Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 43 recaps
Race in Survivor: Part 2
By Damnbueno | Published: August 22, 2022
Survivor Multi-season analysis

Race in Survivor: Part 2

In Part 1 of my look at Race in Survivor, I talked about how a group of former Survivor players called for a meeting with Survivor and CBS Executives to discuss an increased percentage of minority contestants in each season. Producers agreed to have at least 50% minorities in each cast. They kept their promise in seasons 41 and 42, and lo and behold, Survivor saw two consecutive minority winners in Erika Casupanan and Maryanne Oketch.

Erika, S41
Maryanne, S42

This was the first time Survivor saw two consecutive minority winners since Yul Kwon (Cook Islands) and Earl Cole (Fiji) won in seasons that also had over 50% minority representation in the cast.

Yul, S13
Earl, S14

I also took a look at some of the enduring myths about minority player performance in Survivor, like “Black players get voted out consecutively,” “Black women always get voted out first,” and “Black/Hispanic/Asian players will always stick together.” In part two, I’ll dig a little deeper into minority player performances in Survivor in an attempt to pinpoint the true reasons why minority players succeed or fail at Survivor.

Over the course of 42 seasons, Survivor fans and players alike have speculated as to why minorities haven’t won Survivor as often as White players (11 wins by 10 minority players – including 2-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine). Some claim there’s an element of subconscious racism among those voting out minority players. But contrary to what many seem to feel, I don’t think race is as strong a factor here as bad or uninformed game play. I personally feel each Survivor player — regardless of their race — bears some responsibility for their own success or failure.

This isn’t absolute of course. There are times when pure dumb luck causes a player’s loss — medevac (e.g. Russell Swan in Samoa), being swap-screwed (Alexis from Cagayan), injury (James in HvsV), advantagegeddon (Cirie in Game Changers), or even a player’s triumph. Fabio won in Nicaragua after skipping two Tribal Councils because of quitters who eventually gave him the jury votes to win. But in most losing cases, the player said or did something wrong that contributed to their loss. And whatever they said or did had nothing to do with their race.

To speculate that a minority player failed exclusively because of their race, you’d have to eliminate any other possible reason for that player’s loss. So in this column, I’ll take a look at the reasons that contributed to the failure of several minority players. My original intent was to list the reason for every player’s failure, but after sifting through the reasons for every Black player’s failure, I realized it would take a month to sift through every season to do the same for Hispanic and Asian players. So I’ll list the Black players at the bottom of this column.

I think the heart of the problem lies in the casting process.

Stephenie and Tom, Day 1
Ian and Tom, Ep3

In separate interviews, Tom Westman and Ian Rosenberger told identical stories about the casting process for season 10, Survivor: Palau. Groups of players were flown to Los Angeles for a week’s worth of interviews in groups of 10. For Palau, Tom jokingly referred to the casting groups as the “beautiful people,” and the “characters.” Tom and Ian were in the “characters” group. When brought to meals, they saw each other in the café. When one finished an interview, they’d leave the office and see the other waiting to go in. They both saw Stephenie LaGrossa and Katie Gallagher at these times too.

When they arrived on location to take press photos, there was an instant familiarity. They all shared knowing glances, even though they’d never spoken to each other yet. On day 1, the 4 of them instantly had something in common to talk about. Ian won Immunity and (the next day) was told the players would pick the tribes. In alternating rounds, men would pick women, and women would pick men. Ian picked Katie, then Katie picked Tom. Tom wanted to pick Stephenie, but she was picked by Bobby Jon to be on the other tribe. Tom, Ian, Katie and Stephenie had an instant familiarity with each other before the game began. During casting, the White players knew there was a strong chance everyone they saw would be on the island.

Several Black players have told a slightly different story of their casting experience. In many cases, their casting group of 10 would be all minorities — Black, Asian and Hispanic. There were no White people in their group. However, if any of these minorities were familiar with Survivor, they’d know only 2 or 3 of them would make it to the island. Instead of sizing each other up as possible alliance partners, the minority players more likely saw each other as competition. They’d have to outshine each other just to make it into the cast.

Bobby Jon, Jolanda and Ibrehem

If this were the case when Jolanda Jones went through casting for Palau, she’d arrive on location seeing only 1 familiar face – Ibrehem – the only other minority chosen for the cast. Because players were separated by race in the casting process, the two minorities who made the cast had a much weaker chance to join a majority alliance than the 18 White players chosen. Like Ian, Jolanda won Immunity and had the first pick. But if she hadn’t won Immunity, would she have been chosen at all? Do you pick someone you’ve seen during a week’s worth of casting interviews, or someone you didn’t see until you arrived on location?

Then there are other cases where minority players might have been cast with failure in mind. Take 19-year old Keith Sowell, who played in Edge of Extinction. He could barely swim. He took his first swimming lesson after he’d been cast. Why would you cast someone who couldn’t swim well in a season you knew would feature swimming challenges? Keith was set up to fail. He never had a chance. His early exit doesn’t mean the players who voted him out were acting out of conscious or subconscious racism. But maybe, just maybe, the producers or casting department were. 

Keith Sowell, S38

There have been several minority players who simply didn’t know much about how the game worked. This is also true about some White players. Casting someone to play Survivor without making sure they’re familiar with basic strategies like forming alliances, working with or around idols, tribe swaps, etc., isn’t much different from putting someone on a football team without telling them they’d need to wear a helmet. It’s a recipe for failure. How the casting department interviews and/or prepares someone to play Survivor is a huge factor in each player’s chances of success or failure. Does casting require new players to watch multiple seasons? Do they merely suggest they watch the most recent season? Or do they say nothing at all, and just let some players fend or themselves during the game?

But for the rest of this column, I’ll focus on the players. Now of course, when a player is blindsided, the last person who can explain how or why it happened is the player who got eliminated. The blindsided player never sees it coming, and leaves the game dumbfounded. In Survivor 41, the biggest blindside of the game came when Shantel left at final 8.

Shan's blindside

As she grabbed her torch, she said “Ricard, you have my vote for a million dollars.” She had no idea Ricard planned and executed her blindside. She put the blame on Deshawn and said “Deshawn you’re a snake.” So to me, the most accurate answer for why someone gets voted out will always come from those who planned and organized the votes against the ousted player.

So now, I’ll take a look at a few select cases where racism appears to have been a factor. I’ll list each player, their season, where they finished, and the reason given by those who voted him/her out – and I acknowledge there’s quite a room for interpretation here. The test cases I’ve chosen are Clarence (Africa), Shii Ann (Thailand), Joanna (The Amazon), Yasmin (Samoa), Bill Posley (One World), Marissa (Blood vs Water), and Rachel (Millennials vs Gen X). My original intent was to list EVERY minority player, and offer speculative, bullet-point reasons for their failure, but after going through the Black players, I realized that process might take months. So instead, I’ll simply list the Black players at the bottom of this column. I’m not intentionally excluding Asian and Hispanic players, I just didn’t have the time to do it.

Clarence Black (Africa) - finished 10th

Clarence Black

By its third season, Survivor had become a massive hit. The season 3 players had a chance to watch all of Borneo and The Australian Outback, and become familiar with the show’s mechanics and typical strategies like forming alliances, facing tiebreakers, and how the jury system worked. Clarence was one of three minorities in the cast, and the only male minority. Linda Spencer was on the Samburu tribe, and joining Clarence on the Boran tribe was Jessie Camacho. Future All-Stars Lex Van den Berghe, Big Tom Buchanan and eventual Africa winner Ethan Zohn were also Boran members.

Clarence found himself on the outs almost immediately. When Diane Ogden fell ill on the long hike to camp, Clarence volunteered to sit with her while the rest of the tribe searched for their water source. Clarence robbed himself of a prime opportunity to bond with a majority. Then after Diane struggled in the Immunity Challenge, Clarence stayed at camp with her again, this time opening a can of beans to share with her. When the tribe returned, Clarence told everyone what he’d done, adding he was trying to help a sick tribemate. But Diane sold him out, telling people Clarence acted entirely on his own. Big Tom was the most upset about this, reminding Clarence they’d all agreed to make group decisions about how they used their food. Clarence was never fully trusted again.

Was Big Tom acting out of subconscious racism? I suppose that’s possible, but consider that when they went to Tribal Council, Diane was voted out 6-2. Clarence was included in the majority vote. Big Tom and Diane both voted for Clarence, so if Big Tom’s vote was motivated in part by any kind of racism, nobody but Diane listened to him. Boran lost the next Immunity Challenge, and voted out Jessie (who’d also gotten sick) next 5-2. Big Tom voted for Clarence, and failed again to convince anyone but Jessie to vote with him. I don’t believe Diane or Jessie’s votes were motivated by race. They both knew Clarence was under fire, and if he didn’t leave, they would. Their decisions were motivated by self-preservation, not race.

Clarence went to two more Tribal Councils. The first-ever tribal swap saw Big Tom, Lex, and Kelly go to the other tribe. Ethan, Clarence, and Kim J. united to recruit new tribemates Teresa and Frank to vote out Silas, who was leading the majority Samburu alliance before the swap. Nobody voted for Clarence. But then at the merge, Clarence was voted out 8-2. Teresa, whom he’d befriended, kept her word not to vote for Clarence, and the two of them voted for Lex.

Clarence never earned trust from a majority, which I believe was partly his own fault for not making a higher priority of joining a majority alliance. His tribemates didn’t trust him, and since they had the numbers advantage, opted to remove him instead of someone in from the opposing tribe. Did Big Tom’s accusations influence his tribe’s eventual decision to remove Clarence? Its possible. But to me, its not enough to label Lex, Ethan or anyone else who voted for Clarence a racist — even if it’s a subconscious racist.

Shii Ann Huang (Thailand) - finished 10th

Shii-Ann Huang

The Thailand cast had the chance to watch the entire Marquesas season, which produced the first minority winner in Vecepia. Black player Sean also made the Final 5 in Marquesas. So the three minorities in Thailand’s cast (Black players Ted and Ghandia, and Asian player Shii Ann) could play with the knowledge that a minority could win the game.

Shii Ann (the first Asian person to play Survivor) clashed immediately with tribemate Robb Zbacnik (who in his infinite wisdom, brought a skateboard as his luxury item to game played in a jungle). Robb was a hothead who said and did many ignorant things, including mocking Shii Ann for eating some animal parts he wouldn’t touch. But when it came to voting someone out, Shii Ann was unquestionably in the majority. Her alliance even threw a challenge to rid themselves of Jed, who never fit in. Shii Ann did receive votes from the three outsiders (Jed, Robb and Stephanie), none of whom bothered to assimilate with the tribe. Robb’s vote, and effort to remove Shii Ann might have been racially motivated, but if that was indeed his plan, it clearly failed. Shii Ann earned trust from the majority, who removed Robb and Stephanie back-to-back after Jed.

But Thailand threw in a twist. At final 10, they moved all the players to the same beach, and everyone assumed they’d been merged. Shii Ann believed she was on the bottom on her tribe, and openly defected, asking opposing tribe members Ted and Brian if they’d accept her defection as her original tribemates watched. Shii Ann thought she was joining a 6-4 majority. When told there was no official merge yet, Shii Ann knew she was in trouble. When her original tribe lost Immunity, they unanimously voted her out 4-1. If there was any racism involved in Shii Ann’s rookie season, it had nothing to do with why she was voted out. Her slightly-less-than-subtle attempt to defect directly led to her dismissal.

JoAnna Ward (The Amazon) - finished 13th

JoAnna Ward

In the first-ever men-vs-women season, there was an immediate divide on the women’s tribe. But the division wasn’t because of race, it was because of age. The three youngest (Jenna, Heidi & Shawna) aligned, as did three of the oldest (Janet, Jeanne, and JoAnna). Deena (who was actually older than JoAnna) floated in the middle along with Christy.

JoAnna clashed with some of her tribemates. She constantly talked about her religious beliefs, and scolded Christy when she voiced mild displeasure about it. Discussing religion or politics among strangers is rarely a smart idea, even if you’re not playing Survivor. JoAnna wasn’t shy about sharing her feelings about how lazy Jenna, Heidi and Shawna were, either. JoAnna was clearly annoying most of her tribemates, but when it came time to vote, nobody wrote her name down. Janet was voted out first with 5 votes. The three older women all voted differently, meaning they weren’t a unified alliance.

At their next Tribal Council, Deena saw an opportunity to take power, letting JoAnna and Jeanne believe she’d help vote out Shawna. Deena thought she could control the younger women (she was wrong), and helped them remove the pushy JoAnna in a 4-2-1 vote. JoAnna shot herself in the foot from the first day, and kept on shooting. She never understood (or perhaps never cared) how annoying she was, and how that would spell her downfall. If race was a factor here, it was outweighed by the social reasons JoAnna created herself.

Yasmin Giles (Samoa) - finished 16th

Yasmin Giles

When most people discuss Survivor: Samoa, they talk about Russell Hantz. His presence and gameplay overshadows everything else in that season. But Samoa also had some of the most blatant racism Survivor has seen, as displayed by Russell’s tribemate Ben Browning. There were five minority players that season, including Jaison Robinson and Liz Kim, who started on the same Foa Foa tribe as Russell and Ben. Monica Padilla, Russell Swan and Yasmin started on the Galu tribe.

Ben was an absolute nightmare. During a brutal physical challenge, Ben became the first player ever thrown out of a challenge after pushing Yasmin, then blatantly tripping Russell Swan. He did this AFTER being warned by Probst about being too physical. In a twist following that challenge, Yasmin spent a day in Foa Foa’s camp. During her stay, Ben took many shots at Yasmin, insulting her grammar, and describing her as “close to a hooker.” He told Russell Hantz “She’s ghetto trash, plain and simple. She needs to go back to eatin’ ketchup sandwiches and drinkin’ Kool-Aid and whatever else she does, and leave me alone.” Russell sought to take advantage of Ben’s stupidity, and planned to keep Ben around as a shield since everyone on the tribe hated him.

But here’s the interesting part. Ben’s blatant racism didn’t hurt any of the minorities’ chances that season. Jaison was so offended by Ben’s racist remarks, he refused to follow through on Hantz’s plan to boot Ashley unless Ben was voted out first. Ben’s racism got himself voted out. In fact, Ben only attended 3 Tribal Councils, and didn’t vote against a minority once. Liz just missed the merge, finishing 13th, and Jaison went on to finish 5th.

Jaison takes a stand against Ben

And Yasmin? She didn’t do herself any favors at all. At her Galu camp, she regularly complained about things (bug bites, their bed, their food), which only annoyed her tribemates. She didn’t put much effort into securing an alliance either. Yasmin might have been playing football without a helmet. Monica was under fire for poor challenge performances, but she prioritized joining an alliance. Shambo was an outsider all game, and almost got herself voted out when she lost the tribe’s chickens and fishing gear. When Yasmin visited Foa Foa camp, Galu had won all three Immunity Challenges. Yasmin saw fit to tell Foa Foa “I’m here to help you guys strategize because to me, I don’t like a not fair fight. Its almost like, why be matched up with people that’s not the right people? Its like taking candy from a baby. Who the hell wants to do that? ... Don’t be offended, but right off the rip I noticed that strategy may be something you guys are lacking.”

That killed any chance she had at securing any Foa Foa allies. Yasmin excelled at creating reasons for others to want her gone. When it came down to it, John convinced Galu to remove the most uncooperative person. Galu voted out Yasmin the first time they went to Tribal Council. Yasmin wasn’t voted out because she was Black, she was voted out because she was annoying and insulting. Monica’s confessional is a fair representation of why Yasmin left. Monica: “We’re going to our first Tribal Council and some names are going about. For instance, Yasmin doesn’t do anything. She sits by the fire and observes things. That gets annoying, so I think Yasmin will be going home tonight.”

Bill Posley (One World) - finished 15th

Bill Posley, S24

Much like the Samoa season had a racist in Ben, One World had a racist player in Colton Cumbie. This is one case in which blatant racism definitely played a factor. One World was another men-vs-women season, but this time, the tribes started the game living on the same beach, free to interact with each other.

Colton was never interested in playing, nor aligning with the men. He spent most of his time in the women’s camp, getting on their nerves in the process. They asked him to stop hanging around them so much. Bill joined an early alliance with Matt, Jay and Mike, but somehow it escaped all of them that a 4-person alliance couldn’t control the voting on a tribe with 9 men. The women lost the first two players of the game when Kourtney was medevaced, and Nina was voted out. Most of the men thought they’d have an easy ride to the end. Then the men lost the next Immunity Challenge, and Matt promptly talked himself out of the game. They bounced back to win the next Immunity Challenge, and started to feel confident again.

But then they listened to Colton.

The women had found an idol designated for the men. Sabrina gave it to Colton, he told someone he had it, and the next day, everyone knew about it. Colton got power hungry and threatened to use his idol against several if they didn’t do as he wanted. There were reports that Bill stole the idol and threw it in the ocean, but that wasn’t included in the broadcast. Colton bullied Leif (who was a little person), calling him a “Munchkin” and an “Oompa Loompa.” Colton referred to Bill as “ghetto trash.” And while Colton didn’t have a job himself, he mocked Bill’s profession as a standup comic. As Mike watched, Leif let it slip to Bill that Colton wanted Bill gone next. Mike used that info to save himself, and told Colton, who decided he wanted Leif gone for his betrayal. Bill tried to make peace with Colton, but it backfired. Colton changed his mind and wanted to get rid of Bill. Colton convinced the men to give Immunity to the women so they could punish Leif … and they bought it. Even Bill agreed, thinking the tribe would turn on Colton once they saw his nasty side. But instead, Colton convinced them to remove Bill, who was voted out 7-1 in one of the most bizarre turn of events Survivor has ever seen.

Colton was without a doubt a racist, so one might be able to argue Bill was removed because of racism. But is it fair to label everyone who voted for Bill a racist too? I don’t think it is. Some (Mike & Jay) had a “better him than me” mindset that’s very common in early votes. Others (Jonas & Tarzan) wanted to align with the idol holder. But ultimately, it was within Bill’s power to prevent it. The men had to unanimously agree to give up Immunity. All Bill had to do was say “no,” and he’d have stayed in the game for at least 3 more days.

Hindsight being 20/20, Colton eventually quit 5 days later while still holding that idol. He got swapped to a weaker tribe, faked an illness (something Probst mentioned when Colton played again in Blood vs Water), and quit when the game was no longer fun or easy for him. Colton quit in Blood vs Water for the same reason. So who knows? If Bill had said “no,” he may have gone much deeper into the game, made it to the jury and voted for Kim.

Marissa Peterson (Blood vs Water) - finished 18th

Marissa Peterson

The entire cast faced unique circumstances, as everyone played with a loved one. None of them knew how this would affect the way they played the game when starting with one person you could trust 100%. They were thrown another curve when told the veteran returning players would form one tribe, and their rookie loved ones would form the other. Gervase, who finished 7th in season 1, Borneo, returned to play again after a 13-year absence. He brought along his niece Marissa. Monica Culpepper returned after playing in One World, and brought along her husband Brad, who would play again in Game Changers seven seasons later.

Marissa brought heat on herself on the first day. Probst asks how they felt about competing against their loved ones, and Brad said he’d consider throwing a challenge if it meant Monica could win a tarp. Marissa immediately said “You better not be on my team.” They became instant enemies. After reaching camp, Brad pledged he’d play to win with the rookies, but Marissa didn’t buy it. In the first Immunity Challenge, the rookies built a huge lead (due mostly to Gervase and Aras who were sandbagging the swimming portion, and lagging behind), but the veterans came back to win it on the puzzle at the end. Gervase celebrated obnoxiously after the win, which angered all the rookies. Tina Wesson’s daughter Katie took heat for screwing up the puzzle, but Marissa feared her uncle’s actions might get her voted out. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what Brad was thinking. He quickly united the five rookie men in an alliance, and convinced them to vote out Marissa. Only six votes were shown on the broadcast, but post-game accounts have it as an 8-1 vote, with Marissa voting for Katie.

So where is the racism you ask? Personally, I didn’t see any, but many have speculated there was racism by Brad in hindsight, after he played again in Game Changers. During that season, Brad was particularly harsh to minorities Michaela and Tai after the merge.

Michaela and Brad

Brad’s initial tribe included minorities Tai and Cirie, but they won the first two Immunity Challenges, and didn’t go to Tribal Council. After a swap, Brad was on a five-person tribe with Tai as the only minority. They went to one Tribal Council, where Brad convinced the tribe to remove Caleb (who played with Tai in Kaoh Rong) as a means of keeping Tai loyal to him.

A second swap put Michaela, Cirie and Brad on the same tribe, and Brad feared the women were out to eliminate all the alpha males like himself. But when the merge came, Brad immediately targeted Michaela and Hali, claiming he had the weakest connection with them. In confessional, Brad said “I don’t feel good about Michaela. Her reputation precedes her. I don’t trust her. I’m getting everyone on the same page. Michaela would be the first gobble-up after the merge.” What reputation was Brad talking about? Zeke played with Michaela in the previous season (Millennials vs Gen X), but he wasn’t on the same tribe as Brad until the merge. Its possible Zeke told Brad about Michaela, but entering the merge, they were in opposing alliances, so this seems unlikely. Filming on Game Changers had been completed before MvGX aired, so Brad didn’t have a chance to watch Michaela play. There was about a month between the ending of filming on MvGX and the start of Game Changers, so its possible the cast shared notes with each other. But again, it doesn’t seem likely Michaela would give away her secrets prior to playing again. So if Brad knew about Michaela before Game Changers began, the most likely source is Zeke.

But Cirie outsmarted Brad, and sent Hali to the Jury instead. Brad in fact, voted for Hali. Over the next several days, Brad and Michaela got on each other’s nerves. Brad accused her of eating too much food without working around camp. But instead of targeting Michaela, Brad voted against Tai once, and Andrea 3 times. Brad was going after anyone who could beat him in challenges. At final 7, Cirie got caught trying to use Sarah’s advantage to remove Tai. But instead of booting Cirie, Sarah followed Brad’s suggestion to remove Michaela. In a post-game interview with Rob C., Sarah said (paraphrasing) “I looked at Brad and mouthed ‘Cirie?’ and he shook his head no. So I mouthed ‘Michaela?’ and he nodded yes. So I voted for Michaela.”

Some have speculated that since Brad had tension with Michaela and Tai, his BvW vote for Marisa might have come from subconscious racism too. I never saw any racism from Brad, who voted strategically every time in Game Changers. But I saw a lot of sexism from him in both of his seasons.

Rachel Ako (Millennials vs Gen X) - finished 20th

Rachel Ako

In a season that divided the initial tribes by age, Asian player Rachel was one of the youngest members of the older Gen X tribe. There were two other minorities on her tribe — Asian player Lucy, and Black player Cece. David Wright found himself on the outs almost immediately as he was nervous, and panicky, pledging loyalty to everything that moved. Lucy assimilated quickly, helping carry supplies to camp, and joining in on the shelter building effort. But Rachel inexplicably chose to taunt Paul while he was working on the shelter in this exchange that drew quizzical looks from Lucy, Chris, Bret, Sunday and David:

Rachel -- “How far down do you want to dig it?”
Paul -- “Not that far down.”
Rachel – “How far is ‘not that far?’”
Paul – “6 inches.”
Rachel -- “Wait, this is not 6 inches. See! We’re in business now! You like to play more than work.” (she looks to the others) “I have to keep him (Paul) focused.”
Paul – “Oh really?”
Rachel yells “YEAH!”
Chris -- “I think we need to get the machete and just build this thing because there’s a lot of talking going on and not a lot of doing.”

When I first saw this scene, I suspected something had happened earlier between Rachel and Paul that created some tension between them. But even if that was the case, I can’t see how Rachel’s actions here could have done her any good. By standing in the middle of camp taunting Paul, did she think she’d make others think he was lazy — especially when she wasn’t working at all in that moment? Rachel alienated herself from 6 tribemates in 1 conversation. They hadn’t even run an Immunity Challenge yet.

And speaking of the challenge, David and Rachel volunteered to work the puzzle at the end. Rachel committed another Survivor sin by bragging about how good she was at puzzles. They were given a huge lead when they started on it … and got nowhere. They lost their lead, and the Millennials caught them. Jessica asked if they wanted to swap out. David didn’t hesitate and stepped out, but Rachel waited, costing them more time. Jessica and Sunday made good progress, but the Millennials had passed them. Then Rachel made it worse by shouting instructions to the women.

Upon returning to camp, Chris, Bret and Paul thought they should split votes between Rachel and David because of the challenge. But then Rachel started interrogating everyone about the vote. Most saw David as harmless and easier to live with, so instead, they split votes between Rachel and Cece, who’d been spending most of her time with Rachel. Rachel was voted out in a 5-3-1-1 tally. Rachel and Cece didn’t even vote together. Rachel voted for Sunday, and Cece voted for David.

Was there any subconscious racism involved in Rachel’s exit? I don’t think so. If there were any racist thoughts about Asians on this tribe, Lucy wouldn’t have been welcomed into an alliance. She’d have ended up on the outs instead of David or Ken. But like Yasmin, Rachel made so many basic mistakes, it was like she was playing football without a helmet. And Cece? She chose to spend most of her time with Rachel, and was perhaps guilty by association. But she made it through two more Tribal Councils, and didn’t leave until after a swap. She finished 16th. Lucy was bounced by an idol play when David chose to save Jessica. The majority didn’t want her gone.

So there you have it. My conclusion is that while there have been several racist people playing Survivor, more often than not, their racist words and dispositions did more to get them voted out than the minority players they disparaged.

I believe the root of the problem was in the casting process. Hence the need for more diverse minority inclusion, both in the cast, and behind the cameras. So far, I think the new process is going well. These next two seasons will be a more pure test since all the players will have had a chance to see the game with recent twists and 50% minority casts. I think the Survivor 43 and 44 players will be much more open to working together, and perhaps will feel a little less pressure to represent their race, and instead, concentrate on playing the best game they can. We’ll find out soon.

Survivor 43

Why Black Survivor players were voted out

*In Damnbueno's opinion; also in one sentence or less

Player Season** Place Reason*
Ramona Borneo 13th Got sick/too weak
Gervase Borneo 7th Too likable
Alicia The Australian Outback 9th Challenge threat
Nick The Australian Outback 7th Wrong alliance
Linda Africa 13th Wrong alliance
Clarence Africa 10th Untrusted
Sean Marquesas 5th Lost battle for Kathy's swing vote
Vecepia Marquesas 1st WON
Ghandia Thailand 13th Brian struck a deal with Helen
Ted Thailand 5th Brian took him out before Ted could
JoAnna The Amazon 13th Deena makes a power grab
Osten Pearl Islands 11th Quit
Tijuana Pearl Islands 7th Couldn't be influenced by Drakes
Alicia All-Stars 7th Wrong alliance
Rory Vanuatu 10th Too combative
Jolanda Palau 18th Blamed for challenge loss
Ibrehem Palau 11th Stephenie sided with Bobby Jon
Player Season** Place Reason*
Bob Dawg Panama 12th Not trusted by Danielle & Cirie
Cirie Panama 4th Lost firemaking tiebreaker
Sekou Cook Islands 20th Seen as unreliable in camp, challenges
Stephannie Cook Islands 16th Nate convinced tribe she wanted to go home
Rebecca Cook Islands 11th Challenge loss/wrong alliance
Nate Cook Islands 9th Penner's choice
Sundra Cook Islands 4th Lost firemaking tiebreaker
Erica Fiji 18th Blamed for challenge loss
Anthony Fiji 13th Didn't secure an alliance
Cassandra Fiji tie-2nd Made finals
Dreamz Fiji tie-2nd Made finals
Earl Fiji 1st WON
Sherea China 11th Swap screwed
James China 7th Blindsided because he had 2 idols
Cirie Micronesia 3rd Amanda's decision after late change to F2
G.C. Gabon 14th Quit/ asked to be voted out
Crystal Gabon 6th Sugar was convinced to switch alliances
Candace Tocantins 15th Debbie & Coach didn't trust her
Jerry Tocantins 14th Too sick to continue
Taj Tocantins 4th Stephen, JT thought she could beat them
Yasmin Samoa 16th Didn't work in camp/ have an alliance
Russ Swan Samoa 14th Medevac
Jaison Samoa 5th Hantz viewed himself as more able to beat Brett
Cirie HvsV 17th Tom played an idol, viewed her as threat
James HvsV 14th Voted out becuase he was injured
Player Season** Place Reason*
Tyrone Nicaragua 16th Too bossy; Holly flips alliances
NaOnka Nicaragua 9th Quit
Sash Nicaragua 3rd Made finals
Francesca Redemption Isl. 18th Split vote; Kristina had an idol
Phillip Redemption Isl. 2nd Made finals
Semhar South Pacific 18th Blamed for challenge loss; close to Ozzy
Stacey South Pacific 16th Wrong alliance, argued with Coach
Albert South Pacific 3rd Made finals
Bill One World 15th Tribe sticks with Colton, who had an idol
Sabrina One World 2nd Made finals
Roxy Philippines 17th Wrong alliance; clashed with Russ Swan
Russ Swan Philippines 15th Wrong alliance/ too bossy
Dawson Philippines 13th Wrong alliance/ Denise sided with men
Artis Philippines 9th Wrong alliance, Lisa flipped
Francesca Caramoan 20th Wrong alliance
Shamar Caramoan 17th Medevac
Phillip Caramoan 10th Idoled out, "sucked the fun out of the game"
Marissa Blood vs Water 17th Clashed with Brad; Gervase annoyed rookies
Gervase Blood vs Water 3rd Made finals
Brice Cagayan 16th Didn't secure an alliance
J'Tia Cagayan 15th Blamed for challenge losses
Cliff Cagayan 14th Power grab by Tony, stood out as leader
Tasha Cagayan 6th Challenge streak ended, wrong alliance
Val San Juan del Sur 17th Didn't secure an alliance
Jeremy San Juan del Sur 10th Stood out as a leader
Will Worlds Apart tie-2nd Made finals
Player Season** Place Reason*
Tasha Cambodia tie-2nd Made finals
Jeremy Cambodia 1st WON
Darnell Kaoh Rong 18th Bragged about challenge ability, failed
Cydney Kaoh Rong 4th Lost firemaking tiebreaker
Cece MvGX 16th Blamed for challenge losses
Michaela MvGX 14th Stood out as strategic/physical threat
Michaela Game Changers 7th Clashed with Brad
Cirie Game Changers 6th Advantagegeddon, no votes against
Alan HvHvH 15th Joe played idol, Devon couldn't vote
Ali HvHvH 13th Swap screwed
Desi HvHvH 11th Stood out as challenge threat
Desiree Ghost Island 11th Laurel exposed plan to flip on Kellyn
Laurel Ghost Island 3rd Made finals
Wendell Ghost Island 1st WON
Jeremy David vs Goliath 18th Forced tribe to choose, him or Natalie
Natalie David vs Goliath 15th Was just too annoying
Carl David vs Goliath 9th Became too powerful
Davie David vs Goliath 6th Too big a threat to win
Keith Edge of Extinct. 17th Blamed for challenge losses
Julia Edge of Extinct. 12th Self-destructed
Jamal Isl. of the Idols 12th Screwed by production twist
Aaron Isl. of the Idols 11th Split tribe vote, physical threat
Missy Isl. of the Idols 10th Too pushy with Karishma, forcing her flip
Lauren Isl. of the Idols 4th Lost at F4 firemaking
Wendell Winners at War 13th Removed to weaken Jeremy
Jeremy Winners at War 8th Too big of a threat
Player Season** Place Reason*
Abraham Survivor 41 18th Didn't secure an alliance/ too bossy
J.D. Survivor 41 14th Bragged about challenge prowess, failed
Shan Survivor 41 8th Alliance betrayed her before she could them
Liana Survivor 41 7th Outnumbered/ wrong alliance
Danny Survivor 41 6th Outnumbered/ wrong alliance
Deshawn Survivor 41 2nd Made finals
Chanelle Survivor 42 11th Lost trust after voting out an ally
Rocksroy Survivor 42 10th Got too aggressive about men's alliance
Drea Survivor 42 7th Too many advantages/ power
Maryanne Survivor 42 1st WON

**No Black women were cast in Vanuatu, Guatemala, Worlds Apart, or Winners At War. No Black men were cast in The Amazon, All-Stars, Guatemala, or Game Changers.

damnbuenoDamnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.