Survivor in 2017

Best International Character

Who was the Best International Character of Survivor in 2017?

This week we’re going to be posting end-of-year lists to highlight the best, funniest, and most shocking moments of Survivor in 2017. The Inside Survivor team separately nominated four choices in each category (six in the Best Character categories). We then tallied those votes to determine the final four nominations for each of those categories.

To vote on the previous categories click here.

Here are our six nominations for the final category Best International Character of Survivor in 2017. This included Survivor New Zealand and Australian Survivor, although no NZ characters received enough nominations to crack the top six. Readers can vote below for their favorite.


Luke Toki (7 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

No Survivor character in 2017 lit up the screen quite like Australian Survivor’s Luke Toki. The self-proclaimed ‘King of the Jungle’ was a first-class joker but also a dedicated family man. He brought such an infectious enthusiasm to the game that you couldn’t help but fall in love with the blue-collar Mining Technician. Even when he was boasting, his charm and schoolboy cheekiness meant you’d always forgive him. Luke thrived on chaos and made an impressive run in the game, pulling off numerous blindsides all with a smile on his face.


Jericho Malabonga (6 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

The Cookie Monster of Australian Survivor is another example of a player clearly having the time of their life out in the jungle. Jericho Malabonga might have started off as Luke’s sidekick, but he soon came into his own, especially when he got his hand in the cookie jar. The fearless Flight Attendant from the Philippines proved to be a sneaky player with a twisted sense of humor. Whether it was crumbling cookies onto sleeping castaways, talking about his army of soldiers, or making brilliantly sadistic metaphors at tribal council, Jericho brought a unique perspective to the game. In the end, Jericho’s ruthlessness and determination took him all the way to victory.


Sarah Tilleke (5 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

Sarah Tilleke brought a much more grounded and mature vibe to the Asaga 4 alliance (which she was a part of with Luke and Jericho). It’s funny because Sarah was the youngest of the group, at only 22-years-old, but felt very much like the adult looking after the sugar-buzzed toddlers. Her hope going into the season was that she’d be underestimated as the out-of-her-depth model and be able to use those perceptions to work her magic behind the scenes. That’s exactly what Sarah did as she maneuvered and manipulated her way through the game, forming allies across various tribes. However, Sarah’s scheming eventually caught up with her and was blindsided by her own alliance.


Michelle Dougan (4 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

Rounding out the Asaga 4 alliance is Michelle Dougan, another player that entered the game underestimated. One of the first images of Michelle came in the premiere when she fell flat on her back during the first immunity challenge. Not the best start for the Nanny from Sydney whose days usually involved going to the races and sipping champagne. But although she wasn’t used to roughing it, over the course of the season, Michelle became a surprisingly adept Survivor player. Her outspoken attitude not only made her a quote-machine but a reliable ally as her tribemates knew they could trust her word. In her own words, Michelle came that close to the money she was almost spending it.


Tessa O’Halloran (4 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

Nobody thrived in the underdog role quite as much as Tessa O’Halloran. After finding herself on the outs after the second tribal council, Tessa scratched and clawed to keep herself alive. The doctor from Melbourne never panicked under pressure, always using logical arguments to persuade others to keep her around. Her tribal council speeches were something to behold. Tessa was at her best playing from the bottom, like when she formed the Champagne Alliance to overthrow Henry. Things didn’t work out quite as well for her when she was on top, but the fact Tessa made such a deep run is a testament to her grit and tenacity as a player. I’m still sore about her getting booted off the jury.


Anneliese Wilson (4 nominations)
Australian Survivor Season 2

When Anneliese Wilson described Locky as the product of a hook-up between a big mountain and a rugged forest, I knew she was going to be a fun character. Anneliese might have had less air-time than the other characters nominated in this category, but when she did appear she proved to be a witty and savvy player. She also had perhaps more ups and downs than any other castaway that season. An impromptu second vote at a pre-merge tribal council seemingly screwed her, only for her to be given a second shot with a tribe-swap. Then she had to find an idol in the middle of a challenge which she somehow managed to pull off. Only for her eventual idol play to be nullified by Ziggy’s idol canceller. It’s a credit to Anneliese she kept in such good spirits throughout all this madness.

Honorable Mentions: Henry Nicholson (Australian Survivor Season 2), Jak Thomas (Survivor New Zealand), Tara Pitt (Australian Survivor Season 2), Jacqui Patterson (Australian Survivor Season 2), Shannon Quinn (Survivor New Zealand).


Who was the Best International Character of Survivor in 2017? Vote below:

The poll closes Monday, January 1 2018.

Check back on Tuesday when we will reveal the winners for each category.

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.

12 responses to “Best International Character”

  1. A few notes here. One, I only saw a couple scenes from NZ and it didn’t grab me the way AU did, so my votes were just for AU. I don’t think that’s a bad thing given how incredible that cast was. Two, only seven of us were nominating for this category, as opposed to eight in the others. Three, due to her awesome expressiveness, Anneliese was this year’s Australian GIF Queen (and not in the gay sense like Craig last year) and I feel that should be mentioned (even the poll will close in 36 hours).

    “I’m still sore about her getting booted off the jury.” – Me too.

    But come on, I gotta vote for Luke, right? He was the only one who entered my mind when you mentioned this category, before Michelle’s epic character arc, Jericho’s awesome winning game, Sarah being a Spradlinesque badass, Anneliese’s expressions, and girl next door Tessa. Who all naturally came quickly after. And this doesn’t even encompass all the great casting from the season, which also includes A.K., Henry, Tara, Jarrad, Locky, and Aimee. There were only 3 duds out of the 24-person cast. Big casts tend to have more duds. This one did not.

    …and now I want to watch that epic all over again. Top 10 season without a doubt. Probably top 5.

    • I’d agree with “Top 10, maybe Top 5 season”…. until the last stretch of episodes. I think the last part of the season was actually quite underwhelming, with big players like Luke and Sarah voted out very easily and the Final 4 or 5 not too great at all. Tara in Final 2 was a big letdown and Jericho gave a pretty terrible Final Tribal performance. basically Season 2 was for a long time superior to Season 1, but the latter had a way better finish.

        • I was on the Michelle train for quite a while as well – but she was basically ready to go to the end with Sara, Luke and Jericho until they screwed her. and she would have no chance against either – so despite being entertaining, she was no great strategist, let’s face it.

      • I thought season 2 was phenomenal through the entire thing, but the last few episodes did dip in quality some and the finale itself was indeed underwhelming. Jericho’s FTC performance was mediocre and Luke’s quarter-Murphy certainly didn’t help – he could have thrown a bigger bone. Jericho neglected to make the biggest point possible: He received no votes against him until the final 4 while Tara was VOTED OUT OF THE GAME on Day 20. If I hear that argument, it instantly merits my vote. Someone who regularly avoided the target will always get my vote over someone who was voted out with the intent to kill before the merge, but was granted a lucky reprieve by production. That and Tara was trash and I hated her pretty much the entire time.

        If we got a season that was like season 2 until the final 7, but had season 1’s final 7 onwards, it’d be a perfect season of Survivor. Season 1 was pretty blah until that time (though it’s not “making a big move” to switch the order of 6th and 7th) but it was so satisfying to see Brooke and Sam get theirs for being so cocky. And then that finale, except for the part about it being revealed right then and there (which felt so strange), was f***ing PERFECT. The final immunity challenge was a thing of beauty, watching them pour all their remaining energy to go all day holding that idol, even after it hurt. Kristie delivered one of the greatest FTC performances of all time – one I frequently cite along the likes of Todd and Sophie as how to change votes at the FTC – and took a win nobody thought she’d have had a chance at. The whole thing was gripping television and easily redeemed the mediocrity of the pre-merge (which has one major upside and that’s Phoebe, though Andrew and Craig deserve second chances too).

        But overall, season 2 is the better one, even if its ending is nowhere near as gripping as the first one. The best part of the finale was the final 3 Tribal when Pete and Tara are bickering like children. Season 2 still belongs in the top 10 seasons, though, because 90% of what you see is great. Most seasons would kill for that.

        • “If we got a season that was like season 2 until the final 7, but had season 1’s final 7 onwards, it’d be a perfect season of Survivor”
          “Kristie delivered one of the greatest FTC performances of all time”
          “the mediocrity of the pre-merge ” – I actually kinda disagree there, for me the pre-merge was pretty solid, also because with the longer episodes we really got to know characters well and even some of the early boots were entertaining (of course, Phoebe was the best). plus I think for me the whole aussie environment was simply refreshing. where the season really dragged for me was the post-merge until the vote-out (poor Vavau tribe killed by the terribly lop-sided twist, hadn’t Kristie miraculously won it all, the twist would have single-handedly destroyed the whole post-merge).
          -oh and Tara, gosh… I wanted to root for her as the badass mom but everytime she got cocky I just couldn’t with her… terrible for the season that she got so far.

          • The best part was watching the S1 jury all vote for Kristie (except for El) and be like “What did I just do?” Kristie won it at the FTC – not only was her performance flawless, she capitalized on every stupid thing Lee said. His performance was horrendous. If he has a better performance, he might have a few more votes.

            The characters were great. But the game was mostly predictable, especially given that unfair swap twist that stacked the deck, aside from Phoebe being awesome and turning that upside-down. Phoebe is my favorite from the entire season, though Kristie, Nick, and Flick are also awesome. You do make a good point about the Aussie culture making for a refreshing environment.

            Tara is the only person from season 2 that I hated. Just the way she talked about herself was hard to stomach. She could have been a badass, but instead she just sucked. It would have been a way better season had they just let her be voted out on Day 20 instead of “SURPRISE! We’re swapping without having given you any clues!” I was already looking forward to her being gone tbh

          • yep! agreed on pretty much everything:) I also think the characters in Season 1 were mostly really interesting – even the not so great players. there was still fun stuff happening – Phoebe overplaying Evan, Kat hating Rohan, Bianca the weirdo, of course Des… solid challenges too.

          • Kat was hysterical but got voted off too quickly. Bianca was way too sure of herself, from what I recall. Her tribe read her like a kids book. There were seeds early on, but unfortunately a lot of them were never reaped because some of the most interesting people got voted out too soon.

            Des got a raw deal in his edit. His RHAP appearance helped his case (with Nick Iadanza), in my mind. I thought he had potential to be a great character but we only got one episode of him, which was unfortunate.

  2. There’s no way I can vote this one. You picked the best, they were all really good.
    (And it made me want to watch this season again, and also the last one, but they are huge)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.