As members of the exclusive Executive Voting Committee, the “Survivor” Press Team (along with Host Jeff Probst, Challenge Producer John Kirhoffer and other “Survivor” luminaries) have an awesome responsibility. Their votes will make up 50% of the final tally for entry into the prestigious ‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame. The other 50% came from “Survivor” fans like you. Be sure to check back Monday, December 13, 2010 for the first member of the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Class of 2010.
Note: Some of the press team decided to rank their votes in order, some didn’t. I decided to let them do what felt right. That’s the kind of alliance member I am. I try to go with the flow and not be too bossy.
Drusilla Moorhouse – E! Online
Drusilla Moorhouse is an Editor for E! Online, where she celebrates TV and celebrity gossip with a liberal dose of exclamation points. A fanatic of the “Eco Challenge” producer Mark Burnett’s O.G. reality competition, Dru carried a torch for “Survivor” even before the first pixelated images of Richard Hatch hit the airwaves.
Richard Hatch: The inaugural champion single-handedly shaped “Survivor’s” strategy with his Snake and the Rat (& Co.) Alliance. Is he the smartest player? No — just ask the IRS. Physically dominant? Absolutely not (although a certain shark may beg to differ). But without the bare bandit’s social scheme, it’s impossible to know how many seasons of random Sean Kenniff-style Tribal Council voting we’d see before competitors realized how essential alliances are to longevity in this game.
“Boston” Rob Mariano: In Marquesas, Rob was lazy at camp, gave an F for effort in the challenges and used strategy as an afterthought — it’s easy to see why he tended bar and worked construction after graduating from Boston University. But in “All-Stars,” Rob 2.0 played to win, establishing a, um…rock-hard alliance with Ambah and seducing his other tribemates with a custom-built luxury eco-lodge. Even though his aggressive style and deception cost him in jury votes, he still took home the million-dollar prize by marrying the Sole Survivor — and with the birth of their baby, became “Survivor’s” original Robfather. In his third attempt, Awesome Rob was grossly outmatched by the super strong Heroes tribe but carried his Villains like Atlas to some important victories — and might have won if only his allies had half his smahts.
Russell Hantz: The douche-hatted hobbit made a fool of every post-Guatemala gamer who waited for cheesy clues before searching the camp for the Hidden Immunity Idols. Russell’s sabotage was silly — avoiding Tribal Council should always be the first priority — and a smarter social game and some humility might’ve earned him a victory. Nobody has ever fought harder for second (and third) place. His guerilla warfare transformed the game of “Survivor” and should secure him a place in the Hall of Fame.
Tom Westman: The New York City firefighter’s win was also “Survivor’s” most gratifying. Tom’s alliance with Ian ensured that the season would finish with strong players, while his physical dominance in challenges kept his Koror tribe out of Tribal Council and, later, kept the immunity necklace around his own neck. He joined the game under the halo of a 9/11 hero but was awarded the million-dollar prize for his leadership, integrity and strength.
Parvati Shallow: “Survivor’s” Queen P has outlasted every competitor with a record 114 game days of serenity and bliss. Her siren call lures men and women to crash at her lovely feet, but flirting is just one of the weapons in the fierce physical competitor’s arsenal. “Survivor” is Parvati’s Hotel California, but she never checks out of the game — physically, socially or mentally.
Rob Moynihan – TV Guide Magazine
Rob Moynihan is the online editor for TV Guide Magazine. As a lifelong “Survivor” junkie, one of his greatest achievements was competing alongside XFINITY TV’s own Gordon Holmes on the winning press team for a “Survivor: Nicaragua” challenge rehearsal.
Richard Hatch: Richard Hatch was the first contestant to ever play “Survivor” both as a strategic game and in the nude. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying he will always be the best sole Survivor.
Parvati Shallow: At the “Heroes vs. Villains” reunion, Russell Hantz told me that Parvati is the best player to ever compete on “Survivor,” and it’s hard to argue with him. After cashing her million-dollar check for her second outing on “Fans vs. Favorites,” Parvati completely controlled Russell and the rest of the Heroes and Villains and came up a few votes short of her second win.
Russell Hantz: When Gordon first asked me to participate in the Hall of Fame, I tried to limit my five picks to only “Survivor” winners, because to be truly great at this game you must have the check to prove it, right? Well there’s no way I can keep Russell off the list because of the ways he single handedly changed how “Survivor” is played in Samoa. Burning socks, finding hidden idols and pissing everybody off landed him in the top three in both outings, but his ruthless social game and some bitter juries kept the prize money out of his reach. Still, Russell was the most interesting and fun Survivor to watch in 21 seasons.
Sandra Diaz-Twine: Say what you will about her under-the-radar strategy, but the woman has played the game twice and both times returned home a winner. Sometimes, making the right moves with the right people at the right times helps you along in the game, and there’s no better example than Sandra.
“Boston” Rob Mariano: The evolution of Rob Mariano in his three stints on “Survivor” has been pretty incredible. Always a strong personality, strategizer and whiz when it came to challenges, Mariano was always somewhat unfairly branded with a villain label for making bold moves like betraying his buddy Lex in “All-Stars,” even though he did land his million-dollar wife. But he rose again in “Heroes Vs. Villains” as the villain America rooted for until Russell snuffed his torch. For a three-time loser, there has never been a Survivor who’s played harder.
Mara Reinstein – US Weekly
Us Weekly senior writer Mara Reinstein has covered “Survivor” since the Richard Hatch era (title of her first article: “The Rat Pack.”) In 2004, she finally got the chance to travel to location for a set visit. Yay…Palau. Boo…Guatemala. She has made nine treks in total and lost a record-breaking seven consecutive press-run immunity challenges until the torch run in Samoa.
Shane Powers: That’s right, a dark-horse pick! I’m still in denial that the unstable, outspoken chain smoker from “Panama: Exile Islands” did not make the cut for “Heroes Vs. Villains.” Hello? Need I remind you that he frantically typed on a piece of wood as if it were a Blackberry — and that was during one of his saner moments?! Sorry, Shane. Should have been you over Tyson.
Tom Westman: It’s impossible to root against him. I’m not just saying that because he has the whole NYC firefighter hero thing going on. (Working for the NYPD didn’t get Ken very far during “Survivor: Thailand” in 2002.) He’s a genuinely good and caring guy. And if I’m on Tom’s tribe, I knew that we’re not going to blow a challenge for lack of effort or leadership. He kinda looks like John Slattery too!
Richard Hatch: The blueprint for all “Survivor” contestants, for better or for worse. Think back to the scene when all the castaways set foot on the beach for the first time, desperately trying to figure what the hell to do and who to boss around. The wily Hatch sat in a tree, taking it all in and fingering his future alliance-mates and targets. Mind you: This was years before Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse ever conjured up Benjamin Linus.
Parvati Shallow: I interviewed her in the Cooks in 2006 and dismissed her as another flirty, giggly boxer/model chick with amazingly white teeth. Never ever dawned on me that she would brilliantly use these traits to her advantage — three times over! Not only has she mastered the social game (with both sexes!), but girlfriend dominates in those endurance challenges. And she gave the whiny Amanda the heave-ho. Woo hoo.
Rob Mariano: Dear Ambuh: I totally get it! In the “Survivor” universe, Boston Rob outwits and outplays them all (with a wicked sense of humor too). Lest we forget that the guy double-crossed his friends during “All Stars” just to keep his girl in the game — then proposed to her on the live finale and they’re still married! (As an Us Weekly writer, I gotta respect this.)
Dalton Ross – Entertainment Weekly
Dalton Ross is the Assistant Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly. He may have written about this show once or twice over the past 10 years.
5. “Boston” Rob Mariano: You want to put him higher than fifth…until you remember that in two of his three appearances he didn’t even make it to the jury. The best challenge puzzle solver in “Survivor” history.
4. Tom Westman: Dominated socially, physically and strategically in Palau. Also got wasted, which I could watch on a continuous loop for the rest of my life.
3. Richard Hatch: Taught everyone else how to play the game. Every time anyone says the word “alliance”, Hatch should get a nickel…and then not pay any taxes on it!
2. Russell Hantz: You may not like him, but you have to respect him. Was robbed in Samoa after finding every hidden immunity idol known to man and bringing his tribe back from an 8-4 deficit. He followed that up by outplaying Boston Rob in “Heroes Vs. Villains” and making it to the finals yet again. If you’re voting objectively—no way you can leave him off.
1. Parvati Shallow: She was the person everyone was gunning for before “Heroes Vs. Villains” started. And yet she STILL made it all the way to the end (and should have won). The ultimate triple threat in terms of social, strategic and challenge domination. All hail Queen Parvati!