|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Original release||February 7 –|
May 11, 2008
|Filming dates||October 29 –|
December 6, 2007
Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites, also known as Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites and Survivor: Micronesia, 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 had 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 competed to find the hidden immunity idol.
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 two rather than three finalists. This was also the first season to have an even-numbered jury, with eight jury members rather than the traditional seven or nine, 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.[not verified in body][relevant?]
In the end, Parvati Shallow defeated fellow Favorite Amanda Kimmel by a vote of 5–3 to become the Sole Survivor. The viewers' favorite contestants, as named on the reunion show, were James Clement, Kimmel and Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth. 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. The merged tribe was named Dabu by contestant Erik Reichenbach, who falsely claimed it to mean "good" in Micronesian.
|Malakal||1st voted out||Day 3|
|Airai||2nd voted out||Day 6|
|Malakal||3rd voted out||Day 8|
|Michael "Mikey B" Bortone||34||Los Angeles,
|Airai||4th voted out||Day 11|
|Malakal||5th voted out||Day 14|
|Malakal||Airai||Medically evacuated||Day 15|
|Chet Welch||48||Ford City,
|Airai||Malakal||6th voted out||Day 17|
|Kathleen "Kathy" Sleckman||45||Glen Ellyn,
|Malakal||7th voted out||Day 20|
|Malakal||8th voted out||Day 21|
|Airai||Dabu||9th voted out
1st jury member
|Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
|Malakal||10th voted out
2nd jury member
|Jason Siska||22||Fox River Grove,
|Airai||Airai||11th voted out
3rd jury member
4th jury member
|Alexis Jones||24||Beverly Hills,
|Airai||12th voted out
5th jury member
|Malakal||13th voted out
6th jury member
|Natalie Bolton||32||West Hollywood,
|Airai||14th voted out
7th jury member
|Malakal||Malakal||15th voted out
8th jury member
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 is at this time the only Fan returning as he was a Favorite in the second "Fans vs. Favorites" season, Survivor: Caramoan. Shallow later returned to compete on Survivor: Winners at War.
Outside of Survivor, Lusth competed on the second season of American Ninja Warrior. Eliza Orlins competed in The Amazing Race 31 alongside two-time Survivor contestant Corinne Kaplan. Fields was a contestant on the USA Network reality competition series, Snake in the Grass.
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.[further explanation needed] 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 female Fans Natalie and Alexis to blindside several threats, working covertly to avoid suspicion and advancing to the final six with Erik, who had been safeguarded by repeated[timeframe?] 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 in an attempt 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, who she perceived to be the greater threat to win. The jury intensely questioned both finalists and awarded Parvati the victory in a 5–3 decision.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Reward||Immunity||Tribe||Player|
|1||"You Guys Are Dumber Than You Look"||Feb 7, 2008||Yau-Man[a]
|2||"The Sounds of Jungle Love"||Feb 14, 2008||Malakal||Cirie
|3||"I Should Be Carried on the Chariot-Type Thing!"||Feb 21, 2008||Malakal||Airai||Ami
|4||"That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!"||Feb 28, 2008||Malakal||Malakal||Kathy
|5||"He's a Ball of Goo!"||Mar 6, 2008||Airai||Airai||None[b]||Malakal||Joel|
|6||"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"||Mar 13, 2008||Airai||Airai||Chet
|7||"Like a Wide-Eyed Kid in the Candy Store"||Mar 19, 2008||Malakal||Airai||Jason
|8||"A Lost Puppy Dog"||Apr 3, 2008||Airai||Alexis[c]
|9||"I'm in Such a Hot Pickle!"||Apr 10, 2008||None[d]||Jason||None[d]||Dabu||Eliza|
|10||"I Promise..."||Apr 17, 2008||Amanda, Erik,
|11||"I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face"||Apr 24, 2008||Survivor
|12||"I'm Gonna Fix Her!"||May 1, 2008||Alexis
|13||"If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese"||May 8, 2008||Erik
|14||"Stir the Pot!"||May 11, 2008||None||Amanda||None||Natalie|
- In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win a 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 player per tribe each received immunity at their first Tribal Council.
- There was no exile due to a tribe 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 merge.
- 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|
|Ten fans arrived on a tropical island and learned that they would compete against ten returning players. The contestants swam to an island and searched for individual immunity idols. Jonny Fairplay found the idols tied to either tribe's boat, but took the one belonging to the Airai tribe. Yau-Man noticed and grabbed the Malakal idol then showed the fan's idol to Kathy, who took it. At the Malakal camp, alliances form of Ami, Eliza, Jonathan and Yau-Man and of the James-Parvati and Amanda-Ozzy couples; these groups courted Fairplay who played both sides. A combined reward and immunity challenge required building a cart from puzzle pieces and pushing it through an obstacle course, then using the puzzle pieces to complete a mechanism and set fire to a platform. Airai took an early lead and won immunity and a flint. Afterwards, Jonny Fairplay told Malakal that he missed his girlfriend and daughter and wasn't committed to the game. The truth of this is questioned and he is unanimously voted out. After the tribal council, Malakal are given flint, though Yau-Man had already made fire by focusing sunlight.|
|231||2||"The Sounds of Jungle Love"||7.6/12||4.5/13||February 14, 2008||13.12||6|
|Airai struggled to make camp. Chet, Kathy and Tracy felt shunned by their younger tribemates and built their own shelter, then a second was built for the other tribe members. At Malakal, the Amanda-Ozzy and Parvati-James couples grew closer, to the concern of Jonathan and Cirie. A combined reward and immunity challenge had five contestants complete laps of an amphibious obstacle course, a sixth unlock a box, and three others solve a puzzle. Chet struggled to retrieve a key in the water and Malakal won by a large margin, receiving immunity, fishing gear and a bamboo fishing boat. Malakal chose to send Kathy to Exile Island, then had to send one of their own and Cirie volunteered. Kathy and Cirie discovered a series of clues but failed to find a hidden immunity idol. At Airai, Mikey B wanted to vote out Chet due to his challenge performance, and devised a way to split his alliance's seven votes between Chet and Tracy to protect against an idol. Joel did not like Mikey B controlling the vote, and plotted with Erik, Alexis, Natalie, Chet, Tracy and Kathy who undermined Mikey B's position by voting out his close ally, Mary.|
|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. A reward challenge has contestants try to move to their end of a playing field with their tribe's three bags and two of the opposing tribe's bags. In a very physical contest in the rain, Malakal won and chose their reward of a tarp, a lighting kit and a survival kit. Kathy and Ami were sent to Exile Island, where they competed in search for the hidden idol. Cirie contemplated which alliance to join and struck a final-three deal with Amanda and Parvati. The immunity challenge required two men and two women from each tribe to support a net into which members of the opposing tribe tossed coconuts. Airai outlasted Malakal and won tribal immunity. The Malakal alliances openly lobbied for Cirie's vote. Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati and James wanted to vote out Eliza – having earlier failed to bring her into their alliance – but follow Cirie's lead and vote out Yau-Man due to her concerns that he would find the hidden immunity idol.|
|233||4||"That's Baked, Barbecued and Fried!"||7.5/12||4.2/11||February 28, 2008||12.47||10|
|Chet irritated his tribemates with his lack of work at camp. Eliza felt sick and James criticized his alliance's decision to not vote her out, believing she was weak. The reward challenge required diving for coconuts and bringing them to shore where tribemates would unscramble a word puzzle. Ozzy facilitated the diving task for his tribemates and Malakal won three chicken hens, a rooster and chicken feed. Kathy and Ozzy were exiled, and Kathy felt disheartened and did not search for the idol. Under the pretense of looking for food, Ozzy searched and found the idol without Kathy's knowledge and put a fake idol in its place. At Malakal, Eliza talked with Parvati about voting Jonathan, but he overheard them. The immunity challenge harnessed six tribemembers to a hub which they had to unlock and maneuver through a forest course, collecting puzzle necklaces which two tribemates would use to decrypt a three-word phrase. Airai struggled to work together and Malakal won by a large margin. Mikey B feigned loyalty to Joel but lobbied to vote out Chet. Tracy approached Joel with a plan to vote out Mikey B, which worked.|
|234||5||"He's a Ball of Goo!"||7.3/11||4.0/10||March 6, 2008||12.06||8|
|Ozzy told Amanda, James and Parvati that he found the immunity idol. The tribes were switched by a 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. The challenge harnessed pairs of tribemates in an obstacle course, with a point scored for the pursuing pair taking a flag from the defenders or for the defenders evading the pursuers for one minute. Airai won a food reward and no one was exiled. Several were injured and Jonathan received medical attention for a puncture wound to the knee. On day 14, the Favorites took charge at Airai and built a new camp and shelter further inland. The immunity challenge had contestants throw rocks at tiles then a caller instructed others to solve a puzzle. Airai initially fell behind but worked quickly on the puzzle and won immunity. At Malakal, Joel and Erik approached the Favorites about voting out physically weaker tribemates Chet, Cirie and Tracy. Cirie overheard, worked with Chet and Tracy to target Joel, and convinced Amanda and Ozzy that Joel was a bigger long-term threat.|
|235||6||"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"||7.9/13||4.2/13||March 13, 2008||13.06||3|
|The reward challenge had tribes race to make an opening in a blockade of tied planks and sticks created by the opposing tribe and get all their tribe members through it. Airai won a reward visit from two Micronesians who demonstrated ways to catch seafood and improve camp. Chet and Jason are exiled and Jason finds Ozzy's fake idol. Jonathan is medevaced for his infected knee. At Malakal, Amy proposed an alliance to Erik and Tracy, as she distrusted Cirie. The immunity challenge required contestants to use stepping poles to transfer two tribemates across platforms over the water then get all seven members on or above a small platform on a tower. Airai won by carrying both Parvati and Eliza on a single pole rather than using both poles. At Malakal, Chet asked to be voted out because he had given up and had an injured foot, though Erik and Tracy wanted him to vote with them against Ozzy. Chet is 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|
|Ozzy's de facto leadership and arrogance during a fishing expedition upset the Malakal women. On the reward challenge, two callers directed four blindfolded tribemates to push a large money stone through a forest course. Eight smaller money stones gathered along the way were then used to solve a puzzle. Malakal won and received a reward trip to a spa and food. Jason and Tracy were exiled. Demoralized by poor living conditions and missing her family, Kathy quit the game. The immunity challenge required a tribemember to race along a floating bridge with a rope for each of five bundles of large puzzle pieces which are winched ashore by tribemates. Two remaining tribemates then solved the puzzle. Ozzy and Erik provided Malakal with a large lead but Eliza and Jason quickly assembled Airai's puzzle for the tribe's third consecutive immunity win. Ami attempted a plot to blindside Ozzy, lobbying Amanda and Cirie to blindside Ozzy's ally Erik while working with Tracy and Erik to vote Ozzy out 3–2–1. However, the plot collapsed at tribal council as Amanda and Cirie did not wish to lose Ozzy's trust, and Erik joined with the Favorites to eliminate Tracy.|
|237||8||"A Lost Puppy Dog"||7.5/12||3.8/9||April 3, 2008||12.84||11|
|Ozzy felt concerned that he was seen as a leader and became unsure of Ami's loyalty. Parvati proposed an alliance with James, Natalie and Alexis to get them to the merge, and offered the women a final four alliance with herself and Amanda. Before a combined reward and immunity challenge, Ozzy and Alexis are chosen by their tribes for immediate exile. The challenge required individual tribe members to maneuver through a balancing obstacle course while two members of the opposing tribe tried to knock them down with weighted bags. In a close challenge, Airai completed five laps first and won tribal immunity plus a reward of pizza and beer at camp. On Exile Island, Ozzy pretended to look for the hidden immunity idol with Alexis to conceal the fact that he had already obtained it. At Malakal, Erik told Amanda and Cirie about Ami's attempt to blindside Ozzy, but they understood her motivation and accept her allegiance. Once Ozzy returned from Exile Island, Erik told him the same story. Although Amanda and Cirie thought Erik was dangerous, Ozzy was upset that Ami plotted against him. Ami tried to counter Erik's story at Tribal Council but 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 formed an alliance with Jason, who told her that he had the hidden immunity idol, not realizing that it was a fake. On day 22, Airai and Malakal merged and received a feast. They decided to live at the Malakal campsite and chose to name the new tribe Dabu, which Erik said meant "good" in Micronesian but it was just something funny-sounding that he invented. Amanda became concerned about Alexis's attachment to Ozzy and upset when Parvati revealed that she had committed them to a final four alliance with Alexis and Natalie. An individual immunity challenge had each contestant positioned under a metal grate while the tide rose, reducing their breathing space. Jason lasted the longest and won immunity. He gave Eliza the immunity idol he found but she immediately recognized it as a fake (describing it as "just a stick"). At Tribal Council, after the votes were cast, Eliza tried to play it. Jeff declared the idol a fake and burned it in the fire pit, and Eliza declared that Ozzy must then have the real hidden immunity idol, which he admitted. The votes were then tallied and Eliza became the first member of the jury.|
|239||10||"I Promise..."||7.4/13||3.8/12||April 17, 2008||12.09||11|
|A schoolyard pick divided the contestants into two teams of four for the reward challenge, with Cirie unchosen and immediately exiled. One at a time, teammates swam, crawled and climbed through an obstacle course, and collectively had to reproduce a sequence of Micronesian symbols. The team of Amanda, Erik, Jason and Ozzy won an overnight reward trip to Yap for a feast and cultural observance. The immunity challenge had contestants balance on a log with a raised hand tethered to an unsecured water bucket above them. Erik, Cirie, Alexis and Ozzy forfeited for offered sweets, while others lost concentration. After more than six hours, Jeff offered a tray of food for either of the last two – Jason or Parvati – to step down. Parvati suggested that Jason could gain goodwill by sharing the food. Jason asked for and received a guarantee from everyone that he would not be voted at the next Tribal Council, and forfeited. At camp, Amanda, James and Ozzy immediately wanted to renege on their promise to Jason. Cirie approached Alexis, Jason, Natalie and Parvati about blindsiding Ozzy. At Tribal Council, Ozzy stated that he left his idol back at camp and he 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 blindsiding Ozzy and their final four alliance, Parvati tried to repair her relationships with Amanda and James. Both distrusted her, but Amanda played along because the women comprised a majority. An opportunity for rewards was provided through an auction. Natalie won the power to immediately exile a tribemate and she chose Jason, who found a new hidden immunity idol. The women planned to blindside Jason; Natalie misdirected him by telling him to make sure James didn't win immunity so that they could vote him out. The immunity challenge had a series of elimination stages: throwing rocks to break tiles, digging for a key and solving a puzzle wheel to turn a mechanism, and racing through a suspended obstacle course. Erik won immunity (on what happened to be his 22nd birthday). The women searched through Jason's bag, to the disapproval of James and Erik, and found his hidden immunity idol. Natalie reaffirmed to Jason that the women would be voting for James. Jason did not play his idol and was voted out.|
|241||12||"I'm Gonna Fix Her!"||7.7/13||4.0/12||May 1, 2008||12.53||14|
|Contestants' loved ones visited during the reward challenge, which had contestants guess how the majority of the tribe had responded on a survey about each other. Each correct answer allowed them to chop a competitor's rope; three chopped ropes eliminated a contestant. Alexis won a trip to Jellyfish Lake to swim among stingless jellyfish with a loved one; she chose Cirie and Natalie to join her, along with their loved ones. James was removed from the game due to his infected finger. Amanda volunteered to be exiled and learned that the idol was under the tribe's flag. The immunity challenge had contestants take turns shooting at colored sake bottles. Erik's sharpshooting allowed him to break three bottles of his assigned color and win. Amanda told the tribe that she had not found the idol; later, with Parvati's help, she secretly retrieved it. The others wanted to vote Amanda out, worried that she was a jury threat. Everyone is surprised when James appeared in the Tribal Council jury with an IV drip. Alexis, Cirie, Erik and Natalie openly declared that they would vote for Amanda. After the votes were cast, Amanda played her idol and Alexis was eliminated with two votes.|
|242||13||"If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese"||7.7/13||4.1/12||May 8, 2008||11.98||9|
|Erik and Natalie decided that one of them had to win the reward challenge and exile the other in order to find the immunity idol. Amanda, Cirie and Parvati reconfirmed their final three alliance, and plotted for Amanda to convince Erik that he should partner with Parvati since they were the strongest at challenges. The reward challenge tested the contestants on past seasons of the show. Erik was the first to correctly answer four questions and won a helicopter trip over the Rock Islands and an overnight stay at a resort. Erik brought Amanda with him and exiled Parvati. Natalie felt betrayed and vented her feelings to Cirie. The immunity challenge had contestants retrieve an assigned color of puzzle pieces from three large sand pits, using intersecting ropes to determine the location to dig. Erik assembled his puzzle and won his third consecutive immunity. Erik tried to make a final three alliance with Cirie and Parvati, but Natalie overheard and the women confronted Erik over his multiple alliances. Erik became stressed over potentially ruining his game. At Cirie's suggestion, Natalie agreed to vote out Parvati if Erik gave her the individual immunity as a sign of trust, and proposed that this would redeem him in front of the jury. At Tribal Council, Amanda criticized Erik for switching loyalties, with Natalie and Parvati joining in, while Cirie emphasized the need for redemption to win the jury's favor. Erik gave Natalie the immunity necklace and the women voted him out.|
|243||14||"Stir the Pot!"||7.2/12||4.4/12||May 11, 2008||12.92||11|
|The women celebrated outlasting the men. For an immunity challenge, contestants started on poles over water and used buckets to fill a chute and obtain floating keys. They then swam to shore, unlocked pieces of a puzzle ladder and climbed to raise a flag. Natalie took an early lead but Amanda quickly assembled her ladder and won. During the Tribal Council, Jeff hinted that there would be a final two. Cirie declared that she felt at the bottom of her alliance, which provoked an argument with Amanda. Despite this, the Favorites alliance held and Natalie, the last Fan, was voted out. Following a memory walk of those who had left the game, the remaining contestants undertook a final immunity challenge. They balanced a metal ball on a notched wooden cylinder, held only by friction with other pieces of cylinder which were added in successive rounds. Amanda won and voted Cirie out. At the final Tribal Council, Amanda emphasized her loyalty while Parvati emphasized her aggressive play. The jurors questioned Parvati's ethics and Amanda's authenticity. Ozzy's elimination became a central point, and Ozzy stated that he felt robbed of time with Amanda, feeling that he was falling in love with her.|
|244||15||"The Reunion"||6.0/10||3.9/10||May 11, 2008||10.84||12|
|Months later, the jury's votes are revealed: they sided with Parvati and declared her the Sole Survivor with a vote of 5–3 over Amanda. The 20 former contestants discussed the season with host Jeff Probst. James, for the second consecutive season, was the viewer's choice of favorite contestant, winning $100,000. Amanda and Ozzy received the next highest number of votes.|
- 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 received universal acclaim from both fans and critics, 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 that 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 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 4, saying "Never in Survivor history has there been such a string of shocking tribal councils one right after the next." Andy Dehnart of reality blurred 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 in 2012 and 2013, while it was ranked fourth in 2014 and fifth in 2015. "The Purple Rock Podcast" ranked it as the fifth-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, behind Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. This was updated in 2021 during Cesternino's podcast, Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings, ranking 4th out of 40. In 2020, Inside Survivor ranked this season 7th out of 40, calling it a "strong season from start to finish with a few bumps along the way".
In the official CBS Watch issue commemorating Survivor's 15th anniversary, Micronesia was voted by viewers as the third-greatest season of the series, 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, behind Sandra Diaz-Twine burning Russell Hantz's hat in Heroes vs. Villains.
The gameplay of Shallow was very well-received by fans and critics alike. In the official issue of CBS Watch commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor, Shallow was voted by viewers as the fourth greatest contestant in the history of the series (only behind Rob Cesternino, Russell Hantz, and Rob Mariano), and was the highest-ranking female contestant. In 2017, Entertainment Weekly had fans of the series rank the 34 winners and Shallow came in 1st place. In 2015, host Jeff Probst named Shallow one of his top ten favorite Survivor winners, and one of his top four favorite female winners. In 2020, before the premiere of Winners at War, Probst named Shallow the best winner ever.
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