Tony Vlachos. Sandra-Diaz Twine. Parvati Shallow. Kim Spradlin. Boston Rob Mariano. All recognized greats of the game when it comes to Survivor. But who are some of the greatest players that don't necessarily always get the same accolades and recognition?
We decided to ask that very question to the current cast of Survivor 43 on CBS. Instead of inquiring as to their favorite player, we asked each of the contestants to name the person who doesn't get enough props for a game (or games) well played. Their answers were enlightening, and you can see them all in the video above.
There are definitely some David vs. Goliath fans on the new season, judging by the responses. The recently ousted Justine Brennan pointed to the man who didn't win the million dollars at the end, Mike White, as her pick. "I personally just really liked him because he was witty, he brought some sarcasm to the island that you don't really typically see with a lot of contestants," says Justine of The White Lotus creator/Emmy winner. "I think when you're out there, you're starved, you're thirsty, you're dying of the heat, you haven't slept in days, but he just found a way to sneak in little stings here and there and he had a lot of sarcasm. And, for that reason, I think that he was super underrated because obviously he didn't end up winning that season, but he was one of my favorite players."
CBS via Getty Images Jeff Probst and Mike White on 'Survivor'
While Justine picked the proprietor of the Pineapple Suite, her former tribemate and inventor of something called "The Pineapple Zone" selected another David vs. Goliath stalwart. "Davie is pretty underrated, honesty," says Jesse Lopez. "I think he had a really good social game, he had a really good sense of where things were, and he went out at five, which is really close to the top, so I think he's super underrated."
There were some unexpected choices, of course. Props to Elie Scott for her under-the-radar pick of Shirin Oskooi. "I think Shirin from Worlds Apart and also Second Chance is a really good Survivor player," says the Dead Kennedys fan. "She knows the game really, really well and I think that she maybe gets a bad rap because she's a super-fan but I think that she's stellar."
And a salute to Karla Cruz Godoy for picking someone whose recognition of greatness has somehow faded with time and short-term memories."I love Yau-Man," says the former Xena convention attendee. "Super strategic, but also, I think, such a great player. He was able to really build connections, with folks, people like Dreamz, and kind of trusted too much in those relationships. I just love Yau-Man and I think he played such a great game his first season, and I learned a lot from him in just like him knowing the challenges. So I hope to be a beast like him."
Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images; CBS; Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images 'Survivor' 43 cast picks the most underrated players ever
Of course, winners can be underrated as well. Several champions made the list, including two votes for the winner of Survivor: Marquesas, Vecepia Robinson. "I think Vecepia doesn't get enough credit as a winner," says Owen Knight. "I think she is dramatically underrated, just the way she navigated that social game, especially back in season 4 when the diversity casting wasn't a thing, that was a much more difficult situation for her to navigate as a Black woman to begin with. And then to pull it off and win, I thought she did a tremendous job and is not talked about enough as one of the elite winners of the game."
To see the entire list of underrated Survivor players as chosen by the cast of Survivor 43, watch the video above.
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