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The 10 Best Survivor Redemption Arcs | ScreenRant

One of the best parts about Survivor over the years has been its willingness to invite previous contestants back for another shot at playing and winning the game. Not everyone has good luck the first time around, and different circumstances could lead to a player's redemption, whether it be rehabilitating their reputation or simply performing better in (or winning) the game the second time around (or third, or fourth).

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Giving castaways the opportunity to play the game again and redeem themselves has resulted in beautiful character arcs for contestants the audience loved or hated or pitied or scorned the first time they played. These arcs have turned forgettable players into fan-favorites and legends of the game, and have even morphed former villains into heroes fans cheer for.

10 Kimmi Kappenberg (Second Chance)

Kimmi Kappenberg was best remembered for being the loud, opinionated vegetarian on Survivor: The Australian Outback who got into a heated, finger-waving argument with fellow contestant Alicia Calaway.

Despite Kimmi being a pre-merge elimination in season 2, fans wanted to see her again badly enough that they voted for her to return to Survivor nearly 15 years later in Survivor: Cambodia — Second Chance. An older and wiser Kimmi surprised everyone by making it to the final six and doing a complete 180 from her game the first time around. This time, Kimmi was strategic, under the radar, and showed how much she had grown and matured in the years since she first played.

9 Ben Driebergen (Winners At War)

Ben Driebergen may have won his first season when he triumphed in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, but fans didn't respect him as a winner as much as the other players who fit into that category. Instead, viewers maintained that Ben's win was a fluke based on idol finds at the right time as well as the unforeseen and much-maligned fire-making challenge at the end of the game, all of which seemed contrived to lead Ben to victory.

But when Ben returned to compete in the show's all-winners season, he proved just how much he deserved to be counted among the best of the best. Competing with the game's highest achievers, Ben once again made it to the final stages of the game, developing close relationships with all of his fellow winners, and was a player whom many fans found themselves rooting for.

8 Sarah Lacina (Game Changers)

Sarah Lacina was one half of the "Cops R Us" alliance that began in Survivor: Cagayan. The other half of the duo, Tony Vlachos, won that season, while Sarah was blindsided immediately after the tribes merged because she flipped back and forth between two opposing alliances.

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When Sarah returned (along with Tony) for Survivor: Game Changers, many fans as well as her fellow castaways underestimated her. But she formed close alliances with everyone else in the game, alliances that ultimately carried her to victory. After her unimpressive showing in Cagayan, Sarah redeemed herself by winning her second season and earning a chance to reunite with Tony yet again for a third iteration of the "Cops R Us" alliance in Survivor's all-winners season.

7 John Cochran (Caramoan)

When John Cochran competed on Survivor: South Pacific, he was a fish out of water. He may have been a Survivor superfan prior to appearing on the show, but the tribemates he was grouped with didn't exactly want to play with the intelligent but neurotic Cochran.

Cochran earned backlash from his original tribe for switching sides once he reached the merge, an all he got for his trouble was a position securely at the bottom of the totem pole of Coach's alliance. He returned for another chance in Survivor: Caramoan, the second iteration of the show's "fans vs. favorites" theme. This time, Cochran dominated the season with a much more socially aware game, ultimately winning by a unanimous vote.

6 Michaela Bradshaw (Game Changers)

Michaela Bradshaw was so smart when she appeared on Survivor: Milennials vs. Gen X that her fellow millennials orchestrated one of the most iconic blindsides in Survivor history to take her out. Because of her pre-merge exit, fans didn't get a chance to see everything that Michaela was capable of in her first attempt at playing.

She was invited back to compete in the following season, Survivor: Game Changers, and made it farther than before. This time, the audience got to see even more of her personality and iconic tribal council facial expressions. Her higher placement and improved ability to form strong alliances certainly redeemed her from the previous season's humiliating blindside.

5 Kelley Wentworth (Second Chance)

Fans and Jeff Probst alike thought that Kelley Wentworth had plenty of potential to be a great Survivor player on Survivor: San Juan Del Sur. However, her fellow castaways thought she had too much potential — potential to beat them, that is — and they wisely voted her out before the tribes merged.

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Because fans wanted to see her live up to her potential, they voted for Kelley to play again in Survivor: Cambodia. This was the season in which she truly blossomed, showcasing her strategic side and becoming a all-time fan-favorite. She was a part of Survivor's iconic "Witches Coven" alliance, and she redeemed herself by living up to and far exceeding the expectations fans had for her.

4 Tyson Apostol (Blood Vs. Water)

Tyson Apostol had a rough first two times playing Survivor. In Survivor: Tocantins, he aligned himself with Coach and went up against the power bromance between J.T. and Stephen. Soon after, in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, he foolishly got himself voted out of Survivor before the tribes merged.

When Tyson returned with his long-time girlfriend Rachel to compete in Survivor: Blood vs. Water, he finally made good on his shot at redemption and proved to fans that he was much more than just a likable smart aleck. After Rachel was voted out of the game early in the season, Tyson declared that every move he made going forward was to avenge his love, and he did just that. Tyson took control of the entire game and won the season in a 7-1-0 jury vote.

3 Parvati Shallow (Micronesia, Heroes Vs. Villains)

Parvati Shallow was considered "the flirt" during her first season, Survivor: Cook Islands. And despite finishing in a respectable sixth place, she didn't have a reputation for being much more than just a flirt going into season 16, Survivor: Micronesia.

However, Parvati quickly proved how dangerous she is and why she can never be defined as a one-dimensional player. Instead, Parvati became victorious on Survivor by recruiting women for her now famous "Black Widow Brigade" alliance, which was instrumental in helping her win the season. When she returned again for Heroes vs. Villains, Parvati made it to the final tribal council once more, proving that she is a Survivor legend and that she didn't just get lucky in Micronesia.

2 "Boston" Rob Mariano (Redemption Island)

Rob Mariano, aka Boston Rob, didn't even make the jury the first time he played in Survivor: Marquesas, and he earned a reputation for being one of the most villainous players to ever compete the second time around in Survivor: All-Stars. On his third try at winning the million-dollar prize in Heroes vs. Villains, he was taken down by the even more villainous Russell Hantz.

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Rob returned for a fourth time to play in season 22, Redemption Island. He was pitted against Russell once again, but luckily was gifted with a tribe of newbies who listened to and obeyed his every word. Rob may still be regarded as a Survivor villain because of his Redemption Island actions, but he certainly redeemed himself in the strategic aspect of the game by winning almost unanimously on his fourth attempt.

1 Jerri Manthey (Heroes Vs. Villains)

Jerri Manthey was the original villainess of Survivor and was hated by fans after she competed on The Australian Outback and All-Stars due to her flirtatious ways, serving as a rival to the much more popular and heroic Colby Donaldson in both seasons.

Despite her bad reputation, Jerri returned again for Heroes vs. Villains, and that's when she finally shed the villain label that had dogged her for almost a decade. She ended up being more popular and capable on the island than her frenemy Colby was that season, and she was favored to win it all before sadly being eliminated in fourth place, just before the final tribal council. She may never have taken home the $1 million prize, but over the course of her three seasons, Jerri evolved from being the castaway Survivor fans loved to hate, intead becoming a person they simply loved.

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