Survivor: 50 For 50 – Greg Buis

Who should be invited back for Survivor’s milestone season?

Welcome to Inside Survivor’s 50 For 50, a semi-regular feature highlighting 50 former castaways who we think should be considered for a spot on Survivor 50. In a snake draft, the Inside Survivor team selected ten players each, with the only rule being they couldn’t have played more than twice.


Name: Greg Buis
Age: 48
Season: Borneo, 2000
Finish: 9th Place


Greg came into Borneo as the smart-ass Ivy League Grad looking to have fun and soak up the adventure. Remember, back in 2000, nobody knew what Survivor was, especially the 16 contestants thrown onto the island of Pulau Tiga. For some, it became a game of strategy and alliances; for others, it was a chance to test themselves physically and mentally.

You could say Greg fell into the latter category, and therefore, he was taken aback when he realized he was essentially playing a television game show in the jungle. This led to Greg poking fun at the concept, breaking the fourth wall, and keeping himself amused with his various quirks and eccentric humor.


Fans, of course, will remember his Coconut Phone, in which he walked around with half a coconut shell held up to his ear, pretending to communicate with those back home. Then there was his flirtmance with Colleen Haskell, which he played up for the cameras. And how can we ever forget his hilariously uncomfortable video message from his sister?

But what made Greg’s journey on Borneo so interesting was how he started to embrace the game post-merge. His interactions with Richard Hatch made for compelling TV, with the two sizing each other up as Greg started to realize Survivor was a game of strategic manipulation. Unfortunately, this realization came too late, and Greg was sent packing to the jury (where he gave his infamous “pick a number” speech).


Greg would make an ideal candidate for Survivor 50. Firstly, it is a must that someone represents Borneo in this landmark season. And Greg is one of the biggest names from that season we’ve never seen return, outside of Colleen, who, let’s face it, wants nothing to do with Survivor. But Greg at least has considered returning before — he was in the mix for Survivor: Second Chance and only had to drop out due to work commitments.

Seeing a more mature (but hopefully still quirky) Greg on Survivor 50 would be an instant selling point. Greg was only 24 when he first played Survivor, back when the show was still finding itself. He’s now 48 with a ton of life experience and will be coming into a show whose format is well-established. Seeing how much he has changed and how much the game has evolved through his eyes would be fascinating TV.


Also, he would get a second chance at playing the strategic game he never got to in Borneo. As mentioned earlier, his legs were cut out from under him just as he started to run. Survivor 50 would provide a chance for Greg to test his strategy skills and for viewers to see if he’s more than just a lovable, wise-cracking goof.

Sure, sometimes old-school returnees flop. Greg’s fellow Borneo castmate Kelly Wiglesworth failed to deliver on her potential in Second Chance, feeling almost checked out for most of the game. There is always a chance that the fast pace of the modern game and its mile-a-minute players overpower the old schoolers, especially for someone like Greg, who hasn’t played in 25 years.

However, even if Greg gets outplayed and struggles to keep up with the high-speed gameplay, I think he would still bring something valuable. In a season that is likely to skew more toward new school, having the perspective of a Season 1 player with a 25-year layoff would be endlessly compelling.

Would you like to see Greg return for Survivor 50? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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.

4 responses to “Survivor: 50 For 50 – Greg Buis”

  1. Loving this new feature and can’t wait to see more! Bring back Greg AND his coconut phone (and Shane and his Blackberry?)

  2. Greg is one of the people I most want to see return. I would be fascinated to know how he has changed (or hopefully not really changed) in the past 25 years. I really believe someone from the first season should be on this one.

  3. Please bring him back. It would be great to see someone come back from season 1 who we haven’t seen come back yet!

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