Seasons 21 through 26 were the first Dark Ages of Survivor.
We’ll cover the second Dark Ages another time, but the seasons that aired during this time (minus Philippines) are usually considered to be some of the worst in the show’s history. Nicaragua through One World gave us four straight seasons with horrible casts and Caramoan also falls into that category, making it a rough three-year stretch for Survivor.
All of the Russell Hantz references got really annoying and it’s even worse when you realize he was only a part of the cast in ONE of these seasons! The producers consistently gave Russell and his family air time even when Russell wasn’t on the show.
The series took a turn for the better with Blood vs Water, which directly followed Caramoan, and then had one of its best seasons ever with Cagayan, which aired in the spring of 2014.
During Caramoan, most fans figured Survivor had crapped out and was on its way to extinction, but Cagayan proved that it could pick itself back up and thrive once again.
As mentioned previously, there is another Dark Age era that we’ll cover, but for now, let’s reflect on the original Dark Ages of Survivor.
Now I want to hear from you Survivor fans. What do you think of these seasons? Are they truly the Dark Ages of the show in your mind or would you give that title to another era of the show?