|Survivor: David vs. Goliath|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Location||Mamanuca Islands, Fiji|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||September 26 –|
December 19, 2018
|Filming dates||March 29 –|
May 6, 2018
Survivor: David vs. Goliath is the 37th season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season features 20 new contestants divided into two tribes embodied by two biblical figures: "David", composed of ten underdogs who constantly have to overcome obstacles, and "Goliath", composed of ten overachievers who have used their advantages in life to excel in their fields. The season premiered on September 26, 2018, with an extended 90-minute episode, and concluded with a live season finale on December 19, 2018, where Nick Wilson was named the winner over Mike White and Angelina Keeley in a 7–3–0 vote.
This season was the sixth to be filmed in Fiji. Due to Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni striking during the season's filming, the castaways and crew were evacuated for two days, the second such occurrence on Survivor following Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, which had also been filmed in Fiji two years earlier.
The cast is composed of 20 players splitting into two tribes. On day 10 during the tribe switch, David and Goliath were renamed Vuku and Jabeni, meaning "ability" and "champion" in Fijian, respectively. The third tribe, Tiva, was named after the Fijian word for "divert" or "stray". Notable contestants from this season include filmmaker and two-time The Amazing Race contestant Mike White, and professional wrestler and Tough Enough III co-winner John Hennigan. The merged tribe Kalokalo was named after the Fijian word for "star", which was suggested by contestant Elizabeth Olson.
|1st voted out||Day 6|
|Jeremy Crawford||40||New York City,
|Goliath||2nd voted out||Day 9|
|David||Quit (Injury)||Day 10|
|Goliath||Vuku||3rd voted out||Day 11|
|Natalie Cole||57||Los Angeles,
|Jabeni||4th voted out||Day 15|
|David||5th voted out||Day 17|
|Vuku||Kalokalo||6th voted out
1st jury member
|John Hennigan||38||Los Angeles,
|Goliath||Tiva||7th voted out
2nd jury member
|8th voted out
3rd jury member
|Alec Merlino||24||San Clemente,
|Vuku||9th voted out
4th jury member
|David||10th voted out
5th jury member
|Tiva||11th voted out
6th jury member
|12th voted out
7th jury member
|Vuku||13th voted out
8th jury member
|Alison Raybould||28||Chapel Hill,
|Goliath||Tiva||14th voted out
9th jury member
|Kara Kay||30||San Diego,
10th jury member
|Angelina Keeley||28||San Clemente,
|Jabeni||2nd runner-up||Day 39|
|Mike White||47||Los Angeles,
Outside of Survivor, Kara Kay and Angelina Keeley made cameo appearances in the Season 2 premiere of The White Lotus, which was written and directed by Mike White. Alec Merlino also played a recurring role as a waiter in Season 1.
The 20 new castaways were divided into two tribes based on adversity: David (underdogs) and Goliath (overachievers). Due to a series of injuries, the David tribe were down in numbers when the tribes were shuffled; on all three new tribes, the Goliaths held the majority. However, the Davids were able to take advantage of the dissension among the Goliaths, working with them to eliminate several Goliaths.
The Goliaths entered the merge in the majority. While the Goliaths tried to decimate the David alliance, the Davids’ sharp strategizing and well-timed playing of advantages put them in the majority after blindsiding the Goliath alliance’s leaders, John and Dan. Christian and Gabby then betrayed their David alliance to eliminate Carl, which ultimately turned the other Davids against them; Mike from the Goliath alliance used the opportunity to lead the charge to eliminate the rest of the Davids, while Kara played both sides from the middle. However, Nick from the David tribe won the last three immunity challenges, making his way to the end of the game with Goliaths (and Jabeni tribemates) Mike and Angelina. The jury respected Nick's social game and ability to fight his way out of being an underdog over Mike's late-game strategic emergence and Angelina's selfish, manipulative personality, voting Nick the Sole Survivor in a 7-3-0 vote over Mike and Angelina respectively.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Reward||Immunity||Tribe||Player|
|1||"Appearances are Deceiving"||September 26, 2018||David||David||Pat|
|2||"The Chicken Has Flown the Coop"||October 3, 2018||Goliath||David||Jessica|
|3||"I Am Goliath Strong"||October 10, 2018||David||Goliath||Jeremy|
|4||"Time to Bring About the Charmpocalypse"||October 17, 2018||Carl[a]||David||Bi|
|5||"Jackets and Eggs"||October 24, 2018||Vuku||Vuku||Jabeni||Natalie|
|6||"Aren’t Brochachos Just Adorable?"||October 31, 2018||Tiva||Tiva||Jabeni||Lyrsa|
|7||"There's Gonna Be Tears Shed"||November 7, 2018||None[b]||Alison||Kalokalo||Elizabeth|
|8||"You Get What You Give"||November 14, 2018||Alec, Alison,
|9||"Breadth-First Search"||November 21, 2018||Alec,
|10||"Tribal Lines Are Blurred"||November 28, 2018||Alec,
|11||"So Smart They're Dumb"||December 5, 2018||Angelina, Nick
|12||"Are You Feeling Lucky?"||December 12, 2018||Davie
|13||"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"||December 19, 2018||Nick
- Carl drew a package without a buff during the tribe swap. As a result, he was exiled and joined the tribe that lost the next Immunity Challenge: Vuku.
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
- For winning the final Immunity Challenge, Nick had to assign additional immunity to another player, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist; he gave additional immunity to Angelina.
|Original air date||US viewers|
|541||1||"Appearances are Deceiving"||1.7/7||N/A||September 26, 2018||7.83|
Host Jeff Probst explained the theme of the season before asking the Goliath tribe to choose who they perceived to be the weakest man and weakest woman on the David tribe, and to choose their own strongest man and strongest woman. They picked Christian & Lyrsa from the Davids and John & Alison from their tribe to run a reward challenge. The Davids got to choose which tribe completed which task in the challenge.
Christian's quick solving of the slide puzzle led him and Lyrsa to win the kit for the Davids. At their camp, Pat took charge of building the shelter, but his bossy nature got on some of his tribemates' nerves. Nick spent more time making alliances rather than helping at camp, which frustrated Carl. Bonds formed between Christian & Gabby, Elizabeth & Lyrsa, and Carl & Davie. On Goliath, Dan felt an attraction towards Kara, while Natalia was put off by Natalie's orders to build the shelter despite not working herself. Everyone searched for an idol, which Dan, Kara, and Natalia eventually found, and Dan kept. Throughout the first few days, heavy rain pounded both tribes.
Goliath held off David's comeback to win immunity. The boat ride back to the David camp encountered rough waters, and Pat sustained a back injury that required the medical team's attention. Medical decided that Pat's injury was too severe for him to continue, and they evacuated him from the game. Jeff then cancelled Tribal Council and gave David flint. The epilogue at the end of Pat's final words revealed that he received treatment after production for this season concluded, and has since made a full recovery.
|542||2||"The Chicken Has Flown the Coop"||1.5/7||N/A||October 3, 2018||7.27|
The cyclone continued through the night, and Jeff provided a firemaking kit and tarp to each tribe. At the David camp, Christian and Nick aligned, and Davie found an idol. Carl, wanting to keep the tribe strong, targeted Lyrsa. Elizabeth warned Lyrsa that she was in danger, and she responded by targeting Carl. At the Goliath camp, Dan and Kara's connection raised red flags with their tribemates. Jeremy found Dan's idol hidden in his coat and told Mike about it. Still, most of the tribe affirmed their desire to vote out Natalie, but John told her that she was a target, in an attempt to align with her. Jeremy then tried to convince Natalie to change her ways, but it only made him want to target her more.
Goliath won the grueling challenge. Bi and Jessica told Gabby that Lyrsa would go home, but Gabby was paranoid over the lack of further information. Elizabeth suggested targeting Jessica for her social connections to Carl, Bi, and Davie. Christian and Nick were the swing votes; at Tribal Council, they voted against Jessica, sending her out of the game.
|543||3||"I Am Goliath Strong"||1.6/7||19||October 10, 2018||7.65|
After returning from Tribal Council, Bi blamed Gabby for Jessica’s blindside, and Nick played off of that to keep the heat off him. Christian and Gabby continued to bond. At the Goliath camp, a paranoid Jeremy held a tribal meeting to put an end to the side conversations happening within the tribe, and his feud with Natalie continued. Mike became wary of Jeremy's behavior, and considered turning against him.
David won the challenge. Bi sprained her MCL, but was cleared by medical to continue. Most of the Goliaths were set to vote out Natalie, but Angelina vehemently campaigned for Jeremy’s elimination, arguing that he would become a bigger threat in the future. At Tribal Council, Angelina got her way, and Jeremy was unanimously voted out.
|544||4||"Time to Bring About the Charmpocalypse"||1.4/6||22||October 17, 2018||7.21|
When the tribes congregated on day 10, Bi announced her withdrawal from the game due to her MCL sprain, not wanting to risk further damage as an athlete. After Bi left, a tribe swap took place. The David and Goliath tribes were respectively renamed Vuku and Jabeni, while a third tribe, Tiva, was introduced. Vuku consisted of Alec, Davie, Elizabeth, Kara, and Natalia. Jabeni consisted of Angelina, Lyrsa, Mike, Natalie, and Nick. Tiva consisted of Alison, Christian, Dan, Gabby, and John. Carl was exiled after drawing an empty package, and the Goliaths held a 3-2 majority on all three tribes.
On Exile Island, Carl followed a clue to a new advantage called an idol nullifier. He would play it against a person he believed would play an idol at any given Tribal Council, and if he was correct, the idol would be voided. If he was wrong, the advantage would be wasted and remain anonymous. At Vuku, Davie tried to get Alec on his side, while Elizabeth bonded with Kara, to Natalia’s chagrin. At Jabeni, Natalie’s bossiness persisted, while Nick and Mike aligned. At Tiva, Christian befriended Dan and John, and Gabby felt like she was on the outs.
Tiva placed first and Jabeni placed second. Elizabeth immediately had Davie help her look for an idol, but unbeknownst to her, he had already found it at that campsite. The Goliaths initially decided to stick together, which prompted Davie to tell them that Elizabeth targeted Natalia, in an effort to save himself. However, this increased Natalia’s paranoia, and Alec considered siding with the Davids to blindside her. At Tribal Council, Alec began whispering to Elizabeth, much to his Goliath allies' surprise. He decided to betray the Goliath alliance, voting with Davie and Elizabeth to eliminate a bitter Natalia, who falsely believed Kara was in on the plan. Carl then joined the Vuku tribe, giving the Davids a 3-2 advantage.
|545||5||"Jackets and Eggs"||1.5/6||23||October 24, 2018||7.37|
The morning after Natalia’s blindside, Kara questioned her place in the game and felt like an outcast. Another cyclone rocked the camps; all the castaways were evacuated to a safe location, putting the game on hold. After the storm subsided, all three camps were completely demolished.
Vuku placed first and Jabeni placed second. At Jabeni, Natalie and Lyrsa argued over when to boil the eggs. At Vuku, Kara threw Alec under the bus to the former Davids, causing Elizabeth to mistrust Kara. At Tiva, Dan, John, and Christian formed an alliance they dubbed the “Brochachos.” Dan searched for an idol at the new camp and found a clue saying the idol was hidden at the challenge.
Vuku placed first and Tiva placed second, and Dan was able to snatch the idol without being caught. The Goliaths initially agreed on voting out Lyrsa, but Nick was offended when Angelina and Natalie asked for his or Lyrsa’s jacket in exchange for sparing them; he and Lyrsa then tried to convince Mike to turn against Natalie. At Tribal Council, Mike cast the deciding vote against Natalie, sending her out of the game.
|546||6||"Aren’t Brochachos Just Adorable?"||1.3/6||24||October 31, 2018||7.06|
The following morning, Angelina revealed her vote against Lyrsa was just a ruse to try and get Natalie’s jacket, turning the tribe against her. At Tiva, Christian tried to catch some fish but came up empty-handed.
Tiva placed first and Jabeni came from way behind to place second after Vuku blew their massive lead during the tossing stage. At Tiva, Gabby confided in Alison about her fears of being on the bottom, and they bonded. At Vuku, the bamboo on the shelter bed was a strain on Elizabeth’s already sore back, and her attempts to resolve the situation put her at odds with Carl and Davie.
Tiva and Vuku blew out Jabeni. Lyrsa showed hesitance to work with Angelina when asked, making Angelina target her in retaliation. Lyrsa tried to turn Mike against Angelina, while Angelina tried to turn Nick against Lyrsa. Mike and Nick weighed their options; at Tribal Council, they voted to eliminate Lyrsa from the game, giving the Goliaths the overall majority.
|547||7||"There's Gonna Be Tears Shed"||1.6/7||15||November 7, 2018||7.69|
On day 18, the three tribes merged on Tiva’s beach. Carl told Angelina about Alec flipping on Natalia before beginning to rally votes against Elizabeth. Dan and Kara were reunited, and some of the Goliaths (especially Angelina and Dan) wanted to stick to original tribal lines. Angelina campaigned against Christian as the perceived leader of the Davids. However, Alec had other ideas and established a cross-tribe alliance between himself, Alison and Mike from the Goliaths and Christian, Gabby and Nick from the Davids; Christian dubbed the alliance the "Strike Force." Elizabeth was annoyed by Dan and Kara whispering late into the night and told Alec that she was considering blindsiding Dan, but Alec told Dan, which set him against Elizabeth.
Alison outlasted Elizabeth to win immunity. Dan convinced the Goliath alliance to change their target back to Elizabeth; though Angelina continued to rally against Christian, her Goliath tribemates were unwilling to change their minds. Upset about not getting her way and feeling like her allies were undermining her, Angelina told Elizabeth about the other Goliaths targeting her. An angry Elizabeth then went to Gabby, who pitched an idea to blindside Angelina. At Tribal Council, Angelina was accused of jury management (particularly by Gabby) when asked about her conversation with Elizabeth, but ultimately, Elizabeth was unanimously sent to the jury.
|548||8||"You Get What You Give"||1.4/6||25||November 14, 2018||7.20|
After Tribal Council, Angelina lied to her tribemates saying Elizabeth went to her about who the target was, but everyone saw through her ruse. The next morning, Mike questioned Gabby's commitment to the Strike Force due to her comments at the previous Tribal Council, and considered betraying the alliance. Davie and Nick found a clue to an advantage, which Nick found with Carl's help; the advantage gave Nick the ability to steal another player's vote at an upcoming Tribal Council, prohibiting them from voting and allowing him to vote twice. Carl also told Davie and Nick about his idol nullifier, but Davie stayed quiet about his hidden immunity idol.
Alec, Alison, Christian, Gabby, John, and Nick won reward. Mike pulled aside the rest of the Goliaths and suggested targeting Christian for his strong gameplay, which Angelina took as sexism due to a man suggesting the same idea she did and getting more people on board with it.
Dan won immunity. Angelina was paranoid over the possibility of Christian having an idol, and Alec told Nick that Christian was in danger. Nick and Davie debated playing their advantages to save Christian, but were hesitant to use them so early in the game. At Tribal Council, Nick chose not to use his vote stealer, but Davie played his idol on Christian. Angelina begged Dan to do the same for her, which he did. The Goliaths' seven votes against Christian were nullified. The Davids split their votes between John and Angelina; Carl and Gabby's votes against Angelina were negated, but Christian, Davie and Nick's votes against John sent him to the jury.
|549||9||"Breadth-First Search"||1.3/6||18||November 21, 2018||7.09|
After John's blindside, Alec, Alison, and Kara held a discussion on the beach to regroup, making Dan feel left out. After a disagreement, Kara distanced herself from Dan.
Alec, Dan, Davie, Kara, and Mike won reward. Gabby tried to turn Alison against Dan, while Mike affirmed his desire to stay loyal to the Goliaths. The Davids woke up early to search for a new idol, which Christian found.
Alec won immunity. Kara worked on convincing the Davids to join in a split-vote scenario between Angelina and Dan, but Alison decided to stick with the Goliaths' original plan to eliminate Christian. While the Goliaths planned their strategy, the Davids debated which of their advantages to play: Nick's vote stealer, Christian's idol, and Carl's idol nullifier. At Tribal Council, Nick used his advantage to steal Alison's vote, prompting Alec and Kara to vote against Angelina. Dan played his idol for himself, but Carl used his idol nullifier against Dan, sending him to the jury with the Davids' six votes.
|550||10||"Tribal Lines Are Blurred"||1.6/7||18||November 28, 2018||7.60|
After another big blindside, Angelina vowed revenge against the Goliaths for Alec and Kara's votes against her. Nick and Davie woke up early the next morning to search for a new idol, and Nick found a clue saying the idol was on the other side of the island and that he’d have to wait until dark to find it.
Alec, Alison, Christian, Gabby, and Mike won and discovered letters from home while on reward. At camp, Carl began to rally votes against Alec for being a physical threat, but Gabby disliked how Carl suggested it openly in front of Kara, Alec's fellow Goliath. Nick snuck off that night and retrieved the idol with only Davie knowing.
Before the challenge, Jeff tempted the castaways with food, which Angelina, Carl, and Nick took. Christian outlasted Alec after more than 5 hours for immunity. Carl continued to campaign against Alec, but Gabby and Christian considered turning against Carl. However, at Tribal Council, Alec was unanimously sent to the jury.
After Tribal Council, Christian comforted Alison, who was saddened over Alec's elimination.
Carl, Davie, Kara, and Mike won reward. At camp, Gabby plotted with Christian and Alison to vote Carl out. That night, Carl suggested to Kara that they vote out Alison next, but Kara secretly was not on board; Carl also prepared to tell Gabby that Angelina would be the target so that Gabby wouldn’t be paranoid. The next day, since the tribe’s rice supply was running low, Angelina prepared to negotiate a trade with Jeff without consulting her tribemates, proposing all the fishing gear, most of the cookware, and most of the comfort items for more rice, to which the tribe ultimately agreed despite not liking her approach.
Angelina’s offer was immediately refused, and Jeff asked one castaway to forfeit their shot at immunity to get the rice, which Angelina did. Davie edged out Alison for immunity. Gabby and Christian decided to make the move against Carl, while the rest of the Davids targeted Alison. Mike was the swing vote to decide whether Carl or Alison would be eliminated; at Tribal Council, he voted to send Carl to the jury.
|551||11||"So Smart They're Dumb"||1.5/7||18||December 5, 2018||7.51|
Upon returning from Tribal Council, Nick was upset with Christian over Carl’s elimination. The following morning, the castaways were reunited with their loved ones: Davie’s mother Hazel, Alison’s mother Willa, Kara’s brother Eric, Nick’s father Jim, Gabby’s mother Encarnita, Angelina’s mother Anna, Mike’s boyfriend Josh, and Christian’s girlfriend Emily.
Angelina and Nick won reward, choosing Davie and Mike to join them. They voiced their intentions to reach the final 4 together, but Davie was concerned over his place in the alliance. At camp, Gabby told Alison and Kara she wanted to blindside Christian and play a more independent game.
Kara outlasted Davie for immunity. Christian targeted Alison, while Gabby tried to sway Nick and Davie into blindsiding Christian. While Nick was on board, Davie told Christian he was in danger. Mike suggested to Nick and Angelina that they target Gabby in case Christian had an idol, and Nick confirmed that Christian did. At Tribal Council, Christian played the idol on himself after some consideration, negating 5 votes, and Gabby was sent to the jury with Mike and Angelina’s votes.
|552||12||"Are You Feeling Lucky?"||1.5/7||12||December 12, 2018||7.77|
After Gabby's elimination, Nick made a fake idol and "found" it under the raft in front of Angelina, Christian, and Mike so that they wouldn't search for a real one. However, Davie was leery of Nick's ruse and searched for an idol himself. He also told Christian that Nick possibly had two idols and that he planned to blindside Nick.
Davie won reward and chose Nick and Kara to join him. Angry over not getting picked, Angelina selfishly made the rest of the rice to get back at them. On reward, Davie told Kara he was ready to bring in Alison and Christian to make a move against Nick. Kara went to Alison about the plan, but Alison also went to Mike, who was uncertain about turning against Nick. The next morning, Davie continued his search for an idol and found a clue. The idol Davie found was only good for the next Tribal Council, but he could wager his next vote for a chance to extend the idol's worth for two more councils; he chose not to.
Mike outlasted Alison for his first individual immunity win. Nick realized that Alison was a physical threat, but Mike tried to target Christian. Nick told Davie his raft idol was fake, and Davie agreed to vote against Alison with him. Mike then pulled Nick aside and told him that Davie had targeted him earlier, before trying to get Nick on board with voting out Christian before Davie. Mike also tried to get Kara to vote out Christian with him. At Tribal Council, Davie played his idol on himself, prompting Nick to play his fake idol to get a read on his tribemates' reactions. He then played his real idol on himself but received no votes. Davie negated only 2 votes, and Christian was sent to the jury with 3 votes.
|553||13||"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"||1.5/7||6||December 19, 2018||7.72|
The next morning, everyone searched for an idol, with Angelina finding a clue saying the idol was on top of a tall rock and that she needed to dig out a ladder to get it. She dropped the clue while retrieving the ladder, and she was unable to get the idol. She then manipulated her tribemates again, saying she had a big fall.
Nick edged out Kara for immunity and chose to share his reward with Angelina and Mike. While on reward, Angelina directed Nick and Mike to help her get the idol, which she did. Nick and Angelina both wanted Alison out, and Angelina coldly told Alison she was on the chopping block, but Mike tried to turn the vote against Davie for being a jury threat and a close ally to Nick. Mike played to Angelina's ego, as he knew she felt like she controlled the last 2 votes, so that Angelina would vote against Davie. At Tribal Council, Angelina joined in Mike's plan to send Davie to the jury, blindsiding Nick.
An angry Nick confronted Angelina and Mike over Davie's blindside, and worked to ensure Alison would go home next.
Nick won immunity again. Angelina told Mike to tell Alison and Kara to vote Angelina out so that she'd play her idol; Angelina then made a fake idol for Alison to find, out of a personal dislike towards her and wanting to embarrass her to add insult to injury. Kara got an idea to blindside Mike for his strong social game, and Nick considered joining her in that move. Meanwhile, Alison found the fake idol, much to Angelina's pleasure. At Tribal Council, Mike was offended when Alison, going along with Kara’s proposal to get out Mike, called him a threat. Alison played the fake idol, which was tossed into the fire, and Angelina played her real idol but negated no votes. Alison voted against Mike, but everyone else sent Alison to the jury.
Nick won his third consecutive immunity challenge. He voiced his intention to take Angelina to the end, as he felt he would have a harder shot winning against Kara and Mike. This prompted Kara and Mike to practice making fire. Mike ultimately beat Kara in the challenge to join Nick and Angelina as finalists, making Kara the final member of the jury.
At the Final Tribal Council, Angelina focused on her rice negotiation, deceit and manipulation. She was chastised for constantly bringing up the rice negotiation. Nick highlighted on his social game and his role as an underdog, as well as opening up about his mother's death from a drug overdose. He was praised for his big moves at tribal and his immunity wins, but was criticized for playing a weaker social game toward the tail end of the season. Mike said that, even though at the beginning he was mostly there for the experience instead of the money, he was the one who orchestrated several late votes, and played the strongest social game. The jury praised his social game, although his treatment towards Alison at her elimination was questioned, as well as his inactivity around camp.
|554||14||"Reunion Special"||1.0/5||19||December 19, 2018||5.17|
|At the live reunion show, Nick was named Sole Survivor in a 7-3-0 decision. The castaways discussed the season with Jeff Probst.|
|Original tribes||Switched tribes||Merged tribe|
- No vote; Pat was medically evacuated from the game.
- No vote; Bi chose to quit the game due to an injury.
- Davie and Dan both played hidden immunity idols on Christian and Angelina, respectively. Therefore, seven votes against Christian and two votes against Angelina were not counted.
- Dan played a hidden immunity idol on himself, but Carl played an idol nullifier on him; therefore the effects of his idol were negated and the 6 votes against him were still counted.
- Christian played a hidden immunity idol on himself; therefore five votes against him were not counted.
- Davie played a hidden immunity idol on himself; therefore two votes against him were not counted.
- For winning the final Immunity Challenge, Nick had to assign additional immunity to another castaway, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist; he gave additional immunity to Angelina, and Mike defeated Kara in the fire-making challenge.
- Nick used his vote stealer on Alison; therefore Alison was ineligible to vote whereas Nick cast two ballots.
- Carl was exiled after drawing a package containing no buff during the tribe switch. He joined Vuku after their Tribal Council.
Survivor: David vs. Goliath received universal acclaim from both critics and fans, with many considering it one of the best seasons in the show's history due to its strategic play, unpredictability, and memorable contestants. The Tribal Councils also received praise for being entertaining and unpredictable, with the councils in the eighth and ninth episodes, during which the former Davids used game advantages to vote out former Goliaths John and Dan despite not having the numbers on their side, earning particular attention as impressive and smartly executed blindsides, and have been hailed by several media outlets as two of the best Tribal Councils in Survivor history. Angelina Keeley's performance was also well received, with her quickly becoming one of the most notable and entertaining characters in the history of the show due to her tendency to constantly overplay in an unknowingly transparent way, making all her attempted strategic moves obvious to the other players.
Nicole Clark of Vice called the season "the best thing on TV this year", and "one of the best [seasons] in recent history", praising the cast and memorable Tribal Councils. She concluded: "It’s a rollicking clusterfuck to watch, one that only gets more and more convoluted as the season develops. If you’re a potential Survivor fan looking for a season to start with, this is the one to pick." Joe Reid of Decider argued that David vs. Goliath was potentially the best season of the show, stating "Up until now, the closest thing to a consensus choice for Best Survivor Season Ever has been season 20: Heroes vs. Villains. That was an all-star season full of returning players, which meant it had the advantage of characters we loved and had long histories with, playing with and against their own reputations. Consider that David vs. Goliath was starting from scratch and you’ll see why this season has been getting such respect." He felt that "the ready-made underdog storyline worked wonders", that the season had "more memorable, sharable (sic) moments than any season in recent memory", and that it "has been hugely satisfying to both halves of the Survivor fan brain: the half that craves clever, savvy game play and the half that craves big, memorable characters. It’s harder than you think to marry the two."
Josh Wigler of The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the most consistently exhilarating seasons in recent memory" and "one of the most exciting iterations of the CBS reality franchise", adding,"Years from now, when Survivor fans look back on the events of David vs. Goliath, a slew of memories are likely to come to mind: the season-opening medical evacuation, Natalie Napalm and 'Jacketgate,' just to name a few." In an article published two thirds into the season, Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly claimed that while "[not] every episode this season has been A+++", "every episode has had something. Every episode has earned its keep. Every episode has felt like it is moving the story forward. Yes, the cast is better, but the editing and the storytelling have been better as well." Ross ranked David vs. Goliath as the fifth-best season of the series, only behind Borneo and Micronesia (tied for first), Heroes vs. Villains, and Cagayan. After the ninth episode, FanSided stated, "Let's be thankful for just how great the season has gone." Lauren Piester of E! called David vs. Goliath "One of the best seasons of Survivor ever". In 2020, "Purple Rock Podcast" ranked this season 12th out of 40 due to the casting and great gameplay. Later in the year, Inside Survivor ranked this season 5th out of 40 saying "It's not just one of the best seasons of recent memory; it's also rightfully placed as one of the greatest of all time." In 2021, Rob Has a Podcast ranked David vs. Goliath 6th during the Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings podcast.
In an interview in November 2018, Jeff Probst acknowledged the cast of David vs. Goliath as "one of the best groups we’ve ever had." He also highly praised the Tribal Councils in episodes eight and nine, calling the first "a total shocker and a brilliant move" and the second "a historic Survivor moment" and "all we could have ever dared dream when we put the Nullifier into this season."
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 9, 2018). "CBS Fall 2018 Premiere Dates: 'Big Bang' & 'Young Sheldon' To Help Launch 'Magnum PI' & 'Murphy Brown' Revival". Deadline. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Ross, Dalton (May 23, 2018). "Survivor: David vs. Goliath: Jeff Probst and Mark Burnett share intel on NEXT season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Ross, Dalton (October 25, 2018). "Survivor host Jeff Probst reveals where evacuated cast went during cyclone". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- Bucksbaum, Sydney (October 30, 2022). "Mike White, Meghann Fahy break down 'The White Lotus' season 2 premiere and those 'Survivor' cameos". EW.com. Retrieved 2022-10-31.
- Phillips, Patrick (July 6, 2021). "Why Hutch From The White Lotus Looks So Familiar". Looper. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
- Welch, Alex (September 27, 2018). "'Chicago Fire' and 'Survivor' adjusts up, 'Star' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 4, 2018). "'Single Parents,' 'Empire,' everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 11, 2018). "'Survivor,' 'Empire,' and 'Chicago Fire' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 11, 2018). "'This is Us' and Sunday Night Football stay on top: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 1-7". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 18, 2018). "'Chicago P.D.' and 'Single Parents' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 24, 2018). "'The Conners' and 'Sunday Night Football' lead: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 15-21". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 25, 2018). "'Survivor,' 'Chicago Fire,' and 'World Series' adjust up, 'Single Parents' and 'Chicago Med' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (October 31, 2018). "World Series gives FOX the win: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 22-28". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 1, 2018). "'Chicago Fire,' 'Modern Family,' everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 6, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' and 'Big Bang Theory' lead in viewers: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 29 – Nov. 4". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 8, 2018). "'The Goldbergs,' 'Riverdale,' everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 14, 2018). "'The Big Bang Theory' and 'Sunday Night Football' win the week: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Nov. 5-11". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 15, 2018). "CMAs, 'Empire,' 'All American,' everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 20, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' continues to slip, CMAs land high: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Nov. 12-18". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 26, 2018). "'Single Parents' rerun adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 28, 2018). "NBC dominates Thanksgiving week with live NFL coverage: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Nov. 19-25". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (November 30, 2018). "'Empire' adjusts up, 'Riverdale' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 4, 2018). "'This is Us' leads scripted, 'Rudolph' lands high: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Nov. 26 – Dec. 2". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 6, 2018). "'Star,' 'Riverdale,' 'Chicago Fire,' and all others hold: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 11, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' and 'The Simpsons' win the week: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Dec. 3-9". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 13, 2018). "'Riverdale,' 'The Goldbergs,' 'SEAL Team,' everything else unchanged : Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 20, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' dips, but still wins the week: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Dec. 10-16". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 20, 2018). "'Survivor' reunion special adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Welch, Alex (December 27, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' stays steady, 'The Voice' finale lands high: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Dec. 17-23". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
- McAtee, Riley (2018-11-29). "Why the 37th Season of 'Survivor' Just Might Be Its Best". The Ringer. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Favaro, Michael (December 23, 2018). "Survivor David vs. Goliath: Why did ____ finish in 3rd place?". Surviving Tribal. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- George, Daniel. "Survivor David vs. Goliath: Should Angelina Keeley return?". Surviving Tribal.
- "The Best Thing on TV This Year Was: 'Survivor: David vs. Goliath'". Vice. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "Has 'Survivor: David vs. Goliath' Been the Best 'Survivor' Season Ever?". Decider. December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "'Survivor David vs Goliath' Delivers Its Iconic Slingshot Moment". The Hollywood Reporter. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "Jeff Probst on that 'historic Survivor moment'". Entertainment Weekly. November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "Ranking every season of Survivor". Entertainment Weekly. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- "Survivor: David vs. Goliath episode 9 recap: Thankful". FanSided. November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
- "Who Won Survivor: David vs. Goliath?". E!. December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "Survivor season rankings (with spoiler-free summaries)". The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. May 22, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
- Stanley, Garrett (November 16, 2020). "Best Season Rankings – No. 5 – David vs. Goliath". Inside Survivor. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
- "Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings | #6: David vs. Goliath". Rob Has a Podcast. August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- "Jeff Probst on how Survivor scored in season 37". The Hollywood Reporter. November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "'Survivor David vs Goliath': The Unlikely Story Behind the Biggest Blindside Yet". Entertainment Weekly. November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.