We’re back! Just as we did with Survivor men, we are counting down the Top 10 Survivor Women Who Deserve a Second Chance.
Like the original Second Chance season, we are only including players who have played one single time and did not win. If there is ever another Survivor: Second Chance season, these ten women would be excellent candidates to have on the ballot!
Before we begin, don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Survivor Men Who Deserve a Second Chance!
10. Trish Hegarty
Season: Cagayan (28)
Survivor: Cagayan has, indisputably, one of the best casts of all time. It’s no wonder that 1/3 of the cast has already returned! The six players who have returned so far are obvious picks from the season. They are good characters who played hard and had a compelling narrative throughout the season. They aren’t the only ones though. Despite six of her fellow castaways returning, it is surprising that Trish Hegarty has not.
Trish is mostly known for being Tony’s right-hand woman. Down in the numbers early on in the game, Tony and Trish weaved their way through to the merge and eventually into a power position. The two looked destined to make it the final tribal council until Tony voted Trish out of the game in a coldblooded blindside.
Up until that point, though, Trish worked right alongside Tony. The two worked their way to the top and ran the game for most of the post-merge.
While Tony had a solid social game, Trish definitely helped to put out fires when he was doing too much and causing other players to doubt him.
Additionally, she worked to flip Kass and initiated the merge boot, which saw Sarah going home in an unforgettable blindside. Combine all of this with a fiery final tribal council speech and she seems like a shoo-in to return at some point.
9. Lauren O’Connell
Season: Edge of Extinction (38)
For all of its flaws (and there are a lot), Survivor: Edge of Extinction has one thing going for it: its cast. Sure, not all of them were great players and some were forgettable despite being on the entire season, in the form of The Edge.
And of course, the season had four returning players that really should have been saved for a different season (or, in the case of Joe, never again). However, there were some really solid new players. One of the most notable was Lauren O’Connell.
Originally on the Manu tribe, Lauren bonded with returning player Kelley Wentworth. The two were immediately viewed as a duo and targeted because of that. They teamed up with The Wardog to form a trio and ran their tribe, as well as the iconic Lesu tribe after the swap.
The former Manu tribe had success early on in the merge until the targets on the backs of David, Kelley, and The Wardog became too big to resist.
Despite losing her closest ally, Lauren persevered until the final five, where she was idoled out of the game. Lauren fought throughout the season.
She survived twelve tribal councils without having to use her idol, she was targeted with her closest ally from the very beginning, and even passed out during an immunity challenge because she refused to give up.
This would be enough to justify a second chance on a future Survivor season for Lauren. Add in the fact that the twist kind of screwed up her game and she is more than deserving.
8. Sabrina Thompson
Season: One World (24)
Coming in second place against Kim Spradlin is nothing to be embarrassed about. Survivor: One World has a cast that many (myself included) considers lackluster. One of the very few players outside of the winner that showed a sense of understanding the game was Sabrina.
Despite being overshadowed by Kim, Sabrina had solid run in the game. She found an idol on day two, was in the majority alliance from the beginning to end of the game, and even helped to mastermind a few post-merge votes.
Despite Kim playing a masterful game, Sabrina was even able to nab two of the jury votes to solidify her place as runner-up.
It would be interesting to see how Sabrina would approach a second chance without Kim doing a lot of her alliance’s bidding.
We almost got the chance on the first Second Chance season but unfortunately, Sabrina was not voted onto the cast. Maybe she will be eligible next time and we can correct our mistake.
7. Chrissy Hofbeck
Season: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers (35)
One of Survivor’s favorite archetypes is “The Mom.” Recently, the show has been doing a good job of giving these players a more three dimensional edit than they have in the past. Some women have come on the show and have totally flipped the show’s idea of who they are on their head.
People like Kass, Julie, and someone we will talk about later in this list have made a name for themselves outside of the show’s usual edit of women their age. One of the most notable examples is Chrissy Hofbeck.
From the start of the season, Chrissy was one of the biggest characters of the season. After a rocky start, she bounced back by getting into an early majority and staying in throughout the premerge.
Once the merge hit, the majority began to fracture and Chrissy found herself on the outside. Thanks to a series of immunity challenge wins and strategic maneuvering, Chrissy survived until the final three.
The latter half of Chrissy’s story mostly revolves around eliminating her biggest threat in Ben. Due to his ability to find immunity idols and a suspect twist that appeared for the first time this season, Chrissy was unable to complete her mission and ended up losing to Ben in the final three.
For her challenge and strategic prowess, as well as the unexpected twist that ruined her one potential path to victory, Chrissy deserves a second chance at winning Survivor.
6. Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper
Season: Africa (3)
Teresa was one of the original “Survivor Moms.” Appearing in the show’s third season, T-Bird is remembered for her cheerful, kind demeanor. She was a part of the minority alliance at the merge but was the last remaining member of her tribe due to her sheer likability.
Beyond her social skills, T-Bird also proved that she can hang with the young contestants. She won an individual immunity at the merge, beating out some real competitors in Lex and Ethan.
After being isolated early on due to being one of the older contestants on her tribe, T-Bird showed that she had strategic chops too. After the first ever tribe swap, she aligned with the opposing tribe’s members to take out one of her own.
Her willingness to jump ship from her original tribe was something that was not seen very often at this stage in the show’s history. T-Bird was truly ahead of her time.
Like Sabrina, T-Bird was eligible to be voted onto the first Survivor: Second Chance. Also like Sabrina, it was a mistake on America’s part that she was not.
Let’s hope we have not seen the last of her!
Side-note: If you are not aware, T-Bird currently co-hosts a podcast with fellow Survivor alum, Rob Cesternino, called Talking With T-Bird. The two interview previous contestants, where they talk about the show, life, and everything in between. It is an absolute delight and you can listen here.
5. Cydney Gillon
Season: Kaoh Rong (32)
It’s quite surprising that Cydney has not returned to Survivor. On a season that was dominated by the women, Cydney was one of the strongest.
Starting on a tribe dominated by two overbearing men who didn’t give the time of day to people they thought were less than them, Cydney was able to survive several of the early tribal councils in the season.
Once hitting the merge, Cydney easily integrated herself in with the other tribes, leaving her former tribe mates in the minority. Not only did Cydney integrate herself with the majority, but she was one of the primary figures in the alliance.
Unfortunately, she came one immunity challenge win away from reaching the final three and potentially winning the game. While she only won one individual immunity and one reward challenge, Cydney’s physical demeanor makes me think she has a lot more challenges left to win.
I could see her returning and dominating a Survivor: Second Chance then being called over to MTV by The Challenge and dominating over there too. Make it happen, Probst!
4. Angelina Keeley
Season: David vs Goliath (37)
Angelina is a shoo-in for a returnee season. She is easily one of the best characters the show has had in recent years.
From shamelessly begging Natalie for her jacket right before she gets her torch snuffed to bargaining with Jeff Probst for more rice, Angelina is great TV. She is confident and goes after what she wants in a way that we don’t see enough on the show.
She started the game in the majority alliance on the Goliath tribe, survived the tribe swap, and had the numbers going into the merge. Unfortunately for her and the other Goliaths, the Davids outplayed them and turned their deficit around.
Seeing the writing on the wall and being left out of plans, Angelina flipped to the Davids side, which lead to her making the final three.
While Angelina can lack self awareness at times, she does have a knack for the game. She found an idol, jumped ship from alliances when necessary, and correctly sussed out that Christian and Davie were big threats to win early on. Her biggest downfall is how she can come across to her fellow tribe mates.
With the foundational skills she has, if she works on her social interactions, Angelina could be a real threat to win. And even if she doesn’t change a thing about her game, we at least know that she will be very fun to watch, if given a second chance at Survivor.
3. Michelle Yi
Season: Fiji (14)
On a season full of unlikable people, Michelle Yi is a ray of sunshine.
She is incredibly likable and was loved by almost everyone that she came in contact with. It’s a good thing too, because her original tribe saw four of the first five tribal councils. All of which, Michelle survived.
She caught a break when she swapped to the other tribe and skated to the merge. But not before joining The Syndicate, comprised of Earl, Yau-Man, and Cassandra.
Unfortunately, Michelle fell victim to one of the most unfair twists in Survivor history.
At the start of the merge, the castaways were separated into two new teams. This, despite supposedly being one, unified tribe now. Michelle was unfortunate enough to be on a team comprised of three original Moto members and only one other original Ravu member.
These two teams competed for one last tribal immunity. Michelle’s team lost and because of the twist, she was ultimately sent home by 3 of the 10 people on her tribe.
The part that stings the most? The rest of her alliance members all made the final four. Oof. There are few people more deserving of a second chance on Survivor than Michelle.
2. Janet Carbin
Season: Island of the Idols (39)
Remember back in Chrissy’s section when I mentioned that we would talk about someone later that could fall into the “Survivor Mom” archetype? It’s Janet. I am a loyal follower of CarbiNation.
Yes, Janet is one of a kind. A sweet, deeply kind, and hard working woman, Janet was the best player on her season and one that really stayed true to herself. So much so that after finding out that one of her allies was making some of the other women uncomfortable, Janet attempted to vote him out. Sadly, he survived the vote and Janet had a big target on her back.
Even after the others who voted the same way as her were voted out, Janet managed to survive based on her strong social skills.
In addition to her incredible likability, Janet also found two hidden immunity idols. Which leads us to why she really deserves a second chance.
Janet made the final five with an idol, “guaranteeing” her final four. She was also the best at making fire, which practically guaranteed her final three, where she very likely would have won.
Unfortunately, like Michelle, Janet was completely screwed by a twist. Dean held the Idol Nullifier and prevented Janet from successfully saved herself on Day 37, days before Final Tribal Council.
In a season full of difficult, hard to watch moments, Janet going out like this only added fuel to the fire that was Island of the Idols.
1. Kellee Kim
Season: Island of the Idols (39)
There is no one from recent years who deserves a second chance more than Kellee Kim.
Early on during Island of the Idols, Kellee felt uncomfortable with a fellow castaway not respecting her personal space. She had a talk with him, where she expressed how she felt and it seemed like things had been patched up. Until the merge.
Kellee began feeling uncomfortable around the other contestant again and expressed this with some of the other women. Some, like Janet, immediately shared empathy and believed Kellee, despite being an ally with the person.
Others, like Missy, Lauren, and Elizabeth, used this information against Kellee in order to paint a target on her back without her suspecting it.
The whole episode made for some of the most difficult to watch moments ever seen on the show. Kellee was not only a victim of unwelcomed touching, but also of fellow castaways not believing her and/or weaponizing her experience against her. She deserves a second chance to reclaim her Survivor story.
At risk of only framing Kellee in regards to what happened to her, I would also like to talk about Kellee as a player.
In her time on the island, Kellee held onto three hidden immunity idols. Two of which, she sadly went home with. She also orchestrated the blindsides of Molly and Jack – two people who seemed destined to go far in the game. Kellee proved that she was a good strategist and, if given another opportunity, I believe she would have a good chance at becoming the Sole Survivor.
Who Did We Miss?
There are plenty of women who just missed out on placing in the top ten of this list! Women like Ghandia, Shambo, and Colleen are all people we would love to see in the future. Who were you hoping to see on this list? Would you be excited for another Survivor: Second Chance? Who do you think could most improve their game if given another opportunity? Let us know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Survivor Men Who Deserve a Second Chance!