Rob gets the #1 spot because he's just the best all around player the game has ever seen. Maybe that has to do with the fact that we've seen him so many times and have really been able to see him at his best, because lets remember if he only had 1 season (Marquesas) then I don't even know if he'd even be on here. However he showed us all just how good he is and can be in All Stars and again in Redemption Island. His combination of strategy, social skills, athleticism, and determination make him an easy pick for the #1 spot. He is arguably the best strategic player of all time, one of the best at challenges ever, the puzzle master, and he is more than willing to be cut-throat (as is necessary in Survivor). The skill that is the foundation for his game is his ability to manipulate people, which was showcased in Redemption Island. All that said Rob is by far the best player to ever play the game.
Yul Kwon gets the #2 spot because of his absolutely flawless and brilliantly executed strategy. A Yale law school graduate and Stanford grad, he certainly showed his intelligence in Cook Islands. He had a plan for every possible scenario and executed his plans masterfully. His stunning display of strategy was and still is possibly the best Survivor has ever seen. Yul looked like Machiavelli himself making brilliant move after brilliant move positioning himself for a shot at the $1,000,000 prize at the end. Yul makes my #2 spot purely because he is arguably the best strategist the game has ever seen and he manipulated his way into getting the $1 million prize on his only season on Survivor. Yul had one of the most impressive games in Survivor history. And to top it all off, he did it with class and dignity.
Richard Hatch gets my #3 spot because he was the original sole survivor and he set the trend for an amazing show. He came into Borneo having no previous seasons or winners to draw on and dominated his way to the end. His strategy of alliances and double-crossing had never been seen before and he played an excellent game. Without Richard Hatch who's to say we even have Survivor today? His colorful personality and perpetual nudity made for a captivating season that gave America its ratings king Reality TV. Hatch was also a outstanding fisherman and very smart player and most definitely deserves the #3 spot.
Ozzy takes the #4 spot in a close one over Russell. Ozzy's physical DOMINANCE of Survivor Cook Island is absolutely unrivaled and one of the most impressive displays in Survivor history. For that reason I give him the edge over Russell who has never been known for dominating challenges. Ozzy is arguably the greatest ever at challenges. He wasn't the best at strategy but he got to the final 3 and was 1 vote away from winning it (although Yul did deserve it). I am still to this day wowed by Ozzy's physical dominance in Cook Islands and that's why I give him the #4 spot. Also Ozzy is easily the best swimmer Survivor has ever seen.
Russell gets the #5 spot for what he brought to Survivor as it began to struggle for ratings (compared to its glory days). Russell gave Survivor something it had never had before an Ultra Villain (not sure how else to put it). He stole machetes and hid them to sabotage his team, poured out people's water to gain an edge, and worked so many dirty deals the viewers were even pulling knives out of their backs. Russell was an excellent strategist and very talented manipulator. He wasn't the best at challenges but he didn't have to be. Russell takes this spot because he helped revive Survivor and gave us all good television.
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