You never know what's going to happen at Tribal Council.
Over the course of 34 seasons, Survivor has made viewers' (and players') jaws drop with countless blindsides, making the move to vote out the player who least expects it a Survivor trope — and hashtag — in its own right.
There will surely be more shockers to come in the current Game Changers season and beyond, but for now, let's look back at the 12 biggest blindsides of all time on Survivor (in reverse chronological order).
After both the Nuku and Mana tribes were sent to Tribal Council and tasked with collectively voting out one person, the axe fell on Malcolm after J.T. told Brad that everyone was planning to vote for Sierra — and Tai used his hidden immunity idol to save her.
The best part about this blindside was Michaela's reaction after Jay orchestrated a coup to get her out of the game. Her head spun around so fast she probably got a case of whiplash, and she was so shocked that she forgot to grab her shoes on the way out.
On Day 29 of Survivor: Second Chance, Fishbach had his torch snuffed despite playing his "steal the vote" advantage, all because Spencer flipped on him.
4. Andrew Savage, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance (Season 31)
Fishbach wasn't the only big blindside of season 31. Savage got burned when Kelley pulled out a hidden immunity idol, and his raw emotions were on display when he flipped Abi the bird on his way out.
Sarah's fateful Tribal Council on Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty featured not one but two immunity idols, but it was Khaos Kass living up to her name by flipping on her six-person alliance that put the nail in Sarah's Survivor coffin.
It's an oversimplification to say that Tyson voted himself out of Heroes vs. Villains, but... Tyson basically voted himself out. Knowing that a vote split was in play to flush out Russell's hidden immunity idol, Tyson inexplicably wrote down Parvati's name — and when Russell gave Parvati his idol, Tyson was forced to say sayonara.
7. Tyson Apostol, Survivor: Tocantins (Season 18)
Unfortunately for Tyson, he has the dubious distinction of being on this list twice. On his first Survivor outing, in Tocantins, Tyson became the second member of the jury when members of his alliance decided to turn on him and vote him out instead of Sierra.
In the Micronesia season, fan favorite Ozzy was so confident that he didn't even bring his immunity idol with him to Tribal Council. But he learned the hard way that his alliance members Parvati and Cirie were not to be trusted.
9. Erik Reichenbach, Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites (Season 16)
But Ozzy's ouster wasn't the only surprising one on Season 16, which saw blindside after blindside. Another huge twist was when Erik got bitten by the "Black Widow" alliance of women, who convinced him to give his immunity idol to Natalie — and then promptly voted him out.
10. Alexis Jones, Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites (Season 16)
Rounding out our trio of Micronesia blindsides is Alexis, who saw her torch snuffed after Amanda shocked everyone by pulling out a hidden immunity idol — which she found after Alexis decided to send her to Exile Island. Isn't it ironic?
It's always a real facepalm moment when someone gets sent home on Survivor with an unplayed immunity idol in their possession. But James Clement had two idols on him when his torch was snuffed on Survivor: China, which is a sting that never goes away.
12. Gretchen Cordy, Survivor: Borneo (Season 1)
Blindsides on Survivor date all the way back to the first season, when Gretchen was the very first victim. In retrospect, this vote isn't shocking at all — but back when the rules and gameplay of Survivor were still being figured out by players and producers alike, it was an eye-popping moment that no one saw coming.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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