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Characters / Survivor: Samoa

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The Tribes

    Foa Foa 


The Sole Survivor

    Natalie White

  • Action Girl: Downplayed, but she makes a very impressive showing in both episode 10's reward challenge and episode 11's immunity challenge (Only losing to Danger Dave, and Jaison, the latter of whom had a challenge advantage)
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: She planted the seeds at the merge that turned all of Galu against Erik, giving Foa Foa the chance to escape the vote.
  • Catchphrase: If you did a drinking game based on how many times she says "oh mah werd" in a single episode you'd pass out in 15 minutes or less.


    Russell Hantz

  • Anti-Hero: Type IV/V
  • Asshole Victim: He went into the show already rich. That alone brought the thunder down on him. But in his case, it was enormous even after making note of that. Russell played the game very hard but suffered the consequences of his unpleasant behavior toward everyone when nobody he helped to get rid of wanted to crown him the winner due to using them and disposing of them like broken toys. Because of this, he is generally considered the origin of the notorious phrase "bitter Jury" in both Survivor and by extension Big Brother (which also uses a similar Jury system in the US), where a player may get to the end and deserve to win on a strategic level, but has done far too much to anger their pawns to ever receive their support because his arrogance infuriated everybody.
  • Attention Whore: How Natalie views him.
  • Beard of Evil: Russel's deadly beard and soul patch combo deserve an entire wing dedicated to them in the halls of villainy.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Despite being viewed as the most strategic of the finalists, Russell was viewed as the biggest Asshole as well and only two jurors voted for him.
  • Big Bad: Russell Hantz is often seen as the definitive villain in the Survivor franchise, due to being one of the most vainglorious and potent threats to ever play the game. He was the face of Samoa for nearly its entire run and was constantly basking in the spotlight. However, his one stumbling block will always be that while he leaves a scorching trail of railroaded players in his wake, he pisses off everybody too much to ever make it to the end even remotely liked, and Natalie crushed him at the Jury because she had played the game as The Heroine.
  • The Big Guy: Visually subverted, as he was five six.
  • Breakout Villain: He wasn't truly a Breakout Character since most naturally become popular through good word of mouth, while Russell was favored by the editing itself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain
  • The Chessmaster
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Beat Brett at the final immunity challenge, ending Brett's streak of three consecutive immunities.
  • Determinator
  • The Don: Russell Hantz was likely cast to fulfil the role of the Survivor Mafioso archetype (of which Boston Rob is the prototype). He is presented as the big mob boss this season. Anyone who does not play into his plans or anyone who does not do what he wants gets axed.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Mick may have been the leader of Foa Foa, but Russell did most of the decision-making.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After losing to Natalie, this is how he felt.
  • Entitled Bastard: Potential Trope Namer for Survivor.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Was shown to be concerned for Mike Borassiís health while the medics was checking him, and bade him farewell when he was pulled out of the game.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: See Genre Blind below.
  • Evil Genius
  • Evil Gloating: Cut this out, and he'd have about as much screen time as Jaison or Shambo.
  • Fat Bastard
  • Faux Affably Evil: Comes off as a decent person, but lied about being a Hurricane Katrina victim. In the first episode.
  • Genius Bruiser
  • Genre Blind: Chose to keep Natalie over Liz because Natalie was getting in good with the Galu tribe. He figured this would help Foa Foa tilt the numbers in its favor, and he was right, but he completely neglected how dangerous it made Natalie in the endgame.
  • Hated by All: Russell was insufferable. Completely self-absorbed, treated everybody as stepping stones, and willing to use disgusting lies that are right up there with Fairplay's late grandma BS. Many contestants noted they hated being around Russell because he never treated them with a scrap of decency and was even so bent on winning he tried to BUY the victory from the actual winner in an all-time despicable snake ploy, which is probably the lowest thing anybody could do on one of these competitions next to using the actual winnings for vice. So, naturally, the show brought him back to wreak havoc some more, because he was interesting, because out of universe, Russell was a dynamo who people loved to hate.
  • Hero Killer
  • Iconic Outfit: His hat.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends
  • It's All About Me: And he made sure everyone knows it.
  • Jerkass: One of the biggest in the entire series.
  • Large Ham: When Evil Gloating.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Meta Guy: He is a rather mean example of being one.
  • The Napoleon
  • Never My Fault: Refuses to accept responsibility for the way the jury voted.
  • Nothing Can Stop Me Now: At the finale. Then he lost, and had no clue why.
  • Odd Friendship: With Natalie.
  • One-Steve Limit: With Russell Swan.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Did not know how to work the jury.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Next to him, absolutely everyone else was the blue.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In-Universe, How Russell described his reception in real life.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Came back for Heroes vs. Villains and Redemption Island, while Natalie has never been back for another season. Not to mention many fans believe him to be the true winner of the season.
  • The Scrappy: In-Universe to the jury. Read post game interviews to get a read of how unlikable this guy is.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: See Sore Loser
  • Showy Invincible Player: Subverted. The editing built him up to be this, but he lost in a landslide due to poor jury management.
  • Smug Snake: We was treated to many confessionals of his arrogance.
  • Sore Loser: He tried buying the title of Sole Survivor off of Natalie. She refused.
  • The Sociopath
  • Southern-Fried Genius
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Managed to hold the spotlight for the entire season, receiving more screen time than the eventual winner.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To Foa Foa. And any other tribe he was ever on.
  • ‹bermensch
  • Villain Protagonist: Given all of the screentime and was presented as the main character of the season.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To everyone he blindsided, especially John, Shambo, and Jaison.

    Mick Trimming

  • Brainy Brunette: In Real Life.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Inverted; Shambo accused his gameplay of being "feckless," which Mick was not offended by, since he had not known the meaning.
  • Deal with the Devil: How Mick described his alliance with Russell Hantz.
  • Epic Fail: Got NONE of the Jury votes. Mick basically went to the end as Russell's Jury goat unable to do anything to convince the jurors to give him the grand prize for riding on Russell's coattails without any real substance of his own to contribute.
  • Foil: Ended up being one to Russell Swan — the older, harder-working, capable leader taken out by his own work ethic, while Mick was the younger, lazier, incompetent leader who made it to the end of the game.
  • The Generic Guy
  • Heroic Build
  • The Leader: Subverted. He didn't do anything. This was savagely used against him in the Final Tribal Council. Considering that eight of the nine jurors were Galu, and their leader had been one of the most determined tribe leaders since Andrew Savage, they seemed to see Mick as a failure.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Out of Focus: Part of it is because the producers seemed to forget he was there (same with most of the Galu tribe), but he also blends into a crowd easily, so it can be easy to miss him until the end when the numbers start to dwindle. Shambo and Russell at least had distinctive appearances, and Jaison was large.
  • Perma-Stubble
  • Pixellation: During the day 33 immunity challenges.
  • Poor Communication Kills: At Final Tribal council, Mick gave poor answers to the jury.
  • Standardized Leader: Foa Foa picked him to be their leader.
  • Supporting Leader: Being more of the "supporting" than the "leader" bit him hard in the end.

Jury Members

    Brett Clouser

  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Spent the game as kind of a background tribe member, and when he wound up as the only original Galu member left, everyone else obviously plan to eliminate him. Then he wins three immunity challenges in a row.
  • Bishōnen
  • Boring, but Practical: His strategy was basically to just play the social game; the only reason we even noticed him was his immunity run.
  • Determinator: Brett went on an immunity-winning streak when he was targeted by Russell.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: There's a reason he was called a Worthy Opponent by Russell.
  • Even the Guys Want Him
  • Graceful Loser: See Thanatos Gambit below.
  • Informed Ability: Zig-zagged. We're told by Probst he's not revealed a lot in the cast.
  • Irony: The first confessional of each Survivor season is often considered a sign that a contestant will be particularly memorable or likable. Brett, who was invisible until he came out of nowhere to go on an immunity streak, received such honor.
  • Kid Hero: Brett was 23 at the time and was the second youngest contestant overall. Brett became The Hero when Foa Foa started systematically eliminating the Galus from the game and was presented as Russell's greatest threat.
  • Last of His Kind: The last Galu member.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Nice Guy
  • Older Than They Look: Brett is 23, but He looks like he could be in his mid-late teens.
  • Out of Focus: Several people had joked on boards about saying "Who's this 'Brett' guy they're talking about?" He did get some screentime at the end, though. In fact, Funny 115 made a page dedicated to how the editors suddenly realized that there was someone called "Brett" in the game.
    • Photoshopping him into screencaps of other seasons also became a Running Gag on the Funny 115.
  • The Quiet One: Normally you don't see these people cast on these sorts of shows because there's making an interesting show and an interesting game. What makes a good show doesn't always make a good game, and vice versa. And to be honest; look how far it got him. He was literally the last Galu member to be eliminated... and the last to even be targeted, for that matter. Having immunity runs deep in the game certainly didn't help, either.
  • The Social Expert: Brett's game was to create friendships.
  • Spear Counterpart: To Ashley Underwood a few seasons later. Both were victims of a Creator's Pet ravaging the screentime, both remained silent and made the person(s) in charge of the game think they were worthless and saved them for last. Both then start going on challenge runs.
  • Thanatos Gambit: According to interviews, he actually sat down with Natalie before they went to Tribal Council when he was eliminated and worked on her strategy in front of the jury with her.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Russell. Russell has apparently told people in real life he honestly thought Brett was one of the few people in the game who would have beaten him.

    Jaison Robinson

    Shannon "Shambo" Waters

    Monica Padilla

Monica was chosen by public vote to return for the Second Chance season, Survivor: Cambodia.

    "Danger" Dave Ball

    John Fincher

    Laura Morett

    Kelly Sharbaugh

  • Foreshadowing: Kelly's first confessional before the episode 4 immunity challenge that Yasmin was going should Galu lose the next immunity challenge. Kelly's second confessional also added to Russell Swan's evacuation.
  • Informed Ability: Russell (or any of the Foa Foa) really really REALLY wants her out. For what purpose? She didn't appear to pose any threat. We saw maybe... three minutes of her.
  • Living Prop: Kelly was turned into one by the editing.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Out of Focus: Kelly gotten the one of the worse cases in the history of the show.

    Erik Cardona

  • Butt-Monkey: He did not have it easy this season, being the frequent target of Amusing Injuries, embarrassing himself with a confident failure in the memory challenge, and ending up betrayed by his own tribe at the merge and voted out with an immunity idol in his pocket.
  • Call-Back: In the Ponderosa Videos To James Clement about his tribemates unable to resist the temptation to bite the forbidden fruit .
  • The Casanova: Erik claims to be a Proud Womanizer in his CBS Profile
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His speech to Natalie in the final tribal council was encouraging and called out the Double Standard of Survivor gameplay.
    Erik: Natalie. People will call you weak. People will say that you are undeserving. But you know what? Why are those characteristic any less admirable as lying, cheating, and stealing? Why does he get a free pass, but your "wrong way of playing" gets admonished? If there is one thing that I've learned in this game, it's that perception is not reality. Reality is reality. And that you are sitting there and that makes you just as dangerous as any of those guys there. You would probably say you are the least deserving of the title of Sole Survivor. But maybe, just maybe, in an environment filled with arrogance... delusional entitlement... maybe the person who thinks she's the least deserving, is probably the most. You got my vote. I hope you get four more. Congratulations.
  • Large Ham: His jury speech.
  • Misblamed: For planning to blindside Monica when it was John's idea. Erik gotten the blame as he was the spokesperson for the plot.
  • Number Two: To Russell S.
  • Perma-Stubble
  • Poor Communication Kills: At Ponderosa, it was discussed about what caused his elimination. They attributed Erik expecting action to speak louder than words to in part cause his elimination.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: One of the more memorable ones of the series - he calls out Mick on his lack of leadership, Russell on his gameplay, and tells Natalie that despite others assertions, she's just as dangerous as either of the aforementioned and deserves recognition.
  • Running Gag: A recurring visual of the season is that most of Erik's confessionals were either delivered in a tree or very close to one or more trees.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky
  • The Trickster: Erik was the fourth recurrence of the Survivor Trickster archetype of which Jonny Fairplay, Edgardo Rivera and Tyson Apostol preceded him. In the Survivor: Samoa TV Guide Preview, Erik said the following.
    Erik: I'll develop a kind of Shakesperean Iago type of persona to where I can take what I hear and use it to my advantage to somebody else until everybody's going crazy and then it becomes some horrible Greek tragedy minus myself. When I was young, a lot of kids wanted to be professional baseball players or firemen. I at six years old wanted to be a con man. For the first time, I get to be who I really am, a manipulative, conning, cunning, intelligent snake!

Voted Out

    Elizabeth "Liz" Kim

    Russell Swan note

    Ashley Trainer

    Yasmin Giles

    Ben Browning

    Betsy Bolan

  • Alliterative Name
  • Ascended Fangirl: Betsy been applying for six years.
  • Cool Old Lady: The Oldest woman of the cast. In Real Life, She is a cop.
  • Informed Ability: Like with Marisa, Russell thought she could have beaten him.
  • The Load: Gotten this accusation like most older women.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Was heavily edited as an assertive strong woman, to be a winning choice...only for Russell to take her out in the second episode.
  • Team Mom: Betsy used this an arguement to keep her over Ben.
  • Worthy Opponent: According to Russell, he had her evicted from the game because she, like Marisa, could have beaten him.

    Mike Borassi note

    Marisa Calihan

  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: According to Russell Hantz.
  • Informed Ability: Because of how poorly the season was edited as well as how she was eliminated first, Russell Hantz said that she and Betsy could have beaten him.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Pixellation: Marisa briefly had her chest blurred out during the first challenge.
  • Playing the Victim Card: In the finale claimed she was voted out because men were intimidated by strong women, even though it was only Russell who engineered her elimination, and several of the women voted her out too
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Called this in the recap in the second episode.
  • Worthy Opponent: Russell Hantz said that he had her eliminated first because she could have beaten him. (Though the fact that she almost immediately expressed mistrust of him might have also had something to do with it...)