The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#16. Soo's Speleng
Borneo - All Season Long
It was the summer of 2000, and tonight was the premiere of a brand new television show called Survivor.
All across America people gathered 'round their TV sets, hoping to catch a glimpse of this fascinating new televised sociology experiment. And they were not disappointed. In the first episode alone we saw mystery. We saw intrigue. We saw betrayal. We saw epic conflict.
And by the end of that first episode, there was just one burning question on all of America's mind. There was one unanswered question that was on everybody's lips, as the reality of the Survivor premiere finally sank in.
All across America, people were asking one another... "Did that lady really write SOUNA on her ballot?"
That's right, we're talking about Sue Hawk, the worst Survivor vote-speller in the history of the game. She cast the very first vote in Survivor history (for Souna), her spelling was consistently bad throughout the remainder of the series, and it became one of the best (and funniest) running jokes of the Borneo season. I mean, just check out some of Sue's wonderful vote-spelling attempts below:
Sue votes for Colleen
Sue votes for Gervase
Sue votes for Richard
Sue signs an autograph for a fan
I'm just kidding. Sue didn't really spell all the votes "Souna." That was just the first one. But she really did misspell nearly every single vote for the entire rest of the season. It cracked me up at the time, it was one of the most popular things for people to make fun of on the Survivor message boards, and it truly did become one of the funniest things about Survivor: Borneo.
Let's take a look at how many names Sue actually spelled correctly during the first season, shall we?
EPISODE 1: Soo votes for Sonja. More or less.
EPISODE 3: Soo votes for Stacey. And the spelling is correct! DING DING DING DING!
EPISODE 5: Soo votes for Dirk. Ohhhhh, so close.
EPISODE 7: Soo votes for Gretchen. Forgot the T!
EPISODE 8: Soo votes for Greg. And she's correct! DING DING DING! Although in all fairness, if she had managed to misspell "Greg", she would officially be retarded. So she only gets half-credit for this one.
EPISODE 9: Soo votes for Jenna. BUZZ. Wrong!
(Note: Although she did technically spell it better than Heidi did...)
EPISODE 10: Soo votes for Gervase. A valiant attempt, but still wrong. It all looks the same in the loss column, you know.
EPISODE 11: Soo votes for Colleen. And she did it! She actually got the double L's and double E's. Way to go! That makes one in a row!
EPISODE 12: Soo votes for Sean. DING DING DING DING! That's two in a row! Although to be fair, it's entirely likely that Sean spelled the name for her first (and/or even wrote the ballot for her). So the jury is still out on this one.
As you can see, Sue's ballot spelling was one of the most memorable running jokes from Survivor: Borneo. And I very nearly called it the funniest Borneo moment overall on the Funny 115, although two Borneo moments wound up edging it out in the end. Still, this is one of the all-time classic running jokes in Survivor history.
By the way, I'll never get over the fact that the very first ballot in the very first Survivor episode was Sue Hawk's vote for "Souna". Use that as a trivia question ten years from now, and see who remembers it. I bet that not that many people will.
P.S. Did Sue's spelling get any better during All-Stars? Well, she only had one chance to cast a vote (in episode three) before Richard's penis outsmarted, outplayed, and outlasted her. But did Sue spell that one ballot correctly? Did she actually nail the name "Rob" without a single grammatical mistake? Let's take a look:
Damnit, she just can't win!
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