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The Friday Five has been resurrected from the grave this week for a quick look into five Survivor players who I feel deserved a shot to come back for the current season, Survivor: Caramoan – Fans Vs. Favorites. You can also keep up with my weekly Survivor recap posts, the most recent of which was just updated this past Wednesday. Be sure to check back each week for recaps and insight into this most current season of Survivor, the best reality show on television.
Note: I chose contestants from a pool of only the most recent seasons, with the exception of Heroes Vs. Villains (an All-Star season). I wanted to choose contestants who had yet to appear a second time on the show.
5. David Murphy (Original Season: Redemption Island)
Lawyer David Murphy was the first castaway targeted after the merge in Survivor: Redemption Island. Boston Rob probably targeted Murphy because of his intelligence, scheming, and ability to perform well in puzzle-based challenges. Murphy eventually campaigned for Boston Rob’s near-unanimous victory from the jury, realizing he had been beaten by one of the best. I liked David for his intelligence and tendency to speak out, even against his own alliance. I disliked that he threw a challenge to oust a tribemate (Russell Hantz), but I can at least understand why he did it. Murphy could have gone far had he been in the majority alliance. Like Rob C. in Amazon, Murphy was a smart player who had the potential to win it all. He deserves a second chance to succeed in Survivor.
4. Sarah Dawson (Original Season: Philippines)
Dawson’s most interesting moment in Survivor: Philippines came when, upon being ousted in a blind-side vote, she kissed host Jeff Probst on the cheek, the first time anyone had done that. It was her grit, good nature, and interesting personality that drew me to Dawson, but it was this kiss which sealed my love for her. Dawson made the mistake of not outing Jeff Kent as a former baseball player, and her secret caused her to get voted out by Kent’s majority alliance (along with newcomer Denise). I’m not sure if Dawson was playing to win, or even playing smart, but she brought something fun to the island in her time on Survivor: Philippines. I’d be willing to see her come back and compete again, especially because it is clear she’s a true fan of the show and not just a bland recruit.
3. Alicia Rosa (Original Season: One World)
Alicia was one of the two big villains on Survivor: One World, an otherwise almost unremarkable season. Her outrageous comments, devilish scheming, and harsh treatment of fellow castaways endeared her to me in a way only a good Survivor character can. While not the biggest villain of her season (that would be the notorious Colton, who I actually don’t want to see come back), Alicia is by far one of Survivor’s most tolerable badguys. I would love to see her come back and compete as a part of a game where she actually has a shot at winning (let’s face it, no one but Kim was gonna win One World). I would also like to see her in a different tribal element (One World was a men vs. women season, and those haven’t worked well since Amazon in 2003). Alicia’s behavior caused a minor backlash from fans, but she won me over when she seemed generally remorseful of her harsh comments and behavior at the reunion show.
2. Troy “Troyzan” Robertson (Original Season: One World)
Troyzan Robertson was one of the few reasons I kept coming back to Survivor: One World – even more so than Alicia Rosa (who he famously feuded with). Troy was screwed over several times in the game – not only by the stupid men vs. women twist, but also by the whole One World concept itself (both tribes lived on the same beach and shared resources). Had he been placed on a normal beach in a mixed-gender tribe from the start, I feel Troyzan could have gone even further in the game and would have had an excellent shot at winning. It helps that Troy is a good-natured, top notch competitor who is also well-spoken in his confessionals. He’s an easy-to-root-for hero, and would be well-worth a spot in another All-Star edition of Survivor. Rumor has it that Troy was expected back for the current season, Caramoan, but was replaced by Malcolm from Survivor: Philippines. If true, I can live with it because I like Malcolm, but I also expect CBS casting to put Troyzan on a new season as soon as possible.
1. Marty Piombo (Original Season: Nicaragua)
Nicaragua was a season that gets a lot of flak from fans, but I actually think it was somewhat underrated. It wasn’t helpful that Nicaragua aired immediately after Heroes vs. Villains, a season many cite as the best in Survivor history. The old vs. young tribal set-up was a disaster from the start, and the “Medallion of Power” twist was not helpful. Even a tribal swap couldn’t help, as most allegiances were already set and interesting players such as Jill Behm, coincidentally Marty’s ally, were voted off early and unfairly. Marty Piombo was one of the few bright spots in casting during Nicaragua (along with Holly Hoffman and Brenda Lowe). Marty was a highly intelligent, arrogant player who I loved. He made it post-merge, but only slightly so, and was the second jury member of the season. Marty feuded with too many high-level players during the season, including the aforementioned Brenda. It was his feud with Brenda’s alliance (which also included Chase, Sash, and Jane) that sealed his fate, and he was voted off. Just two episodes later, however, two players ended up quitting the season. This highly irritated me, as players like Brenda and Marty had already been voted out and now had to sit next to two quitters when they wholly deserved to be in the game. Marty needs to come back to Survivor immediately, and I could see him going on a tear to win the next season he appears on.