Nobody wants to be the first person to be voted on Survivor. Not only is their once-in-a-lifetime experience shortened, they have to live forever being the “first start” of their season. They miss the tribal swaps, the merger, and the Final Tribal Council. The only silver lining, however, is the pre-jury trip they embark on with their expelled castaway companions, though that comes weeks later.
Through 40 seasons of SurvivorThere have been First Boots ranging from predictable, unexpected, or even due to medical evacuations. Some of these eliminations have been well deserved and from castaways lacking what it takes to play, while others were potential contenders who saw the torch go out too early.
10 Marisa Calihan (Samoa)
On the first day of season 19, the scheming Russell Hantz made alliances with all the young ladies in his tribe – Natalie, Marisa, Betsy, and Ashley – in the hope that their naivety and weakness would help propel him to the finale.
Poor Marisa never had a chance. When she found out about Russell’s “Dumba ** Girls Alliance” and tried to thwart his plans, he thwarted hers and she became the first person to be voted on. Survivor: Samoa. Marisa was too smart for her games and it ultimately cost her a chance to win the million.
9 Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton (Micronesia)
Coming from being a notorious villain in Survivor: Pearl Islands, it looked like Jonny Fairplay was ready to dominate the first Fans vs Favorites station.
After playing both alliances formed on Favorites Beach, Fairplay broke up and revealed to his fellow castaways that he actually wanted to be eliminated. He expressed regret at leaving his pregnant girlfriend at home, but his teammates weren’t sure they believed the villain was sincere, or if he was just conspiring. In the end, her wish was granted and her sacrifice saved Parvati from elimination and led her down the path of victory.
8 Tina Scheer (Panama)
One of Tina Scheer’s life goals was to compete on the reality show. In fact, she was scheduled to appear in season 11, Survivor: Guatemala, but had to leave before filming due to personal tragedy.
Once she reached the beach in Panama, Tina had a strong work ethic and thrived in the desert, yet she parted ways with the group while mourning her son, who had passed away a year earlier. Her self-isolation brought the other women in her tribe together, and they finally decided to pull her out at the “weak” link. Cirie Fields, who became a fan favorite.
7 Reem Daly (On the brink of extinction)
Reem Daly was attacked for being also maternal in the Manu tribe. His controlling tendencies seemed dominant, and he was the first person to be voted on and sent to the Brink of Extinction.
Unlike the previous first boots, Reem stayed on the island for 35 days and was in fact a member of the jury. She endured the harshest conditions on a beach with virtually nothing to give her a chance back in the game. She even had frequent discussions with eventual winner Chris Underwood, and it was surprisingly refreshing to see her cast her jury vote for him.
6 Tina Wesson (All-Stars)
One of the most important themes of Survivor: All-Stars he was targeting the winners early. The logic was that they already had the money, and it was the returnee’s turn to have a chance to win the million.
Sadly for season 2 winner Tina Wesson, that meant she was sent packing when the Saboga Tribe lost the first immunity challenge. The good news was that she was free from Rupert and Jerri’s squabbles, and she was already a millionaire, although it definitely would have been fun to see her stay in the game a little longer.
5 Zane Knight (Philippines)
Zane Knight thought he had mastered the strategic element of Survivor after his tribe lost the first immunity challenge. He took full credit for his abysmal failure and insisted that the tribe write his name.
Thinking that his competitors would praise him for taking the loss, Zane thought he was safe in the vote. However, his fellow tribesmen did exactly what he said he wanted them to do, and he was voted unanimously. It was a hilarious first episode, but sad to see such a funny character getting eliminated so quickly.
4 Francesca Hogi (Island of Redemption and Caramoan)
So far, Francesca Hogi is the only person in Survivor history to have the honor of being voted first twice – a title that you would surely like to assign and assign to someone else.
On Survivor: Island of Redemption, Francesca was attacked by Philip Shepard early on and sent packing after a tribal council spent arguing with him. She was invited to come back for the second Fans vs Favorites due to her first comic elimination, only this time she was attacked after trying to send her Redemption island castmate Andrea Boehlke at home. Once again, it was the first boot, revealing that it was not made for the longevity of Survivor.
3 Natalie Anderson (Winners in War)
It seemed like the old school winners were going to take over Survivor: Winners in War when they successfully voted for season 29 winner Natalie Anderson at the first tribal council.
However, being voted on only stoked the fire in Natalie’s torch, and she went on to dominate life in the Edge of extinction. On the 35th, he won the re-entry challenge and returned to the game. He could have won it all if he had fought Tony Vlachos in the Final Four, but instead he took the safe route and ultimately took second place.
two Pat Cusack (David vs. Goliath)
Pat Cusack, 41, was excited to be in Survivor: David vs Goliath, and was popular with the others of his tribe.
Sadly, on the boat trip back from the first immunity challenge, Pat suffered a serious back injury and had to be medically evacuated from the game. It was the first start of the season, despite the fact that no vote was ever cast against it. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and definitely deserves a second chance at the game.
1 Sonja Christopher (Borneo)
Sonja Christopher was the first person to be rejected Survivor, a decision that was not unanimous and was based mainly on the fact that she was one of the oldest members of the tribe and fought in the first immunity challenge.
Sonja left the game with a smile on her face, honored to be a part of the first season of Survivor. His legacy remains, and his fellow tribesmen were saddened to give him the First Boot. She provided smiles, laughter, and great campfire songs before her departure.
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