7 Reasons Why Survivor 44 Was Better Than Season 43

Now that Survivor season 44 has ended its run, it’s clear that the season was a step above its predecessor, Survivor 43. The 43rd installment was a series of ups-and-downs for the long-running reality competition. It had some memorable moments, but overall, it was a disappointing entry for the franchise.

On the other hand, Survivor 44 got off to a rocky start, but it became clear by the end of the season that it was an improvement over 43. It wasn’t a perfect installment of the show, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. Even if it won’t be mentioned among the greatest seasons of all time, there are a number of reasons why Survivor 44 is one of the best “new era” seasons.



7 Survivor 44 Had Higher Stakes

Matthew Grinstead-Mayle Survivor 44 smiling outside

It’s never fun to see contestants get injured on Survivor, but the amount of medical situations on Survivor 44 illustrated the survival element of the show. This doesn’t always come across on television. There were several times when the show’s medical team had to step in. Bruce Perreault was medically evacuated on the first night, due to a head injury he suffered in the very first challenge. Matthew Grinstead-Mayle withdrew from the game due to a severe shoulder injury. Additionally, former NFL player Brandon Cottom needed medical attention in an early immunity challenge due to the toll of the game.

The fact that all of these harrowing moments occurred very early in the game gave season 44 gravity, and raised the stakes. It wasn’t ideal that players needed to be medically evacuated. However, if there’s a positive to be found in the circumstance, it’s that the medical situations gave the season an edge. They made it evident how brutal the Survivor experience really is.

6 Survivor 44 Had The Birdcage Idol

Brandon Cottom Survivor 44 Idol smiling and pointing on island with castmate

Season 44 debuted a clever way for Hidden Immunity Idols to be introduced in the game, and it was a bit more interesting to watch than season 43’s bead-gathering task. Though the bead task forced players to use their social strengths, it wasn’t as compelling to watch as 44’s public birdcage idol. The public idol led to more paranoia in the game, and made the players use their wits to get an idol without being caught. This was a very fun component of the season.

5 Survivor 44 Was Less Controversial

Yam Yam Arocho talking to Carson Garrett and Danny Massa on Survivor 44

Unfortunately, Survivor 43‘s final result was extremely controversial. When Mike “Gabler” Gabler unexpectedly won the game against Cassidy Clark and Owen Knight, it led to major backlash. Though the season ended months ago, several of the jury members still face harassment on social media for their decision to crown Gabler as the winner. There are political and societal factors at play in the backlash, and overall, it’s simply too chaotic and ugly of a situation for the season to be as rewarding as season 44.

4 Survivor 44 Had Better Strategists

Carson Garrett on Survivor 44 smiling in red top

Survivor 43 certainly had some strong gamers, but season 44 had far more. 43 was very top-heavy in that regard, as Jesse Lopez and Cody Assenmacher were leagues ahead of most of their competitors in terms of their strategic skills. Survivor 44 had a number of strong strategists who could’ve made for great winners, which led to a more dynamic overall game. Jesse’s blindside of Cody on 43 may have been the biggest move of the new era, but the strategy on season 44 was more consistently dynamic, due to the amount of strong players.

3 Survivor 44 Had More Interesting Castaways

Carolyn Wiger Survivor 44 looking stressed

Survivor 43 had several interesting contestants, but season 44 had more strong personalities. Yam Yam Arocho and Carolyn Wiger are two of Survivor‘s most eccentric contestants ever, and they weren’t the only standouts on the season. Even the weaker players on 44 were fun to watch, like podiatrist Josh Wilder, whose messy lies landed him in trouble early on. The cast for 43 had its moments, but it wasn’t as consistently entertaining as the zany characters on season 44.

2 Survivor 44 Had Fewer Twists

Jeff Probst Survivor 44 smiling outside in survivor hat

Season 44 had too many twists in the early stages, which led to an extremely unpalatable elimination right after the merge, when Matt Blankinship was voted out because of the split-tribe twist. After that, though, the season pulled back on the new wrinkles, and had the most twist-free merge game of the new era. Unlike season 43, there was no double elimination or “Choose Your Champion” advantage. Instead, the producers let the players play the traditional Survivor game, and it led to a better overall season.

1 Survivor 44 Had A More Satisfying Winner

Survivor 44 Yam Yam Carolyn and Heidi at tribal council

Gabler rightfully earned his win on Survivor 43, but his victory narrative wasn’t very effectively portrayed on the season. It came as an unexpected out-of-left-field win, and Gabler’s game was very under-the-radar throughout. Those factors, combined with the fact that the best overall player, Jesse, was eliminated at the fire-making challenge, made Gabler’s win come across as anticlimactic.

On the other hand, Yam Yam’s season 44 win was a satisfying conclusion to the season. Yam Yam was one of the biggest personalities on the season, and the show made sure to also display his strategy throughout the game. By winning the season, Gabler played the best game on season 43, but the show was unable to effectively portray why that was the case. Yam Yam’s win, though, was very satisfying. It made sense within the context of the season’s overarching narrative. The winner can make or break a season, and Survivor season 44 had a very strong victor.

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