Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
hawaii nature hikes original
hawaii nature hikes original
Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus
Culture > Entertainment

After 45 Seasons, These Are the Top Girlboss ‘Survivor’ Players

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

With 45 seasons of nonstop action, thrills, blindsides, and high-running emotions, CBS’s Survivor is one of the longest-running shows to ever be created. With a captivating premise of surviving 39 days to win $1 million, the show’s contestants are faced with the challenge of outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting one another in grueling environments.

I have been consuming Survivor episodes every Wednesday since the 2016 season of Survivor: Millennials v. Gen X. Since my very first episode, I have been hooked on watching players from all different backgrounds come together to compete. 

What is most inspiring to me are some of the women contestants. They are some of the game’s biggest social threats, as some of Survivor’s women have been some of the most game-changing influencers. So, to celebrate 45 seasons of televised gaslighting, gatekeeping, and girlbossing, here are some of my most memorable female Survivor contestants. 

Lauren O’Connell

O’Connell always stuck out to me as an underrated force. Some could argue her time on Season 38, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, was overshadowed by Survivor powerhouse Kelley Wentworth’s gameplay, but I always admired O’Connell for her consistent optimism, friendly social strategy, and amazing physical strength.

During one of the show’s Immunity Challenges, O’Connell was challenged to hang on to a very thin platform for as long as possible. O’Connell passed out before she gave up. She was an inspiration that day and proved that she was a force to be reckoned with that season. 

Sarah Lacina

I have watched Lacina play Survivor twice now on both Survivor: Game Changers and Survivor: Winners at War. As a mother, police officer, and official Sole Survivor of Season 34, Lacina is an example of consistent dedication, motivation, and the embodiment of power. 

Lacina has played Survivor three times and has proved that she is a true competitor with each round. Distinctly, her partnership with another Survivor winner, Tony Vlachos, was an admirable bond that she utilized to get far on her third and final season. While she lost the fire-making challenge to her partner Vlachos, placing her fourth on Survivor: Winners at War, she stayed true to the partnership to the end, making her an inspiration of trust and friendship.

Lacina made notable remarks on feminism as she constantly upeld herself and her gameplay, which was undermined by other male players. Her outspokenness and direct nature gave her an incredible sense of control in the game.

Emily Flippen

I wanted to include someone from Survivor 45 who would have my vote as of right now in the Final Tribal Council: Emily Flippen. Flippen is a direct, blunt, and fascinating character to watch this season as she has navigated three early-on-set tribal councils with her Lulu tribe in episodes one through three.

Flippen seems a little out of place in nature occasionally, but that makes her all the more relatable. As someone who prioritizes her knowledge and is true to herself, she teaches all of us students that just about anyone can flourish and find themselves in conditions as tough as Survivor.

Aubry Bracco

Bracco is without a doubt my favorite Survivor player of all time (with honorable mentions to both Kelley Wentworth and Parvati Shallow). There is nothing more frustrating to me than Aubry never winning a game of Survivor. Hot take: she was robbed in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng and deserved the win over Michele Fitzgerald.

What made Bracco so amazing to watch from a viewer’s standpoint was her ability to not only manipulate most of the votes during Tribal Council, but also her intuition and utilization of her brains to take her far in the game. She pushed herself to the limit in the physical Immunity and Reward Challenges which was beyond admirable.

Overall, these women have set the game of Survivor on fire for multiple generations. Their examples will light the path for many other future girlbosses not just on television, but also in society.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest!

Maggie Metz is a Staff Writer in the Florida State chapter. She is a freshman who is majoring in Advertising and minoring in Sociology with an interest in working with an advertising agency in her future. She enjoys a hot latte, social media, nature walks, yoga, and Legos.