Survivor alum has advice for Jeff Probst on how to make Merge Challenge more fair

Jeff Probst on the red carpet
A Survivor meltdown led to a response from its host, Jeff Probst. Pic credit: ©

The Merge Challenge for Survivor 46 had unbalanced teams as everyone fought to “earn the merge” in Fiji.

Even host Jeff Probst was shocked at how all the people perceived as “competition beasts” were randomly drawn to be on the same team.

Typically, Immunity Challenges are set up to even the playing field and not just be physical, but the opening portion of this challenge heavily favored taller and stronger players.

Soda, Venus, Charlie, Maria, Moriah, and Liz were definitely the underdogs of the challenge, even though they found a way to make it a close finish. It’s unsurprising how little time Tiffany (the player sitting out) needed to choose Kenzie, Hunter, Tim, Q, Tevin, and Ben as the likely winners.

Losing that challenge shifted the game of some players. And maybe that is intentional from the producers. But it also might not be the fairest way to do things.

Following the airing of Survivor 46, Episode 6, a Survivor alum shared some advice for Jeff Probst on how he should change things moving forward.

Some advice from a Survivor alum on how to fix Merge Challenge

Eliza Orlins from Survivor: Vanuatu (2004 season won by Chris Daugherty) and Survivor: Micronesia (Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites won by Parvati Shallow) shared some thoughts online after that pivotal episode.

“When you do a ‘pick ’em’ instead of a random draw, you not only end up with those of us who get picked last and subsequently have a chip on our shoulder for the rest of the game, you also get somewhat more evenly distributed teams!” Eliza wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Having the players choose the teams can shake things up and ensure that the teams are more balanced than when rocks are drawn. And as she alluded to, it can also lead to some bitter feelings that make the show more interesting to Survivor fans.

“Just a friendly thought,” Eliza ended her note while tagging Survivor and Jeff Probst.

She’s correct in her assessment. At the same time, it can be pretty devastating to be the one player not picked by either team. It worked to Tiffany’s advantage to predict which team would win, but was that too much of an advantage due to how the teams looked?

More from Survivor

A secret Venus scene from Survivor 46 revealed why she wouldn’t help her tribe in between challenges. It is a deleted scene that should have been part of an episode by now. Here is that scene from Survivor 2024.

Host Jeff Probst also defended having Bhanu on the Survivor 46. He spoke about why a player like Bhanu brings a lot to a season of Survivor.

Below is another look at the Merge Challenge from Survivor 46 and how the teams were drawn.

Previous episodes of Survivor are available for streaming on Paramount+.

Survivor airs Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS.

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1 month ago

There is nothing more fair than a random draw.