Survivor Edge of Extinction: There are too many players left in the game

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

While Survivor has made it a point to cast 18 or 20 players each season, there typically aren’t 16 players still in the game at Final Seven.

As fun as some of these blindsides have been this season, there’s one glaring problem with Survivor: Edge of Extinction, and it’s this; there are way too many people left to keep track of in the game!

In a regular season of Survivor, there are usually 18 or 20 castaways. After about six or seven tribal councils, there’s a merge, and that’s when the game becomes an individual one rather than a team one. It’s also when the voted off players become members of the jury and get to play a role in determining who will be the Sole Survivor.

Edge of Extinction has taken the traditional rules of Survivor and thrown them out the window.

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As of now, there are only two people not still in the game, and that’s because they opted to wave the white flag (literally) and step away. Everyone else is still, in one way or another, playing the game. Either they’re in the game, participating in challenges, strategizing with their fellow contestants, and taking part in tribal council; or they’re on the Edge of Extinction, which to this point has been a poor man’s Redemption Island.

At least on Redemption Island (in the later seasons when they used that twist), they’d do a challenge each episode and the loser was officially out of the game. Edge of Extinction has the voted out players sitting around doing nothing. Not only that, but they’re taking airtime away from the players who are still in the game, which seems unnecessary.

For casual fans who watch Survivor and don’t really learn the names of all the players (my parents, for instance), this season has been super confusing. Of course, the casual fans will know who the returnees are and the key players, but what casual fan is going to remember Eric or Chris?

Sometimes it stinks when an entertaining player is voted out before the merge because we don’t get to see them as part of the jury, but that’s the nature of the game. This season has too many players, and it’s taking away from the narratives of the current contestants still battling it out.

It’d be better if maybe Survivor didn’t show us the players on the Edge of Extinction and, perhaps, just had videos on their website that super fans could follow along with (i.e., what they sometimes do with Ponderosa). That way, it doesn’t take away from the current contestants still playing the game.

The first group of Edgers (or whatever it is we’re calling them) should have been out of the game when Devens won the right to continue playing. Instead, all but two contestants are still getting airtime, and it’s making for a cluttered season.

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Now instead of only following along with the remaining castaways, we have to keep track of what’s going on with the players who were already voted out; the majority of which won’t step foot in the game again.