Survivor season rankings: All Survivor seasons, ranked

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /
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8. David vs. Goliath (Season 37)

It wasn’t difficult to choose a photo worthy of capturing the magic that is Survivor: David vs. Goliath. A casting theme of biblical proportions, players leaned into their roles and archetypes like it were a classical play, with the underdogs of the David tribe taking loss after loss in the face of the dominant, but cocky, Goliath tribe. However, nothing equalized both tribes stronger than the weather.

Even months after its completion, I am in complete shock about just how well this season unfolded. It managed to humble the bold and empower the meek, bringing a confluence of natural, unlucky, fortunate and hard-fought events together to create a mixing pot. Nobody knew who was going home each week, as audiences were gripped from episode 1.

It has everything you want in a newbie Survivor season; a variety of excellent characters, a concise, non-overbearing narrative, a balance of strategy/gameplay and character development, an iconic Immunity Challenge, a fairly balanced edit (all things considered), instant iconic names you’d see in future seasons and a well-telegraphed winner that isn’t obvious early on.

The one downside to the season is that there was a preponderance of advantages and idols played, including the idol nullifier. Introducing a power to void an idol without letting players know about its existence is fundamentally broken, even if its payoff worked wonderfully to tell the David vs. Goliath tale.

Written by Daniel George.