survivor david vs goliath cast

‘Survivor’ Criticized For Three-Tribe Format

News, Opinions, Reality TV, Survivor
Nick Davis

Survivor is an ever-changing game. Very few of its rules or its structure have gone without some sort of tweak or twist over the years. One of the more recent changes that seem to be sticking around for the long haul is the three-tribe format. Technically, three tribes has been around for a long time, making its first appearance all the way back in Season 8. But in recent seasons, it has become a permanent fixture, and the idea of only two tribes is just a memory. Is that a good thing, though? Christian Hubicki, one of the standout contestants from Survivor: David vs. Goliath recently went on Rob Has A Podcast. During his appearance, he breaks down why he believes the three-tribe format is actually hindering the show.

The Three-Tribe Problem

Christian is a robotics professor in his life outside of Survivor, so it should come as no surprise that he brings math into his argument against three tribes. Specifically, he argues against the most recent three-tribe format in the show which foregoes the longtime tradition of the tribe swap. The math he uses shows that on a two-tribe season that utilizes swaps, there are 50 possible connections between pairs of people to be made before the merge. Meanwhile, a three-tribe season with swaps has only 33 possible connections. And these most recent seasons with three tribes that never swap have only 22 possible pre-merge connections.

christian hubicki on survivor david vs goliath
Christian Hubicki on his season ‘David vs. Goliath’, one of the last two-tribe seasons to date

The problem with this is that by the time players hit the merge it’s usually too late for them to form the long-haul iconic pairings that we’ve seen prior. Think JT and Stephen from Survivor: Tocantins or Wendell and Dominic from Survivor: Ghost Island. If many players on the season are unable to meet before the merge then we may be missing out on these opportunities. The proof of this may just be the fact that between Season 41 and 43 there really haven’t been many if any, iconic pairs. Ricard and Shan are one exception.

Future Changes With Survivor

The game is constantly changing. Some of the changes are met with positivity, some are met with swathes of criticism, and some take time to grow and change before viewers finally accept them. One thing that can be certain in Survivor is almost nothing sticks around forever. It is unknown if the show will continue foregoing swaps and two-tribe seasons in the future.

survivor gabon cast

Yet, it seems likely that they will return at some point. Even if no swapping limits social connections, it has been interesting to see the seasons run without this key mechanic that has been around since nearly the very beginning. It feels old school and incredibly fresh at the same time. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to see it come back soon.

New episodes of Survivor Season 43 are going live every Wednesday night. Will you be watching? Plus what are your thoughts on the three-tribe format?

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