The Survivor Star That Went From Hero To Villain After One Social Media Post


  • Joe Anglim’s once adored reputation among fans took a hit when he became vocal about his political views on social media.
  • Accusations of racism and extremist beliefs from former castaways have turned Anglim from hero to villain in the eyes of many Survivor fans.
  • Despite his physical prowess and past love story on the show, Anglim’s potential return to Survivor faces uncertainty due to backlash and controversies.

Joe Anglim is one of the most historic Survivor players, and was once among the most adored. A quick glance at his social media will, however, reveal all manner of hate messages directed at him. With Season 50 of the CBS reality show set to feature returnees, there are strong arguments that could be made for him to play a fourth season.


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Having once been among the best players to never win Survivor, fans appear to have just as strong points against his return. But what happened to the former favorite, and is his Survivor fate sealed forever?

Joe Anglim Antagonized Fans With His Political Views

Joe “Joey Cool” Anglim went from being a much beloved Survivor to a pariah in the eyes of the fans when he started to publicize his political views. For a long time, the jewelry designer from Scottsdale, Arizona had kept these opinions private.

In November 2020, though, he got into an online altercation with Daniel “Wardog” DaSilva, his fellow castaway from Survivor: Edge of Extinction. Anglim had shared the oath of enlistment for the United States Armed Forces on his Instagram Stories. Having served in the military himself, Wardog took issue with this, as Joey Cool was never in the army.

“But @janglim21 ain’t ever serve in the armed forces, so he took this oath when?” DaSilva wrote as he shared the post on his own Stories. That was not the extent of the issue, however. At the bottom of the oath, Anglim had added the acronym “WWGIWGA.” The phrase is associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, which Anglim would consequently become a vocal defender of.


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Wardog also claimed in a post on Reddit that his EoE competitor was a racist, and that he had heard him using the “n-word.” These facts allegations caused the pendulum to really swing, turning Anglim from a Survivor hero, to a villain that many fans don’t want to see compete in another season.

Joe Anglim Is Known For His Prowess In Physical Challenges

Joe Anglim first competed in Worlds Apart, the 30th season of Survivor. The season was themed around societal divisions in social class. The competitors were divided into three tribes depending on their respective vocations: White Collar, Blue Collar and No Collar.

Joe Anglim’s Career on Survivor




30 (Worlds Apart)

Nagarote (No Collar)

9th, Day 24

31 (Cambodia)


12th, Day 32

38 (Edge of Extinction)


7th, Day 19

Being an artist, Anglim was placed in the latter, where he immediately became one of the de facto leaders.

Not only was he essential in helping his tribemates with life back at camp, he really proved his worth during reward and immunity challenges.

These strengths would become synonymous with Joey Cool’s career on Survivor, even up to Cambodia and Edge of Extinction, the two other seasons that he competed in. Unfortunately for him, the strength that would begin as an asset each time would end up becoming a liability when the players started competing individually and he was deemed to be a threat.

Speaking before his first time playing, Anglim revealed that his primary motivation was to win the game. “Every day I dream about competing and earning the title of Sole Survivor. With every season, my desire to play has grown more and more,” he said.

“The game is a true test of self-awareness as well as mental, physical and emotional determination. There is also a perk of a million dollars,” Anglim added. “I would honestly play Survivor for way less but the fact that it is one million dollars makes it that much sweeter.”

Joe Anglim Also Found Love On Survivor

In each of his first three attempts, Joe Anglim fell short of the title of Sole Survivor that he so coveted, as well as the $1 million prize money that came with it. What he did find, at least for a fleeting period of time, was the absolute adoration of fans.

Even more crucially, he made headlines when he started going out with Sierra Dawn. The pair first crossed paths when they both played in Worlds Apart in 2014. While they were cordial in the course of the season, there were no apparent signs of a showmance developing as they were marooned in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Anglim and Dawn’s love blossomed in the aftermath of their time on the show, and they eventually announced their engagement in April 2019. In November of that year, they walked down the aisle.

It was not the first time that two Survivor contestants had found love on the show. And like many others on that list, the Anglims’ relationship would go for the long haul. Speaking about their love story with Entertainment Weekly in 2022, Sierra said she never saw it coming.


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“I never in a million years thought I would find love on Survivor,” she explained. “Even being out there and competing and seeing him, I never ever would have thought he would be the love of my life.”

Will Joe Anglim Ever Return To Survivor?

via CBS

The first chance that Joe Anglim might get to play Survivor for a fourth time would be in the 50th season. The installment will most likely debut on CBS in early 2026, and has already been confirmed as a returnees-only season.

One hurdle that might have stood in Anglim’s way to participate would have been if production chose to go with players from the new era only. His most recent cameo on the show was in Edge of Extinction, which would turn out to be one of the very final seasons of the old era.

Host and producer Jeff Probst put those fears to rest, however, when he confirmed that their consideration would likely extend beyond the new era. “If we ever did a returning player season, I don’t think anyone’s out of the running,” he told Us Weekly in April 2024, per Yahoo! Entertainment.

Another thing to consider is how much fan opinion weighs into casting choices for returning players. Jeff Varner, one of the biggest villains of Survivor came back a few times, before he went too far and outed a fellow castaway in Game Changers.

With this in mind, the chance remains that Anglim might once again receive the call to compete, so long as his politics do not cross a line on the island. It is unlikely, however, that such a decision would go down very well with fans of the show, who clearly don’t like him as much any more.