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.
Get exclusive content and features by supporting Inside Survivor on Patreon.
No. 21 – Tina Wesson (Blood vs. Water)
Tina Wesson’s Survivor track record is truly a special one, as she’s the only person who can claim membership to the clubs of winners, first boots, and Day 38 bootees. She narrowly avoided becoming a member of the Day 38 Club her first time around, and instead emerged victorious.
Eventually, that particular bit of fate caught up to her during her third game in Blood vs. Water. Only one of two people in the Club that has also won the game, Tina’s third go at Survivor was a reminder of what made her so great to watch the first two times: a combination of sweet Southern charm, joyful attitude, and hyper-competitive motivation.
Tina’s first half of the game was a huge bounce back after her last time out, but she ran into some trouble at the merge. She was voted out three spots after the tribes came together, following Aras and Vytas Baskauskas, who got duped pretty hard by Tyson Apostol and Gervase Peterson.
Aras’ blindside was the first time Tina had ever been on the wrong side of the vote and survived, which she did not take kindly to and made no attempt to hide her feelings upon returning from Tribal that night. But despite all the hunting for cracks in the alliance and hidden immunity idols, Tina followed the Baskauskas brothers out of the game.
After making the transition to Redemption Island, Tina quickly formed a Super-Mom tag team with Laura Morett, and the two of them fought their way through the final duel of the season. While Laura was the prohibitive favorite heading into that challenge, Tina was the one who proved triumphant and won her way back into the game.
Upon her return, Tina was a legit threat to win, but she ultimately proved to be one last obstacle for Tyson to overcome, as his solid alliance of Gervase and Monica Culpepper sent Tina away and out of the game for good.
Despite Tina’s relative lack of impact on the game, it was still such a blast to see her back on Survivor just for the sheer novelty of it. She began her Survivor journey way back in the Outback in 2001, and after a very brief second stint, to have the third part of that journey end with another million dollars just within in her grasp felt like a very appropriate (and probably final) chapter of her Survivor story.
She got to prove that, 12 years after her first time playing, she still had some fight in her. Plus, she got to bring her daughter Katie along for the ride, who proved to be an enjoyable player in her own right. Tina’s lived a full Survivor life and has more reason than most to hold their head up high as a member of the Day 38 Club.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entries here.