For every Richard Hatch there's an Osten Taylor. For every Brian Heidik there's a Gabriel Cade. 'Survivor' has seen its fair share of winners and losers throughout its many seasons.
How do you distinguish a genuine loser from just a brainless goof-up though? In coming up with the list below, I culled all of the players who didn't have a chance to really play the game. People like the Peter Harkeys, Ryan Aikens and Jim Lynches of the world. You are forgiven if you don't remember them. Who would? Then, I had to calculate the severity and stupidity of the blunders that were made. For example, committing an idiotic tactical error while in the final three is undoubtedly more grievous than someone getting lynched in the fifth episode.
Although when we spoke to him, Jeff Probst didn't agree with our number one choice, after hours and hours of contemplation (and outright laughter), we present to you the ten worst competitors to ever play 'Survivor'.
Don't agree with John's picks? Tell us your worst Survivor players
10. Jamie Newton: 'Survivor Guatemala'
Jamie should have gone far. He was a card-carrying member of the dominant alliance on 'Guatemala' and did very well for himself at the challenges. Then, he had to go and ruin it all by becoming as paranoid as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Subsequently, the 'Axis of Evil' Alliance stopped steamrolling over the competition for one vote just to kick out the annoying Jamie.
9. Lex van den Berge: 'Survivor Africa' and 'Survivor: All-Stars'
Another strong player and all around nice guy who let the game get to him...twice! Fretting over who threw him ONE measly vote in 'Africa' (Count it. O-N-E vote!), Lex stabbed ally Kelly Goldsmith in the back. Lex had it all wrong. It was Teresa 'T-Bird' Cooper who was the culprit. Poor Kelly. When 'All-Stars' rolled around it was quite clear that Lex hadn't learned anything from his experience in 'Africa'. He shanghaied his friends once again when he targeted Jerri and Ethan, two of his pals outside of the game. To top it all off, Lex wailed like a banshee when Rob Mariano did the same thing to him.
8. Rafe Judkins: 'Survivor Guatemala'
An entry that is on both the best and worst 'Survivor' lists. Why, you ask? Simple. He was a brilliant strategist and a serious challenge threat on 'Guatemala'. By all rights, it was his game to lose and boy, did he blow it. Stephenie LaGrossa claimed he had a "martyr complex" and she was dead on. Seeing Steph bawl after losing the final Immunity Challenge, Rafe let his heart rule his head and absolved Danni Boatman of her final two promise to him thus setting the stage for her to walk away with the million dollar cheque. It is true that Danni might have just gone ahead and picked Steph any way even if Rafe didn't make the move but he still looks like a moron for putting his own neck on the guillotine after playing such a magnificent game. He isn't as nearly as bad as our next lunkhead though.
7. Ian Rosenberger: 'Survivor Palau'
It is uncanny really. Ian's gameplay mirrored that of Rafe's in almost every detail. He was cunning and he was strong...until the final phase when dolphin boy's brains turned to cottage cheese. Overwhelmed with guilt for daring to "submarine" eventual winner Tom Westman and not taking his other friend - Katie Gallagher - on a Reward trip, Ian offered Tom a deal during the final Immunity Challenge. If Tom agreed to take Katie to the finals, he'd throw in the towel. Tom accepted and Jeff Probst doesn't even waste time holding a Tribal Council vote. Ian was booted right on the Challenge site. Talk about embarrassing. The fact is dolphin boy had nothing to feel bad about. It was smart strategy to lobby against Tom as he was the toughest and most popular player on 'Palau' and he didn't owe Katie a darn thing. Katie owed them as she rode their coattails all the way to the finals. Even Flipper or Shamu would've known that.
6. Colby Donaldson: 'Survivor Australia' and 'Survivor All-Stars'
Good old Colby would've been a millionaire at the end of the second season of 'Survivor' if he had done just one itty-bitty thing. Having won the final Immunity Challenge, all he had to do was pick the less popular Keith Famie and Mark Burnett might as well of handed him the cheque right there in the Outback. Instead, Colby let Tina Wesson work her mother figure mojo on him and the rest is history. Hey, at least she followed through with her promise to buy him a Harley.
5. Lillian Morris: 'Survivor Pearl Islands'
Even before sitting down at the Final Tribal Council, Lillian had already raised the white flag. Believing nobody would vote for her just because she was allowed to return to play the game as a member of the 'Ghost Tribe', Lillian didn't even put up a fight in front of the jury. As Probst proved on the reunion show, Lillian would've won if she had just brought along Jonnie 'Fairplay' Dalton instead of Sandra Diaz-Twine. An awful and pathetic end to one of the best 'Survivor' seasons ever. Speaking of pathetic...
4. Gabriel Cade: 'Survivor Marquesas'
This Christopher Atkins wannabe committed one of the biggest 'Survivor' blunders ever. He admitted to his tribemates that he had no intention of ever trying to win the money or play the game. He was just on the show for the "experience". What he failed to mention is that he was an aspiring model looking for some face-time on national television as well. Naturally, the Rotu Tribe did the honourable thing and immediately rubbed him out. What a waste of space.
3. Shawna Mitchell: 'Survivor Amazon'
Apparently, she thought 'Survivor' was some kind of dating show as all she did was drape herself over Alex Bell. You know, the dude who hit himself in the head with a machete when he was chopping wood. She pleaded to be voted out again and again because the whiner found the actual surviving to be too hard. In the end, she got her wish. Memo to the 'Survivor' casting crew: Leave the rats at the mall where they belong. This isn't 'Big Brother'.
2. Osten Taylor: 'Survivor Pearl Islands'
The body was strong but the heart was weak...very weak. Claiming to be totally out of his element and that his health was more important to him than a million dollars, Osten quit the game in the most brutal 'Survivor' exit barring Michael Skupin's face plant in the fire during the Australian season. Probst listened to Osten plead his case, grilling him all the while like a T-bone steak. Disgusted, Probst didn't even waste ink on Osten. He held a verbal vote, snuffed his torch and laid it on the ground. Dismayed by Osten's decision to basically walk out on the series, the producers didn't even air his final words. All that was shown was Osten's snuffed torch as the credits rolled. For being so weak of will at the time, Osten deserved all of the scorn because he had so much potential. He had the ability to go really far in the game if he had just believed in himself. What's worse than making a shameful strategic blunder? Not having the heart to play the game at all. While we are on the subject of not playing at all...
1. Janu Tornell: 'Survivor Palau'
She laid around in a hammock for almost her entire stint on 'Palau' and then asked to be sent home after some controversial prompting by Jeff Probst at Tribal Council. It is not an exaggeration to say that the palm trees and rocks played a better game than her. The only spark she showed was when she was exiled to live on an island for one night. Probably a fascinating and lively person outside of the game but added very little drama to the 'Palau' instalment.
Shawn: 'Survivor Borneo'.
Travis: 'Survivor Vanuatu'.
Clarence: 'Survivor Africa'.
Shii-Ann: 'Survivor Thailand', 'Survivor All-Stars'.
B.B.: 'Survivor Borneo'.
Judd: 'Survivor Guatemala'.
Stephenie: 'Survivor Guatemala', 'Survivor Palau'.
Ryan S.: 'Survivor Pearl Islands'.
Nicole: 'Survivor Pearl Islands'.
Joel: 'Survivor Borneo'.
Lisa: 'Survivor Vanuatu'.
Return to Jam! this week for the following happenings...
Thursday: Our picks for the best players of all time and our first 'Survivor' chat of the season.
Friday: Our first episode recap of the new 'Survivor' season.
Tale of the Torch: Check out our 'Tale of the Torch' every Thursday for our boot predictions.