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Top 10 Craziest Survivor Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Tiffany Ezuma Survivors ready? We’re not sure you can be for what comes next! Welcome to and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Craziest Survivor Moments. For this list, we’re looking at the most intense, odd, and unbelievable things to have ever occurred on this hit reality series over the years. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.

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Survivors ready? We’re not sure you can be for what comes next! Welcome to and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Craziest Survivor Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the most intense, odd, and unbelievable things to have ever occurred on this hit reality series over the years.

#10: Becky vs. Sundra Fire Challenge
“Survivor: Cook Islands” (2006)

Before you join survivor as a contestant, there are a few crucial skills you should practice at home until you’ve absolutely mastered them. Making a fire… is one of them. Clearly Becky and Sundra didn’t get that memo. After a deadlocked vote, the two women compete in a fire making challenge to determine who goes home. To the utter shock and dismay of everyone watching, neither contestant was able to make fire with a coconut husk and flint. Somewhere past the 90 minute mark, Becky finally made a fire using matches after Sundra unsuccessfully burned through her own. It wasn’t exactly a grand victory but it was certainly cringe-worthy and entertaining to watch.

#9: #ImmunityTrain
“Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands” (2017)

There have been many instances when a player has gone home with an immunity idol or an advantage unplayed, but the Game Changers weren’t going to let that happen. In one of the most topsy-turvy Tribal Councils ever, three of the remaining six players used a hidden immunity idol. Sarah jumped on the #immunitytrain by using her Legacy Advantage. And considering Brad had already won the individual immunity award, that left poor Cirie. In a cruel twist, despite having no votes cast against her, she was sent home by default as the only one without an immunity advantage. And funnily enough, it was the first such occurrence in Survivor history. Game changer indeed!

#8: Caleb Collapses
“Survivor: Kaôh Rōng” (2016)

There are a lot of factors at play in any season of Survivor, but one you should never underestimate… is the heat. While doing a rigorous immunity challenge, the heat got the best of three players, including Caleb, who required medical attention after they began to show signs of heatstroke. Caleb’s was by far the worst, with his body temperature rising to 107 degrees, which made him pass out and become unresponsive. Wisely, the medical team pulled Caleb from the game – and he went on to spend 5 days in the ICU. Host Jeff Probst calls it one of the shows “most frightening moments” and we have to agree.

#7: Randy Plays Bob’s Fake Idol
“Survivor: Gabon – Earth’s Last Eden” (2008)
It must be a pretty great feeling to walk into Tribal Council with the protection of a hidden immunity idol. But of course, that protection only works if it’s a real idol. Before he read the votes, Jeff asked if anyone had an idol to play and feeling unsafe, Randy gave Jeff what he thought was a genuine hidden immunity idol. Unfortunately for him, the idol was actually a fake made by fellow contestant Bob. Randy’s face was absolutely priceless when the truth was revealed to him, and he was sent home before he could really process what had happened. At least he was right about thinking he was on the chopping block.

#6: Parvati Plays Two Idols
“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” (2010)

A hidden immunity idol means nothing if you don’t know how to play it properly, but Parvati proved herself to be more adept than most. In one of the pivotal Tribal Councils of the “Heroes vs. Villains” season, Parvati used an idol that Russell gave her to save herself, before pulling out another one to save the members of her villains alliance. As a result, J.T. was voted out. The beauty of this move was that J.T. was the one who originally gave Russell one of Parvati's idols as a way to sway him to the heroes’ alliance - but it backfired and that same idol ultimately resulted in him getting sent home.

#5: Mike Skupin Falls in the Fire
“Survivor: The Australian Outback” (2001)

This show is nothing if not brutal, and we’re not just talking about the competition. Sometimes… simple hunger and exposure to the elements can take a player down. Such was the case when Mike lost consciousness and fell into the fire while trying to tend to it. Mike severely burned his hands in the process and immediately ran into the water to try to soothe his burn. Unfortunately, the injury was too severe and he was ultimately sent home. His was the first medical evacuation in the show’s history, and still one of the scariest to date.

#4: Jonny Fairplay & the Dead Grandma Lie
“Survivor: Pearl Islands” (2003)

Survivors are expected to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in the game but, as Jon Dalton, aka Jonny Fairplay, proved - some players take the lying aspect too far. As one of the show’s most conniving players, Jonny used the Loved Ones’ Visit as a way to further his gameplay when he got his friend to lie and say that his grandmother died. He cried and got the other players to feel sorry for him, only to reveal in his confessional that his grandmother was “home watching Jerry Springer”. It was a bold move and shook up the game by showing that there truly were no limits.

#3: Erik Gives Up Immunity
“Survivor: Micronesia” (2008)

Winning immunity is everything in the game of Survivor, so it’s rare that someone would give it up for another person, which is why Erik’s move to give Natalie his immunity necklace is something we’re still scratching our heads about years later. As the lone man remaining, Cirie convinced the physical challenge champ to give away immunity as a show of faith so we he wouldn’t be voted out. To everyone’s surprise he did it, and of course, the Black Widow Brigade sent him home. This won Erik the title of “dumbest Survivor ever” and we can’t really disagree. There’s clearly no room for chivalry in a competition show.

#2: Sue’s “Rats and Snakes” Speech
“Survivor: Borneo” (2000)

“Survivor” is a social experiment, plain and simple. In the first season, “Survivor: Borneo”, many viewers assumed that the nicest player, Kelly Wigglesworth, would win. But Sue flipped that on its head when she gave her now infamous “rats and snakes” speech at the final Tribal Council. She compared Kelly to a rat and Richard Hatch to a snake, and said that ultimately, the snake would eat the rat. The speech was pretty hostile towards Kelly and the game as a whole. It was like nothing we’d ever seen on reality TV, which is why it’s considered one of the show’s watershed moments and one that made it such a cultural juggernaut.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- Boston Rob Destroys an Immunity Clue

“Survivor: Redemption Island” (2011)

- Jenna and Heidi Strip for Food

“Survivor: The Amazon” (2003)

- The Whisper Game

“Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands” (2017)

#1: Jeff Varner Outs Zeke Smith
“Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands” (2017)

Players often say and do things they wouldn’t in real life to get ahead in the game but there’s no way to justify Jeff Varner outing his fellow contestant, Zeke Smith, as transgender. In a contentious Tribal Council, Jeff chose to throw Zeke under the bus by questioning his moral character in the hopes of saving his own skin. Jeff told the other tribe members that Zeke was deceitful for not telling them he was trans. The shocked Survivors were quick to jump to Zeke’s defense and for that, Jeff was sent home without a formal vote even being cast. It was a truly a desperate move on Jeff’s part, and something we’ll never forget.

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