Survivor: The 10 Oldest Players | ScreenRant

Type A personalities and those in peak physical condition tend to thrive the best in Survivor, given the intense nature of the reality competition series. However, this hasn't discouraged older people from competing. Often seen as underdogs, a few go on to prove everyone wrong by reaching the final stages.

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Normally, most of the contestants on the show fall within the 18 to 40 age bracket. Younger contestants have an added advantage because they can always return for later seasons and have another go without feeling the strain. But this rarely happens with older contestants and people above the age of 40 rarely emerge as victors, even though some of them remain fan-favorite contestants.

10 Rudy Boesch (72)

Boesch holds the record for the oldest ever castaway to compete. He participated in the first season (Borneo) where he had one of the best ever Survivor bromances with Richard Hatch. He then beat his own record when he appeared in Survivor: All-Stars at the age of 75.

As a former NAVY seal, Rudy had an easy time performing the tasks. However, his combat experience proved to be a disadvantage at times, as he belittled other contestants and refused to form alliances. The Final Immunity Challenge would be the end of his run. His third-place finish was impressive, but given his skills, some fans felt like he could have done better. Unfortunately, Rudy passed away in 2019 at the age of 91 after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

9 Mike Borassi (62)

Mike was the oldest contestant in season 19 (Samoa) and despite having been a football coach for most of his life, age caught up with him when he needed to rely on his body. After taking hits during the Immunity Challenge, Mike had what could be considered as one of the scariest moments in Survivor when he developed low blood pressure and had to be pulled from the show.

It was a sad end for a contestant who was full of determination, seeking to prove that age was no reason to write him off. Mike's fellow contestants did admit that he was pushing himself too far, something even audiences could see. His exit was even sadder, considering he had tried to participate in previous seasons but hadn't been chosen.

8 Willard Smith (56)

Willard rubbed everyone the wrong way in season 10 (Palau). He was described as lazy and weak, and as a result, he was voted out by his entire team during a double elimination stage.

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Willard's lack of enthusiasm was considered unusual given that he had served in the Vietnam War and didn't have any health problems. The manner in which he carried himself pointed to him not being thrilled about hanging around younger contestants rather than him being incompetent. It was only during his exit that he appeared warm by wishing his teammates the best of luck.

7 Kim Johnson (56)

Appearing in season 3 (Africa), Kim was formidable, finishing as runner-up. She became the oldest woman to reach the Final Tribal Council and the oldest person, in general, to emerge as the victor in the Final Immunity Challenge.

Kim rarely clashed with anyone, hence there was always the feeling that she would go far. Other contestants made mistakes by not considering her a threat, so she rode the underdog wave by obliterating everyone and winning the last two immunity contests. Kim definitely has a case for inclusion among the Survivor runner-ups who deserved to win.

6 Gillian Larson (61)

Season 17 (Gabon) contestant, Gillian Larson, was one of the nicest people to ever appear on Survivor, but she was voted out in the second Tribal Council because her teammates felt the wasn't useful. They even described her as "dead weight."

Gillian was proof that being nice in a competition like this doesn't help. All it takes is being fit, strategic and ruthless. Gillian struggling to catch her breath during the challenges foreshadowed her eventual elimination. If fans could vote, she would definitely have stayed around much longer, since her warm attitude really made her stand out.

5 Yau-Man Chan (55)

The tech and physics guru had a blend of both intelligence and fitness, managing to maneuver season 14 (Fiji) in ways even the younger contestants could not. Sadly, his popularity made him a target for Cirie Fields, who conspired to vote him out.

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Yaun-Man Chan is best remembered for his "wow" factor. It was impressive seeing him using his knowledge in physics to break a crate when everyone else had failed to do so. Joining the Syndicate Alliance, despite not being as mean as the other members, painted him as a man who was willing to work with anyone to win.

4 Bruce Kanegai (56)

Bruce could give a masterclass in composure and calm. The season 12 (Panama) contestant always acted like everything was okay in the world. Everyone in the camp was close to him and when he was eliminated, there was a lengthy period of grief.

The likable castaway could have lasted longer had he not ignored his body. When he began having health complications, he confessed that he had gone for days without using the bathroom. He simply felt he had no time to do that, as his goal was to win. The focus was admirable but unfortunately, he had to be taken out of the competition to allow him time to recover.

3 Gary Stritesky (55)

Gary Stritesky was yet another contestant who had to leave the show for health reasons. Gary had a good demeanor and was well-liked by his season 14 teammates, but had to quit after he was bitten by ants, resulting in an allergic reaction.

Gary was so jovial that younger contestants felt comfortable enough around him to crack sensitive jokes. They even nicknamed him "Papa Smurf." Even funnier was that he brought the ant problem on himself since he chose to sleep outside so as not to bother the other contestants with his snoring.

2 Paschall English (56)

The former Airforce colonel and judge from season 4 (Marquesas) was so popular that no one ever voted against him. Unfortunately, he got eliminated by the colored rock tiebreaker, something that wouldn't happen again in the next 23 seasons.

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Future contestants learned from Paschall's fate, as they kept avoiding a deadlock tie to prevent the same. In recent years, it has thus been rare for contestants who haven't been voted out to be eliminated. After the show, Paschall resumed his career as a judge but was forced to quit after he was involved in a sexual scandal.

1 Natalie Cole (58)

Natalie stood out as the harshest contestant in season 37 (David Vs Goliath). Her teammates eventually got fed up with her tendency to spoil the mood and voted her out after the Tribe Switch.

Her bossy attitude aside, Natalie had the ability to downplay situations and pledge loyalty. This made her safe on the first few days. It would only be a matter of time before she was targeted, though, since contestants who don't get along with others rarely go far. It was a sad moment when she left because she had the competitiveness that was required. All she needed was a little tweak to her attitude.

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