Hali Ford Retrospective

A look back at the previous game of Hali Ford, one of the returning castaways on the upcoming Survivor: Game Changers.

Age: 27
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Previous Season: Survivor: Worlds Apart
Previous Placing: 11/18
Days Lasted: 22
Correctly Voted for Boot: 3
Votes Received: 8
Individual Immunity Challenge Wins: 0
Most Memorable Moment: Talking about her love for the U.S. Constitution.

What happened in her previous season: Hali is one of the least known entities on the Game Changers cast, her game was fairly under the radar in Worlds Apart, and she wasn’t a stand-out character like many of the people she’ll be competing with in Season 34. Hali is mostly remembered as the quirky girl that went skinny dipping and boogie boarding (surfing is her number three passion in life) and talked about her enthusiasm for ‘Merica and the U.S. Constitution.

She started the game on the No Collar (Nagarote) tribe where she quickly bonded with Jenn Brown and Joe Anglim, the two people she formed an alliance with on Day 6 when the No Collars lost their first immunity challenge. There was a slight tension between Hali/Jenn and Nina Poersch, especially when the two girls decided to go skinny dipping in the ocean without her. Nina, a deaf contestant, felt the girls were purposely excluding her and dismissing her because of her disability, leading to her blowing up at Hali and Jenn.

Hali’s alliance discussed targeting Nina or Vince Sly, with Joe pushing for Nina due to her being weaker in challenges. The plan was to split the vote in case of an idol, with the girls voting Vince, and Joe and Will Sims voting Nina. However, Will spilled the plan to Vince, offering a counter plan where himself, Vince, and Nina would vote out Jenn. But when Nina told Will about Vince’s concerns about Will’s health, Will flipped his vote, blindsiding Vince. Hali didn’t really play a significant part in any of these plans, at least not according to the edit.

Nagarote lost the immunity challenge again on Day 8, and the vote came down to Nina or Will. Hali was concerned about how trustworthy Will was going forward and worried that he “might do something idiotic and then Jenn and I will have trouble at the merge.” It was a premonition that later came true, as the tribe voted out Nina (with Hali throwing an extra vote on Will just in case Nina played an idol), and Will did later abandon the No Collars at the merge (and do something idiotic).

On Day 12, the three tribes swapped into two. Hali remained on Nagarote with Jenn and Will and was joined by Carolyn Rivera, Max Dawson and Shirin Oskooi of the White Collar tribe and Kelly Remington of the Blue Collars. As Hali described, Kelly appeared to be the swing vote between the old White Collars and the old No Collars. But Carolyn was not close with Max and Shirin, and after Nagarote lost the immunity challenge, she approached the No Collars to vote with them. In the end, the whole tribe except for Shirin voted out Max. On Day 16, the Escameca tribe threw the immunity challenge, giving the Nagarote tribe the victory and safety from tribal council.

The tribes merged on Day 17, with Hali and Jenn realigning with Joe. Shirin also joined the old No Collar alliance; Hali had previously talked to Shirin after the Max blindside, being honest with her about how some of the tribe found her annoying. But with Will jumping ship to the Blue Collar/White Collar group, Hali’s alliance was massively outnumbered. However, Joe won individual immunity and Jenn revealed to Hali that she had an idol. Jenn played her idol at the first merge tribal council, negating the seven votes against her and blindsiding Kelly in a 4-1-0 vote (Will voted for Hali). But the glory was only short-lived, as they were unable to overcome the numbers deficit, despite trying to convince Sierra Dawn-Thomas to join them in voting out Dan Foley. Sierra didn’t flip, though, and after Joe once again won immunity, the majority targeted Hali, voting her out 7-4. In the end, Hali voted for Mike to win.


Biggest Strength: Hali has an endearing personality which makes people like her. She also demonstrated a decent perception of the game dynamics.

Biggest Weakness: Hali’s problem was that she didn’t really have a strategic mind. She played well socially and had some good observations, but she didn’t show a willingness to fight for her game. She remained relatively passive and never took her game into her own hands. If she can combine her likability with a sharp strategic approach, she could do very well.

What she considered her mistake: In post-show interviews, Hali said she wish she would have played a more strategic-minded game. Speaking to the Toronto Sun, she said: “I think that being on the No Collar tribe caused me to rely heavily on my social aspect. I did what I needed to do up to the merge. I needed to play a social game. But I wanted to play a more calculated game.”

Hali is one of twenty returning castaways who will compete on Survivor: Game Changers which premieres March 8 on CBS. Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more cast retrospectives and other pre-season content.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

12 responses to “Hali Ford Retrospective”

    • Considering how there were so much write-offs for players during that season, it’s not that hard to see why.

      • They could choose from other seasons… I mean I think Hali was chosen earlier and Sierra got lucky and was cast as a result of a last minute drop out.

  1. She could be a star next season, but if she does eagerly want to play a more strategic game, her downfall could be playing too hard too fast, especially coming after Kelley Wentworth’s Cambodia run. I’m most impressed by her read on her situation in the game, because thinking about it it would probably have been dangerous to play hard when her alliance consisted almost entirely of social bonds.

  2. This is a very nice way of saying she was a surfer babe who was cute but completely flakey. I imagine we’ll see a more grown up Haley this time since she is at the age where maturing rapidly at college is normal.

    • She was FAR from flaky. I mean, she held loyal to her core alliance until she herself became the fall person for them.

  3. Wasn’t impressed with her game the first time, and I see her playing a better strategic game. But I still see her being a follower, kind of playing like Christa from Pearl Islands.

    • With big egos in this particular pool, it’ll probably be in her best interests to lie low until necessary.

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