Survivor The Amazon: In Retrospect

I decided to rewatch every season of Survivor, starting from the very first one.  Here I share my thoughts on the season, the winner’s strategy, who they should bring back, and the most iconic moments of the show.

  1. Borneo
  2. The Australian Outback
  3. Africa
  4. Marquesas
  5. Thailand
  6. The Amazon

In this post, I share my thoughts on the sixth season, Survivor The Amazon.


Survivor, High School Edition

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The battle of the sexes was the theme of Survivor Amazon. Dividing the tribes according to sex allowed the show to contrast how men and women behave when members of the other sex weren’t around. Even though man vs. woman was the theme of Amazon, another theme, young vs. old, served as an important divider as well.

In the male tribe Tambaqui, Roger, the oldest castaway, faced off with Ryan and Daniel, two of the youngest. Roger had an alpha male personality, delegating tasks to his tribe mates, which rubbed the other the wrong way. Ryan and Daniel didn’t agree with Roger’s ways and openly disregarded his power position, leading the two to be first boots.

In the female tribe Jaburu, Jenna, Heidi and Shawna separated themselves from the older women Jeanne and Joanna. To explain the separation, Heidi had confessionals detailing the older women’s apparent issue with the younger women’s body and cuteness, and these were hilarious. On this side, however, the younger women were able to dominate by recruiting Deena, sending the older women home.

Once the tribes merged, the power shifted to a core group of four, Alex, Heidi, Rob and Jenna. The path to the final four was already set in stone, but Alex, in a one-on-one with Rob, revealed that he was voting him out at final four. Obviously, Rob didn’t take it lightly and flipped on the alliance. Alex and Heidi were picked off, leaving a vulnerable Jenna wanting to quit. However, an immunity run at the endgame allowed Jenna to sit in the final two with Matthew and be the first landslide winner with a jury vote of 6-1.

This season of Survivor was very entertaining since it maintained a comedic tone throughout the season, primarily because the main narrator of the season, Rob, was a natural comedian.

In terms of gameplay, the season followed the same mold as Marquesas, wherein a majority alliance crumbled due to a flip by one of its members. However, in this case, one of the original members of the majority alliance won because of a series of immunity wins. Jenna’s win was one of the most shocking wins of Survivor at the time, probably following only the villainous Richard Hatch.


The Winning Game

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Jenna Morasca

There’s no denying that Jenna didn’t play the strategic part of the game. However, it doesn’t really matter if you’re able to play the social game (to gain jury votes) and the physical game (to get to the end). Jenna, against all odds, was able to reach the Final Two and sweep the votes of the jury, which mostly consisted of her friends.

Jenna experienced some backlash when she won, primarily because of her image in the show. Arguably, she was one of the main antagonists of the show – a spoiled, entitled, and whiny ‘mean girl’ who used her charms to get herself further in the game. Adding to that her conflict with the deaf Christy, it was inevitable that people would protest her win.

However, there’s no denying that Jenna deserved her win. Yes, she didn’t dominate the game in any way – she didn’t dominate physically (Matthew did), strategically (Rob did), socially (Heidi did? Rob thought Heidi was a bigger threat, that’s why he voted her out at 5). Jenna was able to deliver when she needed to deliver, and that was her winning game. I have to put Jenna a couple notches down in the winners ranking because she needed to win the last two immunity challenges to get to the end (otherwise she would have been eliminated).


Please Bring Back

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Heidi Strobel

Heidi was a very funny bubblehead type of personality. It’s common knowledge that Heidi probably wouldn’t return to play again – since she’s married to a rich football player – but she was a bright spot on The Amazon. She was a great social player, being a member of the cool kids alliance, and she was able to bond to some extent with the other players as well. If not for her gameplay, bring back Heidi for the laughs.

If not for Heidi, Deena would make a really great returning player. There’s not a lot of alpha female characters in Survivor, and she’s one of the best ones. She played a game similar to Rob, but her life was cut short when she planned against Alex, who was really tight with Jenna and Heidi.


Moment of the Season

Butch Unintentionally Burns Down Camp

The runner-up to this moment definitely deserved much more popularity due to the nature of the content, but I believe Butch unintentionally causing the camp to burn is the moment of the season. It’s the second time a camp was destroyed (the first one being Australia’s flood), but the way it was shot was epic, with flames enveloping the castaway’s home and belongings.

Though Butch was a largely forgettable player, he was able to provide the most visually arresting scene of the season.

Runner-up: Jenna and Heidi strip for peanut butter and cookies


Most Hilarious Moment

Heidi’s Jury Question

Heidi’s asked Matt and Jenna if there was someone else who was more deserving of their place in the final two. Matt quickly answered Rob, to which Jenna agreed. Not satisfied with the answer, Heidi tried to ask if there was someone else, to which the final two replied with silence. Rob does a face palm, Jeff replies that the final two already answered the question. Hilarity ensues.

Runner-up: Christy talking about Matt in her confessional, “Creepy. He’s just creepy.”


Season and Winner Rankings

*To be updated as I rewatch the other seasons.

Season Ranking

  1. The Amazon
  2. The Australian Outback
  3. Marquesas
  4. Borneo
  5. Africa
  6. Thailand

Winner Ranking

  1. Brian Heidik
  2. Tina Wesson
  3. Richard Hatch
  4. Vecepia Towery
  5. Jenna Morasca
  6. Ethan Zohn

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