. Ciera Eastin became the kingmaker whilst part of the final six on Survivor: Blood vs Water, with both Hayden Moss and Tyson Apostol begging her to be on their respective sides.
When she eventually sided with Hayden and Katie Collins, Ciera initiated a tie, meaning the trio was forced to draw rocks to see who was going home. Katie was the unfortunate tribe member who picked the bad stone.
Many contestants prefer holding their cards close to their chest while battling out the elements (and their fellow tribemates) in order to put them in the best position to be named the Sole Survivor. While this has worked for some who change alliances as often as Jeff Probst changes shirts, others have employed a different tactic.
Denise Stapley preferred to bond with her tribemates during Survivor: Philippines, gaining their trust. It earned her respect, particularly when she called out Abi-Maria Gomes over her dubious behavior.
Everybody Makes Mistakes
Natalie Anderson was undoubtedly a smart player, but it was her playing dumb that got her out of hot water. The Survivor: San Juan del Sur contestant was part of a five-person alliance that had decided to vote off Keith Nale.
Realizing that Keith remaining in the game would benefit her, she decided to switch her vote to Alec Merling — but had to do so without upsetting her alliance. How did she pull it off? By telling them that she had voted for Alec by mistake. Somehow, her lie worked…