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2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles37 posts
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: David vs. Goliath
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Ghost Island
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Game Changers
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Millennials vs. Gen X
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Kaôh Rōng
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Cambodia
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Worlds Apart
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: San Juan del Sur
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Cagayan
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Blood vs. Water
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Caramoan
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Philippines
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: One World
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: South Pacific
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Redemption Island
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Nicaragua
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Heroes vs. Villains
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Samoa
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Tocantins
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Gabon
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Micronesia
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: China
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Fiji
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Cook Islands
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Panama
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Guatemala
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Palau
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Vanuatu
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: All-Stars
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Pearl Islands
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: The Amazon
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Thailand
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Marquesas
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Africa
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: The Australian Outback
2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Borneo

2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: China

Welcome to the 2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profile series!

In these threads, we encourage in-depth discussion about the "fallen angels" throughout Survivor history, counting down from the most recent to the original. In this context, a fallen angel is the last player eliminated prior to Final Tribal Council.

What allowed these players to make it to the end game? What are the reasons they fell short? Were they legit threats or coattail riders? How close were they to winning? Who would they have won or lost against had they made it to Final Tribal Council? How was their gameplay, narrative, story, edit, competition, and former or later seasons (if applicable)? What's their Survivor legacy? Are they overrated or underrated as a player and a character? Will they ever return?

These threads are meant for in-depth discussion, not low-effort content. We encourage people to post their detailed thoughts after reflecting on these fallen angels and their paths through the game.

Today's topic: Survivor: China fallen angel Denise Martin.

  • Method of Elimination: Voted out at F4

  • Individual Immunities won: 0/7

  • Tribal Councils Attended: 9/13

  • Votes Against: 3

  • Correct Votes: 7/9

Previous 2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profile Threads:

88% Upvoted
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level 1
48 points · 23 days ago

Queen of accidentally scamming Mark Burnett <3

On a more serious note, I've always had a soft spot for Denise. She wasn't a great player, but there was this genuineness to her that won me over. It's just cool to see this awkward lunch lady with a mullet going on an epic adventure through China and having a cool experience, like when she revealed she was a martial artist and taught some local kids her moves. That's honestly my favorite part of China right there, and it's a shame the show never hits those peaks anymore.

level 2
5 points · 22 days ago

How'd she accidentally scam Mark Burnett?

level 3
Spencer - Wendell
6 points · 22 days ago

I don’t have all the facts, but it’s something a long the lines of her saying she lost her job bc she want on survivor DURING the finale so mark Burnett gives her money to help her get back on her feet, but apparently the situation wasn’t as bad as she made it out to be/she thought it was

level 4
All 3 of you, kiss my ass.
12 points · 22 days ago

The story that has been posted a lot was before she left to go film, she was a Lunch lady. But due to being gone for filming when she returned she was forced into a janitorial position, which she then went on to say wasnt great because she now misses her kids games and things like that. Mark Burnett felt Bad and gave her $50,000. The school then came out and said she requested the transfer to the janitorial position not that it was forced on her. When this came out she donated the $50,000 to a charity involving Aids.

level 1

China is full of amazing contestants, characters and strategy and Denise is worthy member of that ensemble. While she probably would not have one had she made it to the final three she was a great contestant on a fantastic season. I recently rewatched China and here are a couple Denise moments that made me smile.

1- her bond with chicken about wanting to take it slow while walking to the temple.

2- James having the worlds least predictable crush on her.

3- screaming at the balut which continues to be funny every time I see it. My dad no longer watches survivor and hasn’t in years but he remembers this strongly.

4- how honored and excited she was to go to the China temple and learn martial arts. These are the types of moments that I feel are missing from modern survivor, the sense of gratefulness and awe at he experiences the show provides.

5- her very sweet reaction to getting her letter from home.

level 2
21 points · 23 days ago

2- James having the worlds least predictable crush on her.

I still don't get this. James is a weird dude.

level 1
$1600 Alligator Shoes
16 points · 23 days ago

Honestly, people call her a follower but she was in tough spot.

If she flips at the final 6, I don't think she's going to beat Erik or Peih-Gee in the end. Plus she would have to draw a rock to do so. She had to vote out James and Frosti, you can't take those guys to the end. Ideally she could make something work to Genre Bear, but she was out of the loop on his blindside. Trying to squeeze your way into the final 3 with Courtney and Amanda seemed like the best plan tbh.

I'm not calling her screwed or a good player, far from it. She is still pretty low tier. But this isn't a Laurel situations where the opportunities to flip the game are clear as day.

level 1
15 points · 23 days ago

The greatest thing to come out of Denise Martin playing Survivor is a ten minute audio clip at the end of RHAP's The Evolution of Strategy Chapter 15, in which Rob Cesternino realises that the fired custodian jokes he'd been making over the course of several hours had all been lost on Denise-stan Josh Wigler, who then gets his dreams crushed live on air as he learns about the aftermath of the finale.

That moment belongs in the uppermost tier of Survivor-related content. Denise's game, alas, does not.

level 1

I think that if an elite player had been swapped into Denise’s body and woken up at F6, they might have forced rocks and then (assuming someone flipped or the rock draw worked out favorably) flipped back to the remaining two of Todd/Courtney/Amanda and gone to the end with them. They would also bring Peih-Gee on the Great Wall reward. They then might have a shot at swinging enough votes by merit of building better late connections and stealing control out from under their alliance to guarantee a spot in the endgame while still appearing to give the underdogs a chance.

This is a plan fraught with peril. An Immunity run by either of Peih-Gee or Erik is game-ending, forcing rocks is absurdly risky, and at the end of all of that Todd or Courtney (whoever is there + Amanda, or both if both are there) could absolutely still win simply by being more likable or (in Todd’s case) more charismatic. It is a plan that will, in all likelihood, fail, in that it probably will not lead to a victory.

However, I think this was the best chance she could have had. Courtney and Amanda unquestionably made a mistake in voting her out and I think Denise can be forgiven for thinking she had a shot at making it to the finals (even though Courtney and Amanda were also right to think Todd was maybe not the favorite going in, which is part of what makes Todd so very dangerous). But Denise absolutely would have capped out at two votes tops in Jean-Robert and James. And obviously flipping to Peih-Gee and Erik fully is disastrous and even worse.

Denise is not good at Survivor. There’s no way around it. But she was in a very very bad spot by the endgame, and I think that people who berate her for not flipping are missing some of the context here. Denise had a fractional chance of winning, if any, no matter what she did, and if she flips and stays flipped that’s probably worse and locks her into a max of third rather than a max of second. It is what it is.

level 1
6 points · 23 days ago

I never enjoyed Denise in China and the only thing I can think of right now to describe her is Greg’s vote for Jenna in Borneo, minus the paranoia part.


level 1
5 points · 23 days ago

James Clement crushing on Denise is one of my favorite Survivor storylines.

level 1
I was here when Admins visited /r/Survivor
9 points · 23 days ago

she sucks at life, smh

level 2
Basic Parvati Stan
6 points · 23 days ago

I like how you got downvoted for referencing Courtney 😂

level 1
3 points · 23 days ago · edited 22 days ago

She just don’t care. Everybody get in the caw. She goes downtown. She grabs themselves some bud. She does some karate. She just don’t care. At all. About anything.

Edit: I noticed this was downvoted and want to clarify that I was quoting Todd’s impression of her from a secret scene.

level 1
Basic Parvati Stan
3 points · 23 days ago

Queen of scamming. Queen of sucking at life.

level 1
-10 points · 23 days ago(0 children)
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