Survivor’s 10 Wackiest Contestants Of All Time

Whoever is in charge of casting for Survivor has done a great job of picking some real oddballs over the years. These players truly belong in a league of their own, and in our opinion, deserve their own season. It could be called, Survivor: Island of Misfits, and it would be the most entertaining season ever. What do you think? Who would win? And who would spontaneously combust?

10. Tarzan Smith (Survivor: One World)

This 64-year-old surgeon was a man of few words, but when he spoke, it was always weird and a bit creepy. Things got even creepier when he liked to put on women’s clothing that had been discarded around the camp, appearing once in fellow tribemate Monica Culpepper’s shirt and later in Kat Edorsson’s top and underwear. No one was too sorry when he got voted out.


9. Shirin Oskooi (Survivor: Worlds Apart, Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance)

Yahoo executive Shirin set the tone for weeks to come when she took to walking the beach bottomless (but oddly, not topless), on her first season playing Survivor. Unfortunately for her, her wacky reputation preceded her and she was the second person voted off on Survivor: Cambodia. No second chance for this daffy dame.

Monty Brinton/CBS

8. John Cochran (Survivor: South Pacific, Survivor: Carmoan)

Harvard law student John Cochran was the geekiest, most unathletic guy to ever play Survivor—and win (he won his second season). Bullied by a group of buff and beautiful types in the South Pacific, Cochran—as he came to be called—nonetheless managed to keep his sense of humor throughout most of both seasons he played and defied the odds by outlasting all his fellow castaways his second time competing, giving hope to misfits everywhere.

Monty Brinton/CBS

7. Vince Sly (Survivor: Worlds Apart)

When this long-haired coconut salesman was first introduced at the beginning of the season that divided tribes by social class, he seemed destined to give wacky Survivor legends “Coach” and Phillip a run for their money. Unfortunately, his intense blue-eyed stare and super-long hugs just creeped out ally Jenn Brown on the No-Collar tribe, and he became the second person voted out of the game. Sigh. Why did he have to get so creepy so fast out of the gate? He had so much potential that we will now never know.

Robert Voets/CBS

6. Rudy Boesch (Survivor: Borneo, Survivor: All-Stars)

Good old Rudy, the retired United States Navy SEAL who bears the distinction of being the most mature castaway ever to compete on Survivor (he was 73 when he played on the inaugural season of Survivor in Borneo and 75 when he competed in Survivor: All-Stars two years later). He was also one of the straightest arrows ever to play the game, but that just made him even more wacky. He and Survivor: Borneo winner, the openly gay Richard Hatch, formed one of the most unlikely alliances ever in the show’s 15 year history, with Rudy spouting all kinds of memorable quips about their friendship, including this one, “He’s fat, but he’s good,” and this one, “Me and Richard are buddies, but when the sun goes down, he goes his way and I go mine.” If only they would bring him back to do one more season at the age of 87. Rudy rocks!


5. Sue Hawk (Survivor: Borneo, Survivor: All-Stars)

This tough-talking, mid-western truck driver used her redneck persona to her advantage, downplaying her smarts and making it all the way to the final four in the inaugural season of Survivor. But after her alliance voted her out, Sue let her true colors shine at the final tribal council where she launched into her famous “Snakes and Rats” speech about the remaining two players, Richard and Kelly. That speech was so crazy and so full of hate that it has never been matched in thirty subsequent seasons. Sue Hawk, you put the wacky in final tribal, and for that you earned a spot in our wacky hall of fame.

Source: YouTube

4. Rupert Boneham (Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains & Survivor: Blood vs. Water)

As the guy with the scruffy pirate beard, shifty pirate eyes and growly pirate voice, Rupert made one of the most memorable first impressions ever in Pearl Islands when, upon landing in a fishing village where both tribes were to obtain supplies for their respective camps, he noticed that the competing tribe had left their raft unattended with all their shoes inside. So, what did the pirate do? He stole them! While he clearly wasn’t above lying, cheating and stealing, Rupert, with his signature hippie tie-dyed shirts, revealed himself to be a mushy peacenik at heart, and he was so popular with Survivor fans that he became one of only two players to compete in four different seasons AND win a million dollars via public vote. Ahoy, matey!


3. Brandon Hantz (Survivor: South Pacific, Survivor: Caramoan)

The nephew of infamous Survivor villain, Russell Hantz, came on the show vowing to bring dignity back to the Hantz family name. A born-again Christian, the tatted-up younger Hantz initially seemed nice enough, if a little dumb, but it quickly became clear that something was not quite right with the boy when he started focusing all his energy on getting rid of fellow castaway, Mikayla Wingle, a lingerie football player and model, who Brandon was afraid might tempt him to cheat on his wife (though she clearly wanted nothing to do with Brandon). His creepy obsession with Mikayla was just the first indicator of this former bad boy’s internal struggle to be good, and when he played for a second time, it all came to a head. On Caramoan, Brandon had one of the most epic meltdowns ever on Survivor, when—after butting heads with Phillip Sheppard (see #1 on our list)—he angrily dumped out all his tribe’s beans and rice and unleashed a profanity-ridden tirade of hate against his tribe. For the first time in the show’s history, his tribe refused to participate in the immunity challenge and voted Brandon out on the spot.

Monty Brinton/CBS

2. Benjamin “Coach” Wade (Survivor: Tocantins, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains & Survivor: South Pacific)

Ah, Coach. This former soccer coach with a big heart and a bigger ego tried to rewrite his first season, Tocantins, into his dream Robert Jordan fantasy novel, by christening himself “The Dragon Slayer,” and giving similar cheesy medieval nicknames to many of his other allies and foes. There was his nemesis, Brendan, whom he fittingly dubbed “The Dragon,” the smart guy, Stephen, who became “The Wizard,” and the athletic guy, J.T., whom he named “The Warrior.” Oh, and there were plenty more: “The Nordic Axeman,” “The High Priestess,” “The Valkyrie” and “The Evil Sneering Ice Banshee,” to name but a few. The best part about it was that it was all very serious and not at all tongue in cheek. Coach was picked to play Survivor twice more, and it’s no surprise. Love him or hate him, he sure was a hoot to watch.

Source: Fanpop

1. Phillip Sheppard (Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: Caramoan)

Phillip Sheppard came in guns a-blazing—or should that be underwear a-blazing—as he quickly demonstrated he was no shrinking violet by doffing his clothing and spending most of his island time strutting around in his saggy-bottom pink briefs. But if that wasn’t odd enough, he also loved to tell everyone who would listen that he was a former special agent and therefore way better at the game than anyone else. Although his claim sounded dubious to most, he milked it for all it was worth, creating an alliance he called Stealth R Us, and like his forebear, Coach, bestowing cheesy nicknames on all its members. A true study in abnormal psych, Phillip gave Survivor fans across the globe plenty to talk about, earning him the number one spot on this list.

© 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Lara H