Survivor in 2017

Best Move

What was the Best Move 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 four nominations for Best Move of Survivor in 2017. Readers can vote below for their favorite.


Sarah cons Sierra into giving her the Legacy Advantage (8 nominations)
Survivor: Game Changers

In the first episode of the season, returning cop Sarah Lacina made her intentions perfectly clear, she was going to play like a criminal. There is perhaps no better example of Sarah’s nefarious mindset than when she essentially stole the Legacy Advantage from Sierra Dawn-Thomas. At the merge, Sarah found herself with allies on both sides and plenty of options, including a final three offer from Sierra. But things changed when Sierra told Sarah about her Legacy Advantage, adding that she would will it to her should she be voted out. Sarah used her dastardly underhanded tactics to orchestrate Sierra’s elimination, putting on an act of shock and surprise at tribal council when the votes came in. Sierra remained unaware that Sarah was involved in her blindside, and as promised, willed the advantage to the corrupt cop. It was a masterful move that ultimately helped Sarah win the game, as the Legacy Advantage saved her from near elimination at the final six.


Ben plays three idols in a row (8 nominations)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

Say what you want about Ben and how he won the game, but the guy was an idol-finding machine. He worked tirelessly to find those necklaces while the rest of his tribemates slept or twiddled their thumbs. At that point in the game, Ben was a dead man walking; his target was so huge that even his closest allies were planning to turn on him. The ex-Marine surprised everyone at the final seven when he whipped out an idol and cancelled six votes against him, while also becoming the first person to eliminate a fellow player with a single vote. It was one of the most impeccable idol plays in Survivor history but only served to make the bullseye on Ben’s back even bigger. His only guarantee of safety was to find more, and that’s exactly what he did. Despite his next two idol plays not removing his desired targets, he kept himself alive and even made the unprecedented move of playing an idol before the votes were cast. Ben’s idolmania was a prime example of his grit and determination as a player.


Operation: Secret Spy Ben (6 nominations)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

When the Rogue Knights came together to overthrow the alliance of seven, it could have been a simple cut and paste Survivor blindside. But Devon had a more intricate plan that would allow himself and his allies to maintain control beyond that night’s tribal council. He tasked Ben with an undercover spy mission which involved voting with Chrissy and Ryan so that he could infiltrate the enemy. Not only would Ben be able to pass back information to the Rogue Knights, but by pretending to be a victim of the blindside, it made it more likely for Joe and Dr. Mike to vote with Devon and co. Ben played his role beautifully as the dethroned King, and Joe, Dr. Mike, Chrissy, and Ryan bought it hook, line and sinker. This devious plot led to another faultless blindside with the added bonus of an idol flush.


Devon saves himself by voting for Mike (4 nominations)
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

Sometimes a gut feeling is all you have to rely on, and that is what saved Devon’s skin at the final five of Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. Despite Chrissy’s plan to fool Ben by wearing the defunct Super Idol, Devon still worried that Ben had the real idol and if played it would surely mean the end of Devon’s game. Even though his allies assured him that Ben didn’t have the idol, Devon couldn’t shake the feeling, and in a savvy act of self-preservation, he threw his vote onto Dr. Mike at tribal council. Thank the surf-gods he did because Ben did, in fact, have the idol and had Devon not voted for Dr. Mike he would have seen his torch snuffed thanks to Ben’s sole vote. Devon’s gut instinct move tied the vote and put his fate in the hands of his allies Chrissy and Ryan who saved him on the revote. In a different non-fire-making timeline, this could have been a season winning move.

Honorable Mentions: Sandra sets up JT with sugar theft (Survivor: Game Changers), Sarah swipes advantage from under Michaela (Survivor: Game Changers), Lauren gains Extra Vote without anyone noticing (Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers).


What was the Best Move of Survivor in 2017? Vote below:

The poll closes Monday, January 1 2018.

Check back tomorrow when we will reveal the nominations for Funniest Moment.

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.

4 responses to “Best Move”

  1. I say Sarah’s legacy advantage move because without it, she probably leaves at F6, so it was literally a game winning move

  2. -finding idols is not a move. If anything, Ben gets negative points for “making the move” of playing the idol before the votes. That was a head scratcher for me – why would he do that? Knowing Chrissy and Ashley have some sort of feud, he should have played the idol on himself secretly and voted for someone like Devon or Ryan who would fracture their alliance most. Instead, he let them make the decision they wanted to make, which put him in an even worse position

    -Sarah’s “move” just frustrates me to think about because Sarah literally just voted out someone who was not only loyal enough to tell her about the advantage, but dumb enough to give it to her. Maybe she would have avoided elimination at the final 6 by keeping a dumb sheep around. Also, I just get a bitter taste from the thought that someone on a returnee season would get duped by something so shallow and reckless. That may have ended up being a good move in the longrun, but I don’t think it showed mastery of the game, and it was honestly the low point of game changers.

    -they had the votes to split the vote, so “secret spy Ben” was pointless. Really seemed like just adding insult to injury and not serving any purpose.

    Devon gets my vote – I think some other moves deserved nomination, but his move was smart and totally saved him from elimination. It showed that he was the only one who was still thinking somewhat strategically and not only getting cocky towards the end.

    • Ben’s move was not revealing the secret he had the idol. Something everyone else failed at that season. It gave him his choice of who to eliminate and he played that first idol perfectly.

      Secret Spy Ben worked because it’s unlikely Joe and Mike would have voted with them if they knew Ben was working with them. It also gave access to more information, which is always a good thing. And it caused Ryan to play waste his idol.

      • That’s a good point about Joe and Mike, and I guess it was good to know who he was playing the idol on (everyone already knew he had it)

        I agree that Ben was smart to keep it a secret – he was the only person to keep secrets well, and it paid off. But that’s not really what the article said. I think that for him to win “best move” for it he would have needed to be smarter about the actual votes and idol plays. Voting out Lauren was questionable because her idol was already destroyed and people were already distrusting her. And I already said why playing it before the votes was questionable.
        I agree that keeping it a secret was smart and showed he was more savvy than a player like Ryan or Lauren. And obviously finding the idols showed grit and determination, and was impressive. I really liked Ben. Just don’t think he earned “best move”

Leave a Reply

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

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