30 from 30: Criteria for The 30 Moments that Shaped Survivor


  • “Moments” are defined as things that happened within a closed sequence of time. These are not “things” or “people”. For a moment to be a “moment” it has to have happened in a moment of time. Thus things that were gradual changes or a sequence of events don’t count.
  • Moments had to be televised events on Survivor. Backstage happenings, rumors, casting decisions, etc. don’t count. What was aired is all that matters, and it is taken at face value. We’re less concerned with the reality of a moment and more concerned with its influence on the series as a whole.
  • These are not the biggest strategic moments, or the funniest moments, or the most amazing moments; it can be any of those, but it must also have had some sort of lasting impact on the game or the show itself.
  • We’re more interested on the impact of the moment on the entire series rather than how much it impacted the season in which it occurred. Something may have had little impact when it happened, but if it shaped how future Survivors would play, or how the show would portray itself, it matters.
  • We are interested in moments that influenced both how the game is played and how the show is presented. Therefore, moments need not be gameplay-based to matter.
  • Since we’re measuring influence, the later we get into Survivor’s run of seasons, the less opportunity there is for series-shaping moments. This is not a judgement on the quality of these seasons. It is also difficult to measure the impact of recent seasons without the time to see that impact put into play.
  • The first time something happens isn’t necessarily the most influential time it happens. Something happening for the first time might not necessarily be influential at all.