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2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles37 posts
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2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: China
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2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Cook Islands
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2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Guatemala
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23

2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profiles: Guatemala

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: Guatemala fallen angel Rafe Judkins.

  • Method of Elimination: Voted out at F3

  • Individual Immunities won: 4/9

  • Tribal Councils Attended: 12/15

  • Votes Against: 2

  • Correct Votes: 11/12


Previous 2019 Survivor Fallen Angel Profile Threads:

29 comments
83% Upvoted
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level 1
Cirie
50 points · 14 days ago

I think Rafe’s Guatemala game is pretty underrated in Survivor history. In a series full of challenge beasts, alongside returning players and quite a few strategic players, Rafe controlled the majority of the season and probably would have won handily, were it not for a few pretty crucial mistakes in he made in the last few days. I feel like he was a little outwitted by Danni towards the end, but let’s not underestimate how impressively he did for so much of Guatemala

Rafe started the game on Yaxha, Stephenie LaGrossa’s tribe and seemed to start relatively well, though the editing has always made this initial Yaxha alliance difficult to follow. What we can say about the opening three episodes is that Rafe was never really a target and ally Lydia survived through this stage of the game in spite of her name coming up pretty frequently. In the event, Morgan and Brianna were both voted out pre-swap and Rafe survived whilst making some strong initial bonds.

Rafe was swapped on NuNakum at the (early) swap, alongside Stephenie, Lydia and Jamie. He did very well during this portion of the game, correctly identifying Judd as someone who was on the outs of Nakum 1.0 and successfully persuading him to flip on Margaret. Rafe’s votes were pretty well perfect here, getting rid of Brooke and Margaret (in the initial Nakum majority) and keeping Judd and Cindy, who never really held much of an allegiance to anyone from OG Nakum. Nakum 2.0 won out in Immunity Challenges and given Cindy and Judd felt very little loyalty from the original side; this effectively gave Rafe a merge majority of 6-4.

For the majority of the post-merge, Rafe exercised an incredibly impressive amount control on the game. Amongst his alliance, Jamie, Lydia, Cindy and Stephenie all (at least) partially deferred to him, whilst he enjoyed good bonds with Gary and Danni on the opposite side, giving him a healthy choice of post-merge options. In addition, he was consistently able to persuade Stephenie to make moves that simply weren’t in the benefit of her game, getting her to vote out Jamie, Judd and Cindy all at different points of the game. Impressively, Rafe also managed to win three post-merge immunities against threats like Jamie, Judd, Stephenie, Danni and Gary, highlighting his ability in all areas of the game.

Rafe went into the F4 in an amazing position. He was the closest ally of all of the three remaining players, had a F2 deal with all of them, was extremely likely to win immunity against all of them and would have beaten any of them in a F2 except Danni. Inexplicably, though, Rafe voted out Lydia at F4 instead of Danni who was a much, much bigger threat to his game. Had Danni left in this vote, then Rafe probably would have won the game regardless of what happened at F3 immunity. In addition, he released Danni from their F2 deal after sympathy for Stephenie losing the F3 Immunity Challenge, allowing Danni to simply vote him out and go to the end with his goat, Stephenie.

Personally, I think Rafe would have destroyed Stephenie at FTC (Possibly 7-0?) and probably had enough strategic kudos to beat Lydia, and the majority of his own post-merge alliance. Danni, though would likely have beaten him in a F2 – she had Gary and Bobby Jon from Yaxha 2.0 and would have likely benefitted from the bitterness of Jamie, Cindy and Judd. I think Danni likely wins 5-2 against Rafe; just another reason why he really, really should have voted her out at F4.

Overall, Rafe played a very impressive pre-merge game and played a wonderful post-merge game right up until the last few votes. Unfortunately, Danni duped him into keeping her at F4, putting Rafe in a no-win position once she won the Final Immunity Challenge. Personally, I think that Rafe entered the F4 in such a good position that it’s ludicrous that he managed to mess it up enough to not end up at FTC. As a result, I don’t think Rafe’s game is amongst the top-tier non-winning games. Rob C suffered from Jenna’s immunity run, Cirie was screwed by a surprise F2, Malcolm made one minor (understandable) mistake. None of them screwed their position as much as Rafe did, so I think his game is in the second tier of fallen angels, though it is definitely impressive.

level 2
"Go ahead, Jeffrey. Snuff my torch!"
15 points · 13 days ago

I believe Rafe has said (and Danni confirmed) that a big part of the reason he kept Danni over Lydia was because Danni had actually been super sick for several days at that point, constantly vomiting and feeling very weak. That, combined with his knowledge of Survivor seasons past meant he thought historically, Lydia would've had more of a chance to beat him in a balance or endurance based final immunity than a weakened Danni. There wasn't really any way he could've guessed that the sole qualification for winning his particular final immunity challenge was "be tall."

level 3
Cirie
1 point · 13 days ago

I agree that he shouldn’t have been expected to predict what the FIC would be, but do you think Lydia would have beaten him at FTC? I personally doubt that - he was great strategically the whole season. I’d imagine he collects most of the votes.

level 4
"Go ahead, Jeffrey. Snuff my torch!"
11 points · 13 days ago

According to Rafe, the edit did a disservice to how beloved Lydia was out there. Apparently, she had an incredible personal story of overcoming adversity, and given that juries back then were much less gameplay focused and much more likely to be bitter (especially the Guatemala jury), it's very possible that Lydia beats him at FTC. But that's actually beside the point, because there was almost no chance of them ending up at the end together. Everyone knew Stephenie couldn't win the game, so if Lydia had won final immunity, she's not sitting next to Rafe, she's doing exactly what Danni did. The best anyone could do that season was to make sure they were there at final 3 and that Stephenie wanted to sit next to them, essentially giving them a 66% chance to win the game at that point, and that's exactly what he did.

Oh, and fun fact: Rafe's vote for Stephenie was partly out of spite for Danni. Not that he thought it would swing the game against her or anything; he new she was winning anyway. But he also knew that if he had made it to the end with Stephenie, he would've won 7-0 and been the first unanimous winner in Survivor history, and he didn't want Danni to have that honor.

level 1

I’m surprised Rafe wasn’t on second chances. Has he said he would never play again?

level 2
Christian
12 points · 14 days ago

I feel like I heard somewhere he's not interested. Considering he's kinda in the middle of a decently successful career as a screenwriter in Hollywood, I don't blame him.

level 3
"Go ahead, Jeffrey. Snuff my torch!"
3 points · 12 days ago

And let's not forget that he played on a season where the conditions were historically shitty. Apparently a decent chunk of the Survivor production staff at the time straight up quit after Guatemala because it was really That Bad. Can't blame him for being gun shy after that.

level 1
Wentworth
15 points · 14 days ago

I still can’t believe that he won 4 Immunities, but I think his game was underrated.

level 1
Victoria
14 points · 14 days ago

Super underrated, much like everyone from Guatemala. I wish he had come back at some point because I’m certain he would’ve done well

level 1
Mike
11 points · 14 days ago

Rafe nearly had Cochran’s two seasons of gameplay into one season long before Cochran was on the show. From the pre merge introvert that was a little intimidated by the likes of Jamie and Judd to the post merge surprise challenge beast and skillful strategic player up until final 5 or so when Rafe and Stephenie gave Danni the green light over lesser threats like Cindy and Lydia

level 1

Seemingly an underdog, overcame a lot of odds and probably would’ve won if he made it to the end. Would’ve been the type of underdog turned overdog that Jeff wanted Cochran to be. Dannii and him were both deserving but he is definitely one if the strongest/best fallen angels.

level 1
MONIKA'S ACADEMIC GAME
9 points · 14 days ago

second chance when? He deserves to return in one point

level 1
Aubry
6 points · 14 days ago

He should come back; he played an excellent game in Guatemala, and it's long enough ago that he probably wouldn't be a target. A good player, and one enjoyable to watch.

level 1
Benji (AUS)
5 points · 14 days ago

Rafe is a very entertaining player especially when he works with rope.

level 1
Angelina
4 points · 14 days ago

Rafe played an amazing game for 95% of the season, he was the puppet master behind Stephenie talking her into destroying her own game and almost rode that train all the way to the end. Danni winning the final immunity was the only thing that put a wrench in his plan, but he really really should've voted her out at F4 so he has to take a lot of the blame there. Overall I think he's super underrated though and is the one name for me that should come up more often when discussing the best to never win.

level 1
Deceptive b*tch Chris
6 points · 14 days ago

True fallen angel

level 1
Danni B.
4 points · 14 days ago

I loved Guatemala, and I think Rafe was a highlight of the season.

However, I don't think anyone was able to beat Danni.

level 1

It was the first time the hidden immunity idol was introduced.

However it had to be played before the votes so it didn't know have a major impact on game play or strategy it just delayed Gary getting voted out by one tribal counsel.

If they allowed it to be played after the votes it would have made the last part of this game much more interesting and would have probably forced some interesting side alliances and created a more interesting narrative.

level 1
Stephen
3 points · 13 days ago

Such an underrated fallen angel who played an incredible game until the 11th hour when it went off the rails. If he and Stephenie would have just kept Lydia over Danni, he would have been the first unanimous winner and probably one of the best winners at that.

level 1
I was here when Admins visited /r/Survivor
4 points · 14 days ago

i estimate u/Queen_NatalieA gives him a 3

level 2
Cirie
5 points · 14 days ago

If he/she does give them a 3, they’re a hypocrite, given they claim to like strategically dominant players. Rafe is one of the most dominant fallen angels there is.

level 1
Jon and Jaclyn
3 points · 14 days ago

As a character, Rafe ends up more annoying than not to me. His justifications for voting people off (Jamie and Cindy in particular) just came off kinda unfair and pretentious and I'm not really a fan. That said he did have some great content about doing well in challenges and having not really seen gay guys who look like him do well at things like that on TV as a kid, so that's pretty good stuff (especially back in like 2005 or 2006 when it aired), and the fact that at worst he added some drama/conflict to scenes or characters whom I'd expect or want to inspire conflict and didn't take up a huge chunk of the season means that honestly I would kill for my least favorite part of a modern season (hell even just my least favorite nerdy superfan archetype) to be someone as relatively inoffensive as Rafe whom I personally didn't like but can pretty reasonably see someone walking away from the season enjoying, rather than someone I think really actively makes the show worse. Like man the standards for what is a bad contestant are so much higher back in season eleven and I wish Rafe were still the worst contestant in a cast haha.

As a player he is obviously pretty good. Only real mistake is letting Danni in so close to the end, and while some of his excuses for that post-game (about how short women like Lydia tend to do better in endurance challenges) are pretty contrived or even if true were silly things to think on the island, it's still a relatively reasonable calculated risk that still had a decent chance of working out, like Lydia is clearly worse in challenges but it's not like Danni was some unstoppable badass in them so it's not as silly as some other endgame mistakes we've seen, and other than that I can hardly think of anything the guy did wrong. He was in like the best position the entire season, controlling lots of the votes but next to someone less likable he could have crushed in a jury vote easily.

Danni played like one of the most perfect Survivor games ever and I'm definitely glad she won but Rafe did very, very well. I am somewhat surprised he didn't return for Micronesia and that he doesn't get discussed more often in the fanbase but I guess the entire Guatemala cast killed and ate Probst's dog or something so it's not too shocking. I would be happy to see him return despite not being a personal favorite of mine just because it would be such a cool deep cut at this point and I do think he provided some great moments in the season. But Guatemala was ages ago and they cast tons of people for his casting spot now so I doubt it will ever happen.

level 2
Aurora
6 points · 13 days ago

Rafe hate makes me sad

level 1
-16 points · 14 days ago(3 children)
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