‘Survivor’ Fans Expose the Worst Season — It’s ‘Uncomfortable’ and ‘Boring’

To say that every season of Survivor has been perfect and wildly entertaining would be a lie. Of course, there have been outstanding seasons — Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Cagayan come to mind. However, among the great games have been a handful of duds. And fans believe they know which season is the worst.

Jeff Probst, the host of 'Survivor' Season 43 on CBS, wears a light blue button-up shirt at Tribal Council.
Jeff Probst | Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

Fans believe ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’ is the worst season

One Reddit user started a thread on Survivor‘s page that claimed, “Island of the Idols is the worst season of Survivor, and I don’t think it’s even close.” We’ll get more into the reason behind the dislike toward season 39. But first, let’s recap Survivor: Island of the Idols.

As fans recall, this season brought Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano back to the game as mentors for the new group of castaways. Sandra previously competed in three seasons — Pearl Islands, Heroes vs. Villains, and Game Changers, winning the first two. And Rob competed in four seasons — Marquesas, All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains, and Redemption Island, winning the last one.

Sandra and Rob resided on the Island of the Idols, separate from the 20 contestants. In each episode, a castaway would make the journey to the island, where Sandra and Rob would give them advice. The two Survivor legends would also allow the player to win an advantage. But if they lost, the consequence was losing their vote at the next Tribal Council.

Survivor: Island of the Idols is also widely known for Dan Spilo and his ejection from the season. Some female castaways accused Dan of inappropriately touching them, which other players later used to their advantage to further their position in the game. But when an unspecified altercation between Dan and a crew member occurred, production removed him from the show.

Why fans hate ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’

The original poster in the Reddit thread explained why Survivor: Island of the Idols is the worst season. They said, “Obviously, what Dan did has been talked to death and is deplorable. Also, the way that certain players manipulated what happened for in-game moves is absolutely disgusting. But beyond that, the cast is very bland, and the only ‘interesting’ characters I find to be more annoying than anything.”

“The entire theme with Rob and Sandra is terrible,” they continued. “The giant heads are dumb, the advice they give is just generic nonsense. And them secretly sitting in on Tribal Council is weird and cringy. I know the season is pretty low on most people’s lists, but for me, it really is just the worst.”

Other fans seemed to agree with this sentiment.

“Boring seasons are bad but uncomfortable seasons like [Island of the Idols] that are almost series canceling are way worse,” one fan commented. “And despite how bad it was, it was still almost redeemable if Janet [Carbin] had won, but production managed to get in the way of that too.”

Someone else wrote, “Dan’s action and eventual removal from the game has absolutely screwed the value and rewatchability of Islands of the Idols for the reason that it f***ed up the portrayal of everyone else except those that stood up to Kellee [Kim]. Most people on that season were given basic archetype edits to minimize the reputation of the show, which is probably why Tommy [Sheehan] had such a bland portrayal.”

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What other installments were candidates for the worst ‘Survivor’ season?

Although many voiced that Survivor: Island of the Idols is the worst season, fans presented a few other options.

Survivor: Game Changers and Island of the Idols were disastrous seasons for the show,” a Reddit user claimed.

Another fan said, “Dan and production trashed Island of the Idols, but Thailand will always be worse. They voted out the victim for ‘causing problems’ by coming forward, then production touted the event as one of the whacky things that makes Survivor great, then made HER apologize at the reunion.”

Ghost Island or Caramoan, for sure,” someone added.

As a whole, it sounds like most fans believe that Island of the Idols and Thailand are among the worst Survivor seasons.

Survivor Season 43 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.