Are You Watching Survivor Season 43? (My Thoughts)

Of course I’m watching (and loving) season 43 of Survivor. I recommend it whether you’re a veteran or new viewer, as the show does a great job of making it accessible to those who don’t know the format and interesting for those who have already seen it 42 times.

Aside from all the normal reasons I love Survivor, there are three elements I’ve really enjoyed so far about this season:

  1. The casting is excellent: Survivor’s casting coordinators have always done well to find a compelling cast of contestants, but I think they’ve really upped their game over the last few years. Nearly every single survivor has a unique, compelling story, a likeable personality, and enough knowledge of the game to not ruin their chances a few days in. This season’s cast is so good that I’ve been sorry to see pretty much every person go (those who have been voted out).
  2. Beware idols: Over the last few seasons, Survivor has experimented with a new type of idol that requires coordination with other castmates. I hope they continue to find creative ways to offer these types of idols, and I hope contestants continue to find equally creative ways to assemble them.
  3. Risky rewards: At certain times, 1 person from each tribe is sent away on a boat, allowing them to chat with representatives from other tribes for a bit. That in itself is interesting. Survivor has added a twist to this journey, as at the end of it, each person may risk losing their vote for a chance to gain an unknown advantage. This happens simultaneously. So if I’m the only one to risk my vote, I’m guaranteed the advantage…but if everyone risks their vote, I only have a 1 in 3 chance. I really like the dynamics around these risky rewards.

Survivor kept something from seasons 41 and 42 that hasn’t mattered much so far: At tribal council, you can choose not to vote and instead give yourself a random “shot in the dark” at immunity. I would love for this mechanism to be a little more visible and gamified; specifically, that there be a bag of 18 stones at tribal (matching the number of starting contestants). 3 of the stones give you immunity; the others are duds. You can use your shot in the dark once throughout the entire game. Whenever a stone is drawn from the bag, it’s marked off on a big, rustic chart at tribal council, showing everyone how many immunity stones remain. I think this would add to the dynamic of this mechanism and would encourage people to use (or at least discuss) the shot in the dark, as you can see your odds getting better (or worse) as the days tick by.

What do you think about season 43 of Survivor?

2 thoughts on “Are You Watching Survivor Season 43? (My Thoughts)”

  1. My wife and I started watching Survivor together when she was pregnant with our oldest son (who just turned six). We started all the way back at season one, and would watch a few episodes per week.

    Last year, we caught up to the current season and had to go back to waiting for new episodes like everyone else haha.

    I agree, this year’s cast is fantastic, they did a really good job with recruiting them!


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