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The Sole Survivor
- Action Girl: You wouldn't expect a quiet medical student with little-to-no lines and a general narrator status on the season to be a big competitor in challenges, but it soon became clear, especially in the finale, that Sophie was possibly the strongest person on the show besides Ozzy, with three individual immunity wins and two close calls, one actually against Ozzy.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Coach bestows the Dragonslayer title onto Sophie after she beats Ozzy in the final Immunity Challenge. She proceeds to vote off Ozzy and win the game.
- Badass Adorable
- Badass Boast: When casting the damning vote for Ozzy."Because I am the new dragon-slayer."
- Badass Bookworm
- Brainy Brunette
- Break the Cutie: She was reduced to uncontrollable tears in the finale after Ozzy revealed the scorn everyone felt for her.
- Cry Cute
- Dark Horse Victory: Had easily the least screen time for a winner since Vecepia (or maybe Danni), in lieu of being stuck in a final four with Ozzy and Coach, who the entire season was set up for to win, so who was really expecting her to actually win over them?
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Beats Ozzy Lusth, in spite of his huge lead, to cement her place in the final three and send him out of the game.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen: She provides the page quote for said trope:"I would think that when I came out here that I would have much tougher skin, so I don't think I'm building skin out here, I think I'm losing it."
- Funny Background Event: During the reward Upolu won, where the tribe was able to see an advanced screening of Jack and Jill starring Adam Sandler, everyone is shown laughing uproariously... except Sophie, who sits at the back with expression that indicates she would rather be anywhere else.
- Hollywood Nerd
- Ice Queen: Though she gets better in the finale.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Subverted, she was on the blue Upolu tribe instead of red Savaii.
- Loophole Abuse: Ain't No Rule stating you can't look over at another player's puzzle board during a challenge. She also attempts to pull this off in the final five Immunity Challenge by demanding Albert drop his attempt at winning the challenge and help her win because she was doing better, or she would beat the crap out of him. Probst shuts her down.
- Meganekko: At Times/
- Not So Stoic: Breaks down hard during the finale, after Ozzy tells her during Tribal Council what people have been saying about her on Redemption Island.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Apparently her entire game.
- Out of Focus: Given she was sharing a season with Coach, Ozzy, Brandon and Cochran, who all took the lion's share of the screentime.
- Plucky Girl
- Red Baron: Coach dubs her the new Dragon Slayer after she beats Ozzy.
- The Smart Girl: The smartest on-paper contestant since either David Murphy, Dave Ball or Heidi Strobel.
- Sole Survivor
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female player to be a part of Coach's main alliance.
- The Woman Behind The Man: Presents herself as this in the final tribal council, to great success.
- The Stoic
Benjamin "Coach" Wade - Tocantins
- A Father to His Men
- The Bus Came Back
- Character Development: Compare him now to him in Tocantins.
- The Chessmaster: Who would've thought Coach of all people would be this? Even if someone else wound up doing it a bit better...
- Digging Yourself Deeper: After Ozzy proceeded to give a very small "The Reason You Suck" Speech...
- Do Not Call Me Benjamin
- Hidden Depths: Converses briefly with Sophie in the premiere in Russian.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: See Honor Before Reason
- Honor Before Reason: Voted out two ideal goats in Cochran and Edna, solely because they weren't part of his original alliance. He proceeded to vote out Brandon - another great goat - simply because he saw his core Final Three as himself, Albert, and Sophie. This ended up backfiring on him hard when Sophie beat him, and the jurors confirmed at the Reunion that if he'd brought Rick, Edna, or Cochran instead of Sophie, he'd have won. On the other hand, if Sophie hadn't been there to defeat Ozzy in the final immunity challenge, Ozzy would unquestionably have won the game.
- Hypocrite: Even in this much tamer incarnation, it wouldn't be Coach if he didn't show these tendencies on a couple occasions. Most notably, after going completely over-the-top with the prayer/religious angle, he complained in the season finale about people who are "Holier Than Thou."
- The Leader
- Manipulative Bastard: Coach can be considered this, due to how he managed to convince Cochran to flip. Then again though, given how they treated him... picked a very good target.
- My Greatest Third Chance: Despite not winning, this was Coach's best season.
- No-Damage Run
- Oh, Crap!: You could almost pinpoint the moment Coach realized he probably is going to finish second when Ozzy says that nobody wants to vote for any of them.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Coach. He outright gets mad when Stacey and Christine start calling him "Benjamin" just to spite him.
- Red Baron: The Dragon Slayer, though he passes that off to Sophie after she beat Ozzy. In the Recap Episode, he considered changing his moniker to "Zeus."
- Religious Bruiser
- The Strategist
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- Took a Level in Badass
- Ungrateful Bastard: To Cochran and Edna. Edna stands out, however, for being the only one that would talk to him on the first day.
- Ambiguously Brown
- Black Best Friend: Subverted the longer the season went on and his relationships with everyone else (but especially Sophie) got more strained.
- Cassandra Truth: He tried to get Sophie out at least once, fearing that she would have a good jury performance. As it turned out, he had reason to be afraid.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Had already shot himself in the foot several times before the Final Tribal Council.
- Genius Bruiser
- Heroic Build
- Jerk Jock: Subverted.
- The Lancer
- Lazy Bum: Was nicknamed "Prince Albert".
- Loophole Abuse: Ain't No Rule stating you can't shout puzzle help out to someone during a challenge.
- Number Two: To Coach, though he sees himself as Coach's Beleaguered Assistant.
- Out of Focus: Until Episode 5, where he finds the hidden immunity idol with Coach and Sophie.
- Poor Communication Kills: Receives no votes after he tries pandering to the jury, even after Jim calls him out on it. Utterly mangling a couple of his answers to the jurors' questions (especially Brandon's) certainly doesn't help him either.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Came across as one, especially at final tribal council.
- Running Gag: A running theme was him creating some kind of plan to take control of the game, only for it to fail every time (usually because Sophie thought the idea was stupid and refused to go along with it). Hilariously, the one time one of his plans did pay off it was almost by accident. He was aiming to convince Brandon to vote with him at Tribal Council, and not only did Brandon do that but he also gave Albert his necklace of his own volition.
- The Starscream: Tried to be this all season long, but ultimately failed.
- Small Name, Big Ego: It became increasingly more noticeable as the season went on.
Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth - Cook Islands
- Back from the Dead: And unlike Matt and Andrea, he actually managed to last past his first Tribal Council. He would later return in the finale, only to be voted out at the final four.
- Batman Gambit: As described below under My Death Is Just the Beginning: pulled off a very risky plan to get himself voted off, eliminate Christine at Redemption Island, and rejoin the game at the merge. In doing so, he successfully calculated that (a) he could beat Christine at whatever duel was presented, and (b) the merge was going to be immediately after the next duel (as his tribe would have been thoroughly screwed if he'd ended up stuck at Redemption Island).
- Badass Moustache
- The Big Guy: To Savaii (albeit in terms of his physical prowess, rather than literally).
- The Bus Came Back
- Crazy Survivalist
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Broke Christine's winning streak on Redemption Island.
- Genius Bruiser: See My Death Is Just the Beginning.
- Go Out with a Smile
- The Hero: To Savaii, before Elyse's blindside.
- Ineffectual Loner: Following Elyse's blindside.
- Jerk Jock: Towards Cochran, at least for the first few episodes. This was largely based on strategy, however; once he no longer saw Cochran as a target for elimination, Ozzy seems to have been quite pleasant to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ultimately turned out to be this. He was an absolute Jerkass to Cochran, but eventually reconciled with him before his eviction.
- Large Ham: Similar to Richard in All-Stars, his Elimination Statement included cheerfully thanking everyone for giving him a chance to play again, and then yelling "yeehaw" at the top of his lungs while going down the Walk of Shame.
- Loophole Abuse: Ain't No Rule saying you couldn't look over at another players' puzzle during a puzzle challenge.
- Redemption Island was intended to be a a form of purgatory for the players who are voted out, a final opportunity to cling to the game. However, it just so happens to play directly to Ozzy's strengths. Being on Redemption Island means he doesn't have to worry about the strategic or social aspects of the game, which are his biggest weaknesses. Instead he just spends the post-merge doing what he's best at, which is winning challenges and surviving the elements without having to share with or compete against an entire tribe. As a result he is able to reenter the game well nourished and no blood on his hands.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Fearing that Christine would return to Upolu at the merge (leading to a Pagonging of Savaii), he decided to pull a Suicide by Cop, send himself to Redemption Island, win the duel and return to the game at the merge. It worked, making him the first and only player to use the Redemption Island twist strategically... but was ultimately subverted as the whole scheme proved futile: Cochran, who was directly saved from elimination by Ozzy's plan, ended up flipping and dooming the entire tribe anyway. He then returns from Redemption yet again... only to lose the final immunity challenge with a million dollars on the line.
- My Greatest Third Chance: Subverted compared to Islands, played straight compared to Micronesia.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Ozzy
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sets the tone for what the Jury was going to say to them, telling all three finalists that "Nobody here wants to vote for you".
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
- Took a Level in Jerkass
- All There in the Manual: Despite being Out of Focus, the scenes on CBS' website show that Rick has quite a few good observations about the goings-on of his tribe.
- Ascended Fanboy: Applied 14 times to get on.
- Badass Moustache
- The Big Guy: To Upolu.
- Informed Ability: Apparently could have beaten the others - it has been pointed out this may not have been as informed, since the final three of South Pacific was "Lesser of three evils", a role Rick could have played.
- Nice Hat
- Out of Focus: Excluding Mikayla's boot, the only real attention he received prior to the recap episode was in the premiere where his super-fan status is brought up. Then he turned into a Living Prop to rival Purple Kelly, with his only noticeable line for the next half dozen episodes being "[Albert] snores." He eventually began to show up again around the mid-season recap, if for no other reason than because the editors were starting to run out of other people to show. He then disappeared again at the reunion, getting completely ignored in spite of finishing fifth.
- Two First Names
- The Unintelligible: Apparently, the reason he was Out of Focus was because the editors had a hard time understanding what he was saying and he would never give Jeff a straight answer to any question.
Controversially, Brandon would returning for The second Fans vs Favorites.
- The Apprentice: To Coach.
- Beware the Honest Ones: Constantly blurts out his or his alliances' plans to the intended victims (or, more commonly, in front of everyone), to the point where the others take to keeping him in the dark as much as possible because they can't trust him to stay quiet. The one time he actually tries to lie strategically himself, he ends up publicly breaking down and confessing at tribal council.
- Black and White Insanity: Flat out states that he sees the world as divided into good and evil, with no middle ground.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: his extreme religiousness caused him to come across as this.
- Creepy Child
- Enfant Terrible: The third 19-year-old to play.
- Everyone Has Standards: Stands up for Cochran after he flips and Jim calls him a coward.
- Former Teen Rebel
- Genre Blind: Is unpredictable in the Upolu dynamics, very bad at reading people, and makes moves and statements and has an attitude and stability that in any other season of Survivor would have had him gone within the first few episodes... even giving up immunity.
- Hero with an F in Good
- Honor Before Reason: To the point where he makes Colby and Ian look sensible by comparison. It probably didn't help that he was living with someone like Coach all season long.
- Informed Attribute: Sophie claims that Brandon could've won if he'd been in the final three because he was a hard worker and everybody liked him. Try and figure that out. Apparently, he was one of the nicest people there, at least according to everyone who was with him for that time, but the cameras only showed the side that appeared on television.
- Oh, Crap!: You can probably pinpoint the exact moment that he realizes just how bad of an idea it was to give his immunity necklace to Albert.
- Religious Bruiser: Is deeply Religious and is a born-again Christian. As a result, he goes after Mikayla.
- Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny
- The Sixth Ranger: In the main alliance on Upolu, but nobody trusts him, due to his tendency toward self-destructive outbursts.
- Spin-Offspring: He is the nephew of... well Russell Hantz.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Similar to Taj, he easily received the most screen time prior to the merge, by virtue of being Russell Hantz's nephew. He even managed to turn his uncle into The Ghost. Post-merge, it was passed over to Cochran.
- Tattooed Crook
- Asian and Nerdy: Anesthesiologist, and also a friend of Mick Trimming.
- Butt-Monkey: She the Unfavorite. Edna gotten 15 votes against her in one season. The most for a women at the time.note
- Distaff Counterpart: To Cochran.
- Informed Ability: When it's either her or Mikayla to be booted, Sophie and Albert mention her sneakiness and distrust of the tribe as reason to get rid of her, but none of that was ever shown.
- Informed Flaw: Also of note, while Albert and Sophie also wanted to get rid of her for being weak, Upolu only lost challenges that she didn't participate in (the only contestant to sit out challenges that season).
- Odd Couple: With Coach.
- Ship Tease: With Coach.
- Sixth Ranger/The Chick: To Upolu.
- Team Mom
- The Unfavorite: Was put up as an option for elimination every time her tribe was up for a vote, outright told she wasn't part of the Upolu 6, and even had Brandon attempting to make her lose when she needed immunity the most.
Cochran would return for The second Fans vs Favorite season.
- Ascended Fanboy: And how!
- Proof at the end of the page here; he's shown posing with Mario Lanza, writer of the Funny 115 and THE Survivor fan, a year before he was even on Survivor.
- Butt-Monkey: Which eventually leads to him biting back.
- The Dog Bites Back: He flips on Savaii at the merge because he felt he was treated poorly and helps Upolu get rid of Keith.
- Fish out of Water: His impressive theoretical knowledge of the game didn't help him much once he was actually out there. He was largely useless in challenges, precious little help around camp, and had very limited social skills beyond a certain self-effacing charm.
- Foreshadowing: There was quite a bit of buildup in the edit to him flipping at the merge.
- In-Series Nickname: Invoked; he asks Jeff to refer to him by his last name in a similar manner as Colby Donaldson or Jonathan Penner. Admittedly; with how many people named "John" there have been in the show; it's probably not a bad thing.
- The Load: in challenges, he was known for being a liability.
- Nerd Glasses
- No Social Skills
- The Unfavorite: Of Savaii
- The Quisling
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Flips to Upolu at Merge. When it's reduced to him and the six Upolu's... three guesses who gets sent out. First two don't count.
- Sadly Mythtaken: When Coach calls himself Zeus, Cochran says, "Didn't Zeus eat his children?" It was actually Kronos he did that. He lampshaded this after the show; when he tweeted that he got them confused when they aired that episode.
- Sickly Neurotic Geek
- Sixth Ranger: To Upolu after he flips at the merge. Yes, that's three people listed as Sixth Rangers to Upolu.
- Spear Counterpart: To Edna.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad
- Straw Fan: Some see him as the producers taking a jab at the fandom, as he's a nerdy load who thinks he's better than what he is (or at least was).
- Unwitting Pawn: To Upolu
- Who's Laughing Now?: A nerdy kid, made fun of by his tribe, flips on them, and watches them suffer.
- Subverted, as he ends up leaving right after they do, finally realizing he made a bad move.
- With Friends Like These...: Was allied with Jim during his coup against Ozzy, but Jim made it clear (to us, at least), that he was only using Cochran as an extra vote.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Was always an option at elimination and treated poorly or excluded at the Savaii camp. The Destroyer part comes when he single handedly doomed his tribe (and himself) to the jury.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Delivers a pretty epic one after losing the duel to Ozzy.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
- The Chick: To Savaii.
- Living Prop: Until Keith was sent packing, she had no screen time that didn't include him.
- Out of Focus: Surprisingly so, for a well known celebrity. It's been speculated that this might be punishment by the editors for letting slip some spoilers to one of her concert audiences.
- Ship Tease: With Keith. They had a Relationship Upgrade after the show and competed on The Amazing Race 25.
- Selective Obliviousness: Saw herself as a victim of ostracism at the hands of the Upolu, particularly in an immunity challenge where only the Savaii members (excluding Cochran) compete.
Dawn would return for the Second Fans vs. Favorites season.
- Action Mom: Easily the strongest woman on Savaii.
- Cool Old Lady: She almost single-handedly won the fourth immunity challenge for Savaii, did better than Ozzy on the third, and won the first individual immunity challenge.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: once she was able to recover from her emotional breakdown near the beginning of the season, she proved herself to be one of, if not the strongest woman, in challenges.
- Character Development: Similar to Cochran, she proves herself to the tribe and was one of their best competitors in the challenges. This and being a threat for individual immunity is why Upolu voted her out.
- Determinator: She even trained for ten months to be ready for the show.
- Sixth Ranger: To Savaii up until Elyse's blindside.
- Team Mom
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After Ozzy's Suicide by Cop, he berated Cochran for not taking the fall, and advised that he should "step up and show the world what you can do." Cochran would indeed do just that... by flipping and getting Keith out.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: The first one targeted by Upolu post-merge.
- Informed Flaw: His pacemaker. The fact is barely mentioned outside his pre-game interview.
- Handicapped Badass: First contestant with a pacemaker, and also happens to be one of Savaii's strongest members. Surprisingly for the show, the fact that he has a pacemaker is barely mentioned at all.
- Jerk Jock: Again, to Cochran
- Karmic Death: It is Cochran's vote that sends him out.
- The Lancer: To Ozzy
- Ship Tease: With Whitney. They did have a Relationship Upgrade post game and competed on The Amazing Race 25.
Jim was one of the candidates who was eligible to return for the Second Chance season. However, Jim failed to get enough votes and didn't return.
- Card-Carrying Villain
- The Chessmaster
- The Consigliere: To Savaii, and Ozzy.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Disc-One Final Boss
- Genius Bruiser: Evidenced by his setting a Survivor record in the weight-bearing challenge.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Why did Jim take it so personally when Cochran flipped to Upolu after the votes were tied? Because he and Cochran were the only two Savaii members in danger of elimination in the tie-breaker that would otherwise have followed (due to the odd rules of the Purple Rock of Doom). Jim had been willing to take the risk, and saw Cochran's actions as pure cowardice.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Smug Snake
- The Starscream: To Ozzy in the tribal phase.
- The Smart Guy/The Evil Genius.
- The Strategist
Christine Shields Markoski
- Badass Teacher: The first woman to win an individual Redemption Island duel, and to win two or more. The second woman to win a Redemption Island duel overall.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong
- Downer Ending: See Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
- Elimination Statement: (While tossing her buff into the urn) "This might explode. Be careful, stay back."
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Wins every Redemption Island duel, except for the one at merge time.
Mikayla was on the 32 candidates eligible to return for the Second Chance season but wasn't didn't get enough votes to return.
- Older Than They Look: She's 44. She looks younger than Dawn; when Dawn is the younger of the two!
- Sassy Black Woman
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: To the point of a Verbal Tic.
- Taking You with Me: At her duel, she revealed as much about Upolu's dynamic as she could to the Savaii observers.
- Talkative Loon: Try deciphering her tirade on Redemption Island before the duel.
Mark "Papa Bear" Caruso