The Day 38 Club Introduction

Ian Walker, the man who brought you the 50 Best Survivor Episodes feature, returns with a brand new countdown

Over the course of 16 years and 32 seasons, it’s been shown that winning Survivor is no easy task, with each “Sole Survivor” demonstrating some excellence in the social, strategic and/or physical parts of the game. While one player experiences the thrill of victory at the end of each season, all of the other participants feel the sting of defeat. All they have left to think about is “what ifs.” What if that one move or decision had gone differently? Then it would be them taking home the million dollar prize.

Losing Survivor sucks at any point in the game, but all of the second-guessing that comes once Jeff Probst snuffs your torch takes on a whole new meaning when your torch is the last one snuffed. The last person to leave the game, the person so close to the end they can taste the money, but has their opportunity to plead their case to the jury taken away at the very last moment. That person becomes ingrained in their respective season as the final recipient of “The Tribe Has Spoken” and earns a place in a very special group in Survivor history: The Day 38 Club.

Besides the winner, the Day 38 loser may be the most interesting position in the game. Just like with the collection of Survivor winners, some Day 38 games have been stellar and others less than stellar, but almost all of them had a shot to win the game had they gotten past one more vote. In addition to exciting games, these players provide interesting stories, many of them often serving as one of the main characters in the narrative of their respective seasons. They might not have walked away with the win, but the Day 38 players can certainly drive the action, from both a gameplay and a storytelling perspective, and so we should commemorate them.

With this list, I will rank all 32 current members of the Day 38 club. When compiling the list, I took into account both the strength of their game and the power of their story. Tomorrow, we will begin the daily countdown of the members of the Survivor Day 38 Club (and yes, I recognize two of these people didn’t get eliminated on Day 38, but “Day 37, 38 and 41 Club” doesn’t have as nice a ring to it).

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.

  • Ishay

    Great idea! Can’t wait. And I think it’s a good idea if you won’t show their faces on the home page, to prevent spoilers ( I admit there are some early seasons I haven’t had the chance to see yet), so if you can put the season logo or something instead that will be better in my opinion

    • Žymantas

      No, that wouldn’t be a better idea, not visually. 😛 And something that has aired (especially a long time ago) can’t be considered a spoiler. It is your job to remain unspoiled if you’re not caught up!

    • Martin Holmes

      Unfortunately, the season logos don’t look good in the thumbnails. Too busy. Each post will contain three members of The Day 38 Club, at at least one of three will be the thumbnail pic on the homepage. I did consider just using a picture of Probst snuffing a torch but then every single thumbnail on the homepage would be the same, and again, that isn’t visually appealing. Sorry.

  • Red

    Oh love the idea. Will you start with the worst of the best?

    I have list like that compiled curious to see if my opinion is similar to yours. I also factored in how much of a chance they had if they actually made the end. And a little likability also

    • Martin Holmes

      Worst to best, yes. 🙂

  • Santiago

    Ohhhhhh I’m excited for this count down!!!! And please try tondo what Ishay said!

  • Bap

    Looking forward to reading all of this!

  • Marcos

    OMG im so excited, some of my favorites leave the game in this situation 🙁

  • Paul

    Kathy V.O. and Cirie for the top 2!

  • Zeli

    Is Neal or Cydney in The Day 38 Club?

    • Martin Holmes


      • BLADE

        David <3