Best Episode Rankings – No. 33 – “Girls Gone Wilder”

The 100 Best Episodes countdown continues.

Photo: CBS

Over the coming months, Inside Survivor is undertaking its biggest list ranking yet, as we count down the 100 best episodes of Survivor ever. As always with these kinds of lists, it’s entirely subjective, and we’re sure many fans will have different opinions. This is simply Inside Survivor’s ranking. Join us each weekday for a new entry.

Season: The Amazon
Episode: “Girls Gone Wilder” (Episode 7)
Original Air Date: March 26, 2003

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OVERVIEW

It’s time for the merge in Survivor: The Amazon, and the players are understandably pumped. Making the merge is a huge milestone in the game; not only does it make you officially dateable (according to one Kat Edorsson), but it means the finish line is in sight. On top of that, with the merge comes a gigantic feast, and everybody is ready to indulge.

However, there’s one guy who’s not too keen on celebrating and would rather get back to all of the work that has to be done around camp and doesn’t mind sharing his thoughts on the matter and handing out orders to boot. That guy is Roger Sexton. But what Roger fails to understand, as this episode points out over-and-over again, is that it’s rarely a good idea to be the boss in Survivor.

“Girls Gone Wilder” is another great “obvious blindside” episode, as the audience knows Roger’s fate well before he does. The show doesn’t hold back on bashing Roger on his way out. Sure, contestants say harsh things behind players’ backs all the time, but the sheer joy the other castaways express at the prospect of sending Roger packing is remarkable. It’s not a great look on Roger, and the verbal beating he takes almost makes you feel bad for the guy. But the man plays poorly and is done in by his ego and bossy demeanor.

So how does Roger end up with his torch snuffed? Simple, he commits one of the classic Survivor sins: believing in an alliance that doesn’t really exist. Amazon starts out as men vs. women, which naturally inspires a real battle of the sexes rivalry that lasts for the first chunk of the game. Fast-forward to the merge, and the men are up 6 to 4 and are looking to regroup and advance together into the end-game. Not all of the men, however, are up for that plan.

There’s a new co-ed alliance brewing in the Amazonian jungle, and they’ve got some of the Tambaqui boys in their sights, specifically Roger. This is an easy sell for the women left in the game, especially for alpha female Deena Bennett, who immediately clashes with Roger over the construction of a new shelter, proclaiming that “Roger will never let a woman win if he’s on the jury. So screw him.” That’s about a succinct and harsh summation of the sentiment that is brewing around Roger.

Roger doesn’t feel any of the heat surrounding him, though, which is abundantly clear in the next Immunity challenge. In a simple contest of standing on a perch for the longest time, complete with temptations by Jeff Probst, Roger decides to jump off his perch, not for any food, just because he’s tired. He basically says, “I’m not gonna win, so why waste my time up here?” looking like a cocky jerk as he jumps in the water.

Of course, the bigger headline from this challenge is the now-iconic moment of Jenna Morasca and Heidi Strobel stripping naked for some chocolate and peanut butter. Between Rob Cesternino‘s “Get the girls some damn chocolate and peanut butter, Probst” demand, to the cheers of excitement from the young guys like Alex Bell and Dave Johnson to the adamant refusal to peek from the older Butch Lockley, the scene is certainly memorable even if it’s awkwardly outdated looking back.

Coming back to camp, Roger having lost the challenge, the other players are practically giddy with their plan to send him home, with none showing more glee than Rob. “I said that the only way Roger is gonna win Immunity is if it’s a contest of name that Perry Como song,” Rob quips. “Or perhaps ‘What type of prune is this?’ Or some sort of other thing that only an old man like Roger would be able to determine.”

Rob caps this episode off with one of the greatest voting confessionals of all time. “Here comes tonight’s long-distance dedication. It goes out to Rob from New York,” Rob says, imitating a radio host. “He writes: ‘Dear Casey, there’s an old man in my life that’s about to leave. Could you please play something appropriate for me?’ Well Rob, here’s your request: ‘Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey heyyyy hey. Gooood bye.”

Rob, along with everybody else on the tribe save for Dave and Butch, votes for Roger, giving the mean old man of the Amazon a brutal yet satisfying end to his Survivor journey.

Check back tomorrow when we reveal which episode placed at number 32. You can check out the previous entries here.


Written by

Ian Walker

Ian, from Chicago, Illinois, graduated with a Communications major and an English minor and is now navigating adult life the best he can. He has been a fan of Survivor since Pearl Islands aired when he was 11 years old, back when liking Rupert was actually cool.


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