Every Survivor season comes to a close in the same fashion. The castaways vote each other out until the show is left with a final two or, in recent seasons, a final three.
These two or three contestants are then questioned by the very people that they voted out, who then hold their fate in their hands by having the power to vote for a winner.
In the early seasons of the show, each season ended in a final two. Some good, some bad. Here are our picks for the Top 5 Best Survivor Final Twos!
5. Tina/Colby (Survivor: The Australian Outback)
It’s kind of surprising that Colby and Tina were so tightly aligned. Colby was a young man from Texas, while Tina was a middle aged mom from Tennessee. Colby’s game was almost entirely focused on winning competitions, while Tina’s game was almost entirely focused on building relationships.
Nonetheless, the two played the game closely together and formed a kind of mother-son dynamic. It’s a testament to how strong of a final two this is when we look into how it played out.
Colby won five individual immunity challenges in a row. He then made the decision to take his mother stand-in, Tina, to the final two. Despite this season taking place early on when there was a larger focus on the physical competition, Tina was so well loved that she beat Colby despite his impressive immunity streak.
Both Colby and Tina are fantastic representations of two very different ways of playing the game. Together, they are one of the best final twos of all time!
4. Richard/Kelly (Survivor: Borneo)
The very first final two is also one of the show’s best! It’s easy to understand how the show became such a phenomenon when you had Richard and Kelly as the first season’s final two.
Similar to Tina/Colby, Richard/Kelly are two different sort of players. Richard relied heavily on strategy, while Kelly relied on her alliance and competition wins. Kelly represented what many believed Survivor to be early on – she was a River Guide coming onto the show and while on the island, she dominated in competitions in a way that few women have since.
Richard, though less obviously someone you would expect to thrive outdoors, did just as well. From the very first day, he expressed a cocky, arrogant attitude. Going so far as saying, “I’ve got the million-dollar check written already, I mean I’m the winner,” in the first episode.
Having one person in the final two represent the surface level of what the show was and the other person represent what the show could be was perfect for season one. Richard and Kelly were a fantastic inaugural final two. When Richard the Snake ate Kelly the Rat, it set the tone for the entire series.
3. JT/Stephen (Survivor: Tocantins)
What makes this Final 2 so satisfying is that it was the only thing that made sense this season. Stephen and JT were close from the beginning and played the game alongside one another all 39 days.
They were complete opposites. JT was a young cattle rancher from Alabama and Stephen was a neurotic corporate consultant from New York. Despite being from completely different backgrounds, the two formed a tight bond. Where one of them faltered, the other picked up the slack. JT, specifically, played an incredible social game that secured his win against Stephen but Stephen was no slouch.
Stephen was smart and had solid bonds with other players. It was unfortunate for him that he was against one of the most beloved-by-their-cast Survivor players of all time in the finals.
JT did not have a single vote cast against him the entire game, won in a unanimous vote, AND was named Sprint Fan Favorite by fans. He played the first “perfect” game in the show’s history. He couldn’t have done it, though, without his right hand man and fellow finalist.
2. Wendell/Domenick (Survivor: Ghost Island)
Okay, technically, Ghost Island had a final three. Domenick, Wendell, and Laurel all went through questioning by the jury and had the chance to be crowned the winner. I mean this with no disrespect to Laurel. She made it to the end and she deserves props for that. But when Jeff revealed the tied vote, Laurel officially became a jury member, making Wendell and Domenick the final two.
Now that that’s out of the way… what an incredible final two. Ghost Island is not a very well liked season largely because Domenick and Wendell dominated. These two had their season on lock from the beginning. Both of them were solid in challenges, both were savvy enough to each hold a hidden immunity idol at some point, and they had a good enough social game that they were controlling things the whole way through.
Both Domenick and Wendell represent well rounded players. Domenick could work on his social game a bit and maybe Wendell could work on his strategic game but together, they were unstoppable. Anyone that threatened their placement in the game was voted out shortly after. By the time they were the perceived front runners by most, it was too late. The only thing standing in their way was each other.
The show had never seen a more evenly matched final two up to this point and has not seen one since.
1. Parvati/Amanda (Survivor: Micronesia)
Coming in to Survivor: Micronesia, many people wondered why Parvati was there. She was a fine player in Survivor: Cook Islands and made it pretty far into the game. She ultimately did not make much of an impact though. Amanda, on the other hand, made it to the final three of the previous season. Both women really shined during Survivor: Micronesia.
From the moment they stepped on the beach, Parvati and Amanda were tight. They formed a couples alliance, alongside their tagalongs, James and Ozzy. As the season played out, along with Cirie and, later, Natalie, the two orchestrated blindside after blindside. It was really a sight to see.
While on their way to the final two, both women won individual immunity, Amanda correctly played a hidden immunity idol to save herself, and they were a part of the first final four consisting of only women.
Although we were sad to see Cirie left out of the final tribal council, we were happy with the two women who made it there. Both women showed that they learned from their previous seasons and improved upon their already good games.
Parvati’s game was especially impressive, as she came back a lot more deceitful than her previous season would have let on. She was willing to lie to people’s faces and cut the throat of anyone and everyone, even if she had previously been working with them. Her head was really in it to win it and she definitely earned every cent of the million dollars.
What do you think of our list? Which final two do you think is the best in Survivor history? Let us know in the comments!