Survivor Edge of Extinction: 3 things we don’t want to see in season 38

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Although we don’t anticipate Survivor: Edge of Extinction being as great as David vs. Goliath, here are three things we hope season 38 avoids that will make it more enjoyable.

Sometimes what makes a great Survivor season is what it lacks. As revolutionary as the Pagonging was in Borneo, no one wants to see one tribe pick off another for 14 episodes. But that’s a given fear for every season. Here are three things we hope we don’t see in Edge of Extinction. If season 38 can avoid these situations, it has a chance at being one of the better returnee seasons.

1) A twist impacting the final result.

Based on the teaser released at the David vs. Goliath reunion, it looks like we’re in for a major twist to the game. It appears that production is attempting a way to give players another shot after they are voted out. We’ll know the full details of this twist with CBS’ upcoming press release.

We can’t escape productions questionable ideas, but as long as it doesn’t play a major role in determining the fate of a season, it’s not the end of the world. For example, the Outcasts twist back in Pearl Islands saw two players return after getting voted out. Although one made it to Final Tribal, both of them didn’t play major roles in the game since their return.

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On the other hand, we saw Ben basically win the title of Sole Survivor on a new production twist in Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. The now mandatory fire-making challenge allowed him another chance after losing the Final Four Immunity Challenge. Hopefully, the twist in Edge of Extinction won’t lead to a similar result that makes a season feel cheated.

2) A returnee obliterating the competition

It can be fun watching a great player take control of their season, but it does lower the level of the overall gameplay. Perfect examples are Boston Rob in Redemption Island and Tyson in Blood vs. Water. Their dominance over the rest of the competition made the game a little dry.

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As much as I want the returnees to cement their legacy, I would hate to see Aubrey or Wentworth just own the entire season. We saw in David vs. Goliath how exciting Survivor is with multiple power shifts and different players making their move. If we can at least see a couple of post-merge Tribal Councils controlled by a few different people, then that would make the game more fluid.

3) An overload of idols and advantages.

It’s hard to avoid this problem in modern Survivor, as production just seems to love putting in as many idols and advantages as possible! Jeff Probst even commented on how these tools are essential to the game, and how a season without them would be boring. Our hope is that Edge of Extinction balances the idols with the level of play.

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In David vs. Goliath, we saw the second most Hidden Immunity Idols of all time, but to be honest, it didn’t feel that way watching it. That’s because the skill level was so high, as no castaway left the game with an idol in their pocket. Everyone held onto it until they were in serious danger. You compare that to a season like Kaoh Rong that only had three idols the entire season, but that still worked because of the social dynamics. Hopefully, Edge of Extinction will find that same balance.