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15 reasons why we love Survivor

15 reasons why we love Survivor
Survivor debuted on May 31, 2000. (Stylized number illustration by Shutterstock.)

Survivor debuted 15 years ago today, and has aired exactly 30 seasons since then. Five years ago, on its 10th anniversary, I looked at the show’s impact. Today, in honor of its 15th anniversary, a celebration of 15 things I love about the show.

1. That amazing theme song

2. The stunning locations

Survivor Tocantins Brazil Survivor Gabon Africa
Survivor has filmed in beautiful places all around the world, including Brazil to Gabon. Next up: Cambodia.

3. Unexpected moments like this

4. and this.

5. The heroes and villains


Love, hate, or love to hate, Survivor has characters we can root for or against every season.

6. Jeff Probst

Probst with rice on Survivor
Probst has come a long way since he was “Dimples,” and now literally runs the show that he hosts. This is good and bad, and has its highs and lows. Whatever we think about the results, it’s absolutely clear how much he cares about the show and tries to make it great for viewers.

7. Raw, emotional human drama


Real people have continually delivered unexpected and intense entertainment and drama for 15 years.

8. The epic challenges and production design


Seriously, what show does it better? No one.

9. The conversations and debates

Survivor Worlds Apart Dan Foley
Survivor inspires passionate conversation and debate, from casting to strategy. And even the most loathsome behavior prompts important discussions, both on and off camera. Survivor may not always handle these things perfectly, but at least it doesn’t just ignore them.

10. The show’s affect on popular culture

Survivor has done so much for TV over the past 15 years, from the proliferation of reality television to this classic:

11. The twists and the game

Some of the twists are exasperating and others exhilarating, but they’ve all attempted to keep things interesting for the Survivors and fans. Despite the twists, though, the core of the game has remained the same and as solid as ever. It’s a formula that works.

12. The alliances and friendships the game inspires.

13. The shocking Tribal Council blindsides

14. and the raw comedy.

Aiiiiiiiiiiir Baaaaaaaaaalllll

Oh Coach, I love you.

Balls are always hilarious.

15. Finally, the brilliant editing that pulls all this together.

reality blurred tarsier

Metaphoric Survivor tarsiers and other cute animals? Yes, please!

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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