The last person to leave the game, the person so close to the end they can taste the money but has their opportunity to plead their case taken away at the very last moment. That person becomes ingrained in their respective season as the final recipient of “The Tribe Has Spoken” and earns a place in a very special group in Survivor history: The Day 38 Club.
Inside Survivor contributor Ian Walker continues the countdown of the updated and revised Day 38 Club rankings. The list takes into account the strength of a player’s game, character, and the power of their story.
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No. 38 – Keith Famie (The Australian Outback)
One of only two people in the Day 38 Club to not actually be voted out on Day 38, Keith Famie had his torch snuffed on Day 41, despite appearing as if he was a lock for the Final Tribal Council.
The decision was in the hands of Colby Donaldson, the all-American Texas cowboy who had dominated the challenges in The Australian Outback. When Colby won the final Immunity challenge, he had the opportunity to take Keith to the Final Two for a perceived easy victory.
Instead, in one of the most talked-about moves in Survivor history, Colby voted Keith out of the game and took Tina Wesson to the end, where he lost in a close 4-3 vote. While the reasons why Colby made his decision are still debated to this day, the reasons why picking Keith was the better option were pretty clear.
Keith had spent most of the game as a grating personality who simply got on people’s nerves. He seemed like a well-intentioned guy and came into the game with quite possibly the most useful gimmick a person could have during the early days of Survivor: he was a professional chef and was eager to prove his culinary skills useful in the Outback.
However, he was regularly mocked and ridiculed for his preparation of almost anything he cooked for the tribe, so much so, that other tribe members attempted to usurp his position as chef and cooked things for themselves, often with much better results.
Add to the fact that Keith played the entire game as the third wheel for Tina and Colby, that the time Day 41 rolled around, he wasn’t well-respected by the jury. It would have been a slamdunk for anyone sitting next to Keith in the Final 2, which is what made Colby’s decision all the more shocking.
Keith did have a sweet moment during the famous (and incredibly dated) Survivor internet café reward challenge, proposing to his girlfriend over instant messenger. He also seemed genuinely grateful for the experience—sentiments he expressed during that totem-building montage during the long, drawn-out Australian Outback finale.
Ultimately, though, Keith was a guy who seemed destined to join the club of losing finalists but ended up joining a different club altogether.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entry here.