Here, I will rank the winners of KidA's Survivor: Series. After each ranking, I will give a short explanation of why I chose the ranking, and then I will move on. These rankings factor all things; strategic game, physical game, social game, and even likablity!
With that being said, remember that this is only my opinion! Alright, now for the rankings.
For a ranking based on ONLY gameplay, click here!
1.) Oliver (ZombieOliver) - Survivor: All-Stars
Oliver is currently the best winner - and here's why. It was an All-Star season, and Oliver absolutely killed the game. Starting off on a weaker tribe, Oliver was quiet enough. There weren't many tough decisions to make until the tribe switch hit, and Oliver was thrown onto a different tribe, where he had little allies. Oliver's game really became impressive Naheka finally went to tribal council. He called out a 7-person alliance that had planned on dominating the merge, and in doing so, caused Gerard (on another tribe!) to get voted out. Then, in about 5-minutes flat, Oliver was able to flip an entire tribe on Jacob, who seemingly sat in a great position. I believe that this was move is a testament to the ability that Oliver possesses when he really focuses on the game, and wants something to happen - he WILL make it happen!
Once the merge hit, Oliver found himself safely in a 6-person alliance called LOSH. The first eliminations were easy, but soon, the tribe was split in half. With a purple rock sending home Sam, Oliver was stuck in the minority. At the next vote, he laid low and Leah took the fall - now it was just Jake and Oliver against the rest of the tribe. Luckily, Oliver was able to campaign for a Sean blindside and it worked - Cole and Ethan flipped, and Sean was out. Sitting in the Final 5 with an idol, Oliver coerced Nathan to join him, and he had majority. Cole was the next sent home, and finally, four remained. Oliver was closely aligned with Jake, but knew he could be a potential jury threat. This is where Oliver was able to detach his relationships from his gameplay; he threw the challenge to Ethan and was sent to a tie-breaker to Jake, where he won.
At FTC, nobody could deny the impressive game that Oliver had played. He had never floated, never played under-the-radar, and never backed down in any sense. While Ethan and Nathan were much more quiet, Oliver stood out as the clear winner. In a 5-1-1 vote, Oliver was crowned as an extremely deserving Sole Survivor. He played an extremely skillful game, allowing himself to survive in dim situations, and having a huge impact on the game. Oliver never needed to rely on immunity to stay in the game, and he was willing to take neccesary risks to stay in the game. He played an All-Star level game.
2.) Sean (Renegade628) - Survivor: Wild West
From day one, I knew Sean would be a strong contendor in Survivor: Wild West, but I figured the cast would realize he was a threat soon enough, and try to vote him out. However, Sean managed to align with the right people, execute blindsides at perfect times, and slide his way into the Final Tribal Council, beating out an easy opponent for the title of Sole Survivor.
In terms of the show, Sean was a major villain. In the early stages of the game, it was extremely fun to watch him plot and scheme against his original tribe. His confessionals were brutal and hilarious, and it was amazing to see his gameplay during the merge. Why? Because unlike John from Survivor: Canda, who was in complete control, Sean was not a dominating player. Other players, such as Jake or most of the Adamana Four Allaince, turned on Sean and tried to vote him out. This made watching the season so much more enjoyable... because it was obvious that Sean could win if he got to the end, but I was never sure whether he actually could.
Overall, Sean played an impressive game, which did have flaws. Yet these flaws are what made the season so interesting, and what makes Sean a fantastic winner of a fantastic season.
3.) Jacob (Survivor233) - Survivor: India
This was a tough one to rank, but Jacob definitely deserves a top spot on the Winner Rankings. He won a season full of flipping, blindsides, betrayals, and most of all... drama. This brings me to my first point; something that Jacob managed to do more effectively than any of the other post-merge players. He avoided drama, and stayed on relatively good terms with everyone - at least on a personal level. In his alliance with Gerard, he allowed Gerard to take a lot of the heat, using him almost like a human shield. Jacob also cut his alliances at the perfect times, landing himself in a final four with three weaker players. It seemed obvious that the three weaker players would gang up on Jacob to give themselves a shot at winning, but still, Jacob managed to slide through, win final immunity, and claim the grand prize. Jacob held control for a lot of the game, managed to survive even when labaled a physical threat, and was a triple-threat player.
On a character perspective, Jacob supplied lots of confessionals, and to me, actually came off as a hero. Despite backstabbing a few people, something about him seemed a lot more humble than his fellow tribe-mates, who were either egotistical, power-crazed, or invisible.
Overall, Jacob was an intelligent power-house of a player, and very deserving of a high placing. It will be interesting to see how Jacob's game stands the test of time, but I predict that he will remain in the top three for a long time to come.
4.) Ethan (thewinner) - Survivor: Morocco
Ethan was my first ever winner, and to this day, is still one of the best in terms of his strategic, physical, and social gameplay. Also, his interesting story arc made him an extremely likable character, and worthy of the classic "underdog" title.
Ethan came into the game strong, but to his misfortune, ended up on the Marrakech tribe. After three losses, the tribe switch came, and Ethan remained on Marrakech, which then won the next three challenges. Upon entering the merge, he was the main target, especially of the controlling player, Jette.
Before the votes were read, Ethan played his idol, and reflected almost the entire tribe's votes. As the game progressed, Ethan's back was against the wall, and he turned to challenges. His immunity streak lasted all the way up to the Final 4, where he lost to Jordan. At that point, it seemed like common sense; he couldn't use any idols, and he was the last Marrakech member standing. Yet this is where he proved the supremacy of his social and strategic game. He and Jordan both voted for Anthony, and Anthony felt so terrible about the situation, he voted for himself. With that, Anthony went home, Ethan won the final immunity challenge, and grabbed 5 out of 6 jury votes, becoming an extremely likable first winner.
5.) Sean S. (Ghoul) - Survivor: Tuvalu
Sean was a tough one to rank - because he did play one of the most masterful under-the-radar games to date, but he wasn't extremely exciting as a character. I think his position on the winner rankings may decline in time, but on the game-play ONLY rankings, he'll be a top contendor.
Sean was an integral part of the infamous Exile Alliance, and he was partners with Porsche, the spitfire villain who took all the heat for him. Sean did not have to betray anyone in the game - he managed to keep his hands clean, while letting Porsche make bold moves and cuss people out at tribal. Once Final Tribal Council rolled around, Porsche was credited by some with being a power-player, while Sean was more quiet and humble in his gameplay. In the end, Sean was able to win over the votes of those that Porsche pissed off. He knew that Porsche was the perfect partner because he could stay loyal to her, and still beat her in the end.
I sort of make it sound like Sean did absolutely nothing except stand in Porsche's shadow, but that's definitely not true. Sean found two idols, one of which he used to save Porsche (the other he used on himself). He won challneges, and had to defeat Dakota in an intense Final 4 tiebreaker. He also had to keep his alliance unified - an essential turning point was when Porsche wanted to blindside Dakota at the Final 6. Sean would not budge on the idea due to his loyalty to the alliance, and that is partly why he receive both Bryce & Dakota's jury votes, allowing him to become the Sole Survivor. Overall, he played an extremely skillful game, but he was not a vibrant character like some of the other players on this list.
6.) Cole (Cole91) - Survivor: Greece
This was easily the hardest ranking thus far...because I really like Cole, and he was extremely entertaining. Cole's antics really shaped the outcome of Greece, and his alliance, "The Parliament" is one that will not be soon forgotten. Cole managed to piss off almost the entire cast, land a spot in the Final Tribal Council (because people thought he would get no jury votes), and then regain the jury's respect through his Final Tribal Council performance to win the game. Also, Cole definitely played in a game full of impressive, cunning players, which does boost the impact of his victory.
So, you may be wondering, why is he only ranked at #6? Well, I'd first like to say that there is a MILE between spot six and spot seven... but Cole is here because his game had multiple flaws, and from a story perspective, his win was not the best ending to the season. First, Cole's alliance, "The Parliament" did have power during the game... but almost none of the alliance members were actually loyal. They used the alliance to further themselves in the game, almost like the Stealth R Us members of Survivor: Caramoan. Cole's social game was also flawed - he got into a fight with countless tribemates, and he had to completely rely on the fact that they would "forgive" him in the end. Luckily, they did, but it was risky.
Next, Cole's win was not a completely satisfying ending to Survivor: Greece. Cole was almost the comic relief of the season, and I don't think many people saw him as a legitimate player. He did, in the end, prove that he played a respectable game, but it was not seen throughout the entire season. Over time, I can definitely see Cole's spot on this list changing - moving up, probably. I debated whether putting him above Ethan for a while, but in the end, I felt Ethan was an extremely likable winner, and I don't want to discredit his win just because so much time has passed since Season 1. Cole was a great winner, but these flaws personally prevent me from putting him any higher.
7.) Sean P. - Survivor: Spain
I wouldn't necessarily call Sean a bad winner... more of an underwhelming winner. Sean hadn't sent a lot of confessionals, shown a lot of interest in the game, or attended a lot of challenges. After the merge, he was in Hawaii and his time-zone was difficult for him to work through, so his activity wasn't fantastic. He was still fairly active, though.
Sean was part of the Tierra majority, and used that to advance himself through the game - at the same time, he had a close alliance with Nathan, who ended up in the Final 3 with him and Game. However, when Game won final immunity, the duo was split up, and Sean slid into Final Tribal Council.
This is where Sean's strength came in. He delivered a strong persuasive speech which explained the strategy behind his game, while also being able to take away from the "winner vibe" that was surrounding Game. When Game waited and waited to deliver his speech, it seemed that support for Sean was growing. Despite winning 6 immunity challenges, and being a huge leader of the Tierra tribe, Sean managed to make Game look like the lesser of the two. In the end, he was rewarded with 5 out of 7 jury votes - however, it was not for the overall game he played, but rather for his fantastic jury performance.
8.) John (user5) - Survivor: Canada
This is a bad winner of a bad season. Don't get me wrong; John played the game masterfully on a strategic and physical level. He seemed to be in control of the his tribe, and he led them to a crushing victory over Manitoba six times in a row. As the game continued, he dominated immunity challenges, found hidden immunity idols, and kept close allies. He went the entire season without receiving a single vote, while outwardly being considered untrustworthy.
So why is he not #1? Why is he probably going to remain at the bottom of this list for a long, long time? First of all, John was a terrible social player. He was considered almost robotic in the way he interacted with the cast, and it made the jury very bitter, and unwilling to give him a vote.
But more importantly, John was a very slimy character; and not in a fun "villain" type way. He complained about everything, especially with myself. He'd battle me on almost every point in the game-- trying to stretch rules and tilt the game to his advantage. It was extremely annoying, but it crossed the line when he bribed another player for a jury vote. A single jury vote that ended up giving him the title of Sole Survivor.