The tag line for “Survivor” is “outwit outplay outlast.” That is like a specific calling to villains to play the game. Over the 20 seasons of “Survivor,” there have been so many villains, the producers called the twentieth season “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.”
So who is the best of the bad? The players who were so evil they made you want to go to the location and personally kick their butt? Here’s a list of the Top 10 “Survivor” Villains of all time:
10. Ben “Coach” Wade from Tocantins and Heroes vs. Villains
Could there be anything more annoying than being stuck on in a deserted location with a Steven Segal wannabe? Did anyone care about his escaping Peruvian Pygmies or that he was the inspiration for the movie Cast Away? And let’s not forget that he is the only American that knows a secret Chinese martial art. If nothing else, Coach could annoy and bore the other contestants to death.
9. Randy Bailey from Gabon and Heroes vs. Villains
Perhaps the only thing worse than being stuck with a Steven Segal wannabe is being stuck with an anti-social, angry man such as Randy. When his self-written bio on CBS says he is “angry, blunt, mean and sarcastic (yet charming), and admits he’s a train wreck,” you know he can be nothing but a villain. Wait, did he say “charming?”
8. “Boston” Rob Mariano from Marquesas, All-Stars, and Heroes vs. Villains
Why rank such a backstabbing, lying, insulting contestant as Boston Rob at #8? Because despite being a total jerk his first two appearances, Boston Rob must have had an epiphany because he lightening up in Heroes vs. Villains, dominated challenges, and after becoming a good guy (well, at least for a villain) was promptly voted off in 8th place.
7. Courtney Yates from China and Heroes vs. Villains
Ah, Courtney, that anorexic looking little flower. She claimed to hate reality shows, but certainly didn’t mind making other contestants miserable by appearing on one. Sarcastic, whiny, terrible at challenges, she finished second in the China series, but only because Todd took her to the top with him because he knew no one would vote for her.
6. Jerri Manthey from The Australian Outback, All-Stars, and Heroes vs. Villains
So beautiful she posed for Playboy, Jerri argued, questioned, lied, and flirted her way through three seasons of “Survivor.” While Heroes vs. Villains was still being aired, she was removed from a US Airways flight after an argument with the flight crew proving that once a villain, always a villain.
5. Natalie Bolton from Micronesia
Natalie, who once said she imagined herself “flossing my teeth with [a teammate’s] jugular,” wanted an all-girl alliance. But the problem was, she organized it with Parvati, villain #4.
4. Parvati Shallow from Cook Islands, Micronesia, and Heroes vs. Villains
Aggressive play and beauty allowed Parvati to flirt her way to the top of almost every season she appeared on. During the Heroes vs. Villains season, she aligned herself with the #1 villain Russell.
3. Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton from Pearl Islands and Micronesia
Fairplay was the main antagonist of Pearl Islands and yet he still managed to make it to third place with what may be the greatest “Survivor” lie ever. Before the show, Fairplay told a friend that if he arrived as part of the loved-one challenge, he was to tell Fairplay that his grandmother had died. It was a move that host Jeff Probst called “completely despicable” yet admitted Fairplay was a producer’s dream and wished he was on every season.
However Fairplay went soft in Micronesia when he asked to be voted off to return home to his pregnant girlfriend. Everyone gladly granted his request.
2. Richard Hatch from Borneo and All-Stars
Hatch set the “Survivor” bar for villain. He walked around naked, acted smug, backstabbed when necessary (and sometimes when not), and was called a “snake” at the finale. But he took home the money; he just forgot to pay taxes on it.
A true villain, Hatch served prison time for his oversight. “Survivor” wanted him back for Heroes vs. Villains, but he remained under house arrest and couldn’t leave the country.
1. Russell Hantz from Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains
What do you have to do to beat the guy that went to prison? Well, let us count the ways Hantz annoyed the other contestants. He burned a fellow contestants socks, emptied his own tribe’s water supply, formed alliances with the women while secretly calling them derogatory names, lied about being a Hurricane Katrina victim, and even told a story about a dead dog to gain sympathy.
He manipulated not only people in his alliances, but those outside as well. One of his greatest moves was earning enough sympathy from Hero JT to get him to slyly hand over an immunity idol so the Heroes could get rid of Parvati, only to have Russell give the idol to Parvati to save her.
And all this from a guy who is already a millionaire and didn’t need the money. He even tried to buy the title from eventual Samoa winner Natalie at the finale.
But fans loved his gameplay. Hantz twice won the $100,000 “Sprint Player of the Season” award.
And there you have it. Right now, Russell Hantz is the reigning King of Mean for “Survivor.” But surely as you read this, there are future players just chomping at the bits to get on the show and outwit, outplay, and outlast everyone else by using villainous ways.