By Lea Mercado
Web Content Contributor
“Survivor” has been pushing the limits of reality TV for 40 seasons in a game based on wit, physicality and strategy. Originally airing in the summer of 2000, the game started with 20 strangers dropped on an island and challenged to vote off their tribe mates until there is one sole survivor.
In such a brutal game, it has been expected that men would dominate, but early in the series, women changed the game’s trajectory.
Here is a rundown of some of the strongest female survivors:
Monica Culpepper originally played in “Survivor: One World,” where she was introduced as an Ex-NFL player’s wife and homemaker. Culpepper was quick to break the mold as she subtly dominated challenges.
Earning herself 10 immunity wins throughout the game, Culpepper was strategic in her celebration by not taking part in rewards she earned and letting her tribe indulge instead. This strategy not only gained her trust but a spot in the final three with a secure alliance.
Despite never winning the game, Monica Culpepper embodies feminine mental strength and physical grit. A great example is her food challenge win on “Survivor: Blood Vs. Water.”
Parvati Shallow debuted in “Survivor: Cook Islands” as a villainous flirt but quickly established herself as an undeniable threat. What is incredible about Parvati is her ability to adapt, which is a priceless skill for any survivor.
Shallow managed to pass through her survivor journey as a clueless cocktail waitress while pulling off some of the biggest blindsides in “Survivor” history.
After being voted out as the sixth juror in her first season, Shallows creates the infamous “Black Widow Brigade” alliance in her second season which earned her the title of Sole Survivor.
In Survivor “Heroes Vs. Villains,” Shallows is given an idol by Russel Hantz, arguably the most noteworthy “Survivor” villain, and plays it to pull off an incredible blindside against his alliance.
Sandra Diaz-Twine is called “the Queen” for a reason. Diaz-Twine was introduced on “Survivor: Pearl Islands” as a military wife living out her dream, but the tides quickly changed as her self-preservation game kicked in.
Through sneaky strategy and tribe-loyal gameplay, she won “Survivor: Pearl Islands.” Later, she returned to “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and became the first two-time Sole Survivor.
Her gameplay is unique because it is both stealthy and explosive at the same time. She not only creates chaos, but she is also a master of it, and that is what makes her queen.
Truly, words do not do justice in describing the “Survivor legend,” but essentially, she is a woman who goes after what she wants, no matter what ridiculous thing she has to do, even eating all the sugar.
Featured image by Lea Mercado via Canva.