Survivor Second Chance: Most Likely Awards – Killer Confessionals

You know what TV needs more of? That’s right. Award ceremonies.

Up next we have the Courtney Yates Award for Most Likely to Give Killer Confessionals.

Every good story needs a good narrator, and the best Survivor seasons not only have entertaining cast members and great gameplay, but they have colorful commentators who understand how to deliver punchy soundbites and compelling confessionals. Speaking one-on-one to camera is no easy feat. It can be a daunting and unnatural feeling for many, and in that case, many confessionals can come across awkward or stilted. While a player may be competent at the game itself, it doesn’t mean they will be great confessional givers; very often strategic players come across boring and one-dimensional in their interviews (see Tyler from Survivor: Worlds Apart). A killer confessional giver has to be a good story-teller (Jonathan Penner), or a charismatic presence (Boston Rob Mariano), or witty and humorous (Courtney Yates). These are the people that become conduits for the audience, and so their role is very important.


Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance has an exciting mixture of players that have the potential to become killer confessional givers. There are those that have already proved to have a knack when it comes to speaking to camera in their previous season, as well as those that showed signs but didn’t quite get the opportunity to show off their true skills. As always, I narrowed down the nominees to two men and two women.


And the nominees are…


Jeff Varner – the original king of snark from Survivor: Australian Outback. Varner was the original audience conduit. While Colleen and Greg were hugely popular figures in Survivor: Borneo, they were a little too quirky and off-beat to be relatable across the board. Varner was a relatable city slick dumped into the wilderness with a bunch of crazy strangers, and he reacted like how many of us would react in that situation – with frustration, disgust, sarcasm, and cynicism. He was witty and bitchy and explained his gameplay to the viewers in an engaging way. With his hilarious pre-season interviews and vote campaign, it doesn’t look like Varner has lost any of his wit and charm, so I expect him to be killing it with his confessionals in Cambodia.


Stephen Fishbach – Stephen was a decent narrator during Survivor: Tocantins but he wasn’t the stand-out, although that is a difficult task when competing against the likes of Coach, Erinn, JT, and Tyson for confessional time. But since his days on Tocantins, Stephen has been a regular contributor to RHAP (Rob Has A Podcast), as well as penning his own Survivor blog for, and can often be found sharing his thoughts on the show via Twitter. All of these things have made Stephen a better talker and better commentator on Survivor. Hanging around Rob Cesternino and Courtney Yates, two of the best confessional givers of all-time certainly helps. Stephen should have no problem delivering killer confessional content in Cambodia, especially amongst the male competition on the Bayon tribe.


Peih-Gee Law – in Survivor: China, Courtney, and Todd killed most of the confessional game, but Peih-Gee was a very reliable underdog narrator that was able to garner sympathy from the audience. Peih-Gee’s situation in China was rough, so she rarely got to show off her wit and humor, but you only have to follow her on Twitter or read her Reddit AMA to know how naturally funny Peih-Gee is. If she isn’t fighting for her life minutes into the game, then I expect to see Peih-Gee emerge as one of the next all time great confessional givers.


Kass McQuillen – there is one certainty about ChaosKass and that is that whatever she does on Survivor it’s bound to be entertaining. She started Survivor: Cagayan very much as an audience conduit, admonishing and mocking her useless tribe in her confessionals – funny and accurate. Later in the game, when Kass had lost touch with how others were perceiving her, her confessionals became somewhat delusional, but nevertheless honest and biting. Kass has a sarcastic undertone to her statements, and I’m sure with this cast she’ll have plenty of material to work with.

Vote below for which of these four nominees you think is Most Likely to Give Killer Confessionals in Survivor: Cambodia. Results will be announced in September.

Check out our Survivor Second Chance interviews here and Second Chance Cast Retrospectives.


Photo Credit: Rosmarie Voegtli via Compfight cc

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.

10 responses to “Survivor Second Chance: Most Likely Awards – Killer Confessionals”

  1. No Shirin? I think she was a good narrator type character and she had some pretty good quips. I’d think she’d be a nominee for this over Kass, but oh well. Jeff Varner is the runaway in this poll.

  2. I voted Stephen mainly because what you mentioned about the hangouts with Rob (Amazon) and Courtney (China) two of my all-time faves. I hope he’s absorbed a lot ‘charisma’ from both confessional-killers to mix with his blogging/narrating skills in Cambodia.

  3. It’s so hard to decide! I love all four (Shirin would be a good choice too) but went for Varner because it’s been longest between drinks for him and I think his wit and confessional quotient is going to surprise the audience.

  4. this award should’ve been named after rob cesternino. i found him to be more entertaining and a better narrator than courtney.

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