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. 27 – Erinn Lobdell (Tocantins)
Two things that have always popped on Survivor are snarkiness and underdogs; putting them together is like putting chocolate and peanut butter together, resulting in a delicious combination like Erinn Lobdell.
An outcast from almost the beginning, Erinn was the next to go after the first two members of her tribe had been voted out. Except, her tribe never went back to Tribal Council, allowing Erinn to squeak by into the merge and cause trouble, “sneering” all the while.
Erinn’s desire to flip from her tribe proved especially fortuitous for the other tribe at the merge. The former Timbira tribe held a 6-3 advantage over the old Jalapao tribe, except that infighting riddled the Timbira alliance, with a power struggle between Brendan Synnott and Coach Ben Wade.
With this rift fully exposed, Erinn was able jump to former Jalapaos JT Thomas and Stephen Fishbach to help take out Brendan. Then, at the very next vote, Erinn got the ball rolling on the blindside of Coach’s right-hand man Tyson Apostol, giving Erinn, JT, Stephen, and Taj Johnson-George the numbers advantage.
Through a combination of luck, cunning, and timing, Erinn was able to turn a “next-to-go” position into an endgame position, which is pretty darn impressive.
In fact, it was almost a fluke that she ended up in the Day 38 Club at all. When JT won the final Immunity challenge, his two options to take to the finals were either Stephen, his strategic partner/best buddy or Erinn, someone resented by the majority of the jury.
In a typical situation, Erinn would have been the most sensible option, except in this case JT was golden either way because the jury absolutely loved him. For JT, it was just a matter of deciding who got second place and who got third. Stephen was his friend, so he gave him second place while giving Erinn a spot in the Day 38 Club.
So while Erinn may not have gotten to Day 39, she can take solace in another club, forever being one of the preeminent snark queens of Survivor. Mostly, it’s just her takedowns of Coach that people remember, but anybody who utters the phrase “Who is this jackass?” deserves adoration simply for that line alone.
Erinn might not have been one of the main stars of the action in Tocantins, but she was an important piece of the season, both gameplay and confessional-wise, and sometimes, as a Day 38 Club member, that’s all you need.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entries here.