The Five Worst Seasons of Survivor in the Show’s History

Survivor Season 39

It is almost accurate to say that almost everyone has watched Survivor at some point. Not only is it addictive but it also provides enjoyable entertainment that is family-friendly and fosters the spirit of good competition. The show has been around for close to 2 decades and has provided entertainment that is indisputably impeccable. Not to say that it has not had its own fair share of controversies ranging from legal action to poor ratings. However, it has still lived on to keep its viewers glued to their screens with its intense games and competitions.

What is Survivor all about?

Survivor is an American series that is a version of the television franchise Survivor Reality Competition which was also derived from the Swedish series Expedition Robinson. The Survivor series got its debut on May 2000 on the network CBS and is hosted by Jeff Probst who has been hosting it ever since it premiered. According to Wikipedia, the show puts a group of strangers together in an isolated location usually an island, and they must find food and provide shelter and fire as well for themselves. The contestants form tribes where they compete in various challenges for immunity and various rewards. They are then eliminated progressively through voting by their fellow contestants until only one contestant remains who earns the title the Sole Survivor and receives their prize of $1,000,000. Despite the show’s overall success, there have been a few seasons that have not been received well by the fans and the list below provides the show’s 5 worst seasons.

1. Survivor Thailand

Survivor Thailand aired on September 19th until December 19th, 2002 on the Ko Tarutao Island. It was the 5th season on the then growing Survivor franchise and Brian Heidik was given the title of the Sole Survivor. This season has to have been the worst season to ever have been aired as there have been negative responses towards it to date. Survivor Thailand was so bad that even Jeff Probst himself didn’t like hosting it citing unlikable cast. The show had an advantage on the fact that the team leaders were not pre-chosen by the producers but the eldest teammates from both teams were given the mandate to choose their team members. The show had a mean-spirited cast who were hostile to one another and their cooperation seemed forced. One of the cast members, Robb was said to be immature, obnoxious and misogynistic and that formed part of the reason as to why he got voted out almost immediately. The fake merge between the two tribes led to the death of the fairly liked tribe. The show’s cast was never invited for the Heroes and Villains season due to these reasons.

2. Survivor Fiji

Survivor Fiji aired on February 8th, 2007 to May 13th, Macuata Island. It was the 14th season of the Survivor franchise and Earl Cole was named the winner. This season was met with general criticism and according to Tapatalk, the show had to recruit its cast because only one person had applied to be part of the race and the Have vs. Have Not’s theme had declared doom for the contestants even before they got down to the competition This is because the theme misled audiences into thinking of favoring the Haves and making likable characters seem like unlikable ones. The show also had a forgettable cast and only the winner Earl and Yau-man are the only ones who can be remembered by most viewers.

3. Survivor Nicaragua

Survivor Nicaragua aired on September 15th all through to December 19th, 2010. It was the 21st season of the reality competition show and Jud Fabio Birza was named Sole Survivor. This season has been ranked as the worst in Survivor history by almost all tabloids and Survivor fan sites. The likely reason for this was that most viewers thought that the show’s producers employed useless gimmicks and the winner wasn’t really a favorable choice for audiences. Another reason as to why this season can be regarded as a major flop was the choice of splitting the two factions by age and the fact that some people quit before the show started didn’t provide the show a good reception as it had hoped.

4. Survivor Worlds Apart

Survivor Worlds Apart first aired on February 25th, 2015 until May 20th, 2015 and is the 30th season of the Survivor series. The show was filmed in Nicaragua, in the same location as Survivor Nicaragua and the winner was Mike Holloway. Most critics felt that this season lacked in cast favorability with the audience as it featured an unlikable and highly negative cast. The season is also said to have been very predictable in contrast to other seasons before it as the winner was already obvious when the show began. The reunion episode was also awkward and it’s only save was the announcement made about the cast that would appear in the following Survivor season.

5. Survivor Redemption Island

Survivor Redemption Island was filmed in Nicaragua and got its debut in February 2016 and ran until May 15th, 2011. This was the 22nd season of the show and Rob Mariano was crowned sole Survivor. This season didn’t pan out well with its viewers because of its unlikable cast who were boring and extremely predictable. The first 3 episodes of the show were entertaining and after that, the show became just another competition reality show on air. Most critics felt that the vote-offs were clearly edited and that the producers clearly wanted Rob Mariano to win from the beginning.


Despite the show’s worst seasons, the Survivor series has won our hearts and has produced good content for audiences in America and generally the whole world. The show has been nominated for various Emmy awards including Outstanding Sound Mixing in 2001 which it won and Outstanding Reality Competition program in 2003. Survivor is usually referred to as the leader in reality TV in America as it was the first most profitable reality show and was the first highly rated television program in the US. Love it or hate it, there’s no question that this show is among the best competition shows today.

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