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. 1 – Cirie Fields (Micronesia)
For all of the praise and prestigious titles I gave Rob Cesternino and Jonny Fairplay and others before them, from the moment I set out to create this list, the number 1 spot in the Day 38 Club was never in doubt.
Simply put, Cirie Fields is the best player to never win Survivor, and she showed why in Survivor: Micronesia, pulling off some of the biggest blindsides the show has ever seen. Plus, this being her second time playing, she was able to build off of her character from the first time around in such a satisfying and exciting way.
In Survivor: Panama, Cirie was the woman who got off the couch, conquering all of her anxieties about living on an island and winning the audience over in the process. That was her narrative coming into Micronesia, not the fact that she played a splendid game and was a dangerous player to watch out for.
Cirie used this perception as cover to play a more aggressive, more fearless game than the first time, cutting down any big threats that stood in her way while laughing that signature Cirie giggle all the while. If it weren’t for some last-minute schedule changes switching from a final three to a final two, Cirie would have almost undoubtedly have won in Micronesia.
Sure, Cirie’s fellow final three competitors, Parvati Shallow and Amanda Kimmel, both played strong games as well, but Cirie was in a league of her own. Almost every single power move that went down, Cirie had a hand in—two examples being particularly impressive.
In the vote out of Ozzy Lusth, the first in Micronesia’s legendary string of blindsides, Cirie was the one who got the ball rolling. Nervous about how much power Ozzy was amassing, and the fact that he had an idol, Cirie knew she had to act fast. She didn’t go to Amanda, who was in a quasi-showmance with Ozzy, but to Parvati, who had two of the fans wrapped around her finger. Together, Cirie and Parvati rallied enough numbers to get Ozzy out, giving birth to the Black Widow Brigade.
Over the next couple rounds, the Black Widow Brigade made big blindside after big blindside, culminating in one of the most iconic Survivor moments of all time, convincing poor Erik Reichenbach to give up the Immunity necklace.
While all of the Brigade members played a part in running the con on Erik, let it be known that during that initial gabfest, it was Cirie who made the initial “What If?” suggestion. Once the women ran with the idea, Cirie played her role perfectly, laying the guilt on thick to Erik, stressing how much a move like this would make him look like a good guy in the eyes of the jury.
All the while she was feeding Erik this BS, Cirie, like she had all season, was giving her thoughts with unabashed amusement and giggles in her confessionals. When Erik made his fateful decision and was voted out, Cirie was right there with the other ladies, smiling and waving him goodbye, knowing that they just made Survivor history.
After that string of big moves, Cirie looked like the presumptive favorite to win. Her emergence into a legitimately great player, plus her light and funny personality, seemed to be enough to put her over Parvati and Amanda. Alas, that was not meant to be. The final three turned into the final two, and when Amanda won the final Immunity challenge, Cirie was the odd person out and voted out on Day 38.
Cirie’s final words are still, to this day, one of the most heart-breaking moments in Survivor history, as she lamented to her family how she was so close to the end, but ultimately couldn’t make it the one more night she needed to. While it’s still a bummer that Cirie didn’t win this season, she more than earned her place as one of the all-time greats of the game and the number one player in the Day 38 Club.
And that wraps up the revised Day 38 Club countdown. Thanks for reading! You can check out the previous entries here.