Survivor in 2018

Best Move

What was the Best Move of Survivor in 2018?

Photo: CBS

This week we’re going to be posting end-of-year lists to highlight the best, funniest, and most shocking moments of Survivor in 2018. 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 2018. Readers can vote below for their favorite.


Carl nullifies Dan’s idol (14 nominations)
Survivor: David vs. Goliath

The Davids had just pulled off an incredible sneak attack on the Goliaths, taking out their powerhouse John, but they were still down in numbers. And so, Carl, Christian, Davie, Gabby and Nick gathered on the beach to plot their next plan of action. Armed with advantages, including a Vote Steal and the brand new Idol Nullifier, the Davids shared information and loaded up their slingshot. At Tribal Council, Nick used his Vote Steal on Alison, scaring Alec and Kara into flipping their votes to Angelina, while Carl played his Nullifier on Dan, voiding his otherwise well-timed idol play. Some might say the Davids didn’t need to play both advantages here, but in the position they were in, it’s always best to go for the safe option. Carl’s use of the Nullifier guaranteed that Dan would be “Binged!” from the game no matter what happened. In terms of a first-time advantage being played correctly, it doesn’t get much smoother than that.


Davie plays his idol on Christian and the Davids successfuly split minority vote (13 nominations)
Survivor: David vs. Goliath

The vote in the episode before the Nullifier play was perhaps even crazier. The Davids were outnumbered 7-5, the Goliaths wanted Christian out, and all hope looked to be lost. Then, thanks to Alec’s loose lips, a miracle happened – the Davids pulled off one of the stealthiest moves of all-time. It started with Davie making a bold play and using his idol to protect Christian. But that wasn’t all. The Davids planned for every possible Goliath counter attack. Their expectations that a Goliath would play an idol were fulfilled when Dan used his on Angelina. At that point, with votes going towards Angelina and Christian, we looked to be heading into a deadlock situation. But the Davids had prepared for that too, and in a Survivor first, the five underdogs successfully split the minority voting, throwing three of their votes onto John, sending him to Slamtown in a true blindside.


Dom bluffs Sebastian with fake idol (7 nominations)
Survivor: Ghost Island

Dom’s play at the Final 6 of Ghost Island is a controversial one. It was a move both brilliant and brash, and while it worked perfectly in the moment, it may have been the play that ultimately cost him the game. Heading into this Tribal Council, Dom had learned that Sebastian was plotting with Angela and Donathan to blindside him. Sea Bass was armed with an Extra Vote, so the move would certainly have been possible had Angela not spilled the beans. At Tribal, Dom scared everyone back in line with a creative bluff, handing his fake idol to Probst before the vote and asserting his safety. It was an act that required showmanship and nerves of steel, and it worked, Sebastian not only shied away from calling Dom’s bluff but also passed on his last opportunity to use his Extra Vote. This was a beautiful play, but the showboating distraction tactics came across as unnecessarily aggressive and lost him a crucial vote at the Final Tribal.


The Malolos blindside Morgan (5 nominations)
Survivor: Ghost Island

The only “pure” vote on this list, what the former Malolo tribe members pulled off in the third episode of Ghost Island was a rare cutthroat pre-merge power move. Donathan, James, Laurel and Libby found themselves as crucial swing votes on the tumultuous New Naviti tribe. The old Navitis were divided, thanks in part to the rivalry between Dom and Chris Noble, and so the Malolos seized the opportunity to take out an unsuspecting cog in the machine. With Angela being targeted by her old tribemates, and Chris Noble on Ghost Island, the Malolo 4 put their votes on Morgan, a social threat who was in a tight trio with Dom and Wendell. It was a brilliant play that drove a deeper wedge between the remaining Naviti players and gave the old Malolos plenty of leverage to play with moving forward. In a season where Naviti ended up dominating the entire game, it’s nice to remember this one superb Malolo victory.

Honorable Mentions: Alec flips on Natalia (Survivor: David vs. Goliath), Gabby is blindsided (Survivor: David vs. Goliath), Wendell plays his idol on Laurel (Survivor: Ghost Island), Christian & Gabby blindside Carl (Survivor: David vs. Goliath), Michael bluffs the power of his James idol (Survivor: Ghost Island).


Thank you for voting! Check back next week when the results will be announced.

The poll closes Tuesday, January 1 2019.

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.

6 responses to “Best Move”

    • I was going to write the same thing. That Morgan blindside was amazing and at that point I thought ghost Island was going to be a phenomenal season (not quite right tho)

    • It was a pretty bad move, though, all things considered. That was what truly made it Orange vs. Purple. And look who won that. I mean, yeah, the second swap screwed James, but that was the only time luck played a factor. One tribe was better at losing challenges than the other…

      Also, after that episode, I knew the season was dead. I was the only one saying that… and I was right :X

      • Agreed with Andy. It wasn’t that great of a move imo because, although shocking in the moment, it just caused the Navitis to distrust the Malolos because the word of Morgan’s blindside literally spread throughout the entire the Naviti tribe and the game, even at FTC lol. Literally in quite a few episodes we saw multiple Navitis say stuff like “don’t trust Malolo or you’ll get Morgan’d”

        “Don’t trust the cute blonde” still an iconic quote though.

        And honestly I’m still salty we lost Morgan, who would’ve been a great character and player, over damn ANGELA of all people (aka. the worst Day 38-er ever)

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