Winners Revealed: The Mastermind Awards 2016

It’s been a long time coming and now the wait is finally over. You voted, fought and debated over who the winners should be for each and every award and now the time has come to reveal the winners. These are your 2016 Mastermind Award Winners!

Best Reality TV Personality

Nominees: Paul Abrahamian; Victor Arroyo; Aubry Bracco; Michaela Bradshaw; Jillian MacLaughlin


In the narrowest victory of all, Survivor Kaoh Rong’s Aubry Bracco is this year’s Reality TV Personality of the Year after receiving 32% of the vote, 1% higher than Millennials vs. Gen X star Michaela Bradshaw and 9% higher than Big Brother legend Paul Abrahamian. Surely now this makes up for the jury not rewarding her with the million dollars at the end of the game.

You simply just can’t dislike Aubry Bracco. Her fun-going energy, amazing social skills, bold strategic play and hilarious dance moves warmed the hearts of America and the rest of the world and it was devastating to many when she didn’t win her season. There was every chance that Aubry Bracco could have gone home at the hands of the Brawn-Beauty alliance at the merge but after Neil’s medical evacuation she was given a second life in the game and took full advantage of it, building a new alliance that centred around herself,  Joe and Cydney and then doing a masterful job to flip Tai onto her side, taking control of the game again and clearing a path for her to make it to the final three. But it wasn’t just Aubry’s amazing gameplay that won her millions of fans worldwide, it was also her beautiful way with words, ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and tough demeanor in challenges that won her a deserved place high up in Survivor folklore. Aubry Bracco is this year’s Best Reality TV Personality!

Best Reality TV Season

Nominees: Amazing Race Canada 4; Australian Survivor Season 3; Big Brother 18; Big Brother Canada 4; Survivor Kaoh Rong; Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X


This race went right down to the wire with both of this year’s fantastic Survivor seasons battling it out for the prize. By early December it was Millennials vs. Gen X that had the lead but Kaoh Rong made a late surge to win 35% of the Millennials vs. Gen X’s 33% and Amazing Race Canada 4’s 13%. Kaoh Rong had one of the best casts in the history of the show. No one on the entire cast was a disappointment and so many of the players had an impact on both the story of the season and on the game. Each section of the game, from the pre-swap, to the swap, to the merge, had it’s entertaining characters and massive moments. With three medical evacuations, and the fantastic four pictured above there was never a dull moment in the game while the villains of Scot and Jason only added to fans’ interest in the season despite how hard they’ll try and deny it. On top of all of this, when Michele Fitzgerald won the season it caused arguably the biggest debate in the show’s history, making it all the more interesting to watch, digest and explore. Survivor Kaoh Rong was certainly a memorable season and will go down in the history books as one of the best seasons of all time. Survivor Kaoh Rong is this year’s winner for Best Season of Reality TV!

Best Reality TV Episode

Nominees: Big Brother Canada 4 Episode 7; It’s Psychological Warfare; Love Goggles; The Little Blind Tugboat That Could  


In the biggest margin of victory across all categories, Survivor Kaoh Rong’s It’s Psychological Warfare cemented it’s place as one of the best episodes of all time and certainly the best of the year, winning 61% of the votes for Best Reality TV Episode of 2016, 40% higher than Love Goggles’ tally of 21%. From Jason & Scot’s dirty tricks to the question surrounding whether or not Julia will flip to Debbie’s refusal to take out Julia to Joe’s refusal to take out Debbie straight through to the guys flamboyantly flipping out their immunity idols at tribal council and Debbie’s shock elimination, this episode never encountered a dull moment. This was just a crazy episode with so many moving parts and it ended with an amazing blindside to one of the show’s biggest characters. It’s Psychological Warfare is this year’s Best Reality TV Episode.

Footballer of the Year

Nominees: Antoine Griezmann; N’Golo Kante; Robert Lewandowski; Lionel Messi; Neymar; Cristiano Ronaldo; Luis Suarez


The Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year and now The Mastermind’s Footballer of the Year as well; what a year it has been for Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo received 29% of the vote to Messi’s 22% and Griezmann’s 14%. Kante meanwhile received 13% of the votes, Suarez received 9% and Lewandowski and Neymar each had 6%.

The Portuguese forward not only won the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16 with Real Madrid but also his first ever international tournament with his national side as the Portuguese superstar led his nation to Euro 2016 glory. On top of that Ronaldo had another incredible 2015-16 season and was the figurehead of Zinedine Zidane’s first ever season in charge of Real Madrid. The Portguese forward scored 35 goals with 11 assists in 36 La Liga matches helping Real Madrid finish as surprise-second place finishers after a shaky start to the campaign. But where Ronaldo really showed his class in 2015-16 was in the UEFA Champions League as he scored a stunning 16 goals to lead the tournament by quite some margin and do more than just help Real Madrid lift the trophy. Ronaldo then rocked Euro 2016, leading Portugal all the way to their first ever international tournament trophy with 3 goals and 2 assists in 7 matches. After all the exeritions from Euro 2016, He has still been in wonderful form to start off the 2016-17 campaign as Madrid currently sit top of the table. It was an incredibly stunning season by the Portuguese forward and after winning the UEFA Champions League and Euro 2016 in the same season, he now adds another honour to his name with The Mastermind’s Footballer of the Year Award. 

Hairstyle of the Year

Nominees: Paul Abrahamian; Gareth Bale; Tim Dormer; Cydney Gillon; Paul Pogba; Renato Sanches; Phoebe Timmins


The award for Best Hairstyle goes to Cydney Gillon after a late surge took her all the way to the top of the pile. Football fans split their votes between Bale (17%) and Pogba (17%) while Survivor fans split their votes between Phoebe (15%) and Cydney (23%). Ultimately the number of Survivor fans outweighed the football fans and Cydney took home the prize. This bodybuilding sensation wasn’t just ripped from head to toe, she also had quite the hairstyle to match. Always in a bun, and coloured with two different shades of brown, Cydney’s hair was always impressive to look at and was unlike that of anything else seen ever before on the show. As a contestant that will always be remembered for her hilarious quotes, Cydney’s hair is something not to be forgotten anytime soon either. Survivor Kaoh Rong’s Cydney Gillon is this year’s award winner for Best Hairstyle.


Best Survivor Blindside

Nominees: Michaela Bradshaw; Craig L’Anson; Nick Maiorano; Scott Pollard; Mari Takahashi



This was probably never in doubt but Michaela Bradshaw’s epic blindside in episode 7 of Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X is the definitive winner of Survivor Blindside of the Year. The incredible moment won 52% of the votes, compared to Scott Pollard’s 23% and Craig L’Anson’s 12%. Every moment about this tribal council, especially every moment after Jeff said “I’ll read the votes” was incredible to watch. Just when Bret LaBelle looked all set to go home in Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X’s seventh episode of the season, Jay and Will started to feel uncomfortable wtih Michaela’s dominant role in the alliance and methodical ways of thinking about the game, quickly devising a plan to vote her off of the island. From a viewer’s perspective this elimination was shocking because we were never shown the coversation between Jay and Will and Bret and Sunday but it went so far beyond that best part of all about Michaela’s elimination from the game was her reaction. The moment her name came up a third time, she screamed “Whaaaaaaaat?”, turned around at Jay, gave Will a brief glance and then turned her attention back over towards Jay, asking “Did you do that?”. What happens next you have to see for yourself below to fully get the true image of what happened. Words cannot describe how amazing this blinside was and Michaela’s reaction to being eliminated was the best one ever, helping to make this probably not just the best blindside of the year but one of the best of all time. With a landslide of 52% of the vote Michaela Bradshaw’s incredible elimination in Episode 7 of Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X is this year’s Best Survivor Blindside.

Best Winner

Nominees: Michele Fitzgerald – Survivor Kaoh Rong; Nicole Franzel – Big Brother 18; Leicester City – 2015-16 Barclays Premier League; Riyad Mahrez – PFA Player of the Year; Portugal – Euro 2016; Steph & Kristen – Amazing Race Canada 4


The Cindarella story of the year and by far the best winners, Leicester City swept 50% of the votes to claim the award for Best Winner. The Foxes didn’t suffer too many losses at all during the 2015-16 season and were never in any doubt of winning this award either, beating out Survivor Kaoh Rong’s Michele Fitzgerald (26%) and Euro 2016’s Champions Portugal who received just 9% of the votes. There has never been a greater achievement in the history of football as Claudio Ranieri in his first year at the club managed to take a team of mid-table type players and lead them all the way to Premier League glory in arguably the greatest moment the Premier League has ever seen. Leicester lost just three games the entire season on their way to winning the Premier League title and won every single award imaginable from Players’ Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez to FWA Player of the Year Jamie Vardy to Manager of the Year Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City just had to be the champion of champions, claiming the Best Winner of 2016 award.

Football Manager of the Year

Nominees: Antonio Conte; Pep Guardiola; Jurgen Klopp; Claudio Ranieri; Diego Simeone; Fernando Santos 


Claudio Ranieri claims the Football Manager of the Year Award with 35% of the votes. Klopp was second but received just over half as many votes as Ranieri with 18% while Conte and Simeone’s stunning calendar years weren’t enough to earn them any more than 15% each. Zinedine Zidane was wrongly ommitted from the shortlist and should have certainly taken the place of Pep Guardiola who received just 6% of the votes while Santos finished just slightly above with 11%.

Leicester City had 5000/1 odds of winning the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League title but somehow they managed to achieve it. The club were a bit of a shambles before Claudio Ranieri arrived at the club, nearly surviving relegation by just two wins the season before (2014-15). But after Ranieri arrived, things instantly started to look better and players like Mahrez, Vardy and Kante transformed from below average Premier League players into the three best players in the league. Ranieri stuck with the same eleven for almost the entire season and it resulted in him losing just 3 matches with the Foxes in the league. His positivity, fun attitude about life and brilliant tactical awareness ensured that every single player in 2015-16 was made to look like a superstar even though most of them were far from it. Players like Wes Morgan who was beginning to fall out of favour under Nigel Pearson, Christian Fuchs who was released by Schalke 04 for not being good enough, and Danny Drinkwater who was the aforementioned Pearson’s third choice central midfielder for a long period of time in 2014-15, were three of the best players in the league in 2015-16 and Claudio Ranieri deserves so much recognition for that. No team has ever achieved a greater feat than Leicester City did in 2015-16 and they could not have done it without Claudio Ranieri. So it is only fitting that the Leicester City manager is this year’s Football Manager of the Year!

Best Goal

Nominees: Saul Niguez vs. Bayern Munich; Dimitri Payet vs. Crystal Palace; Dimitri Payet vs. Middlesbrough; Xherdan Shaqiri vs. Poland 


It came as a bit of a surprise to The Mastermind but Xherdan Shaqiri’s amazing bicycle kick goal against Poland is this year’s winner for Best Goal. 5% was all that separated top from bottom in this award category as Xherdan Shaqiri’s bicycle kick claimed 28% of the votes to Payet’s Free Kick which gained 26% of the votes, Saul Niguez’s solo goal which won 23% of the votes and Payet’s solo goal against Middlesbrough which also won 23% of the votes. After Payet’s incredible goal on opening day against Romania, Euro 2016 was just begging for another wonder goal and finally we got one in the form of a bicycle kick from Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn’t even really have time to think about what he was going to do before he leaped in the air to attempt the bicycle kick and the quality of the strike, the amount of power and the amount of accuracy he managed to get on it were incredible. It’s easy to hit a bicycle kick when you set it up for yourself but it’s terribly tricky when the ball comes back off the defender high in the air because not only do you have to watch the ball and wait for it to drop, but you also have to get your legs set up in the perfect position, leap up in the air and wait for the exact right moment to hit it. This was undeniably the best goal of Euro 2016, a very special moment from Xherdan Shaqiri and the winner of The Mastermind’s Goal of the Year award.

Best Moment

Nominees:  Leicester City Win Premier League Title; Aubry Flips Tai Onto Her Side; Phoebe Blindsides Craig; Jamie Vardy Breaks Goal Record; Jay and Will Blindside Michaela; Steph and Kristen Become First Female Winners of Amazing Race Canada


It was a piece of history that will probably never be repeated ever again. Leicester City’s title win of the 2015-16 Premier League season was so incredible that words cannot describe it and it’s safe to say that this is definitely the right outcome for best moment. Aubry flipping Tai onto her side in Survivor Kaoh Rong was your favourite Survivor moment of the year, receiving 27% of the vote while Michaela’s epic blindside at the hands of Jay and Will finished in 3rd place with 15% of the votes. The Foxes didn’t suffer too many losses at all during the 2015-16 season and were never in any doubt of winning this award either, beating out Survivor Kaoh Rong’s Michele Fitzgerald (26%) and Euro 2016’s Champions Portugal who received just 9% of the votes. There has never been a greater achievement in the history of football as Claudio Ranieri in his first year at the club managed to take a team of mid-table type players and lead them all the way to Premier League glory in arguably the greatest moment the Premier League has ever seen. Leicester lost just three games the entire season on their way to winning the Premier League title and won every single award imaginable from Players’ Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez to FWA Player of the Year Jamie Vardy to Manager of the Year Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City winning the Premier League title in spectacular circumstances just had to be the winner for Best Moment of 2016.

Best Photo

Nominees: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Flip; Gareth Bale Holding Daughter; Michaela Bradshaw Reaction to Being Voted Out; Dallas Cormier POV Win; Antoine Griezmann vs. Albania; Antoine Griezmann & Dimitri Payet vs. Iceland; Brooke Jowett Mud Statue; Jurgen Klopp Piggy-Backing Sadio Mane; Dimitri Payet Corner Flag Kick vs. Albania Euro 2016


There were plenty of options to choose from but there was still one clear and decisive winner, this incredible photo taken the moment Michaela turned around to look at Jay following the reading of the third vote to her name in Episode 7 of Survivor Kaoh Rong. This impeccably timed photo received 40% of the votes, smashing the competition like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s fantastic flip (12%) and the photo that was used as the emblem for these awards itself, Dimitri Payet’s corner flag kick (12%).

There probably isn’t enough good things I can say about Michaela Bradshaw and the moment pictured above but I’ll at least say that her elimination from Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X was not only one of the most shocking in recent years but that her reaction to being voted out was probably the most entertaining ever and was absolutely warranted. So many times in Survivor players have been voted out in similarly suspicious circumstances and probably wanted to scream out in the exact same way that Michaela did but kept their mouths shut. The Millennial on the other hand could not contain her shock and let out a massive “Whaaaaaaat?” that will forever be remembered. In fantastic fashion, this photo managed to capture everyone’s reaction the moment that Michaela’s name came up that third time and the moment she lost her mind. Whoever took this photo deserves a medal because it is now the definitive winner for Photo of the Year on The Mastermind.

Best Article

Nominees: 2016-17 Premier League Team by Team Guide; If Footballers Competed In Olympic Events; SPOILER ALERT: Survivor 34 Cast; Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 2 Recap & Edgic; These 11 Players Combined Cost As Much As Paul PogbaWhy Jeff Probst Needs To Stop Telling Contestants To Make Big Moves

WINNER: SPOILER ALERT: Survivor 34 Cast 

Another clear and decisive winner, SPOILER ALERT: Survivor 34 Cast wasn’t just twice as popular as any other article written on this site this year, it also swept a staggering 43% of the votes for Best Article of 2016. Nothing else was even close as the next highest, 2016-17 Barclays Premier League Team by Team Guide received just 17% of the votes.

Jeff Probst may need to stop telling contestants to make big moves, Paul Pogba may have been overpriced, and Mari’s elimination from Episode 2 of Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X might have caught the audience completely off guard but this article is what captivated readers on this site like none other. No postreceived more hits or more attention on The Mastermind in 2016 than this one as fans continue to search for the Survivor 34 cast everyday that leads up to this season. As my excitement in the buildup to Redmond‘s releasal of the spoiled cast for Survivor Season 34 grew larger, I searched day after day for various people’s thoughts on the matter and found absolutely nothing worth noting. So I decided to start to formulate my own ideas about the potential cast and then finally when it was released and I was so utterly dissappointed with the result, I just could not help but write about it. With controversial views, inside scoops and “shot in the dark” predictions on how the players are going to do when the eventual season airs, this post was a hit in every direction imaginable and I am proud to say that it is one of the first things that turns up on google regarding the subject matter. SPOILER ALERT: Survivor 34 Cast is definitely an article that The Mastermind is proud of and one that deserved to win the 2016 award for Best Article.

Best Special Feature

Nominees: Annual Rankings; Episode Recaps; Team of the Month; Team of the Week; The Purple Giraffe; Top 100 Footballers 


Annual Rankings takes the cake as The Mastermind’s Best Special Feature, receiving a staggering 44% of the votes. Team of the Week finished in second place with 24%, third was Episode Recaps with 13% of the votes and the cutely named The Purple Giraffe finished fourth with 10%. From long editorials like Top 50 Survivor Players of All TimeSurvivor Season Rankings & Winners Rankings to top 10 lists like Top 10 Audience Blindsides, Top 10 Most Improved Players of the 2015-16 Season and Top 10 Big Brother Canada Players, The Mastermind has plenty of annual rankings for all to enjoy. All the rankings listed above will continue to get updated as long as I live so if you like them make sure to keep on coming back after every single major season. They are certainly fun to write and certainly fun to read so Annual Rankings winning this year’s Best Special Feature award is completely justified.


It has been a truly unforgettable and incredible time writing this blog this year and has opened up my eyes to all kinds of new avenues. I cannot wait to continue writing all of next year and hopefully create more stunning content that will keep you coming back. There will be more Episode Recaps, plenty more Team of the Week’s, new Top 100’s, of course more Annual Rankings and so much more to keep you entertained all year long. Thank you for participating in the content on this site and voting on The Mastermind Awards, I cannot wait to see you again next year.


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