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Hall of Shame Moment: Colby’s Final Decision in “Survivor 2”

by David Bloomberg -- 11/20/2002
Sometimes we here at the Reality TV Hall of Shame recognize overall horrible behavior. Other times, though, a player might overall be a decent person, but make shamefully poor game-based decisions. When it came time for Colby to pick somebody to take into the final two of Survivor 2, he had one of those moments.

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Sometimes the Reality TV Hall of Shame recognizes behavior that relates to shamefully poor play or bad decisions in terms of the game alone, other times the behavior is just plain nasty to watch regardless of the events in the game. Today we have a Hall of Shame Moment that definitely falls into the first category, and I imagine there will be many people who disagree even with that. But it’s difficult to imagine a clearer example of a poor game decision.

We are looking back to the end of Survivor 2. There were three people left – Colby, Tina, and Keith. Everybody knew that Keith could not win – he had simply annoyed too many people too much. As such, he should have been a lock to make it to the final two. If he won immunity, obviously he would move on. But if either Colby or Tina won, it would only make sense for them to bring Keith into the finals also, because it would assure them a cool million dollars. Right?


Colby had been saying throughout the entire series that he was in it to win. Later, we saw that he was debating with himself about whether to bring along a person who would be easy to beat or to bring a person who would be deserving of making it to the final two. He seemed to be leaning heavily towards the former (at least that’s what viewers were led to believe), but in the end, he chose the latter – and cost himself the win, not to mention $900,000.

As can be seen by looking back at Why Colby Lost, he did almost everything right – up until the very end. He was a great schemer. He hooked into the main Ogakor alliance early and rode it the entire way. Throughout the game, he made a number of side deals to get rid of those people – even inside the alliance – who needed to go. He convinced Jerri and Amber that they were going to the final three with him, but all along he knew it wasn’t going to happen. When the time was right, he took out Jerri, and Amber was soon to follow.

Colby worked hard to stay in the game. He won challenge after challenge. He plotted and schemed and maneuvered for position. But all of his great maneuvering and hard work went for naught (or at least a lot less than it should have) because somewhere along the line, he forgot that he was playing a game. He decided that he would rather be a pal than actually win.

We at the Hall of Shame would certainly like to see more good people on reality TV, but good people can also make smart game moves and win – witness Lisa winning Big Brother 3 or Ethan winning Survivor: Africa. Colby is a good person who just did something shameful as far as his strategy at the end of the game.

Maybe in the game of life, Colby has succeeded in his own mind and heart, but in the game of Survivor, he failed horribly. And that is why we have to recognize his decision to bring Tina into the final two rather than Keith as a Hall of Shame Moment.

David Bloomberg is the Editor of the Reality TV Hall of Shame, and can be reached at

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