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. 36 – Brett Clouser (Samoa)
In the damage caused by the airtime vacuum that was Russell Hantz in Samoa, arguably the biggest casualty, save for winner Natalie White, was the “invisible man” himself, Brett Clouser. Largely considered one of the most underdeveloped characters in Survivor history, Brett holds the distinction of the Day 38 Club member with the least amount of confessionals to his name.
What’s especially maddening about the lack of airtime is that Brett was one challenge win away from winning the whole game. After claiming the previous three Immunity challenges, if he’d managed to beat Russell in the final challenge, he would have won in a landslide due to the overwhelming number of former Galu tribe members on the jury.
To a lot of fans, somebody who was that big of an endgame threat is someone deserving of more airtime. However, to play devil’s advocate, as with any contestant that’s on Survivor, the editors can only play with what a player gives them, and Brett didn’t exactly light up the screen.
While there’s no denying the other players had a strong affection for Brett, he wasn’t the most dynamic personality, and his confessionals weren’t the most energetic. Combine that with Russell gobbling up all of the available screen-time, and you can see why Brett got the edit he did.
Brett’s late-game Immunity run, much like Ashley Underwood in the previous entry, saves him from being at the very bottom of this list. And it’s a fun “what if?” to imagine how different the season would have been had Brett being victorious in that final challenge. He could have joined the likes of Jenna Morasca and Jud “Fabio” Birza in the late-game Immunity streak winner club.
It certainly wouldn’t have been the story of Russell arrogantly beating his chest and proclaiming himself to be “the best ever” only to lose to his perceived goat. It would have been the story of the most well-liked guy from the opposite tribe surviving the sheer decimation of his group by the hands of Russell and prevailing against the odds.
While that alternate-reality sounds great on paper, in practice, considering Brett’s quiet personality, this story might have been a tough one to tell. Alas, it was not meant to be, as Brett had his torch snuffed on Day 38, eliminating the chance for any Galu to become victorious in the face of Russell-mania.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entries here.