‘Survivor’ Considering Rule Change After Most Recent Episode

survivor 44 ratu tribe puzzle
Nick Davis


The game of Survivor is constantly changing. New twists, advantages, and concepts for seasons keep viewers and players alike constantly on their toes. What doesn’t change often in the game is the core rules.

Generally speaking, those remain consistent throughout every season of the show. But, one rule may be changing as a result of other factors of the show changing over the years. The recent elimination of a contestant has host Jeff Probst wondering if one rule in the game has grown archaic.

Changing The Rules

In Episode 4 of Season 44, Claire Rafson is voted out at least partly due to sitting out of nearly every challenge. Many viewers are wondering how it is even possible for Claire to sit out of so many challenges in a row. The reason those viewers cite is the Survivor rule that contestants “can’t sit out of back-to-back challenges.” This has been a rule in the game since the very first season. But, it’s not quite that simple.

claire survivor 44
Claire of ‘Survivor’ Season 44

The rule of not sitting out in back-to-back challenges applies solely to the structure of separate reward and immunity challenges. Essentially, every time there is an elimination, this rule resets. So when every challenge is a dual reward/immunity, one player has the opportunity to sit out essentially every single one. These combination reward/immunity challenges have become the norm in recent seasons. Multiple challenges per episode have more-or-less become a thing of the past in the pre-merge.

In the podcast On Fire with Jeff Probst, Jeff addresses that this is a problem that needs a solution.

“I do think it’s something that we do need to put on our whiteboard,” Jeff says in response to questions about the rule. “We need to examine if maybe we just change that. Because it does need to be updated.”

So it seems very likely that the rules of the game may look somewhat different by the premiere of Season 45.

Survivor Is Never The Same

The rules of Survivor seldom change, but they did make some drastic adjustments for this new era.

One of the most controversial rule changes is the shorter period of days contestants must survive. The first 40 seasons required 39 days to make it to the end. The modern era only requires 26 days. This began as a COVID safety measure and has become a mainstay that Probst doesn’t seem to have any interest in changing.

Many fans and former players question the decision to reduce the number of days in the game. The concern is that it makes the game both less challenging and simultaneously more rushed. Players have less time to develop bonds and see complex strategies through to their conclusions. This could change in any season, though. The game of Survivor is constantly in flux.

survivor 44 tika tribe arriving
‘Survivor’ 44 Tika tribe

Survivor Season 44 continues to air new episodes every Wednesday.

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