Survivor season rankings (with spoiler-free summaries)

Survivor fans old and new frequently ask us “What are the best Survivor seasons?” And they ask us because our opinions are unassailable. Our season rankings have become so well-known that they’re referenced in Wikipedia footnotes! So whether you came here to find the best or the worst Survivor seasons, we can steer you in the right direction.

The list below was created by taking an average ranking from the opinions of the only two people that matter around here: Andy and John.

Each season is both ranked and described (with no spoilers) below, so you can happily share the list with newbies to the show or remain unspoiled on the seasons you haven’t seen. And because people love arguing about rankings, I’m sure you’ll want to tell us how wrong we are. You can do that in the comments below or on Twitter (@PurpleRockPod, @purplerockandy, or @purplerockjohn). Please realize before you dispute our rankings that even though your opinion is totally valid, these are the definitive Survivor season rankings (because they were made by us).

34. Survivor: Nicaragua (season 21)
The season that will hopefully forever remain in last place, Nicaragua is the lowest of lows for Survivor. Terrible casting, a terrible gimmick, and a terrible winner combine to make a truly horrendous Survivor viewing experience. If this was the first season of Survivor you ever watched, I hope you enjoy whatever it is you do now on Wednesday nights instead of watching Survivor. Occasionally some Survivor fans will try to suggest that they like this season and pretend that proves they are a better class of fan than you are. Those people are the worst, much like this season.

All of our Survivor: Nicaragua coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

33. South Pacific (season 23)
There were a couple bright spots in the cast of this season, but there were so many unlikable people that you almost forget the enjoyable ones. The two returning players for this season were terrible choices, and the gimmick was every bit as much of a failure here as it was the first time it was used. The winner of this season did exactly what was needed to win, but it didn’t help the entertainment value of the show.

32. Gabon (season 17)
Possibly the most inept Survivor cast ever from a gameplay perspective. This is the season that almost convinced Jeff Probst to quit as host, and after watching it you’ll understand his reasoning. If you wish Survivor was some other game that wasn’t Survivor, you may enjoy this one. Unlike Nicaragua, this season did have at least one enjoyable episode.

All of our Survivor: Gabon coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

31. Thailand (season 5)
A definite contender for least likable cast of all time, this season also featured an incident that makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience. Thailand did have some memorable challenges- one of which is memorable because the cast is so deplorable- and one of the best final immunity challenges the show has ever had. The winner played a strong game, but the season is a slog.

30. Vanuatu (season 9)
This season is particularly hard to review without spoiling anything. The casting was below average on this season, although there are a few bright spots. The gimmick/twist for this season was one the show had used before, but it worked fairly well and sets up a narrative for the post-merge game. The issue here is whether you like that narrative and the winner. We don’t.

29. Redemption Island (season 22)
The cast here is below average, though it is supplemented by two returnees that are some of the most popular Survivor players ever (your opinions about them may vary). The dominant performance by the winner is why this season stands out, although it makes for fairly boring and predictable television.

28. Africa (season 3)
More than anything else, this season suffers because of its location. In the early days of the show, Survivor was much more interested in having its players live in tough environments to prove that they were real “survivors”. Eventually they came around to the idea that the most appealing part of the show isn’t watching lethargic people waste away. The cast on this season is generally pretty decent, and probably would have been much better if they weren’t constantly sapped of energy by lack of food and water.

27. San Juan del Sur: Blood vs. Water 2 (season 29)
In a typical Survivor season, there will be players that were essentially cast to be fodder. They are the pre-merge boots that were cast not because they’d be great players, but because they’d fill a certain role the show always casts. This season has a cast that is realistically about 75% fodder. The season gets more interesting after the merge and has an excellent winner, but it’s hard to get past how unappealing this cast is. The production staff fell too in love with the blood vs. water concept after using it to great effect the first time around, and it led to some poor choices here.

All of our Survivor: San Juan del Sur coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

26. Worlds Apart (season 30)
A cast that seemed pretty promising quickly disappoints, and the winner becomes obvious fairly early on. This season, like Thailand and All-Stars, also features an incident that is uncomfortable to watch. The reunion episode is awful, saved only by the inclusion of the announcement of the cast for the following season.

All of our Survivor: Worlds Apart coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

25. One World (season 24)
Some might argue that this season features just as much fodder as San Juan del Sur. But the reality is that the cast was made to look like fodder because of the work of one of the most dominant winners the game has ever had. There have also been a surprising number of returning players from this season, whether that honor was deserved or not.

24. Fiji (season 14)
When mentioning this season on the podcast, we speculated that we could talk for a solid hour about Fiji alone. Does that mean it’s a great season? Clearly not- look where it’s ranked. But it’s also not the worst season. So what would a middle-of-the-pack season do that inspires our fascination? In a word: everything. This season has a pretty terrible cast- with a few stellar exceptions- but it also seemingly throws every possible twist and gimmick against the wall in order to see what might stick. It fails, but it does so in spectacular and interesting ways. It even has one of the best episodes the show has ever had. It is Survivor: Magnificent Failure.

23. Marquesas (season 4)
The season responsible for the name of our podcast gets a few bonus points for that, and for one of the best narrative arcs of the early years of the show. The cast is fairly good, and even some pre-merge boots in this season are memorable. But that narrative arc referenced earlier reaches its conclusion before the end of the season, and once that story has been told the show sort of limps to the finish line.

22. Game Changers (season 34)
A returning player season- featuring a few of the greatest and most beloved players ever- doesn’t live up to the hype. An abundance of twists and turns makes the season struggle narratively, and there is an incident that’s hard to watch. However, there are some excellent episodes along the way, and the winner plays a strong game.

All of our Survivor: Game Changers coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

21. Samoa (season 19)
This season is incredibly divisive, and understandably so. It is impossible to think of this season without thinking of one specific player, and your feelings about that player will likely determine how you rate this season. It’s hard to properly judge the cast, because the vast majority of the screen time this season goes to one person. From a gameplay perspective there are interesting things that happen here, with some tricks and strategies we hadn’t often seen before.

20. All-Stars (season 8)
Have you ever heard the phrase “bitter jury” when discussing Survivor? This is where it all started. For the first time, the show brought back returning players for what truly was an all-star season. The majority of the players this season were wildly popular, and had developed massive egos because of it. This season also features one of the most uncomfortable incidents in the show’s history, and it is not handled well. But despite that, there is some decent gameplay here- just be prepared for a very angry final tribal council.

19. Kaoh Rong (season 32)
This season brings back the format of one of Survivor‘s best seasons and introduces two new gameplay tweaks. The cast is fairly good, with several memorable players. Despite a few unfortunate setbacks that throw off the gameplay, it’s an enjoyable season.

All of our Survivor: Kaoh Rong coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

18. Guatemala (season 11)
An above-average cast with two returning players from the previous season, and yet nobody originally from this season has ever returned to the show again. That’s a shame, because there are some notable players here. The winner isn’t incredibly dynamic on the show, but does have an interesting path to victory.

17. Caramoan (season 26)
This season didn’t even try to push the “fans vs. favorites” thing, because it’s hard to define a lot of the returning players here as “favorites” and many of the “fans” wouldn’t qualify for that label either. The pre-merge portion of the game is mediocre to awful, but there are some very interesting and memorable episodes post-merge. Also, a few of the returning players are among our favorites, and the winner of this season plays an excellent game.

16. Panama (season 12)
This is roughly the median season of Survivor, and that’s not meant as disrespect; if a season is better than Panama, it’s a good season. The casting here is good, with one of Survivor‘s greatest finds and a few other interesting people that keep the season entertaining. The gameplay is almost more interesting for what doesn’t happen than what does, but the gimmick here is one the show would deploy for several seasons until it ran out of steam in Gabon.

15. The Australian Outback (season 2)
It happened so long ago that it’s hard to judge this season fairly. Strategically, there isn’t anything earth-shattering here; Survivor was still trying to figure out if it was a game or a show about people surviving together. But the cast is good; half of them have come back for future seasons. If you watch it now, you’ll be amazed at what passed as villainy back then. It was a very different era.

14. Millennials vs. Gen X (season 33)
Born of a thinkpiece about how millennials ruin everything, the gimmick here is basically just “old vs. young”. The cast is above average, and filled with generally pleasant people that came to play the game. The season has several enjoyable narrative arcs, some nice interactions between the players, and some of those delicious tears that Probst loves so much.

All of our Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

13. Blood vs. Water (season 27)
This season combines returning players and family members, leading to easy emotion-laden moments that Jeff Probst can use to extract those sweet, sweet tears he needs to sustain his ageless appearance. The cast here is great, despite three players pulled from a very lackluster season (in Survivor‘s defense, two of them were cast just to get their partners on the show). The blood vs. water gimmick does lead to some interesting strategy, including the exact situation Survivor producers hoped for when they planned this season. And yes, we realize that the title of this season doesn’t make a lot of sense when you see how the tribes are set up.

All of our Survivor: Blood vs Water coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

12. Borneo (season 1)
How do you rank the first ever season of this show? It’s hardly the same show at this point, with narration provided by Jeff Probst and a general disdain by most of the cast for the concept of voting someone out. But this is also the season that makes Survivor what it is, as someone quickly realizes that Survivor is nothing more than a game. And that realization leads to what has become the one constant strategy in every season of Survivor. This season has an excellent winner, even if you didn’t necessarily feel that way at the time.

11. Tocantins (season 18)
One of John’s personal favorite first-timer seasons, this cast is excellent. It features multiple players that have returned to play again (and this is the most tolerable version of one of those players), and an entertaining mix of personalities. The strategy is slightly lacking and there aren’t many gimmicks or twists, but the season makes up for it with comedy and a group of players so likable you probably won’t care much who wins the season.

10. China (season 15)
A truly fantastic cast, with several players that have returned for future seasons of the show. The winner is excellent, and redeems some mistakes made along the way with a stellar final tribal council. The landlocked location is interesting, but a ridiculously ill-advised twist gets exploited by the players. As much as you will probably hate many of Nicaragua or Thailand‘s players, you will probably adore China‘s players in equal measure.

9. Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites (season 16)
A season that definitely takes the “fans” and “favorites” label more seriously than Caramoan did, Micronesia brought back some enjoyable players from the seasons after All-Stars to play against a group of first-timers. This season is just plain entertaining, with some of the most memorably funny moments in the show’s history. There is also interesting strategy and gameplay. The only reason Micronesia is ranked this low is because Andy thinks the gameplay suffers based on the season’s gimmick.

8. The Amazon (season 6)
An early season of the show that actually emphasized strategy, Amazon also features a player who went on to produce his own Survivor podcast. (Some have even suggested that player’s podcast is nearly as good as The Purple Rock, which is quite a compliment.) The casting here is pretty average, and the winner’s narrative doesn’t quite work, but this season earns its rank based on several memorable moments of both gameplay and comedy.

7. Palau (season 10)
Palau has a lot of things going for it: great challenges, a good cast, an interesting way to start the game, and several great story arcs. All of those factors work into an interesting final episode that make the season memorable and result in an impressive winner.

6. Philippines (season 25)
Philippines rescued Survivor from a four-season slump by giving us a strong cast and a trio of returning players- one of which we were even happy to see again! There’s an excellent winner, some great storytelling (and narration) along the way, and just enough strategy and scheming to keep you invested in the gameplay.

All of our Survivor: Philippines coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

5. Pearl Islands (season 7)
Pearl Islands opens the season with a 15-minute stretch that’s so good you should be hooked immediately. Some of the show’s greatest casting finds came from this season, and the way they fit-or don’t fit- with each other leads to some great moments. Even one of the worst twists in Survivor history can’t ruin what is a fantastic season from beginning to end.

4. Cook Islands (season 13)
Most other rankings probably won’t give this season its due strictly because of the gimmick that gives this season its alternate name- Survivor: Race Wars. There are four tribes divided by race in this season, but the greatest impact it had was that it forced Survivor to recruit a more diverse cast. And this cast shines because of it; this season has four players that returned for future multiple future seasons. It also features one of the more compelling narratives the show has ever had, and gives you the rare opportunity to see in-depth strategy talk between players. The finale features a hilarious moment just before proceeding to final tribal council, where the right player is awarded the victory.

3. Cambodia: Second Chance (season 31)
Since this season featured a cast voted in by the fans, the cast is an obvious strength. The gameplay is great as well, with ever-shifting strategies as players jostle for position to make the most of their second shot at the game. There are funny moments, emotional moments, and a convincing and satisfying winner.

All of our Survivor: Cambodia coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

2. Cagayan (season 28)
If you’re a newbie (or relative newbie) to Survivor, you probably came to this list hoping for some opinions on which season you should watch. To help you out, I will give you this suggestion: do not watch Cagayan until you’ve watched at least five other seasons first. If this is the first season you watch, you won’t fully appreciate the wild shifts and twists. But once you do watch it, you’ll get to enjoy one of the best groups of new players Survivor has ever had. There is tragedy, comedy, and above all chaos, and it gives us one of the most interesting Survivor winners ever.

All of our Survivor: Cagayan coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

1. Heroes vs. Villains (season 20)
An all-star season without the ever-present bitterness of All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains brought back some of the most memorable players from the show’s past, plus two players from Gabon. This season is an all-you-can-eat buffet of amazing moments, including one of the best strategic moves the show has had and one that is often cited as the worst (but which we consistently defend as a reasonable gamble). It also features the sad deterioration and break-up of one of the greatest man-crush relationships mankind has ever known. As with Cagayan, you’ll want to see other seasons before you watch this one so you can appreciate what takes place here.

All of our Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains coverage can be found here. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

If you’re new- or relatively new- to watching Survivor, we hope our Survivor season rankings were useful to you. Of course, these rankings are just determined by averaging our own rankings together. If you’d like to see Andy and John’s individual rankings, they’re listed below.

Heroes vs. Villains11
Cook Islands38
Pearl Islands84
Blood vs. Water1311
Millennials vs. Gen X1015
Kaoh Rong2216
Game Changers2122
One World2725
Worlds Apart2528
San Juan del Sur2826
Redemption Island2632
South Pacific3233

WARNING: People will discuss spoilers about these seasons in the comments below. If you do not want to see those spoilers, do not read the comments on this post. 





Seriously, if you keep scrolling down you’re going to see comments. This is your last chance to turn back. 

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John is the co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. He can get loud too, what the fuck!

Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia
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329 thoughts on “Survivor season rankings (with spoiler-free summaries)

  1. You might as well be declaring war on Barbara Anderson with that Cambodia ranking. I love it.

    Blurry Denzel season rankings
    1. Heroes vs Villains
    2. Palau
    3. Phillipines
    4. Cagayan
    5. Pearl Islands
    6. Cambodia
    7. Micronesia
    8. Cook Islands
    9. Amazon
    10. Tocantins
    11. China
    12. Millennials vs Gen-X
    13. Guatemala
    14. Blood vs Water
    15. Australian Outback
    16. Kaoh Rong
    17. Borneo
    18. Panama
    19. Marquesas
    20. Samoa
    21. Fiji
    22. Game Changers
    23. San Juan del Sur
    24. All Stars
    25. Caramoan
    26. Vanuatu
    27. One World
    28. South Pacific
    29. Africa
    30. Gabon
    31. Redemption Island
    32. Nicaragua
    33. Worlds Apart
    34. Thailand

    1. If we’re making a rankings thread, I’m gonna throw mine on here. I should note that while I’ve watched every season live (with the exception of Outback), I don’t actually remember much before Cook Islands. Like, only parts of Palau and Guatemala. So I’m leaving S1-12 out of this for now.

      1. Heroes vs. Villains
      2. Cagayan
      3. Cambodia
      4. Philippines
      5. China
      6. Cook Islands
      7. Millennials vs. Gen X
      8. Tocantins
      9. Micronesia
      10. Game Changers
      11. Blood vs. Water
      12. San Juan del Sur
      13. South Pacific
      14. Fiji
      15. One World
      16. Kaôh Rōng
      17. Samoa
      18. Gabon
      19. Caramoan
      20. Redemption Island
      21. Worlds Apart
      22. Nicaragua

        1. Keep in mind that it could/would finish around the high teens if I could recall any of the early seasons.

          And with two Christy brothers in its cast, SJDS is probably just high enough.

        1. In order:

          – A terrible cast where you’d root for two or three people tops (Malcolm, Andrea, and Francesca)
          – A general lack of parity among tribes and too-tight alliances, kinda leading to a shutdown of gameplay (is there anything here besides Hold Up Bro?)
          – A plethora of unpleasant moments, including: Francesca getting screwed by Philip (again); Everyone Hates Shamar; Hantz has a meltdown; Dentghazi

          At least in a season like Gabon, it felt like a trashy reality show in a fun sort of way. Was Caramoan fun? I guess Reynold threw things. Was that fun?

          1. John. Cochran.

            How can you even talk about Caramoan without him? Anyway, we clearly do not see this season the same at all. 😐

          2. Cochran is the whipped cream on a Survivor sundae. Very rarely can you go wrong with its addition, but you shouldn’t be viewing it as a key ingredient. Also, people weirdly sexualize it.

          3. I am now realizing that I am confusing those two tribals. Though I’m not sure if that’s a benefit to Caramoan’s cause.

          4. Didn’t we determine “Hold up bro” was a myth? Like the female orgasm (I’m sorry, I can’t resist channeling George Costanza).

          5. With the exception of the fact that you apparently think Gabon was better, I agree with all of those critiques of Caramoan.

    2. Here are my rankings
      3)Australian Outback
      7)Cook Islands
      10)Blood vs. Water
      11)Millennials vs. Gen X
      15)San Juan del Sur
      16)South Pacific
      18)All Stars
      19)Game Changers
      20)Worlds Apart
      21)Redemption Island

      In Progress

      Need to Finish
      One World

      Need to Watch
      Pearl Islands

      1. Your need to watch list inspired me to do another list.

        Best back to back seasons
        1. Amazon/Pearl Islands
        2. Palau/Guatemala
        3. China/Micronesia
        4. Blood vs Water/Cagayan
        5. Thailand/Gouging your eyes out

        1. From what i’ve watched, definitely Amazon/Pearl Islands; definitely BvW/Cagayan

          Also, since KR holds a special place in my heart as my first season, I love the run of Cambodia/KR/MvGX

          1. I don’t think someone should feel ashamed of liking Kaoh Rong. I can get the argument that it isn’t an AMAZING season, but it’s liked more often than not.

          2. Kaoh Rong is fine. It’s got a pretty good cast and some good episodes. The evacuations were disappointing in that they threw off the gameplay (though I wasn’t devastated to lose any of the players that were evacuated), and the winner was meh af.

          3. Agreed and Agreed and Agreed. But i’m able to look past those because of the feels.

            That being said, if the evacuations hadn’t happened, and Aubry had managed to win, this season could have been top 10, maybe top 5. Of course, that would depend a lot on how gameplay would have shaken out minus the evacuations. Maybe Aubry wouldn’t have been as good without the challenges to overcome. We will never know…

          4. Without the evacuations and with Aubry winning, Kaoh Rong would be number 1, but I am also obsessed with Kaoh Rong and seemingly never shut up about it.

          5. Disagree. Final 6 episode is a lot of fun all the way through down to the challenges, and the other episodes are really carried by the strong personalities. The finale is actually pretty exciting (juror removal, emotional fire challenge, interesting dynamic shift between Aubry and Cydney), Scot’s bad speech aside. It’s a season that definitely peaks a little early, but I think the final run of episodes only looks weak because of what comes before.

          6. Calling the winner of Kaoh Rong meh is an insult to winners of seasons like Marquesas. The only thing I’m convinced Michele did on purpose was kick over some puzzle pieces.

          7. Allegedly Probst strongly hinted before the challenge that it would be cool if someone kicked the puzzle over.

          8. Man I try to give Michele *anything* and this is how easy it it taken down…

            Also, it’s refreshing to read non-reddit opinions where everyone is convinced Michele is some sort of genius mastermind with the best social game of all time.

        1. Since I noted I agreed with SJDS being too low on the official rankings, I will add that I also think it’s too high here.

          1. I made my roommate (who is not the same person as roommate, this was a different house) binge SJDS so he could see what mediocre Survivor looked like. So I can say this is emphatically untrue.

    3. Through Fiji, here are my current rankings (though they seem to change every time I share them):

      1. Pearl Islands
      2. Marquesas
      3. Palau
      4. Panama
      5. Vanuatu
      6. Amazon
      7. Australia
      8. Cook Islands
      9. Africa
      10. All-Stars
      11. Fiji
      12. Borneo
      13. Thailand
      14. Guatemala

      1. Besides having Guatemala at the bottom, and Borneo not being in the top half, I don’t find much of this list objectionable.

        1. Borneo is the one that moves around the most for me. I’m never sure where to place it relative to other seasons because it is so different.

          1. I’m the same. My biggest challenge is that I have so much respect for it as the very first season, but it’s also SO slow and focuses so heavily on ‘survival’ that it can seem like a drag when you are used to the pace of modern seasons.

          2. We’ve debated just pulling it out of the rankings and giving it some other level of recognition. Because it’s hard to rank it as an actual season of Survivor.

      2. Vanuatu placement seems insanely elevated to me. Why do you like it so much? I can barely remember a thing about it (ie I was bored by it).

        1. I love the cast, and I especially love the endgame of Chris’ rip-roaring revenge tour. It’s also a very different twist on the gender split than Amazon’s (horny young people was the earlier season’s MO, while this one was an all-out gender war). If there’s a knock to the season, it’s that it’s set up as an underdog story for the women who face the evils of sexism. Then, when they have the game in hand, the story becomes how one man manipulates them into warring with each other and he makes off with the win. Both stories are great individually, but they don’t gel together.

          Also, big Eliza fan. That may cloud things.

          1. I must be picking out the right people to be fans of!
            I’m excited because I know she’s on Micronesia. Perhaps this time the rest of her tribe won’t find her annoying?

          2. Guatemala and Vanuatu are my go-to picks for the most underrated.seasons, and you basically said all the reasons for the Vanuatu. I’m also a big Eliza fan, so that may’ve also elevated the season for me.

          3. Sometimes all it takes for me is one person. My friend hates Marquesas, and he doesn’t get why I love it. There are many reasons, but number one is my all-time favorite: Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien.

            Also, out of curiosity: what is it about Guatemala that people seem to like a lot?

          4. My personal reason is that I really like the cast from Final 14 onwards. Amy and Brian are probably my two favourite pre-merge castaways of all time. Plus after the swap it really picked up, and I liked nearly everything after this. And the winner Danni played an underrated underdog game, which doesn’t get brought up as much as Chris’s for example, cause his was easier to remember due to it being man vs. women, but I think she played probably a better game than him.

            And now that I’m thinking about it, Guatemala and MvGX are very similar in my opinions: while not bad a boring pre-merge; liking the whole cast from the second post-swap boot onwards: a really entertaing remainder from the swap onwards. The only difference is that Guatemala has three distinguashable villains to root against (Jaime, Judd and Stephenie), while MvGX doesn’t really have any (and it’s still higher in my ranking. I know my opinions are weird).

          5. I also like the Guatemala cast, which is really my biggest requirement for liking a season. And the forgotten season thing probably makes me a little more attached to what I think of as a middle-of-the-pack season. It’s got a bunch of contestants I would love to see return (Amy, Brian, Gary, Rafe, Danni), and I feel like it doesn’t deserve the distinction of no newbie returnees.

          6. I like Guatemala more than most because I like the cast, but the main difference between me and other Guatemala fans is Rafe. I thought he was a sanctimonious douche, and everything I have heard since supports that evaluation. For me, it’s in a category with Vanuatu and Fiji because I actually like it, but I can’t rank it too highly because there are too many better seasons.

    4. So, i’m tempted to share what my rankings are currently, but I’m worried it will ruin my friendship with @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus entirely. And soon i’m gonna need another Abi-Appreciator to back me up…

        1. What if one of your friends has Cambodia at #1, BUT, thinks that will probably change in the future, in particularly given that that friend hasn’t watched HvV?

    5. Here are my rankings. It probably isn’t as accurate as it would be when I watched them, cause I just came up with it in June. I seperated it into 4 tiers. Tier 4 are seasons that I didn’t really like, and while I don’t really hate them, there is the same amount or more cons than pros. Tier 3 are seasons that I DO like, but they have one or major problems for me to fully enjoy. Tier 2 are seasons that I really like, and just have one or two minor things that keep me from putting them at the very top. And Tier 1 are my favpurite seasons, that I love. My ranking are definetely very different from the PRP’s ranking, so it will be a bit controversial.

      Tier 4
      34. Redemption Island
      33. Thailand
      32. One World
      31. All-Stars
      30. Nicaragua
      29. Worlds Apart
      28. Fiji
      Tier 3
      27. Panama
      26. Caramoan
      25. Game Changers
      24. The Australian Outback
      23. Samoa
      22. Africa
      21. Cook Islands
      Tier 2
      20. South Pacific
      19. Marquesas
      18. Cambodia
      17. Gabon
      16. Tocantins
      15. Borneo
      14. San Juan Del Sur
      13. Kaoh Rong
      12. Vanuatu
      11. Guatemala
      10. China
      Tier 1
      9. Blood vs. Water
      8. Millennials vs. Gen X
      7. Pearl Islands
      6. Palau
      5. Heroes vs. Villains
      4. Philippines
      3. Cagayan
      2. The Amazon
      1. Micronesia

    6. I’ll just separate them by tens to make reading a little easier.

      1. Tocantins
      2. Palau
      3. Cagayan
      4. China
      5. Philippines
      6. Amazon
      7. Cambodia
      8. Borneo
      9. Pearl Islands
      10. Heroes vs. Villains

      11. Blood vs. Water
      12. Kaoh Rong
      13. Cook Islands
      14. Millennials vs. Gen X
      15. Panama
      16. San Juan Del Sur
      17. Guatemala
      18. Vanuatu
      19. Micronesia
      20. Samoa

      21. Fiji
      22. South Pacific
      23. Marquesas
      24. Africa
      25. Game Changers
      26. Worlds Apart
      27. Australia
      28. Caramoan
      29. All-Stars
      30. Thailand

      31. One World
      32. Redemption Island
      33. Nicaragua
      34. Gabon

        1. I’m just glad you aren’t fighting me on Nicaragua being higher than dead last. I can accept that I have an incorrect opinion if you allow me Gabon being worst.

    7. 1. Heroes vs Villains
      2. Cagayan
      3. Pearl Islands
      4. Kaoh Rong
      5. Blood vs Water
      6. Micronesia
      7. Philippines
      8. Cambodia
      9. The Amazon
      10. China
      11. Guatemala
      12. Tocantins
      13. Palau
      14. Millenials vs Gen X
      15. Samoa
      16. Marquesas
      17. Borneo
      18. San Juan Del Sur
      19. Panama
      20. Vanuatu
      21. Caramoan
      22. Worlds Apart
      23. South Pacific
      24. Cook Islands
      25. Game Changers
      26. One World
      27. Australian Outback
      28. Nicaragua
      29. Africa
      30. Gabon
      31. Thailand
      32. All Stars
      33. Fiji
      34. Redemption Island

  2. Well i’m only at 17 seasons to date, so I don’t have the credentials to be too loud about an all season ranking.

    That being said, the big items under discussion are really Millennials vs. Gen-X and Game Changers. Looking at my rankings thus far, i’m actually pretty close in agreement with John and Andy. I’ve got MvGX right around Blood vs. Water (though above it for me, which is interesting given that I really liked the first BvW). And I’ve got Game Changers right above Marquesas as well.

    My biggest dissention would probably be not ranking Amazon or Cook Islands as high. But we will see, when I rank things they tend to move around a lot for awhile before settling, lol

  3. Are these comments supposed to remain spoiler free? Or can we openly talk about the fate of Kourtney Moon down here?

  4. @John, the table for you and Andy’s individual rankings toward the bottom is missing a season. There are 33 rows. The missing season is your #9 and Andy’s #11

  5. This blurbs were supposed to be spoiler-free, but Redemption Island says the winner has a “dominant performance.” Now once I watch this season, I’ll know exactly who the winner is! Thanks a lot guys.

    1. That’s about as spoiler free as you can be while still ranking seasons of a show. Plus, you gotta know, right? It gets mentioned a lot…

          1. Survivor can never have too many Johns. Although at this point, my interest in trying to get on the show is nearly gone.

        1. Okay your right the winner Redemption is of course everybody’s favorite character Robb Zbacnik from Thailand

    2. I actually thought while reviewing all the summaries, “Is this giving away too much?” But we highly recommend people don’t watch that season anyway.

        1. Right. My thinking was that unless that’s one of the first seasons you’ve ever watched, you can figure out the winner very, very quickly.

      1. I just finished it out of diehard completism and a need for TV I can give 70% of my attention to while I knit. I kind of regret it anyway.

    3. I know you’re joking, but always when I see posts recommending what seasons to watch, while they didn’t “spoil” in the way that they said “Tim won season 110 by an unanonimous decision”, but they talk about them in which the gaps are easily filled. So for example, if someone talks about Cagayan, they say “The winner plays one of the most entertaining games of all time, and is such a big character.”. I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching the season knowing this, I don’t expect people like Jefra, Jeremiah or Morgan to win (while to be fair, most likely you still woundn’t not spoiled). And it doesn’t include that. Someone by saying that a winner is boring, every vote out is surprising, an underdog wins, there is a big betrayal, a person who was a leader from the beginning gets blindsided at the end, and many more, sets up our expectations of events, even though they didn’t meant to do that.

      And that was was much too long set up of appreciation for PRP’s spoiler-free rankings, cause they (John?) managed to give really good summaries, while not giving up major moments or a winner, when many fail to do so.

      1. I mostly agree. At the end of the day, no ranking or summary of any season is going to be able to both sufficiently summarizes the content, without give at least something away. The best and probably only way to remain 100% unspoiled on a season is to just watch it and don’t come anywhere near the internet. That being said, the PRP summaries are, to date, the best summaries I’ve found to give someone guidance on what to watch and what to expect, while revealing the least info about the season’s outcome.

      2. Really, for Cagayan, that statement narrows you down to Spencer, Tony, and Kass. You could probably rule one of those out on your own so it does kind of spoil it, by taking Woo off the table

        1. Yeah, it doesn’t immediatly says that Tony wins, but it does really leave it to either him or Kass (I didn’t found Spencer to be SUCH a big character, and his gameplay wasn’t revoltionary, so I would probably then exclude him too, but someone else may get the other impression). There are much better examples, but it’s just the one that came to mind first.

          1. I’d agree without Spencer, but you could at least convince yourself to think so while watching

  6. So back in the Black Dynamite days I started to rank the 33 best episodes of Survivor (which actually contained 34 episodes). I wrote out what I liked about each episode on the list, them I got to the top 10. Long story short, after many attempts, I struggled in the write-ups, never was comfortable, grew discouraged and scrapped the project. But there was interest in the list so i thought i still share what my top 10 episodes are.

    10. Australian Outback episode 6 “Trial by Fire”
    9. Pearl Islands episode 1 “Beg, Barter, Steal”
    8 Cagayan episode 6 “Head of the Snake ”
    7. Blood vs Water episode 12 “Rustle Feathers”
    6. Heroes vs Villains episode 10 “Going Down in Flames”
    5. Philippines episode 8 “Dead Man Walking ”
    4. Palau episode 14 “The Ultimate Shock”
    3. Fiji episode 10 “It’s a Turtle?!”
    2. Pearl Islands episode 11 “The Great Lie”
    1. Micronesia episode 13 “If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese “

    1. I must applaud you, this sounds like a hell of an under taking. My biggest problem is, that way I watch episodes via streaming, and often many in a row when i’m watching older seasons, I rarely know the name of the episode itself. So while I can point to a lot of my favorite things that happened across various seasons, It would be a much harder thing for me to nail down the exact episodes that I think are beginning to end the best. So again, bravo.

      Also, now i’m very excited as I head into the Pearl Islands post-merge.

      1. Thanks. It was too big of a project for me but it was fun to rewatch and reminisce about past great episodes.

    2. Top 5 best episodes to not make Black Dynamite’s top 33 episodes

      -South Pacific “And Then There Were Five”
      -Caramoan “Cutting the Head Off the Snake”
      -Kaoh Rong “It’s Psychological Warfare”
      -Kaoh Rong “I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends”
      -and of course, the ineligible Millennials vs Gen X “Million Dollar Gamble”

  7. Hey…I found this site because of those Wikipedia footnotes!

    I’d rank Game Changers lower and MvGx higher, but since I don’t count I’ll allow these rankings to stand.

    1. I found the site because I specifically googled “Survivor season rankings no spoilers” and PRP came up! Woot!

        1. Or is it just the right amount of time?!?

          But to be honest, i’ve probably got at least 50-100 of those views. The amount of times i’ve just read through them while bored at work or re-read the blurb for the season i’m watching is what is actually unreal, lol

        2. After Cagayan finished I watched Borneo and then thought “ehn, I’m maybe done with this.”

          Then I had a bunch of cleaning to do just as you started releasing the season rankings podcasts, so I figured I’d listen to those, and that got me back into it. Without those, I probably would not still be watching Survivor.

    2. I did too actually. I guess “people who spend time on Wikipedia” is a demographic for this site

    3. I’ve always wondered how people stumble across this site. There’s only a handful of us who came over from AVC, and this site does no advertising outside of its Twitter presence. Or maybe that’s the answer to my question.

        1. I believe I saw that link, kept on scrolling, and doubled back later. Possibly when the comments section went dead and John only came back for fantasy league entries (unless he never did that, in which case I have no idea what I’m thinking of).

          1. I did. I used to hide fantasy stuff in the previous season’s finale comments so I didn’t fuck with any other comments.

          2. That sounds right. Though maybe you should have fucked with those comments a little more. I hope you’ve personally apologized to Carrie for engineering the exodus that killed off AVC’s Survivor coverage.

          3. I definitely followed from AVclub and now I just mock their commentors from afar. 😉

          4. Ugh and I had to go back to the Cagayan finale page months later and it was called “It’s Do or Die” so I kept getting that bit from the song from Buffy stuck in my head. I’m very suggestible that way.

      1. I don’t remember but I think I googled Worlds Apart podcasts and found this place. Liked it enough to lurk around for awhile before finally commenting at the start of Kaoh Rong.

      2. I found this site actually thanks to these rankings. I watched for the first time all the seasons last year from January to May, I was looking for some rankings to see which seasons I should be dreading or look forward to, and I finished before the Joe medevac episode (I didn’t follow the season live, but just binged it), and found the site again. From then I was lurking during the off-season and MvGX, and started commenting before the Game Changers.

        1. Well I’m glad you decided to stop lurking. I think @badplayer91:disqus came out of the shadows at around the same time.

          1. Thanks. Like I’ve said many times before, the community here is great, and I wouldn’t change it for any other one.

          2. Yup, my first post was to claim a team for the Game Changers Pick 4, which I believe was Sandra, Cirie, Aubry, Michaela (BAE).

        2. Yeah when I searched for Survivor rankings on Google a while back this site was the first one that came up. That’s some good SEO dudes.

      3. Another fun fact: We’re coming up on 1 million total visitors to the site since we started, and you’re right about how we haven’t really advertised. We’ve got a very solid (and surprisingly large, given where we started) core audience that comes here a lot. We’ve also got a decent amount of frequent lurkers, including my best friend who has posted in the comments maybe 6 times ever.

        1. My boyfriend lurks on here. Well, he tends to read the posts, and maybe a very small amount of the comments, and then just goes to reddit. I guess cause he hates himself?

        2. As a lurker who found this site through lurking on the AVC: this site is part of what made me decide to start watching Survivor again. I watched some of the early seasons as a kid, but that was it. One of my best friends had been trying to get me to jump back in, and I read AVC coverage which led me here.
          Seeing the love and occasional snark for Survivor here led me to go all-in. I watched MvGX and have been watching old seasons from the beginning (I’ve made it to China, and oh boy is it a great season so far). And every now and then, when I’m talking to my friend, he’ll note that my opinion has been shaped by the PRP. Darn skippy it has.

          1. If I were on Survivor, I’d hope to be like Courtney, though I’d hope I could be better at challenges.

      4. I found this site because of an earlier version of this list. I had just watched Worlds Apart (yes, my first season was Worlds Apart) and really wanted to watch more Survivor. So I was doing google searches for stuff like “spoiler free Survivor reviews” and this is the website that came up. I ended up staying because besides the podcasting I really like the community feel here (as great as the podcasting is at RHAP I don’t feel like the community comes close).

      5. iTunes when I searched podcasts. Downloaded, liked, then looked for website and joined in. Stayed bc of the same reason as corndog. Posting on RHAP got annoying because of a few posters.

      6. Are there really not many of us from the AVC days? I think I kind of assume people are unless I hear otherwise, but it has been a while and there are a lot of fresh faces, so I suppose you’re right.

        1. I know it’s me, you, Gouis, Palsy, Hornacek, Kemper, and the staff obvs. Violina I think, and Sweaterfan maybe. Sharc and StormOfC visit AVC, but I can’t remember if either was around before PRP started. Honestly, I don’t remember much at all. Like, all I know was I couldn’t tell JudgeReinhold and Count Bulletsula apart (still don’t know which was John and which was Andy) and that some asshole tried to pick a fight with me bc Gouis told him to fuck off back to Gamergate.

          1. I also don’t remember much at all. Except that JudgeReinhold was John and Andy the Saint was Andy. I did always think all the Archer avatars were John, which got a bit confusing. I don’t generally regret the lack of fights around here, but I’m feeling a little regret I missed that one.

          2. Wait, ratfink was Matt, right? Then you’re telling me that John was both Reinhold AND Bulletsula, and that raises a major red flag for me.

          3. You’re blowing my mind here, Andy. Next you’ll tell me that no one actually knows who’s running the Sad Lil account.

          4. DrV is an AV Club guy!

            (I lurked more and posted less back then, but did comment occasionally)

          5. Shit! I can’t believe I forgot them, even though I now distinctly remember Diego being around at AVC. Tho also, you forgot Ms. Woozah, you monster (yes, I forgot her too, pls don’t mention that)

          6. My issue with Woozah is that I know her better by her actual name and thus forget her username a lot.

            Something quirky and Cabspaintedyellow too, I believe.

          7. I was from the AV club as well. I wasn’t before PRP started, but I was there before PRP started getting any significant amount of comments.

  8. My gut instinct when I saw where you had MvGx was that it was too low. But then I looked at what you have ahead of it, and the only one I would put it ahead of is Blood vs Water, which I think is a testament to how many good seasons this show has

    Also, SJDS is too low

    1. I’m always going to stand up for Worlds Apart a little bit, because I think the first 2/3rds of it was a really good season.

      And then the last 1/3rd of it hit and it ended up somewhere in the middle.

        1. I would say only 1/3 sucks. The Drew episode plus everything from the Jeremy boot onward is great, though I admit I have slightly different preferences for players

      1. Agree. Worlds Apart ranked above SJDS is a goddamn crime. Natalie Anderson alone slays that season.

        1. This is the point where I get up on my soapbox to say that “y’all” is an incredibly sensible solution to English’s technical lack of a second person plural pronoun, and I am fully in favor of people outside the south embracing it.

          1. I use it all the time and if people give me shit I say, “I lived in Texas for 9 years so go fuck yourself!” Fun fact, very few people will push back when you tell them to go fuck themselves, but they’re usually more interesting.

      2. I think immediately after Worlds Apart, I was like “Worlds Apart over San Juan del Sur all the way”. But, Worlds Apart has not aged as well as San Juan del Sur. Even the highlights of the season have dimmed or been overshadowed (Jenn’s idol play getting overshadowed by Wentworth’s idol play, Joey Amazing 1.0 getting overshadowed by Joey Amazing 2.0). Compare that to how we talk about San Juan del Sur. Even the returnees from these seasons don’t really stack up. Sure, each season has a couple of duds (Sierra and Hali vs. Keith), but Shirin vs. Wentworth and Jeremy is no contest.

        1. While not as good as in San Juan Del Sur, Keith still vhad some really great moments in Cambodia.

          1. Keith was fine in Cambodia. They just didn’t have to lean on him as much as they did in SJDS, so he didn’t get as much screen time.

            And do you know why they had to lean on him so heavily in SJDS? Because that cast fucking sucked.

          2. I think there was enough in that cast to make a good season, but it suffered the talent density problem Game Changers had. Eliminating a select 25% of the cast made it impossible recover the rest of the season.

          3. I think Val, Kelley, Josh, and Jeremy together at the merge is enough to swing the end game above average. Though granted, Jeremy’s boot sets up Natalie’s run, which is the main redeeming aspect of SJDS.

          4. I don’t think Val could have made it to the merge even if she wasn’t sent to Exile first. She just didn’t fit with Coyopa that well, because they were a younger tribe, minus Dale.

          5. That time he saw the motorcycle. That time he rode the motorcycle. That time he made everyone get in the back.

  9. Guatemala is ranked too low. A very solid cast. The two returnee concept was executed really well here. The season is downright hilarious, really entertaining. The gameplay was always intriguing with a good ending. Also, the Stephenie fall from grace arc is one of the best. The highs may not hit the highs of the very best but the weak spots are almost non existing.

    1. While I absolutely agree that Guatemala is too low, to play the devil’s advocate, I don’t think they tried to potray Stephenie as a villain, and still tried to potray her as an America’s sweetheart, but we could see that she wasn’t really liked out there. But aside from that I really like it, and if the production didn’t try to shield Stephenie, and actually embrace the fall from grace storyline, it could’ve been even better.

      1. I agree about the show’s attempted portrayal of Steph. Even with that, her not so positive qualities found a way of leaking out, even in Palau but not to the same extent.

        1. Yeah, and it’s not really a knock against the season itself, but rather direction which production took. It’s still a really great season.

        2. In Palau I didn’t like her at first but was worn down by the compulsive need to root for an underdog and that weight-carrying chasing-in-the-water challenge where she was the only woman who stayed in.

  10. Today in ‘sharculese meets awesome kids’:

    I was working with a kid the other day to prepare for the SAT Physics test. We were doing formulas and I was trying to explain that I don’t have them all memorized because in every single situation except tests you can just look them up on your phone.

    I joked “every piece of space I take remembering the ideal gas law is space I don’t have to remember who was 2nd out on the 8th season of Survivor. It was Tina” As soon as I said it I realized I was wrong, but before I could correct myself he goes “No, Tina was first out. Second was Rudy.”

    His opinions on current Survivor:

    -Sarah is an impressive winner but her confessionals were incredibly boring, and, overall Game Changers was not a good season.

    -Triple H is a stupid theme, but let’s hold off judgement until we see how the season plays out.

    So basically, if the Purp ever needs an intern, call this kid.

        1. Yes. And we believe in equal work for equal pay around here, so women earn the exact same amount. We’re very progressive at PRP.

    1. I was going to tease @purpletally:disqus about how your Survivor-watching pupils have better opinions than hers, but then I realized it’s probably not fair to the little ones to compare them to someone who is presumably a high school student.

  11. By your reckoning the last four seasons have an average rank of 14.5/34, which feels about right; good but not spectacular. So where is Survivor as a show right now, where is it trending?

    I ask this as someone who binged seasons 27-32 last summer to catch up, so my sense of the show’s trajectory might be somewhat skewed.

    1. “So where is Survivor as a show right now, where is it trending?”

      Not as good as it was three years ago, but also nowhere near the slump it was in six years ago, so we don’t need to worry.


      1. 8 years ago, we had just finished Tocantins and we were preparing for our double scoop of Russell.

        5 years ago, we were hoping for the Philippines at the end of the tunnel.

        1. If you bump it up two seasons, I believe Cook Islands through Micro is 11.75. I don’t know if you can get a better stretch than that.

          1. God, John, it’s a plot. I guess all data visualizations just look the same to you, huh?

      1. Seasons 21-24: Average of 30.25 vs. a median of 17.5 and a worst possible score of 32.5.

          1. The numbers really underscore how terrible that stretch is (although it still had at least two of the show’s best winners, so the real message is that even sub-par Survivor is fantastic).

          2. Three of the best winners. Badass Sophie 4 life!!! (Though I do put her lower than Kim and Rob)

          3. I just love her so much! I’m glad you’re on the Sophie train with me and I look forward to freaking out if and when she returns.

    2. I think @sharculese:disqus is roughly correct. We’re not in any sort of Renaissance for the show, but it’s been delivering mostly solid seasons lately. Which, for a show seventeen years into its run, is pretty impressive.

  12. Sigh, I would like to weigh in on this but there are still so many seasons I haven’t seen… Since my longest streak is Seasons 2-10 that’s always the stretch I feel best to judge. Of those Pearl Islands is for sure the best but I just don’t get why Palau is ranked so high. That was literally the season that made me stop watching Survivor for a long time. I know part of that was burn out but I would still argue that Amazon, Marquesas, and even Africa are better than Palau. What, Africa you say? Yes, Africa had multiple narratives that made it pretty entertaining under the circumstances (Silas and co, Brandon, Frank, T Bird, and of course the Ethan/Lex/Tom trio all had great arcs IMO) whereas Palau was the Tom show. I don’t understand why a season like Redemption Island ranks low but Palau ranks high. It’s the same story, one person runs away with the whole thing.

    End rant! Keep up the good work, your rankings are what lead me to discover the site in the first place and because of that I’ve been sucked into the Survivor online community something fierce in the last couple of months.

      1. You know “Micronesia is overrated” is one of Andy’s hobby horses, right? Write enough about it and he’ll ask you to expand it for the front page.

        1. I know when John found out that I was on the “Micronesia is overrated” bandwagon his reaction was along the lines of “great, now we have someone who is willing to validate Andy’s opinion”. I’ll probably make a write up and keep it to myself since I suck at writing.

    1. You may be right. The one thing it has going for it is that it did at least have some legends in the cast, even if we didn’t get enough of some of them.

    2. 22-25 feels right for Game Changers though, because of the Sandra episodes. You have to give the season some credit for that, but basically everything after that sinks it.

      1. Yeah, I think I agree with the Mid 20s. I think what keeps it from being further down is that we could see a better version of the season. Like, we caught glimpses of storylines and narrative arcs that would have made the season sooo enjoyable, but the edit never told those stories, instead focusing heavily on the winner and runner-up. So it wasn’t necessarily a season of terrible content, it just wasn’t a season of well edited or presented content.

        And when they did focus on the things we wanted, like the Sandra episodes, some of the Cirie moments, it was really enjoyable, if only hallow because we knew they weren’t winning.

  13. Giddy up, hobby horse: Vanuatu is too low. It may not have a satisfying narrative arc (white man finally catches a break), but it’s a perfectly cromulent season with a number of notable middle-seasons players and very few duds, an above-average pre-merge, and a fascinating if maddening post-merge.

    1. I don’t know that I would call the pre-merge above average, but I do think Yassur is one of Survivor’s greatest tribes.

    2. Two things: 1) Vanuatu is one of maybe 3 seasons that I’m willing to concede I may need to re-evaluate some day, and 2) thank you for not trying to sell it on with the standard “what an amazing storyline it had when. The aggressively mediocre white guy gave those far more qualified women the what for”.

      Vanuatu is the 2016 U.S. election of Survivor seasons.

      1. I don’t think Chris is any kind of hero or anything, and Vanuatu is definitely aggressively mediocre. However, those ‘far more qualified’ women were a fucking tire fire. I enjoyed their self-inflicted collapse in the same way I enjoyed the collapse of so many other disastrous tribes/groups in Survivor history.

        1. Sure. But I win more arguments around here by invoking women being held down by the man.

        2. Julie was far more qualified and I will not hear otherwise.
          Twila was also sharper than Chris, but she had other failings…

      2. Vanuatu is my #1 season (and has two of my three top favourites all time in Twila and Ami) because I love the downfall of Ami (it’s always fantastic when the main person in the alliance sticks around one extra episode fighting), Twila’s bluntness, her feuds with Eliza, and the emotions that show up at FTC, as well as how much her breaking her swear over her son means to her and others. Scout’s passive aggressiveness. Eliza’s constant role as the underdog that somehow keeps surviving and all the conflict she causes, while having strong relationships with Ami among others. I think Chris’s underdog storyline is really good, but the moments within it like him making up stuff to tell to others is better, but what I really like from him is his narration.

    3. Vanuatu has a few things going for it, in my opinion. First, they actually put together a pretty interesting cast. Second, I actually enjoy the novelty of the freaks and the olds taking out the young pretty types this time around. I think the older, less strong guys essentially broke the battle of the sexes theme by realizing they could take out the young athletic men right away to eliminate the perceived competition while still remaining competitive with the women. This, in turn, allowed some of the older women to last longer and made for a pretty weird end game. Even if it wasn’t the greatest TV, at least it was different!

      1. Well clearly they miscalculated thinking they could still remain competitive with the women, but the (temporary) triumph of schlubs like Sarge and Rory is definitely entertaining.

          1. As you’ll see if they publish my Fan Friction submission, I like Chaotic Neutrals.

          2. There were moments I wanted him off my screen and moments I thought his buffonery was entertaining. With Rory, a little goes a long way.

  14. So I’ve read through a good chunk of the comments and find myself agreeing with most (but not all!) of the ‘X season should be higher’ arguments. After thinking about it, I suspect that I just really effing love Survivor. So if the list could just start at 24 and go through -10 that would be great.

    1. It’s a testement to how good the show is, that there can be so much discussion about how certain seasons should be higher. There really are only a few universally agreed upon terrible seasons.

  15. Looking through everyone’s rankings I feel like a bit of an outlier. Is Micronesia anyone else’s #1 favorite? It seems like it used to be the respectable alternative #1. Maybe more great seasons have pushed it down a lot of people’s lists. I’m starting to feel like it’s the unsophisticated choice, but gosh I love a funny season dominated by an alliance I root for.

    1. I think it depends on what you like and it’s definitely a defensible choice. Just for me, I don’t really value humor in a Survivor season except as a tiebreaker when two similar seasons are close. Especially when most of the humor is the result of really awful game play, which is my main draw to Survivor. I’ll watch a sitcom or Anchorman if i want laughs.

    2. If you haven’t looked at mine, I also have it at number 1. I just haven’t felt so much joy watching a Survivor season. Plus ‘good gameplay’, isn’t a no.1 thing, I think about ranking, and that’s a main reason why I have Gabon so much higer than everyone (but of course I respect good gameplay, it’s just no.4 or 5, when I think about certain seasons).

      1. Gabon kind of bored me when it originally aired, although I might enjoy it more now. I think my big requirement to really go for a season is likability (to me) of some of the main players. I’m that way about scripted TV too — if I don’t want to spend time with any of these people, why am I? No one in Gabon grabbed me at the time. I think I’m a bit of an outlier in prioritizing this so much, or maybe just in which players I like. For example I would never pick Cagayan as one of my favorites, even though I enjoyed it well enough for the strategy, because none of the players quite scratched that itch for me.

      2. Just want to throw in some extra love for Gabon, because it’s completely chaotic and hilarious. Plus, the winner is terrible in a good way.

  16. I think I posted my rankings some time ago, but here they are again:

    1. Heroes vs Villains
    2. Samoa
    3. Palau
    4. Cagayan
    5. Amazon
    6. Kaoh Rong
    7. Pearl Islands
    8. Cambodia
    9. Vanuatu
    10. Australia
    11. San Juan Del Sur (Don’t wanna hear it)
    12. Guatamala
    13. Worlds Apart 🙂
    14. Blood vs Water
    15. Marquesas
    16. Tocantins
    17. Millennials vs Gen X
    18. China
    19. Cook Islands
    20. One World
    21. Panama
    22. Game Changers
    23. Nicaragua
    24. Fiji
    25. Redemption Island (Technically didn’t finish because I gave up)

    In progress:

    Probably will never watch at this point:
    All Stars
    South Pacific

    1. I can’t blame you for not wanting to watch Thailand or Africa, as they are my two lowest ranked of the seasons I’ve watched thus far. But I will say Africa is an interesting season, if only because it is so different then anything else Survivor has put out. The locale and the challenges it presents are super unique, but unfortunately that doesn’t yield a quality season IMO.

      1. Oh at this point it’s not so much that I don’t want to watch them. It’s more that I’ve kind of graduated out of my obsessive catch-up phase and those were two of the seasons left in the cold.

  17. My rankings have very little in common with the rest of PRP and the regulars here, so I’m glad I’m posting this a week or so late so no one can shame me! This ranking is just for you, Prom King. I appreciate your excellent taste!

    1. Pearl Islands
    2. Heroes vs. Villains
    3. Palau
    4. Philippines
    5. Cambodia
    6. Micronesia
    7. Cagayan
    8. Gabon (suck it PRP!)
    9. Panama
    10. Fiji

    11. San Juan Del Sur (see above parenthetical)
    12. Cook Islands
    13. Tocantins
    14. Marquesas
    15. Vanuatu
    16. Ariana Grande vs. Nirvana
    17. Samoa
    18. China
    19. Africa
    20. Guatemala

    21. All-Stars
    22. Borneo
    23. Game Changers
    24. Australia
    25. Blood vs. Water
    26. Thailand
    27. Kaoh Rong
    28. Australian Survivor 3
    29. Nicaragua
    30. South Pacific (ranked this high only because of the awesome winner)

    31. The Amazon
    32. One World
    33. Worlds Apart
    34. New Zealand Survivor 1
    35. Caramoan
    36. Redemption Island

  18. Can you continue your rankings podcasts with Seasons 29 – 34? It would be great to get a more in depth discussion of these seasons

    1. We hadn’t thought of that, but I really like the idea. So thanks for the suggestion, and if we end up doing it I’ll try to remember to give you a shout out.

  19. Have you guys watched any overseas survivor seasons? Just wondering if you have any opinions? I’m currently watching Australian Survivor and there’s 26 episodes in a season and 24 contestants. First 2 episodes were good but it would be nice to get a spoiler free rating if you have one!

    1. I thought Australian Survivor’s first season (although I guess it is actually the third?) had an excellent pre-merge but the post-merge was increasingly annoying and boring. However the second (fourth?) season was fantastic from beginning to end and is in my top ten of all seasons.

      I watched the first seasons of South Africa and New Zealand, and thought both were somewhat dull and frustrating, and their respective winners were both drips.

  20. Gabon is way too low, and Tocantins is way too high. Switch those, and move Cook Islands to 16 and then you have a good list

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