These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Accidental Innuendo: Jeff Probst's commentary on challenges involving balls or poles has reached an almost memetic status in the Survivor fandom. Rob Cesternino has even started running a "Jeff Probst Inappropriate Comment of the Week" segment on his Survivor podcasts.
Plenty of examples from the contestants as well. For example Vanuatu's confessional from Chris Daugherty about how opening up to women and showing them vulnerability convinces them to "open up that back door."
What about the running joke of Jeff constantly saying "X getting in on the action!" in recent seasons?
Alternative Character Interpretation: Everyone. It's been stated time and time again that what the camera shows is not indicative of what each castaway is really like, so opinions on each character are going to vary wildly.
The show itself. Is it a semi-voyeuristic slice of life about people stranded in the wild, a social experiment that tests peoples morality, an adventure show that just happened to evolve into a game, a cutthroat strategy game that just happens to take place outdoors, or some combination of the above?
Anvilicious: The editing style of choice for the show, especially during the more recent seasons. When the show wants you to feel something about a player or a situation, they hammer their point down HARD. Sometimes it's subverted, such as the subtly sweet relationship between Rodger and Elisabeth during Australian Outback or the friendship between Tom and Ian during Palau, but examples like those are more the exception that proves the rule.
There was a scene in One World where a pig shows up from out of nowhere in the tribe's camp. Everyone starts to try and chase it while comical music plays, and... then cut to the immunity challenge. The pig isn't brought up after the challenge, and the only reason we know they didn't catch it is that there are a few shots of the same pig after the challenge. Fan theory is that the editors threw in that scene as Foreshadowing of Michael Skupin coming back for season 25.
Then there was this moment in Heroes Versus Villains. Courtney is wandering through the jungle and ... comes across Russell and Coach on a giant see-saw. Russell and Coach on a giant see-saw. If it was any other two contestants it wouldn't have been that big a deal, but - those two? True to the trope, it comes out of nowhere and is never explained.
The Caramoan finale featured an audience interview with Rudy Boesch for no apparent reason. That would be BLAM-worthy in and of itself, but the segment featured a taped greeting from Richard Hatch to Rudy... nude, of course.
Broken Base: Between the fans who like the new seasons for the complicated strategy and twists, and the fans who miss the character development and higher production values of the earlier seasons.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Most players seem to have settled on the following strategy: When you hit the beach, you start making alliances of about three to five other people. Then you start sticking your hand in holes, digging up areas under suspicious looking logs or rocks, or looking in suspicious trees to find the idol. Then you start voting out people who are weak or sick, sometimes voting out physically stronger players because they're not as loyal. Around merge, especially if it's the last tribe-tribal council, you target the people who carried your tribe in the tribal phase and then target the other team's stronger players to reduce them to just one person. Then the person in charge of the alliance starts picking off the loads or the people in second or third, while the people at the bottom (or loads) start plotting to get the people on top voted out.
Extra emphasis on "complacent" in recent years (meaning Samoa to One World at least), as the prevailing strategy in several seasons has been "don't upset the apple cart". You have entire casts content to let the status quo be, allowing alliance ringleaders to waltz to the finals unopposed; such as Russell in Samoa, Rob in Redemption Island, and Colton until his medical evacuation in One World. This last one was especially frustrating, because Colton was a petty racist bully and almost nobody was shown to even speak up in defense of his targets.
As you might have noticed from other tropes listed here, production plays favorites when it comes to screen time, due to their ability to effectively carry the season. More often than not, they fail.
Ben "Coach" Wade. Before Tocantins began, Jeff Probst claimed that he would be the most popular contestant since Rupert. He then became the focus of the entire season, often getting more screentime than the entire rest of the cast combined. To say there was a backlash would be putting it mildly.
Russell Hantz, if only for the fact that the viewers had to put up with him for three nearly-consecutive seasons: Samoa/The Russell Hantz Show and Heroes Vs Villains/Heroes vs. Russell; viewers then got a one-season break before he returned again for Redemption Island (but not for long, thankfully).
While Boston Rob was never too unpopular in All-Stars and Heroes vs. Villains, he hit this point after a large amount of shilling from the producers. Returning with other previous players in reunion seasons is one thing - coming back again for a showdown with Russell is another.
Philip on Redemption Island became this due to overexposure. He becomes this again for the same reason in Caramoan.
Ozzy on South Pacific. He was given a disproportionate amount of time in the reunion show, even including a question from a child in the audience basically asking how he was so awesome, at the expense of the other players including that season's winner. This for someone who was voted out three times, alternated between non-existent and disastrous strategy (his "Get himself voted out" gambit arguably cost his tribe the game, as it's intended target Christine had repeatedly expressed to them her hatred of Coach and would likely have been more loyal to him than eventual turncoat Cochran), frequently frustrated his alliance-mates with his fixation on Semhar and Elyse, and only got as far as he did because of the Redemption Island twist and his strength at the individual challenges.
Tony from Cagayan is getting hit with shades of this. He was Genre Savvy enough to find the Tyler Perry idol with no clues, which some fans argue that he was told where it was. Taken to an extreme again, when he won a rock draw against Spencer for an "advantage," which turned out to be a second hidden immunity idol. And then he won in a landslide...
Crosses the Line Twice: Colton. He once referred to Leif (Who is a dwarf) as an "Oompa Loompa", and another time talked about sending him back to Munchkinland. And this is just his relationship with one person...
Dork Age: People often say that a season where somebody deemed undeserving wins, or with a cast full of people who are The Quiet One or where everyone's just really mean-hearted, boring, etc. Seasons 3-5 are sometimes considered the Dork Age (although Africa was more so considered one by the editors because it was so hot out the players laid around all day and didn't do much interesting); but some have been claiming the show's been in a Dork Age since 2009 due to the trends of, among other things, having a Creator's Pet who the editors make a one-man Spotlight-Stealing Squad and casts full of players that are too conservative/cowardly to act at best and Too Dumb to Live at worst, if they aren't just Living Props for the Creator's Pet. Philippines has bucked this trend.
Dude, Not Funny!: Oftentimes; seeing people fall down, getting thrown around, etc is pretty funny...until they're really hurt and sometimes have a game breaking injury.
A special case goes to Kat in One World. Throughout the game, she's pretty naive and justifies it with "I'm only twenty two!". A lot of the fanbase (and even the fellow players) don't entirely buy these. However, her accusations of "I'm only twenty two!" become a little more weighty when you consider that she needed to have open heart surgery in about one or two years.
Every so often, characters who only make it a short way or fall short of winning tend to become fan favorites. This usually results in them being called back for an All-Star season:
Sonja, the first person ever voted out of Survivor, and Colleen Haskell, who was the first "sweet girl" on the show from Borneo.
Elisabeth Filarski, Colleen's Expy from The Australian Outback, though less so after she Took a Level in Jerkass as a co-host on The View.
"Boston" Rob Mariano, from Marquesas was the first utilized example of this trope. Despite only coming 10th in his original season, he was asked back again for All-Stars where his game essentially made him the face of Survivor - he was even invited back for Heroes vs. Villains, being voted out again just before the jury stages, and even had an entire season created for him to win.
Andrew Savage from Pearl Islands, the leader of the increasingly desperate Morgan tribe who continually lost challenges while keeping a positive face and a winning attitude, voted out thanks to the outcasts twist. The even greater example of this trope in Pearl Islands is obviously Rupert Boneham, who was one of the most unique and outlandish individuals to play the game at that point. His popularity earn him a spot on both All-Stars and Heroes vs. Villains, placing better on those seasons than he did on this one, as well as his own million dollars on America's Tribal Council.
Eliza Orlins from Vanuatu, perhaps one of the most notable examples of the Plucky Girl on the show - she went to every Tribal Council in danger, and always managed to escape by the skin of her teeth, and became the poster child for resilience. At least, until...
Stephenie LaGrossa from Palau basically became the face of Survivor in 2005, despite only coming 7th in her season. Stephenie was the sole survivor of her tribe's utter annihilation (which would forever henceforth be called "Ulonging" after her tribe) at the hands of Koror, and would be known for years on end as "America's Sweetheart". She was even invited back in Guatemala, where she was the runner-up.
Cirie Fields from Panama was the epitome of the woman on the couch, a fan of the show who was, at the start, scared of leaves. Come the end of the show, she's become the face of strategy on Survivor, returned for Micronesia and Heroes vs. Villains, and basically revolutionised the way people strategise on Survivor.
Yau-Man Chan from Fiji, the elderly Asian-American computer engineer who was deceptively good in challenges and was one of the nicest and child-friendly contestants that had been on Survivor, which earned him a return to Micronesia.
Jane Bright from Nicaragua, the Cool Old Lady who was one of the only people in the history of Survivor to go into the show having practiced making fire, and only went on the show to become the Ensemble Darkhorse - she succeeded, and became America's Favourite Contestant that year. Brenda Lowe and Marty Piombo, both strong competitive players taken out at the beginning of the merge are also examples. Brenda continued to be one in Caramoan, despite getting barely any screen time for the first half of the game, she almost one fan favorite.
Stephanie on Redemption Island, one of Russell Hantz's "dumb ass girls". She was one of his best lambs, and captured more screen time than most of the other tribe, despite being voted out before the merge.
Although he has not yet been brought back, Bobby "Bob Dawg" Mason from Panama has a sizable online fandom thanks to his performances in challenges, his unique personality, and his razor sharp quips and put downs.
Despite winning, Probst considered Denise from Philippines to be one since he didn't expect her to be popular. Nonetheless, fans were won over by her underdog story and no-nonsense attitude.
Malcolm Freberg from Philippines and Caramoan has also become one due to his looks, his laidback personality and the fact that he's a true triple threat who also happens to be a super fan of the game.
Allie Pohevitz has a pretty large fan base despite being voted out second in Caramoan, due to being a super fan of the game (and one of the few who actually applied) as well as not being afraid to speak her mind.
Hayden Moss. While he was Stunt Cast, proved to be one of the most likable contestants on Survivor Blood vs Water.
Despite early claims of being The Scrappy (even by Jeff), Spencer from Cagayan has jumped into this trope due to him being the Only Sane Man on what many consider the stupidest tribe ever.This is later proved even more post merge as he becomes a underdog who despite being out numbered has somehow made it to the endgame.
In terms of fan-favorite seasons, there's The Amazon, Pearl Islands, China, Micronesia, Heroes vs Villains (Which is Jeff's favorite season as well) and Philippines.
Epileptic Trees: Some of the theories in this thread (which documents the history of online Survivor spoilers) can get pretty creative and outlandish, especially the Follow The Star theory by a Survivor Sucks poster called "Tapewatcher" which claimed that Ethan would win Africa because the editing symbolized him as Jesus.
Evil Is Sexy: Female examples are Parvati, Jerri, Ami, Danielle, Courtney, Abi-Maria, and Corinne. Male examples are Brian, "Boston" Rob, and Tyson.
Beauty Equals Goodness: On the other hand, the "Good" characters can boast Ozzy, Colby, J.T., Stephenie, Sierra, Sugar, Brenda(on Caramoan),Amanda,Malcolm, Hayden, Spencer, and Woo.
Foe Yay: Some contestants can be a little-too-obsessed with a fellow castaway they claim they don't like.
Russell Hantz was fixated on Boston Rob during Heroes Vs Villains, while everyone else in turn became fixated on Russell.
Kelly Wiglesworth and Sue Hawk from Borneo is a pretty sad example, given that they seemed to be good friends at one point.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In Fiji, Boo's Blunders are hilarious until the final episode when he tears his ACL. Nobody was laughing then.
The Survivor Sucks message board had a running joke they would play on newbies about Borneo's B.B. Andersen having been dead for years. It became a lot less funny on October 29th 2013, when B.B. died for real.
Genius Bonus: In South Pacific, Christine angrily calls Coach "King Farouk" after she's voted out. Anyone familiar with the history of this kingnote An Egyptian pharaoh that was popular at first, but the internal rivalries of his administration and his alienation of the military - along with his increasing excesses and eccentricities - eventually caused his downfall could catch this as Foreshadowing on behalf of the editors that Coach was going to lose.
In one episode of Marquesas, Zoe compares the raft that her tribe is making for the upcoming reward challenge to Kon-Tiki, the famous raft used by Thor Heyerdahl in the 1940's to demonstrate that indigenous people from South America may have settled in Polynesia at one point. Heyerdahl first envisioned this hypothesis (which would later be largely discredited) while living in the Marquesas Islands.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Australia, after watching the first episode in Survivor Borneo, B.B. was perhaps one of the most popular characters on Survivor when it aired at the time, and the general consensus was that the Pagong tribe, apart from B.B., were lazy.
Harsher in Hindsight: Before Thailand, Jeff had said that the cast of that season looked to be the best that the show had so far. Thailand to this day remains to be Jeff's least favorite season.
Before the car challenge that Cindy won in Guatemala , Lydia says she is going to try to win it for her teenage son. Less than a year later, her only son would die in a car crash.
In Richard's last confessional, he says that "a million dollars could really change someone's life." It changed his, but for the worst; the tax snafu whose origin is still debated by fans put him in prison for years and is still something that haunts his image til this day.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Amber mentioned in her audition tape for Australia that the host visited her in a dream and told her she would win. Which she did...the second time she played.
In an early episode of Pearl Islands, after arguing with Sandra, Jonny Fairplay declared in a confessional that "I got a million that says she won't be the final one!" Guess who ended being the first (and so far only) two-time winner?
In the "Meet the Cast" videos for Samoa, Jeff mentions that Russell apparently doesn't realize it's a social game - guess what comes back and bites him in the ass?
In the cast assessment for Cagayan, Jeff described Spencer of having "zero point zero chance of winning" based on his interactions with him. Fifteen days into the season, Spencer becomes one of his favorite players.
Hypocritical Fandom: If a male lies, cheats, backstabs, and manipulates his way into the final two or three and wins, the fandom praises his gameplay. If a woman does the same, she's considered dislikable and is the "Worst winner yet".
Heck, one person even said this about responses to Amber from the U.S. "All Stars" season, who was considered one of those "Worst winners yet".
"If that was Amber doing all the strategizing, lying, backstabbing, deal-making, and manipulating, would you still say she's one of the worst winners ever?"
The funny thing is, Amber actually did make the deal that she and Rob went back on, while she was in the other tribe with Lex and Kathy. All Rob did was mutter to Lex, "You'll take care of her and I'll take care of you," while she made the specific promises and convinced them she and Rob would repay them. But even the people she worked out the deal with forgot her part in it and put all the blame on Rob.
Similarly, a lot of people tend to see some old strategies as being "lazy", despite praising players like Vecepia for it.
Iron Woobie: Stephenie LaGrossa is seen as this first in Palau when she was alone on the Ulong tribe, and then again after Heroes vs. Villains - some unconfirmed rumors state that she was eliminated because she was still hurting from having her shoulder dislocated in the first challenge in the game.
It's the Same, so It Sucks: Some of the criticisms of the show for returning to previous filming locations (Panama, Samoa). Even some of the producers have thought this, but in between the weathernote Samoa got hit by a tsunami barely a week after Heroes vs Villains finished filming and political unrestnote The Fijian Coup de'tat even happened as the season was being wrapped up. Plus, Jordan was considered as a location for the show once but canned due to 9/11., finding a new location for the show is easier said than done, especially since they have to have worthy housing for three hundred people. They even stated that some locations are out due to problems with the area, such as Africa wherein everyone was sick and too hot to do anything, Guatemala where the temperature would regularly be over one hundred degrees F, or Marquesas where the insects inflicted quite a bit of discomfort amongst the contestants and staff. Therefore, reusing locations is a bit of a necessary evil, and even plenty of the staff would love to go to new locations too.
It's also been speculated that they always have to film it on an island away from civilization or in the event of a mainland one like Gabon, China, or Amazon, in a very secluded area due to speculations of people trying to fly or drive into the filming area(s) and spoil or disrupt the game. It's speculated that's why they won't film it in Australia again, or try Alaska.
Jerkass Woobie: Many, with Brandon Hantz being a notable example. The guy's a hotheaded jerk, no doubt, but it's clear that he has a lot of issues. With the death of Caleb, Colton can also be this.
Love It or Hate It: The very early seasons (Borneo, The Australian Outback, and Africa). Some people love them for their emphasis on the wildness survival aspect, adventure, and superior character development(compared to the later seasons, everyone on the early seasons got a fair share of the camera time), while others hate them for their lack of sophisticated game play, pagongings, and the more neutral, impartial attitude of Jeff Probst compared to later seasons.
The later seasons also apply (Post-Season 12). While some people love the sophisticated plotting compared to the earlier seasons and the various additions to the show (most notably the Hidden Immunity Idol), other viewers find the heavy emphasis on strategy at the expense of everything else(including things like character development), as well as host Jeff Probst's interventionist approach to player politics, to have ruined the show from it's "former glory".
Love to Hate: Richard Hatch and "Boston" Rob; both play hard and talk big but ultimately treat the game with as much seriousness as reality TV deserves (that is, little to none). Sandra could be added to this list, too - she's abrasive, but her "cut the crap" attitude can be very refreshing.
Magnificent Bastard: Richard Hatch from Borneo, Tina Wesson from The Australian Outback, Brian Heidik from Thailand, Chris Daugherty from Vanuatu, Yul Kwon from Cook Islands, Todd Herzog from China, Parvati Shallow from Micronesia, Kim Spradlin from One World, John Cochran from Caramoan, Tyson Apostol from Blood Vs. Water, and Tony Vlachos from Cagayan. Sandra Diaz-Twine was less outright manipulative, but she was able to win twice (Pearl Islands and Heroes Vs. Villains).
Honorable mention goes to "Boston" Rob Mariano, who dominated All-Stars and came within one vote of winning the million dollars, but still got away with far more than any second-placer can even dream of, starting with marrying the winner. (He would eventually win himself in Redemption Island, but fans attribute that more to the simple-mindedness of Rob's allies than Rob's own abilities.)
Other honorable mentions go to Rob Cesternino from The Amazon, Jonny Fairplay from Pearl Islands, Cirie Fields from Panama and even more so in Micronesia, Jessica "Sugar" Kiper and Kenny Hoang from Gabon, Stephen Fischbach from Tocantins, Russell Hantz in Samoa and Heroes vs Villains, Benjamin "Coach" Wade his third time around in South Pacific, Jonathan Penner in Philipinnes, and Malcolm Freberg from Philippines and Caramoan.
While his gambit was ultimately unsuccessful, another honorable mention goes to Hayden Moss who tried to take over Blood vs Water by forcing Tyson, Ciera, and Katie to draw rocks, saving himself another day. Had Tyson drawn the white rock, he would have definitely been one of Survivor's Magnificent Bastards, but even so it was an honest effort.
Moe: Colleen Haskell from Borneo, Amber Brkich and Elisabeth Filarski from Australian Outback, Kim Powers from Africa, Eliza Orlins from Vanuatu and Micronesia, Michelle Yi from Fiji, Courtney Yates from China and Heroes vs Villains, Sugar Kiper from Gabon and Heroes vs Villains.
Mis-blamed: In South Pacific, Coach questions his alliance with Brandon Hantz after finding out he's related to Russell Hantz, because he remembers how Russell said he was also a man of god and then voted him out in Heroes vs. Villains...however, Russell was one of the people who didn't vote for Coach at his Final Tribal Council, along with Jerri. In fact; Russell and Jerri actually voted with him.
While Alicia finishing fifth in One World' was definitely a moment of awesome in of itself, a lot of people were expecting for her to get a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from the jury for being highly unlikable and'' not even trying to get herself further.
Earlier than both of these, Terry and Cirie being potentially in the final two of Panama. They were voted out third and fourth respectively, leading to a rather anticlimactic Final two.
Narm: Rupert's explosion towards Jon following the sixth tribal council in Pearl Islands should at least cause a chuckle to first time viewers.
Rupert: WHAT THE(deleted)WAS THAT(deleted)TONIGHT?!
Fairplay: I was down for Drake, dude. I made-
Rupert: Dammit, LOOK AT ME!
Fairplay: I'M LOOKING AT-
Rupert: WHAT THE(deleted)WAS THAT(deleted)-
Fairplay: I made a decision based on Drake!
Rupert: YOU'RE STARTING TO(deleted)NOW!Damn.
Nausea Fuel: People do get hurt in Survivor. Heck, it's an inherent risk, especially in the more recent season in which they have fighting challenges. However, one particular moment following a rather vicious looking challenge in Fans vs. Favourites had many viewers looking away from the TV screaming, "EW EW EW EW EW!!!" or feeling like they were about to lose their lunch. Jonathan Penner received a puncture wound to the knee and had to be evacuated from the game due to an infection that could potentially have taken out his leg. They actually showed the medic irrigating the puncture wound on TV to show how bad it was.
The show itself is never going to live down Russell...especially since they keep finding ways directly and indirectly work him into almost every season.
Marquesas has this in two parts: the first is that the location had so much discomfort from the bugs that it will never be used again. The second is that because Paschal refused to vote off Neleh (his best friend in the game), and took the fall by the Purple Rock. In future season, there are instance that contestants betrayed alliance-mates so they don't end up forcing a tie and risk drawing the infamous rock themselves. Drawing rocks did return for Blood Vs Water, thanks to Hayden's clever Batman Gambit though.
The accusations by Borneo contestant Stacey Stillman that the producer's persuaded Sean and Dirk into voting her off so they could save the more colorful Rudy, and Dirk's eventual admittance in court that this was true, has cast a shadow over the show for years and made many viewers question whether any other game influencing Executive Meddling has taken place.
Older Than They Think: Actually not American from the beginning - the concept originated in Sweden as Expedition Robinson back in 1997. It was picked up by CBS in 2000, and the rest is history.
Certain twists meanwhile. Tribal switches had happened before Africa, and the concept of Redemption Island was actually used in previous versions of Survivor, often called "Island of the Dead" or "island of purgatory".
Old Guard Versus New Blood: As the strategy of Survivor has become more complex over the years, less emphasis has been placed on certain aspects that brought older fans into the show in the first place (such as the adventure element, which has sadly been more or less ignored in recent years) . As more and more twists became commonplace on the show (the hidden immunity idol, for example), there was also less time for character development. Old Guard fans complained about all the time being spent on strategy and twists, which lead to generic and dull seasons such as fan unfavorite Fiji and Redemption Island. These complaints consequently lead to the producers casting Spotlight-Stealing Squad contestants like Coach, Rob, and Russell, and editing the show in the over the top style that we see in the most recent seasons. Of course, Old Guard fans still haven't gotten what they wanted, and they complain that the lack of adventure and character development in these newer seasons is even worse than they were in Cook Islands or Fiji, while on the other side of the equation, the New Blood fans complain about the older seasons for being boring and lacking in strategy.
"Arson" was one for the fan pairing of Aras and Tyson.
Rescued From The Scrappy Heap
Coach in Heroes vs Villians. He was less obnoxious and he became good at the challenges (and we were less exposed to his... "eccentricities" thanks to Russell). Compare him in Tocantins to South Pacific. Likewise, Jerri became very well liked by fans throughout Heroes vs Villains, especially when you compare how she was booed off the stage in her previous appearance in the reunion show and how the crowd cheered and applauded her in this recent one. Her smile could've just lighted up the whole studio.
Boston Rob's gotten a variation; he was never anybody's Scrappy, but he's certainly been rescued from the villain heap. He came into Heroes vs. Villains as the arch-manipulator untrustworthy bad guy, but was arguably more heroic than most of the hero tribe, especially when put with other non-villain Villains such as Sandra and Courtney. Not to mention having actual villains such as Randy, Tyson, and Russell around to contrast with suddenly made Rob look like a pretty nice, easygoing guy (marriage and fatherhood probably helped too). By Redemption Island, his tribe immediately expressed relief that they got the "good" veteran.
Clarence Black from the Africa season. After being ostracized by his tribe for most of the game because he ate a can of beans from said tribe's food rations while the others were away searching for a water source , he later on shapes up, works hard at camp and in the challenges, and eventually earns back their respect.
Jenna Morasca wasn't all that popular in her original season due to being viewed as being rather bitchy. In All-Stars however, many had sympathized with her heart-breaking story and her new found kindness had led to viewers seeing her in a different light. Her former relationship with Africa winner Ethan Zohn rescued her from the scrappy heap as well.
Candice Cody (formerly Woodcock) in Blood vs. Water. While she wasn't hated, she wasn't particularly iconic when she was cast on Heroes vs. Villains, and flipping on the Heroes after the merge didn't exactly increase her favor. In addition, she and her husband John were last-minute replacements for R.C. (from Phillipines) and her father (whose low blood pressure caused them to be pulled right before filming), coloring the perceptions of both fans and players, to the point that Candice was voted out before the game even started! However, her underdog status, her attempts to influence the game from Redemption Island, and the fact that she and her Ensemble Darkhorse husband had both an interesting story arc and were the last remaining romantic couple in the game gained her plenty of fan favor.
To a lesser extent, Redemption Island itself in Blood vs. Water. While fans still largely hate the concept of Redemption Island, the dynamic it added to this particular season was well-received by many. Who still never want to see it again. See Scrappy Mechanic below.
Rewatch Bonus: There's actually quite a lot - the "Funny 115" site actually points out how easy it is to miss these, but if you re-watch a season, you can spot a lot of foreshadowing.
Anyone who quits without a good reason(people like Jenna Morasca(Who left because of her dying mother), Kathy Sleckman, or Dana(who left due to being in intolerable pain) may get a pass) due to ejecting themselves on a show people would kill for.
Of the quitters, Colton Crumbie gets the most hate for being Racist and Elitist especially towards Bill and Christina. No one felt sorry for him when he was evacuated. The announcement of his return annoyed everyone and it was justified just cried and quit after a week in the game because no one wanted to play the game his way.
Russell Hantz to the older fans because being a Creator's Pet who steals time from the other castaways and doesn't realize that its a social game and never understood why he lost. He came this in general in Heroes vs Villains due to becoming Dumber and more being more horrid to his castaways than in Samoa
The Hidden Immunity Idols. In their earlier seasons, they weren't easy to find, thus making it a true treasure hunt. Ever since Samoa, the idols are now hidden in the near vicinity of the camp, in very easy to find places. This has lead to players finding them easily (at least those savvy enough to look for them) and being able to use several of them throughout the season, with Russell Hantz being the most well known example at how he'd find and use so many of them. Fans have grown tired of this ease to find the idols, as they feel it can interfere with the strategic portions of the game if the players are more focused on running around the island to find the idols than on anything else. This is not helped by rumors that the camera crew outright points out the idol locations to certain players, an allegation supported by several players themselves.
Having returning players tends to give them an unfair advantage in both experience and the fact that the new players are a little starstruck; In Redemption Island and South Pacific Rob's tribe wound up following him like a cult and Ozzy's and Coach's tribes weren't much better (though to be fair, Russell was put at an equally large disadvantage; his tribe throwing a challenge to get him out). It also leads to them hogging all the screen time.
Rob and Russell were placed in the same situation; whether it was an advantage or a disadvantage depended on them. Rob (at least by then) was the kind of guy people wanted to keep around, even if he was dangerous. Russell was...not. In general, though, it does appear that being a returning player does give you an advantage over new players, as long as you have some ability to learn from past mistakes.
For some of the fans, the change to Final 3 seems like this. Probst said that it is used to help future fan favorites to win. However, contestants simply mostly voted off the one who most likely to win at the final 4 anyway. Also, Final 3 reduces the level of backstabbing compared to older seasons. Furthermore, the season that started this new feature (Cook Islands) given viewers and contestants no prior warning. Also, in most final threes, It is an effective final two due to one finalist being a goat(being hated, viewed as a terrible goat or both.)
Redemption Island, from the season of the same name and South Pacific, has several problems associated with it: It cheapened the Tribal Council vote by allowing another path to winning, with the possibility to eliminate the entire "vote people out and then convince them to give you a million dollars" concept that is at the core of the show's drama. It made players play more conservatively instead of shaking things up; as there's less of an incentive to pursue a controversial vote if the victim could come back. Reward challenges were replaced by RI eliminations, cutting off a source of creating drama for the tribe and giving it to those already halfway gone. Finally, it ultimately meant nothing since there was little effect on the boot order (Matt was ousted so quick both times it's like he never came back; Ozzy came back so quickly from his first time it's like he never left, and Ozzy's second time was almost like Matt's except he stalled one vote by winning immunity).
So far Blood vs Water seems to be averting a lot of the dreariness Redemption Island had in its other two seasons; mixed with the family twist, it brings out much more interesting dynamics. The players have a stake in who is playing; when their loved one is there, they can lash out at the other tribe or cheer on their loved one in RI. It creates natural drama between the tribes and there is a whole new element of being accountable for one's actions since there is a forum where both tribes and contestants in RI must hash things out with. That's before getting to the new twists that have already been shown off as things that affected the season: Loved ones can switch out with their partner and play in RI, and the eliminated castmember could switch spots (which Rupert did, and lost the first duel.) In addition, the player who wins the duel gives a clue to a HII to whoever they want, something Candice has both used to aid her husband and weaponized against the Culpeppers. There are a whole slew of new dynamics in RI during Blood vs Water that actually make it a worthwhile mechanic.
Having exactly eight members on the jury can be this. This can increase the event a tie at final tribal council, Especially at Micronesia's final tribal council with had 2 finalists. It doesn't help that every season with 8 jurors had some form of irregular elimination, making it look like they affect the jury numbers. Also, can this cut out people who can make great a jury speech like Corinne in Caramoan.
The Tyler Perry Idol in Cagayan. Basically it ensures a free spot to the Final 4.
Thailand was seen as a hit and miss, thanks to a winner that could have been seen coming a mile away, boring and unimaginative challenges, and generally not having as many high points as other seasons.
Fiji also was hit with this and They Changed It, Now It Sucks; because only one person on the show actually applied. Everyone else was recruited. One other reason for this was the general Jerk Ass-ness of the cast combined with a dull predictable pre-merge game consisting of Ravu losing every single tribe with only tribal switches to make things interesting. The producers also admit that it's a failed experiment. (A "heaven" tribe and a "hell" tribe. Needless to say every challenge was more or less a Curb-Stomp Battle.)
Redemption Island with the unnecessary return of infamous spotlight members Boston Rob and Russell. While Russell was voted off third, it became clear that only one of the tribes had the power to carry the season, and once they were Pagonged, with absolutely no opposition to Boston Rob, it was clear that Boston Rob had zero chance of losing. Add in the amount of shilling worked into every single episode, as well as a Finale that can be completely summed up as "isn't Rob awesome?", and you got what's universally considered the worst season of Survivor. People were actually applauding not that Rob finally won, but that the season ended, with plenty of long-time fans having shut off the season mid-way. Even those who sat through the previous "worst seasons ever".
The constant use of returning castaways is threatening to cause additional rot. In the eight seasons between Heroes vs. Villains and Blood vs. Water, six of them have used returning castaways to one degree or another, potentially limiting the number of fresh applicants who want to be part of the show.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny
Some of the earlier seasons, mainly Borneo, The Australian Outback, and Africa, can be a little hard to watch nowadays because many people had played the strategy game so well that some of the early players seem like utter fools in comparison. Even predesignated roles - Jerri proudly wears the title of Survivor's original Villain, but seeing her in The Australian Outback in probably 10 years later can make her look like just a rude girl in comparison. (She admits as much in the premiere of Heroes Vs Villains, and she wasn't that villainous thereafter. See also Rescued from the Scrappy Heap where Jerri was applauded; whereas she was booed off the stage previously in the All-Stars reunion)
However, the earlier seasons had a different mindset than what was used today. Richard Hatch was HATED by the audience not just for being arrogant, but for daring to play the game as we know it at all, because at the time most people (including most of the earlier contestants) expected votes to be based on merit instead of politics and considered alliances and shrewd gameplay to be unethical.
The challenges also fall into this category. They were far less elaborate in the earlier seasons than they were in the more recent seasons, unless they were one of the Final Exam Boss type challenges.
Plays that were at the time novel and brilliant are now seen as commonplace - alliances (first appeared in Borneo), finding idols without clues, (Guatemala), Splitting votes to flush out the idol aka "Plan Voodoo" (First envisioned in Cook Islands, first implemented in Redemption Island), throwing challenges following a tribal switch (Africa), bait-and-switch voting (Fiji), idoling (Fiji again), and fake idols (Fijiagain) are all a part of the game so much that their use in later seasons has a lesser impact.
Certain twists, too. Tribal switches, hidden immunity idols, etc are so commonplace.
From a recent discussion on a fan board, some people have said that "Borneo" was the worst season of Survivor specifically because it was so boring and predictable with the players making no strategy to speak of.
Borneo is arguably a case of Values Dissonance. It's not that the players on the first season weren't aware of strategy, they were, but they felt that it took away from the spirit and fun of the show. To paraphrase Greg Buis, alliances were thought of as boring and a dick move(as opposed to just voting your conscious and maybe the best player would naturally come forth from that). Many fans on Survivor Sucks like to rank the seasons, and when they do, a lot of them don't include Borneo in their rankings for this very reason(that it is incompatible with later seasons). And for what Borneo lacks in strategy, it makes up for in character development. Compare it to any other season, recent seasons especially, and you will notice a greater depth in the confessionals and story arcs. No one is a "Brett" in the first season.
Part of why "Australian Survivor" didn't do so well was that it looked almost like a knock-off of the first season of Survivor. Not as much character development and most of the early episodes looked a bit like filming a camping trip.
Not to mention, some poorly-designed challenges. The first immunity challenge had to be redone because they had to light fires and the fires all went out. In another challenge, the team who won thought the other team lost due to poor luck and gave them the reward.
James gave vibes of this in Heroes vs. Villains. He was a lot more aggressive in his gameplay, and all he earned from that was a potential boot before the jury (at least that's what would've happened if his injury didn't keep him from playing).
Strawman Has A Point
There are a couple nice moves performed by players who may even be idiots at worst, there are several parts where even their haters admit that was actually a good move. Examples include:
Russell deducing Immunity Idol locations with only one (or no) clues, and organizing the eliminations of Tyson and Boston Rob.
Fairplay getting into the final three with two weaker players.
Phillip seeing through Ralph's "lie" about having the hidden Immunity Idol;
NaOnka plays the game a tad too personally. However, at one point, she gets involved in a blindside, so to get a numbers advantage, she pulls aside her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, Fabio, and gets him on board with it. In fact, when she even tells Fabio what she's involved in, he agrees that it was a good idea.
Abi-Maria acts like she's just taking the money and leaving from the Survivor auction... however when an advantage is offered, she immediately offers up all her money to get the advantage and try to break their alliance.
Super Couple: "Boston Rob" and Amber; from Marquesas and Australian Outback respectively but they courted while playing All-Stars. The fame from this parlayed into two stints on The Amazing Race (one regular, one in their All-Star season) and their own reality show.
Rob and Amber's utter domination of All-Stars resulted in future castaways becoming extremely leery of similar hook-ups in later seasons. If it even appears that a young male and a young female are starting to bond, one of the two will almost certainly get voted out at the next opportunity.
Surprise Difficulty: A lot of people who really know the game from watching it for years (like those in Micronesia) often wind up running into this when they actually play. Mario Lanza and others have pointed out that playing the game is much different than actually watching it on TV. When you watch it on TV, for one hour a week, you see the confessionals, the tribal councils, etc, and are often nice and clean, well-rested, and well-fed while watching it. When you're actually out on the battlefield, you do not see the Tribal Councils, the confessionals, or the moves made by the other side, and are always hungry and sleep-deprived. If you think about it, some plans that involved guessing at what people on the other tribe were thinking may have seen stupid to the viewers because weknew what happened on the other side, (while they didn't).
It was discussed at the end of Micronesia, also stating why fans vs favorite seasons don't always work out in favor of the fans. The fans have only known it from online-role-playing games, watching the show, discussing it, etc. The favourites meanwhile know what it's like to actually be in the game when you're hungry and sleep-deprived, and aren't within reach of a nice dinner or a comfortable bed whenever you are hungry or tired. That and the fans were a little too star-struck and were more likely to fall into traps and be easily-manipulated... or start knocking potential allies out trying to impress and find their way into nearly-unbreakable alliances.
They Changed It Now It Sucks
If you watch all of the seasons back to back, there is an unmistakable shift in tone that occurs during the more recent seasons starting with Vanuatu, emphasizing strategy and shocking twists over everything else. Whether or not this "sucks" is up to you.
The Final Three format gets hit with this a lot. Probst actually says he prefers the final three because people would bring someone to the finals for perverse incentives, whereas others argue that this is part of the game, Others also point out that it's still in between two people in the end, since there were only two seasons (China and Philippines) that all three members in the final three received at least one vote. It was likely inspired by Exile Islands; where people were planning on taking Courtney to the finals simply because everyone hated her, and arguably when Terry, the only person who really fought to stay in the game through one of the most memorable immunity runs since Colby's, was kicked at the Final 3.
Not to mention, before the final three was even considered, there were seasons where the final vote was basically a "Blowout" because the winner was basically decided at the final immunity challenge; making the final tribal council nothing but Padding. The producers have even said they might go back to a final two at some point, nothing is set in stone.
The iconic Ancient Voices theme that used to play at the end of every episode has in recent seasons been replaced by a rather more generic and bland score.
Jacquie in Gabon. At the time, it looked like there was a near-unbreakable alliance with Charlie, Marcus, and Corinne. However; she wound up screwed by a twist.
Kristina Kell and a lot of the Zapatera on Redemption Island. Other than Rob and Phillip, most of the Ometepe players were just made into dull Living Props, whereas on the Zapatera side, we have some legitimately interesting people and a couple players who the host says is badass, as well as one of the most Dangerously Genre Savvy players in the series.
Kelly B, Yve, Tyrone, and Jill. It's pretty obvious that all four are physically capable (Jill even wins the first individual immunity of the game); but they wind up evicted in a very awkward part of the game: Right before the merge. Probst doesn't even acknowledge them that much (Kelly excluded); and there have even been speculations that Jill didn't even attend the reunion.
Sugar, Randy, Tom, and Stephenie in Heroes vs. Villains.
Richard, Rudy, Tina, Jenna, Jerri, and Sue in All-stars.
Russell Swan had what was one of the most memorable heartwarming moments in the series. Sadly he doesn't even make it mid-way. And again, there's Philippines which is a whole other story.
Wanda and Jonathan of Palau were evicted in episode one. We really didn't get to know them.
Bobby Mason from the Panama season, if you believe his theory that certain contestants who are voted out early are either ignored or edited negatively in order not to upset viewers who would otherwise be outraged at a "good" contestant leaving early.
Rick from South Pacific, oh so much. Before appearing on the show, he had applied 14 times, and his confessionals posted online showed what an interesting character he was. However, he got almost no screen time, and was completely ignored during the reunion show despite placing 5th.
Kourtney in One World was shown early on as being the Only Sane Woman of the Salani tribe, only to be medevac'd on day three.
A lot of the Gota tribe on Caramoan had some serious potential, such as Matt the BM Xer, Julia (who is not nearly as vanilla in real life), Allie (an actual superfan), and Laura, who gained a massive fanbase. However, none of these make the merge and the pre-merge time is sucked up by generally useless Jerkass Shamar.
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Twist: One World was obviously set up to get the two tribes mingling and think of themselves more as one group than two. Unfortunately, an act of sabotage by the men right at the beginning, before they knew they'd be sharing a camp, still cemented the usual "us vs. them" mentality. (Whose fault it was really doesn't matter today.)
Redemption Island is often seen as this simply because it turned out to mostly be a chance to focus both seasons' footage almost exclusively on the Creator's Pet that returned.
Cook Islands and Panama, which started with a four tribe game, only to be bumped down to two within the first couple episodes. To be fair, these were four tribes of five (and four) and things would have quickly snowballed for a tribe that was down one or more, requiring half the contestants to sit out.
In fact, most "tribe segregation" twists only last a few episodes. Production intentionally does a tribe swap rather quickly to avoid potential Unfortunate Implications.
Uncanny Valley: In the Heroes Vs Villains reunion show, CBS made a "prototype" survivor out of parts of all 19 winners at that point. The result was rather hideous....
Jane's eyes seemed to bug out a lot when they told her she was being voted out in Nicaragua.
Unfortunate Implications: On Cook Islands, the original tribes were segregated according to race. Cook Islands was a response to the criticism that the ethnicity of Survivor contestants became racially homogeneous overtime. Jeff Probst even admitted that when Entertainment Weekly brought up how "the cast has never been whiter" when describing the Guatemala contestants, that tipped the producers off. The producers also promised to balance the ethnic variety with its cast in future seasons. In Cook Islands itself, the ethnic segregation hardly affected the game in any fashion, given how the tribes mixed up so quickly. The more noticeable Unfortunate Implications came from two things. One, the Survivor producers more or less recanted their promise to make the game more racially balanced (stating the difficulty of doing that, compared to the ease of finding a mostly white cast and some token minorities), and two, during the Cook Islands and especially Fiji seasons, some fans complained about the lack of white contestants when their numbers dwindled with deadpan seriousness, obviously not seeing the irony of their complaints.
Some people have said some... unfortunate things. Best not to repeat them. They often get called out on this in the jury, sometimes.
Colton was the king of this. Some of his comments were aired at the reunion (among them referring to Leif as an "Oompa Loompa" and talking about sending him back to Munchkin land. Note Leif is a dwarf.) You could hear some people booing him on, and note Leif and Bill were glaring at him in the background.
Russell Swan being assigned to and invoked as The Leader of the Matsing tribe during Philippines. Also, two of the three African-American players (including Swan himself) were assigned to that tribe. It wouldn't be a problem, but Matsing in Filipino means Monkey.
Vindicated by History: Back in 2000, Richard Hatch's win was considered very surprising due to his arrogance and "unethical" game play (Survivor turning into a cutthroat game of numbers and social politics due to him came as a complete surprise to almost everyone including the producers despite it being common sense today). Nowadays, he is arguably the most famous and respected contestant ever and is the standard to which all contestants on the show are judged. His previously "evil" tactics have become Survivor 101.
And from the same season, Joel Klug. He was voted out of Pagong mainly because he thought this whole "alliance" thing might be a good idea to advance himself and his friends further in the game, and was promptly voted out for being arrogant to even bring up the idea and not just going with the flow and voting out whoever you feel like. Many viewers today may feel sorry for him for ending up on a tribe like Pagong, and wonder how he would fare on a season with modern players.
Stephen Fishbach from Tocantins. Post show, he's been very active in explaining his side of the story, and despite not winning, many praised his strategies (a few of the jurors even admitted that they'd have switched their votes if they'd known that he was as strong of a strategist as he was). J.T.'s blunder in Heroes vs. Villains certainly helped with this, too.
Wangst: Too many examples to list, but applies to several characters each season.
Any winner who most fans deemed as "undeserving" solely for not being both physically and/or strategically dominating and aggressive compared to their runners-up. Notable cases are Tina Wesson from Australia, Amber Brkich from All-Stars, Natalie White from Samoa, and Sophie Clarke from South Pacific. Sophie is an interesting case of this because she was both a strategic and a physically capable player. She was just more quiet about it.
Or any runner-up. There were some people who thought Sugar deserved second because she played more of a strategic game than Susie; who merely did as she was told but won immunity when she needed it.
Some people who defend the "Undeserving" winners point out that there is in fact a third "O" in the slogan. "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast." A lot of people forget about that last bit - this is a game of Survival at all. If you're in the finals, you certainly did something right.
It's also most likely not a coincidence that almost all the players listed above are female. There have been male winners who get "undeserving/not strategic enough/just got lucky" accusations, like Bob from Gabon and Jud/Fabio from Nicaragua, but the criticism they receive is still noticeably less vicious than for the "undeserving" female winners.
Many fans were also skeptical on casting previous winners in Returning Player seasons because they already won the title and the million bucks.
Outside of returnees, the casting department has also gotten a poor reputation for promoting a series of arrogant, deluded, and entitled players (Coach, Russell, NaOnka, Phillip, Colton...) in order to incite conflict with their tribemates. The most agreed upon example of this is re-casting Brandon Hantz in Caramoan. The producers more than likely knew he was unstable, and many of the fanbase agree that he was probably casted in order to get the huge meltdown they got in episode 5 and were extremely upset with the show for doing so. In the same season, re-casting Phillip Sheppard was looked down upon by many. In Blood vs Water, Colton was brought back despite not only being arrogant, but decidedly racist and elitist, and... quit on Day 7. On top of that, Probst claims that he faked his appendicitis on his One World trip, which really makes one question why the hell they would ever want that guy back, considering Jeff has made a big stink of not inviting back anything that even remotely looks like a quitter.
Completely ignoring the Guatemala contestants for Reunion Seasons
Win Back the Crowd: Cagayan due to its all new cast, drama, as well as the fact that the editing is giving everyone a good amount of screentime, making it difficult to predict the winner. The fact that the spoilers for this season are so few (compared to previous seasons)helps. Things get better with the long awaited return of the final two.
Some contestants can be this at times, especially when they're in the minority or the victims of mean-spirited players. Sometimes, people actually are pretty woobie-ish, especially people who are having mental breakdowns or are being physically evacuated. A lot of people wanted to just reach through the screen and hug some of the players who were evacuated.
The first example of this is from the first season, when Jenna was the only person that didn't get a video from her family.
Debb Eaton from Australia was definitely a fish out of water, but where she most certainly qualifies is post show. After being voted out first, she was constantly mocked by inmates at the prison where she worked at, not only that but the media tore her apart after she got home. By the time Australia's reunion show rolled around she was still upset about it.
Janu. The best part of her experience on the show? When she was on Exile Island - away from the rest of her tribe. And in the challenge before, everyone (Sans Stephanie) was laughing at her and teasing her, and it was not meant in jest. Who knows what was going on that wasn't shown?
From One World, Christina. The entire tribe yells at her in the first three days. Then when the tribes are switched around, everyone else is mean to her. Tarzan even says to her face that he wouldn't be friends with her. Anyone not want to give her a hug?
Kat also from One World. At first she appears to be a chipper Genki Girl and is well-liked by her tribe. But during her boot episode, she reveals that she's about to go under an expensive operation which could kill her. At 22 no less! During her final Tribal Council, you just wanna hug her.
Francesca Hogi, the only person in the history of Suvivor to be voted out first twice, in Redemption Island and Caramoan. What makes matters worse is that both times it was at the hands of Phillip, her rival from both seasons.
Brenda, also in the same season. Pushed into the background for half of the season due to not really being connected with the game, she finally wakes up and takes part in some serious strategy, being a big factor in the Andrea blindside. However, in the next episode, she wins the family visit reward challenge with her dad, and picks Dawn and her husband to go with her. Then she's given a Sadistic Choice: either she and Dawn keep their visits, or Brenda can give up both of their visits in exchange for the other four players to receive a visit with two of their loved ones. She gives up their visits, upsetting the extremely emotional Dawn, and she was thanked by her tribe. Unfortunately, Cochran realized what a threat she was, and when she didn't win immunity, teamed up with Dawn and Sherri to vote her off instead, and is sent home that same episode. Seeing her cry during her Elimination Statement was just heartbreaking.
Erik too, also from Caramoan. His body couldn't take the game anymore and he was tragically medically evacuated at the exact same place he finished in the last time. If you don't think he's an idiot for giving away immunity in Micronesia, he's this for that as well. And just like Brenda, he was a Living Prop for most of the season.
Todd Herzog ofall people becomes this on an episode of Dr. Phil when it's revealed after he won Survivor, he ended up with a drinking problem so severe it hurts for him to stand, he has constant seizures which put him in the ER, and he constantly vomits. He was 22 when he started drinking and is only 28 and very close to death. Watching him shake violently and stuttering when he struggles to speak is heart wrenching.
Tina Wesson and Katie Collins from Survivor Blood Vs Water. To start, this mother/daughter pair was constantly put against each other throughout the season culminating in Tina beating Katie in the semifinal Redemption Island dual. If that wasn't bad enough, Tina's son and Katie's brother died after filming. Ouch.
Aras is this in Blood vs Water, as well as Vytas somewhat. Aras for being bullied when he was younger by Vytas and wanting to play with/against his brother, only to get voted out three days after merging. Vytas for his drug history, time spent in jail and just wanting to make things right for mistreating Aras. Both of them get woobified when on Redemption and Vytas eliminates his brother, and they both spoke about needing to repair their relationship in their Elimination Statement.
Spencer in Cagayan, as early as three episodes in. Things just can't seem to go right for him. First, he's in the minority due to Kass flipping on him and Garrett, then he's the only one on his tribe that can do physical challenges, and even then Tasha and Kass seriously considered voting him off over J'Tia, even during Tribal Council. He was spared but it still sucked Kass flipped on him twice, once to vote Garrett out and once again at the merge to get rid of Sarah. Things do seem to be looking up for the guy since he found an idol and won immunity which guarantees him a little while longer around. Then Kass goes and blindsides each of his allies, Tony gets all the idols leaving poor Spencer on the bottom and beaten by Kass in an individual immunity challenge which he is unanimously voted off. You can see how it's affected him when he returns as the 8th jury member. He would then go on to convince the rest of the jury that Tony played the better game over Woo.
Woo also from Cagayan. A very compassionate and upbeat guy, he doesn't have much money if his backstory revealed in the finale is any indication. He's also considered "dumb" by Kass when he's actually quite intelligent and deep. And then we have the big reveal where it turns out his mother is completely paralyzed and all he wants to do with the money is help her and start a family with his girlfriend back at home. While he arguably held the Idiot Ball in the finale by taking Tony over Kass (who was almost unanimously despised by the jury, he did it because of Honor, the principle he's followed in his life from day one. It really makes you realize just how nice of a guy he is when he gracefully accepts defeat to Tony and takes his best friend since the merge to the final two instead of Kass despite knowing he wouldn't win.
Nobody Loves the Bassist: On multiple counts. You can search for images of any band member, and still struggle to find pictures of the bassist- even the longest running bassist in the band. And they have had more changes in that position than any other.