A Former ‘Survivor’ Player Calls the Whispering at Tribal Council ‘Incredibly Unfair for the Women’

Survivor: Winners at War is the 40th season of the 20-year-old series. However, for the first time this year, the contestants are continually whispering during tribal councilJeff Probst finds the side talks and getting up at tribal council funny. Fans thought the discussions were wild and entertaining to watch, at first. However, after several episodes of whispering, previous players are speaking out to say that it is unfair to the women who sit in the front.

[Spoiler alert: Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 12 spoilers ahead.]

Kim Spradlin, Jeremy Collins, Denise Stapley, Tony Vlachos, Ben Driebergen, Michele Fitzgerald, Nick Wilson and Sarah Lacina at Tribal Council
Kim Spradlin, Jeremy Collins, Denise Stapley, Tony Vlachos, Ben Driebergen, Michele Fitzgerald, Nick Wilson and Sarah Lacina at Tribal Council on ‘Survivor: Winners at War’ | CBS Entertainment

‘Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 12’: What happened at Tribal Council?

The past several weeks of Survivor: Winners at War saw a marked increase in the side discussions and whispering at Tribal Council. In the previous seasons of the show, Probst asked questions, and then the contestants responded. During this time, the other survivors sat quietly, listening.

Last week, fans were relieved when there were no side discussions. A few fans even questioned whether CBS and the Survivor producers had edited out the whispering, due to fan complaints. However, the side talks began again this week. 

Tony Vlachos started the whispering by leaning over to Jeremy to double-check who he was voting for. They both agree to vote for Kim; however, this interaction prompts movement from other players. Kim Spradlin-Wolfe and Sarah Lacina both get up out of their seats to get in on the conversation.

Finally, Denise Stapley did what viewers at home are begging Probst to do. She became annoyed with Jeremy Collins and told him to stop. She announced that she was ready to vote. Kim was sent to the Edge of extinction in a five to three vote. 

A former player calls the whispering ‘incredibly unfair for the women’ in the front

“Tonight was too much,” former player, Julie Rosenberg tweeted. “And incredibly unfair for the women who always sit in the front row and can’t see what is going on behind them without turning their head OR can’t actually whisper to someone and have it not be seen by the people in the back.

Rosenberg finished third out of 18 players on season 38, Survivor: Edge of Extinction. She added that in her season, the men always sat in the back and the women in the front. The seating arrangement makes it very difficult for the women to whisper secretly since they are always in the front row. 

Why are the women always in the front row of tribal council on ‘Survivor’?

“I’ve noticed it before, but always assumed it was a height issue; they want to clearly see everyone’s face,” replied one fan about the location of players at tribal council. “Of course, at 6’1″, I always end up in the back of any sort of group photo.”

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Another fan pointed out that Kim and Sarah both look taller than Nick Wilson and Tony, so it is not because of height. As far as players and fans can tell, it is something production thinks looks better to have the men in the back and the women in the front. 

Fans continue to ask for Probst to stop the whispering and side conversations at tribal council. There are two more weeks left of Survivor: Winners at War, which airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Read more: ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Fans Are Begging Jeff Probst to Shut Down the Whispering at Tribal Council