The 50 Best Survivor Episodes (No. 24)

Photo: CBS

“Girls Gone Wilder”

The Amazon, Episode 7 (Air Date: March 26 2003)
by Ian Walker

It’s time for the merge in Survivor: The Amazon and the players are pumped. Making the merge is a huge milestone in the game, and with a merge comes a feast and everybody is ready to indulge. There’s one guy, however, who’s not too keen on celebrating and would rather get back to all of the work that has to be done around camp, and doesn’t mind sharing his thoughts on the matter and handing out orders to boot. That guy is Roger Sexton, but what Roger fails to understand, as this episode points out, is that it’s usually never a good idea to be the boss in Survivor.

This episode is another one of the great “obvious blindside” episodes in Survivor history, as Roger is sent out of the game by the end of the hour and the audience knows well before that happens. What makes this one unique, however, is how far the show goes to bash Roger on his way out. Sure, contestants say harsh and questionable things behind players back all the time, but the amount of sheer joy that numerous castaways express at the prospect of sending him packing is something that makes this episode stand out. It’s not a great look on Roger, and the verbal beating he takes almost makes you feel bad for the guy, but the man plays poorly and is done in by his ego and bossy demeanor.

So how did Roger end up having his torch snuffed? Simple, he just committed one of the classic Survivor sins: believing in an alliance that wasn’t there. Amazon started out as the first men vs. women season in Survivor history, which naturally inspired a real battle of the sexes rivalry that lasted for the first chunk of the game. Fast forward to the merge and the men are up six to four and are looking to regroup and move forward to the end of the game. Not all of the men, however, are up for that plan.

There’s a new co-ed alliance brewing in the Amazonian jungle, and they’ve got some of the Tambaqui boys in their sights, specifically Roger. This was an easy sell for all of the women left in the game, especially for alpha female Deena Bennett, who immediately clashed with him over the construction of a new shelter, proclaiming that “Roger will never let a woman win if he’s on the jury. So screw him,” in confessional, which was a succinct and harsh summation of the sentiment that was brewing around Roger.

Roger doesn’t feel any of the heat surrounding him, which is abundantly clear in the next immunity challenge. In a simple contest of standing on a perch for the longest time, complete with temptations by Jeff Probst, Roger decides to jump off his perch, not for any food, just because he’s tired. He basically says “I’m not gonna win, so why waste my time up here?” looking like a cocky jerk as he jumps in the water.

Of course, the bigger headline from this challenge is the now iconic moment of Jenna Morasca and Heidi Strobel stripping naked for some chocolate and peanut butter which likely became etched in the mind of every teenage boy across America and even spawned a Playboy spread. While the whole ordeal was certainly memorable, the actual stripping from Twigs and Sticks wasn’t the best part, but rather all of the reactions from the other players is what sells this moment. Between Rob Cesternino’s “Get the girls some damn chocolate and peanut butter, Probst” demand, to the cheers of excitement from the young guys like Alex Bell and Dave Johnson to the adamant refusal to peek from the older Butch Lockley, everybody had a perfect reaction to the moment.


Coming back to camp, Roger having lost the challenge, the other players are practically giddy with their plan to send him home with none showing more glee than The Rob That Sucks. Rob had already been a quote machine up until this episode, but he ups his game this episode, firing off gems like:

“I said that the only way Roger is gonna win immunity is if it’s a contest of ‘Name that Perry Como song.’ Or perhaps ‘What type of prune is this?’ Or some sort of other thing that only an old man like Roger would be able to determine.”

And he caps it all off with the greatest voting confessional of all time: “Here comes tonight’s long distance dedication. It goes out to Rob from New York. He writes: ‘Dear Casey, there’s an old man in my life that’s about to leave. Could you please play something appropriate for me?’ Well Rob, here’s your request: ‘Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey heyyyy hey. Gooood bye.”

He, and everybody else in the tribe save for Dave and Butch, vote Roger out, giving the mean old man of the Amazon a brutal, yet satisfying end.


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[Credit to for GIFS]

Written by

Ian Walker

Ian, from Chicago, Illinois, graduated with a Communications major and an English minor and is now navigating adult life the best he can. He has been a fan of Survivor since Pearl Islands aired when he was 11 years old, back when liking Rupert was actually cool.

3 responses to “The 50 Best Survivor Episodes (No. 24)”

  1. This is one of my favorite seasons. Jenna was the original flirt of survivor and used it effortlessly to her advantage.

  2. I never understood, why Heidi and Jenna stripped. They didn’t have to!!! Jeff would come up with the food anyways and they just didn’t have to do it… Plus – Who wanted to see Heidi’s ugly fake boobs?

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