|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||February 7 –|
May 11, 2008
|Filming dates||October 29, 2007– December 6, 2007|
Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites is the sixteenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. It is the show's third season to include contestants from past seasons, after the all-returning contestant pool from Survivor: All-Stars, along with Survivor: Guatemala, in which two contestants from Survivor: Palau returned for a second chance.
The season was filmed in Palau, marking the second time Survivor has filmed there (the first being 2005). The filming locations for this season were the same as those used in Survivor: Palau, with Airai living in the former Koror camp and Malakal living in the former Ulong camp. Exile Island returned this season after being absent from Survivor: China, with a new twist of one castaway from each tribe being sent to Exile Island where they had to compete to find the hidden immunity idol. This was the final Survivor season to be aired in standard definition. The complete season was released on DVD from CBS Home Entertainment, via Amazon.com's CreateSpace, on January 31, 2014. It is set to have significantly more special features than recent releases.
The full cast of 20 contestants was revealed on January 3, 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. For the first time since Survivor: Panama, the final Tribal Council featured a Final Two rather than a Final Three. This was also the first season to have an even numbered jury, with this season having eight jury members, rather than the traditional seven or nine in past seasons, making a tie possible. Host Jeff Probst held a white envelope that he claimed had the tie-breaker, but its contents were not revealed as no tie occurred.
In the end, Parvati Shallow defeated fellow Favorite Amanda Kimmel by a vote of 5–3 to become the Sole Survivor. On the reunion show, it was revealed that James Clement, for the second consecutive season, was the viewer's choice of favorite contestant, winning US$100,000. Kimmel and Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth received the next highest number of votes. The season has been considered one of the show's best, with the blindside elimination of fifth place contestant Erik Reichenbach by the four remaining female survivors, Parvati, Amanda, Cirie Fields and Natalie Bolton, as the series' best event.
The contestants included ten new players, the "Fans," and ten former players, the "Favorites," from six previous seasons returning for their second chance at the game. The "Fans" were initially on the Airai tribe, with the "Favorites" on Malakal; both tribes were named after locations in Palau.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
|Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton
33, Danville, Virginia
|Malakal||1st voted out|
29, Emeryville, California
|Airai||2nd voted out|
55, Martinez, California
|Malakal||3rd voted out|
|Michael "Mikey B" Bortone
34, Los Angeles, California
|Airai||4th voted out|
32, Avondale, Arizona
|Airai||Malakal||5th voted out|
45, Los Angeles, California
48, Ford City, Pennsylvania
|Airai||Malakal||6th voted out|
|Kathleen "Kathy" Sleckman
45, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
43, Fredericksburg, Virginia
|Airai||Malakal||7th voted out|
34, Golden, Colorado
|Malakal||Malakal||8th voted out|
25, New York City, New York
|Malakal||Airai||Dabu||9th voted out|
1st jury member
|Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
26, Venice, California
|Malakal||Malakal||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
22, Fox River Grove, Illinois
|Airai||Airai||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
30, Lafayette, Louisiana
4th jury member
24, Beverly Hills, California
|Airai||Airai||12th voted out|
5th jury member
22, Pinckney, Michigan
|Airai||Malakal||13th voted out|
6th jury member
32, Los Angeles, California
|Airai||Airai||14th voted out|
7th jury member
37, Norwalk, Connecticut
|Malakal||Malakal||15th voted out|
8th jury member
23, Los Angeles, California
25, Los Angeles, California
Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel, James Clement and Cirie Fields returned to play Survivor for a third time in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Ozzy Lusth returned to play a third time on Survivor: South Pacific. Both Fields and Lusth also returned for their fourth time each on Survivor: Game Changers. Jonathan Penner returned for his third time on Survivor: Philippines. Erik Reichenbach was the first Fan to return, playing as a Favorite in the second "Fans vs. Favorites" season, Survivor: Caramoan. Shallow will return for Survivor: Winners at War.
Outside of Survivor, Eliza Orlins competed in The Amazing Race 31.
This season pitted a tribe of "Favorites", ten returning Survivor contestants, against a tribe of "Fans", ten new players. The Favorites tribe was run by a majority alliance of Amanda, Cirie, Parvati, James, and Ozzy, while the Fans failed to form consistent alliances. After four eliminations, with the tribes still at equal numbers, the tribes were swapped through a schoolyard pick. On both tribes, the Favorites worked to eliminate the Fans, who continued to succumb to infighting.
After the merge, the remaining Fans attempted to form alliances with the Favorites that held the majority. A core alliance of Amanda, Parvati, and Cirie worked with the female Fans, Natalie and Alexis, to blindside several threats, working covertly to avoid suspicion and making it to the final six with Erik, who was spared due to repeated immunity challenge wins. Amanda was targeted for being a threat after Erik won immunity again, she saved herself with a hidden immunity idol and Alexis was eliminated. Erik won immunity yet again, but the others convinced him he was safe regardless; he gave the necklace to Natalie to gain her trust, and the women promptly voted him off.
Amanda, Cirie, and Parvati achieved their goal of becoming the final three, but were surprised by one last immunity challenge and elimination; Amanda won the challenge and eliminated Cirie for being the larger threat to win. The jury grilled both finalists, but Parvati's stronger arguments led to the jury awarding her the victory in a 5–3 vote.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Exiled||Eliminated||Finish|
|"You Guys Are Dumber Than You Look"||February 7, 2008||Yau-Man[a]||None||Jon||1st voted out|
|"The Sounds of Jungle Love"||February 14, 2008||Malakal[b]||Cirie||Mary||2nd voted out|
|"I Should Be Carried on the Chariot-Type Thing!"||February 21, 2008||Malakal||Airai||Ami||Yau-Man||3rd voted out|
|"That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!"||February 28, 2008||Malakal||Malakal||Kathy||Mikey B||4th voted out|
|"He's a Ball of Goo!"||March 6, 2008||Airai||Airai||None[c]||Joel||5th voted out|
|"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"||March 13, 2008||Airai||Airai||Chet||Jonathan||Medically evacuated|
|Jason||Chet||6th voted out|
|"Like a Wide-Eyed Kid in the Candy Store"||March 19, 2008||Malakal||Airai||Jason||Kathy||Quit|
|Tracy||Tracy||7th voted out|
|"A Lost Puppy Dog"||April 3, 2008||Airai[b]||Alexis[d]||Ami||8th voted out|
|"I'm in Such a Hot Pickle!"||April 10, 2008||None[e]||Jason||None[e]||Eliza||9th voted out|
1st jury member
|"I Promise..."||April 17, 2008||Amanda,
|Parvati||Cirie||Ozzy||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
|"I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face"||April 24, 2008||Survivor
|Erik||Jason[f]||Jason||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
|"I'm Gonna Fix Her!"||May 1, 2008||Alexis
4th jury member
|Alexis||12th voted out|
5th jury member
|"If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese"||May 8, 2008||Erik
|Parvati||Erik||13th voted out|
6th jury member
|"Stir the Pot!"||May 11, 2008||None||Amanda||None||Natalie||14th voted out|
7th jury member
|Amanda||Cirie||15th voted out|
8th jury member
|"The Reunion"||May 11, 2008||Jury vote|
- In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- In the initial challenge of the season, one castaway per tribe would each receive immunity at their first Tribal Council.
- Combined reward and immunity challenge.
- There was no exile due to a tribal switch.
- Prior to the challenge, Alexis and Ozzy were exiled and each received individual immunity for the upcoming Tribal Council, should their tribe lose the challenge.
- There was no reward or exile due to the tribal merge.
- At the Survivor Auction, Natalie bought the right to send someone to Exile Island and take all of their money. She chose Jason.
- At Tribal Council, Erik chose to give his immunity to Natalie.
|Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||US viewers|
|230||1||"You Guys Are Dumber Than You Look"||8.1/13||4.8/13||February 7, 2008||14.02||#8|
In a pouring rain, the ten fans arrived on the island unaware that they would be facing past castaways and were shocked when Jeff introduced the ten favorites. Jeff then pointed to a beach on an island across the way with two boats and told the tribes to swim across.
Jonny Fairplay was the first to find the idols tied to the boat's prows, but took the one belonging to the fans. Yau-Man noticed this, raced over, and grabbed the correct idol after Fairplay tripped (he accused Yau-Man of tackling him). Kathy got her tribe's idol after Yau-Man pointed it out to her. Two alliances were formed in the favorites tribe: one between Ami, Eliza, Jonathan, and Yau-Man and another consisting of the couples of James and Parvati, and Amanda and Ozzy. Both groups courted Fairplay and he played both sides.
At the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, the fans took the lead early and won. After the challenge, Jonny Fairplay told the tribe that his mind was not really committed to the game because he missed his girlfriend and unborn daughter. Feelings were split about whether he was being truthful or reverting to his old, dirty ways, but in the end he was unanimously voted out. After the vote, the tribe was given a flint by Jeff, after Yau-Man had already started a fire by focusing the sun using water and his eyeglasses.
|231||2||"The Sounds of Jungle Love"||7.6/12||4.5/13||February 14, 2008||13.12||#6|
Airai struggled with making fire and building a shelter. Chet, Kathy, and Tracy, feeling shunned by their younger tribemates and upset that the others were not making an attempt to build a decent shelter, built their own and then another was built for the other tribe members. At Malakal, the couples of Amanda/Ozzy and Parvati/James grew closer, much to the concern of Jonathan and Cirie, who joked that Amanda would be having "Ozzlets." At the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, Malakal won by a wide margin after Chet struggled to retrieve his key. Before the challenge, Jeff announced Exile Island and said there would be a twist revealed after the challenge.
After Malakal selected Kathy to go to Exile Island, Jeff revealed the twist: the winning tribe also had to select one of their own to go to Exile Island. Cirie volunteered to go. Kathy and Cirie discovered a series of four clues at Exile Island that required them to crisscross between two islands, but did not find the Hidden Immunity Idol. After Chet's poor performance at the challenge, Mikey B wanted him to be voted out. Mikey B came up with a plan to split his alliance of seven's votes between Chet and Tracy to protect against potential Immunity Idols. Joel did not like how Mikey B was trying to control the vote, so he plotted with Erik, Alexis, Natalie, Chet, Tracy, and Kathy to break up Mikey B's alliance with Mary. Joel's plan came together, even though he changed his vote to Tracy at Tribal Council as a failsafe, and Mary was voted out.
|232||3||"I Should Be Carried on the Chariot-Type Thing!"||7.3/11||4.0/10||February 21, 2008||12.55||#8|
Mikey B confronted Joel about voting out Mary at the last Tribal Council. The alliance of Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati, and James tried to swing Eliza over to their side. Cirie contemplated her options on which alliance to trust and join.
At the Reward Challenge, the tribes, dressed in war paint, had a very physical battle in the rain. Ultimately, Malakal won the challenge, taking home a tarp, a lighting kit, and a survival kit. Kathy was selected to go to Exile Island for a second time along with Ami. Cirie struck an alliance with Amanda and Parvati to go all the way to the final three with them. On Exile Island, Ami tried to follow the clues without the help of Kathy, who refused to decode the clues that she already knew about from her previous stay.
The Immunity Challenge was won by Airai after Erik, Joel, Natalie, and Tracy outlasted Cirie, James, Jonathan, and Parvati. There was open lobbying by both alliances for Cirie to join their side. Cirie wanted Yau-Man voted off because she feared that he would find the Hidden Immunity Idol. The alliance of Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati, and James wanted to vote out Eliza, but decided to follow Cirie's lead and Yau-Man was voted out.
|233||4||"That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!"||7.5/12||4.2/11||February 28, 2008||12.47||#10|
At Airai, Chet's lack of work around camp irritated his tribemates. At the Malakal campsite, Eliza was feeling sick and James criticized his alliance's decision to vote out Yau-Man instead of Eliza, whom he felt was the weakest member of the tribe.
Malakal won the Reward Challenge after Ozzy's strategy of singlehandedly pushing his tribe's coconuts to the front of the steel cage made it easier for his tribemates to retrieve their coconuts. Kathy was sent to Exile Island for the third consecutive time with Ozzy joining her. On Exile Island, a disheartened Kathy did not want to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol, so Ozzy followed the clues on his own under the pretense of looking for food. He succeeded in finding the Idol and kept his discovery a secret from Kathy. Borrowing Yau-Man's strategy from Survivor: Fiji, Ozzy fashioned a false Idol and placed it where he found the real Idol. Eliza tried to keep herself in the game by talking to Parvati about voting out Jonathan, but Jonathan overheard them.
At the Immunity Challenge, Airai struggled to unlock their hub and maneuver through the forest. Malakal won their second challenge in a row by a wide margin. Mikey B, feigning loyalty to Joel, lobbied to vote out Chet. Tracy approached Joel about a plan to use her alliance with Chet and Kathy to help vote out Mikey B. Tracy's plan came to fruition and Mikey B was voted out.
|234||5||"He's a Ball of Goo!"||7.3/11||4.0/10||March 6, 2008||12.06||#8|
At Malakal, Ozzy told Amanda, James, and Parvati that he found the Hidden Immunity Idol. Before the Reward Challenge began, Jeff announced a tribal switch. The tribes were divided by schoolyard pick. The new Airai tribe was composed of Alexis, Eliza, James, Jason, Jonathan, Kathy, Natalie, and Parvati; Amanda, Ami, Chet, Cirie, Erik, Joel, Ozzy, and Tracy made up the new Malakal tribe.
Airai won the physically punishing Reward Challenge with Parvati receiving a fat lip, Ami a tweaked knee, Jonathan a puncture wound to the knee, and Chet a blow to the head. Jeff announced that due to the tribal switch, nobody would go to Exile Island. After the challenge and back at the Airai beach, Jonathan's injured knee required attention from the Survivor medical team. On day 14, the Favorites at Airai took charge and fixed the tribe's camp site by moving it further inland and building a new shelter.
While Airai fell far behind during the rock throwing stage of the Immunity Challenge, they caught up during the puzzle assembly stage and won Tribal Immunity. Joel and Erik approached the Favorites of Malakal about voting out who they perceived as the weakest members: Chet, Cirie, and Tracy. Overhearing this, Cirie took Chet and Tracy aside and they decided to vote Joel out. Cirie told Amanda and Ozzy that it would be better to vote out Joel instead of Chet as Joel was the bigger threat longer term through the game, and that Chet could be used as a pawn for future strategic votes. Cirie also expressed discomfort that if the weaker members of the tribe were to be voted out, she would be voted off soon after Chet. Cirie's argument convinced the Favorites, and Joel was sent home.
|235||6||"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"||7.9/13||4.2/13||March 13, 2008||13.06||#3|
On Malakal, Tracy started to regret her decision to help the Favorites vote out Joel.
Airai won the Reward Challenge and elected to send Chet to Exile Island along with Jason. After the challenge, Jeff announced that the Survivor medical team wanted to look at Jonathan's knee. The doctor recommended that he be evacuated and taken to the hospital for treatment as the knee had become seriously infected. Jonathan accepted the recommendation and left on day 15. The two Micronesians, Edwin and Joe—who made a previous appearance in Survivor: Palau—, showed up at Airai bringing fishing line, an extra machete, two knives, a fishing net, vegetables, fruit, and taught the castaways how to fish and hunt for crabs. At Malakal, Ami approached Tracy and Erik about forming an alliance with them after she felt that she could not trust Cirie. On Exile Island, Jason found the fake Hidden Immunity Idol that Ozzy left.
Airai continued their winning streak at the Immunity Challenge by using a strategy of carrying Eliza and Parvati on a single stepping pole instead of using both poles. After the Immunity Challenge, Chet told his tribe to vote him out because he had given up and had an injured foot. Erik and Tracy tried to convince Chet to help vote out Ozzy, but the tribe honored Chet's request and he was voted out.
|236||7||"Like a Wide-Eyed Kid in the Candy Store"||6.7/11||3.7/10||March 19, 2008||11.34||#6|
At Malakal, Ozzy's de facto leadership and arrogance during a fishing excursion irked the women of the tribe.
Airai's winning streak was broken when Malakal won the Reward Challenge. They chose to send Jason back to Exile Island along with Tracy, who could not go on the spa trip with the rest of Malakal. On day 18, the constant rain, poor camp conditions, and feeling of missing her family was too much for Kathy to bear and she decided to quit the next morning. Jeff arrived at the Airai beach and took Kathy away at her request.
At the Immunity Challenge, Ozzy and Erik gave Malakal a large lead during the first half of the challenge, but Eliza and Jason quickly assembled their puzzle and Airai won immunity for the third straight time. Ami came up with a complex plot to blindside Ozzy at Tribal Council: Ami would convince Amanda and Cirie to vote for Erik and would tell the two women she and Tracy would be voting with them. However, Ami and Tracy would actually vote for Ozzy along with Erik. Ozzy would vote for Tracy thinking everyone else would be voting for her as well. This would lead to Ozzy being voted out 3–2–1. At Tribal Council, the complex plot collapsed as Amanda and Cirie did not want to betray Ozzy by voting for Erik. The vote followed Fans vs. Favorites lines with Erik joining the Favorites and voting out Tracy.
|237||8||"A Lost Puppy Dog"||7.5/12||3.8/9||April 3, 2008||12.84||#11|
At Malakal, Ozzy was still concerned about the perception that he was the leader. Ami tried to assure Ozzy that he was okay, but he began to feel uneasy about her loyalty. At Airai, Parvati approached Natalie about forming an alliance with James and Alexis in order to get them to the tribal merge. Longer term, Parvati offered to Natalie the option of going to the final four with Alexis and Amanda, which Natalie agreed with. A combined reward and immunity challenge was held on day 21 with a twist that the tribes had to select one member from the other tribe who would sit out the challenge, go to Exile Island, and return to Tribal Council with individual immunity for that one Tribal Council only should their tribe lose the challenge. Airai selected Ozzy and Malakal selected Alexis to sit out the challenge.
Airai won the closely contested challenge and won Tribal Immunity for the fourth straight time. On Exile Island, Ozzy feigned not having the Hidden Immunity Idol and went through the motions of trying to find the idol with Alexis to see if somebody took the false Hidden Immunity Idol that he planted. After the challenge, Erik told Amanda and Cirie about Ami's plotting with the Fans behind the Favorite's backs. Ami tried to convince Amanda and Cirie that her allegiance was to the Favorites. As soon as Ozzy returned from Exile Island, Erik told Ozzy the same story he told to Amanda and Cirie. Although Amanda and Cirie thought it would be safer to keep Ami since they knew her game and didn't trust Erik, Ozzy was upset at Ami's previous strategizing with the fans about potentially voting him out. At Tribal Council, a very emotional Ami tried to counter Erik's story, but to no avail and she was voted out.
|238||9||"I'm in Such a Hot Pickle!"||6.9/11||3.8/11||April 10, 2008||11.68||#17|
Eliza, disappointed that Ami had been previously voted out, formed an alliance with Jason, who told her that he had the Hidden Immunity Idol, not knowing it was a false Idol. On day 22, Airai and Malakal merged into one tribe and enjoyed the customary merger feast. The tribe decided to live at the Malakal campsite. Erik chose the name Dabu for the merged tribe, telling everyone that it meant "good" in Micronesian when in reality he had just made it up because he wanted to name the tribe something funny. Amanda became concerned about Alexis' attachment to Ozzy and she wanted to vote her off as soon as possible. Parvati told Amanda about the alliance she struck with Alexis and Natalie, but Amanda was angry about Parvati pledging Amanda's allegiance without her consent.
At the Immunity Challenge, Jason won the first Individual Immunity, allowing him to give the false Hidden Immunity Idol to Eliza, though she immediately recognized it as a fake planted by Ozzy. Jason and Eliza devised a plan that involved the two of them voting for Ozzy and using the Idol to protect Eliza from being voted out when the others made it clear that they wanted her gone. Even though she knew it was a fake, calling it "just a stick," Eliza hoped that even if it wasn't the real idol, she could at least expose Ozzy for having the real one. After the castaways voted but before the votes were revealed, Eliza put her plan into action and presented the false Hidden Immunity Idol to Jeff. After declaring the idol a fake, Jeff burnt it in the fire. Eliza then said that Ozzy must have the real Hidden Immunity Idol, and he admitted that he did. The vote tally proceeded and Eliza was voted out and became the first member of the jury.
|239||10||"I Promise..."||7.4/13||3.8/12||April 17, 2008||12.09||#11|
The team of Amanda, Erik, Jason, and Ozzy won the Reward Challenge. Cirie was not selected during the schoolyard pick for the challenge and she had to go to Exile Island, where she spent a cold night planning how to get rid of Ozzy.
At the Immunity Challenge, Erik and Cirie were the first to step down for a bowl of candy 20 minutes in. After 45 minutes in, Alexis dropped out due to excitement over the next item (a chocolate chip cookie). Natalie and James both lost their concentration and were out of the challenge. After one hour, Ozzy dropped out for 3 doughnuts. After 5 hours, Amanda dropped out for a bathroom break. The challenge came down to Parvati and Jason after over six hours of the two of them standing on the log. When Jeff offered a full tray of food that would be split with whomever stepped down and the castaways already out of the challenge, Jason said he would step down if he got a guarantee that he would not be voted for at the next Tribal Council after Parvati persuaded him that he could gain some friends by doing this. Everybody agreed, though several of the castaways crossed their fingers, and Jason stepped down, giving Individual Immunity to Parvati.
When the castaways returned to camp, Amanda, James, and Ozzy immediately wanted to renege on their promise to Jason and vote for him. Cirie saw this as a good opportunity to blindside Ozzy, the biggest physical threat, and eliminate the danger of the Immunity Idol. She approached Alexis, Jason, Natalie, and Parvati about voting for Ozzy. The four agreed with her, but decided not to tell any of the others and hoped to throw them off by acting like Jason was going home. At Tribal Council, Ozzy stated that he might have had to play the Hidden Immunity Idol, but he did not bring it with him to Tribal Council. Following that, an angry Ozzy was voted out.
|240||11||"I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face"||7.9/13||4.2/13||April 24, 2008||12.98||#12|
After Tribal Council, Amanda was angry that Parvati and Cirie did not tell her about their plot against Ozzy. Parvati tried to patch things up with James, but her efforts didn't work and James no longer trusted Parvati. Her efforts also failed with Amanda, though she kept her distrust of Parvati and Cirie to herself.
One of the items sold at the auction was a bottle containing a note that said that the winning bidder had to pick a castaway to immediately go to Exile Island. The item was won by Natalie and she chose Jason. Jeff announced that there was a new Hidden Immunity Idol on Exile Island, which was found by Jason. While Jason was on Exile Island, the girls planned to blindside him at the next Tribal Council. The plan was for Natalie to exploit Jason's trust in her and tell him that he owed her for sending him to Exile Island so that he could find the Hidden Immunity Idol. Just before the start of the Immunity Challenge, Natalie put the girl's plan into action by telling Jason that James was going to be voted out and Jason needed to make sure that James did not win Individual Immunity.
On his 22nd birthday, Erik won Individual Immunity, unknowingly putting the second part of the girl's plan into place. Back at camp, the girls searched Jason's bag, much to the chagrin of James and Erik, and found the Hidden Immunity Idol wrapped in his belongings. Natalie convinced Jason that the girls would be voting for James. At Tribal Council, the girls' plan finally succeeded when Jason did not play the Hidden Immunity Idol, and he was voted out.
|241||12||"I'm Gonna Fix Her!"||7.7/13||4.0/12||May 1, 2008||12.53||#14|
After Tribal Council, the Survivor medical team took a look at James' injured finger and told him that they would look at the finger again the next morning. James was told that if the infection spread to the joint, he would need surgery to prevent disablement of the joint. During the night, Alexis tripped and fell, injuring her knee.
The Reward Challenge included the customary visit by the castaways' loved ones. Jeff announced that Exile Island was back in play with another Hidden Immunity Idol. Alexis won the challenge to take a trip to Jellyfish Lake and opted to take along Cirie and her husband and Natalie and her mother. Amanda volunteered to go to Exile Island and Alexis granted her wish. After the challenge, the Survivor medical team looked at James again and made the call that the risk of the infection in his finger spreading to his joint was too great and that James be removed from the game for medication attention. On Exile Island, Amanda followed a new set of clues to learn that the Hidden Immunity Idol was buried under the tribe's flag back at camp. Alexis, Natalie, and Parvati discussed what they should do if Erik succeeded in winning the next Individual Immunity. Natalie said that she would vote for Amanda since she thought Amanda had the best chance of winning over the jury while Parvati said that she could not vote for Amanda due to long term alliances.
Erik's sharpshooting enabled him to win the Immunity Challenge, foiling the all-girl alliance's plan to vote him out at the next Tribal Council. Back at their campsite, Amanda truthfully told the tribe that she did not find the Hidden Immunity Idol. The idol clue stated that the idol was at camp, which she confided to Parvati. At that point, she recruited Parvati's help in retrieving the Idol. The others were fooled by Amanda and wanted to vote her out, worried that she had a better chance to capture jury votes since she had not made any enemies. Amanda and Parvati thought they could convince Erik to join their voting block by asking him to return the favor of keeping him in the game over Ami, but he would not join them. At Tribal Council, James shocked everybody by appearing with an IV for his infection. Alexis, Cirie, Erik, and Natalie openly said they would be voting for Amanda, but the three fans received a second shock for the night when she produced the Hidden Immunity Idol. She said when she told the others she didn't have it, she wasn't lying because she didn't have it at the time. This negated their votes against her, leaving only the votes cast for Alexis, who was voted out.
|242||13||"If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese"||7.7/13||4.1/12||May 8, 2008||11.98||#9|
After returning from Tribal Council, Erik and Natalie plotted their next moves to stay in the game, with them figuring out that one of them had to win the next Reward Challenge so that they could send the other to Exile Island in order to find the Hidden Immunity Idol. Amanda and Cirie reconfirmed their alliance with Parvati to go to the final three. They plotted to manipulate Erik into sending Parvati to Exile Island by having Amanda convince Erik that she forgave him for his switching loyalties and that they should team up since they were the two most physical players left. This would prevent Erik or Natalie from finding the Hidden Immunity Idol, making one of them vulnerable at the next Tribal Council.
Erik won the Reward Challenge and selected Amanda to join him based on his agreement with her, while Parvati was sent to Exile. Back at the campsite, Natalie felt betrayed by Erik and vented her feelings to Cirie, who found pleasure in Natalie stressing over the betrayal. After returning from the reward, Erik talked to Cirie and attempted to make a final 3 alliance with her and Parvati. However, Natalie overheard their conversation and she, Amanda and Cirie all recounted what Erik said to them, stressing Erik.
At the Immunity Challenge, Erik easily won, once again ruining the women's hopes of getting rid of him. Erik later revealed his planned game play to Cirie involving his hopes of going to the final three with her and Parvati, unaware that Natalie was nearby and overheard it. Natalie explained this to the other three women, and Cirie suggested that Natalie attempt to try to convince Erik to hand the Individual Immunity over to Natalie using the argument that it would redeem himself in front of the jury and that Cirie and Natalie would agree to vote out Amanda only if Erik saved Natalie. At Tribal Council, Amanda lambasted Erik for his switching loyalties, and was soon joined by Natalie and Parvati, while Cirie emphasized the need for redemption to win the jury's favor for the final Tribal Council. When the time came, the plot worked, and Erik gave Natalie the immunity necklace, hoping that Cirie and Natalie would join him in voting for Parvati. However, the girls stuck to their plan, and Erik was voted out.
|243||14||"Stir the Pot!"||7.2/12||4.4/12||May 11, 2008||12.92||#11|
After returning from Tribal Council, the ladies celebrated their success in voting out all of the men from the game.
At the Immunity Challenge, Natalie quickly took an early lead, but Amanda came from behind during the ladder assembly stage to win Immunity. Natalie tried to break up the alliance of Amanda, Cirie, and Parvati. During Tribal Council, Jeff hinted that instead of a final three that there would be a final two, which caused Cirie to declare that she felt she was at the bottom of every alliance that she was in. This resulted in a short argument between Cirie and Amanda. Despite this, the Favorites alliance held and Natalie, the last Fan remaining, was voted out 3–1.
After Tribal Council, Amanda and Cirie continued their argument over Cirie feeling that she was at the bottom of every alliance she was in, although they eventually made up and celebrated that they had all reached the final three like they had originally intended. Their happiness was cut short however, as the three found out on Day 38 that Jeff's questions at Tribal Council about a final two were not hypothetical and they would have to go through one final Immunity Challenge after the customary honoring of past castaways who left the game.
Parvati got out first and Amanda managed to hang on and win the final Immunity Challenge over Cirie. At camp, Cirie tried to convince Amanda why she should keep her, but at Tribal Council, Amanda kept her loyalty to Parvati and voted out Cirie as she felt Cirie was a jury threat.
Back at camp, Amanda and Parvati celebrated their making it to the final two by eating the customary final feast and burning down their shelter. For her opening statement at the final Tribal Council, Amanda tried to persuade the jury to vote for her by emphasizing her loyalties to her alliances. Parvati emphasized her aggressive play during the game. Tribal Council then proceeded to the jury's statements and questions. Eliza complimented the girls on their strategic gameplay, but criticized Parvati for being mean and Amanda for being superficial.
Jason asked if Amanda would have told Ozzy about the plan to vote him out if she had known about it and Parvati to list some of her redeeming qualities during the game. Alexis asked Parvati about what made her a better role model for young girls than Amanda, and asked Amanda about what part of her game was genuine. Natalie asked Parvati a confusing question about how Parvati's flirting translated into her intimate life, and Amanda was asked about her "glazed over... zombied, pretty girl, not really knowing what's going on, pageant queen cliché" look and if that was her strategy during the game.
Erik asked Amanda on what basis she felt had to judge him during Tribal Councils, but he did not ask any question of Parvati. James did not ask anything of Amanda, but questioned Parvati about what she said to him after Ozzy was voted out. Cirie asked Amanda why Parvati deserved a million dollars more than her and then asked Parvati about why Cirie should be in the final two instead of Parvati. Ozzy used his statement time to blast Parvati for taking 14 days away from him that he could have spent with Amanda and for ruining their friendship, before declaring that he was falling in love with Amanda. In the end, the jury sided with Parvati and declared her the Sole Survivor with a vote of 5–3.
|244||15||"The Reunion"||6.0/10||3.9/10||May 11, 2008||10.84||#12|
|The 20 castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- No vote; Jonathan was medically evacuated from the game.
- No vote; Kathy chose to quit the game.
- No vote; James was medically evacuated from the game.
- Amanda played a hidden Immunity Idol, therefore the four votes against her did not count.
- Cirie and Parvati were not eligible to vote as the only eligible players they could vote for were each other.
This season was very well received by both fans and critics alike, and is generally considered one of the best seasons of the show. Jeff Probst originally ranked it as his second favorite season of all time (behind Borneo), stating that “The Parvati-led women's alliance produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of the show.” Probst also stated that the Tribal Council in which Erik Reichenbach was eliminated was his favorite of all the seasons, and he also said Palau was his favorite filming location. Survivor columnist Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly also rated the season as the second best season saying that it had “great characters and the perfect mix of solid and stupid gameplay.” He then later ranked this season and Borneo as tied for the best seasons, saying,
"I’ve gone back and forth with these two over the years. After Micronesia aired, I named it the best Survivor season ever. Upon reflection, while I still considered it the most enjoyable, I also worried I was understating the impact of the first season, which became a national phenomenon. (Yes, Borneo now seems dated and tame by comparison, but it’s the biggest game changer in the past 20 years of television.) So then I returned that to the #1 spot. If I wanted to watch one season again, it would be Micronesia. If you ask me which is the most important season, well, obviously it’s Borneo. So instead of constantly flipping them, they can simply share the top spot…until I change my mind again."
Ross, in a 2019 Entertainment Weekly oral history discussion of Erik's elimination episode, named the resulting blindside as the greatest Survivor moment in the show's history.
Slant magazine gave the season a 3.5 star rating out of four, saying “Never in Survivor history has there been such a string of shocking tribal councils one right after the next.” Andy Dehnart of realityblurred.com also gave the season a positive review, stating that the moment where Erik gave individual immunity to Natalie helped make “Survivor: Micronesia the best season ever—or at least, the best second half of a season ever.” In 2014, Joe Reid of The Wire ranked it as the sixth-best season of the series. Survivor fan site "Survivor Oz" ranked Micronesia as the second-best season of the series (behind Heroes vs. Villains) in its annual polls ranking every season in 2012 and 2013, while it was ranked fourth in 2014 and fifth in 2015 Fellow fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" ranked it as the ninth-best season. In 2015, in a poll held on the website of former Survivor contestant Rob Cesternino, Micronesia was ranked as the fourth-greatest season of the series by the website's users, while Cesternino himself personally ranked it as the second-best season, only behind Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
Seven years later, in the official CBS Watch issue commemorating Survivor's 15th anniversary, Micronesia was voted by viewers as the third greatest season of the series, only behind Heroes vs. Villains and Pearl Islands. Another poll in the same magazine, asking viewers to vote for the most memorable moment in the series, saw Ozzy's elimination in Episode Ten come in second, only behind Sandra Diaz-Twine burning Russell Hantz's hat in Heroes vs. Villains.
- Miho, David (2007-09-21). "Survivor Palau Prepares For New TV Season – Again". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- Rodriguez Jr., Nazario (2007-09-25). "Big Fish Ink needs around 200 Palauans for film production". Marianas Variety. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "Survivor: S16 Palau All-Stars". Survivor Maps. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Ross, Dalton (2008-01-03). "'Survivor: Micronesia': Exclusive Cast Reveal!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
- "'Survivor': Jeff Probst Ranks All the Seasons, Worst to First". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Jeff Probst picks favorite Tribal Council". Retrieved 2010-11-10.
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- Ross, Dalton. "Survivor season finale recap: The Right Person Won". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Survivor recap: Chelsea Lately". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Ross, Dalton (May 8, 2019). "The ultimate blindside: An oral history of the greatest Survivor moment ever". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Cinquemani, Sal (May 8, 2008). "Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Dehnart, Andy (May 9, 2008). "Erik gives up immunity and becomes "the dumbest Survivor ever"". Reality Blurred. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- https://purplerockpodcast.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/survivor-season-rankings-with-spoiler-free-summaries/[permanent dead link]