One divisive “Survivor” castaway is not shying away from sharing some divisive opinions about the current season, season 41. Three-time U.S. player Russell Hantz (who also played a fourth time on Australian “Survivor”) recorded a YouTube video for his channel blasting the show for the unnecessary twists and falling ratings. Here is what he said.
Hantz Said The Season Is ‘Going Down the Tubes’
In his video, Hantz said, “Season 41 is going down the tubes. It’s going down fast,” and he went on to say the ratings are down by “a lot.”
But that’s not exactly true. He is comparing ratings for season 41 to season 40, which was “Winners at War,” which was an all-star season, pitting 20 previous winners against each other. More people are going to tune in for an all-stars season to watch their favorite players — case in point, the first all-stars season, which was season eight, routinely earned 1 to 2 million more viewers each week than the two all-newbies seasons surrounding it. So comparing an all-newbies season to a season full of all-stars is not a fair comparison.
When you compare season 41 to the previous three seasons that aired in the fall (seasons 39, 37 and 35), each subsequent season has lower ratings than the season before — comparing episode to episode, each year falls by about half a million to 1 million viewers per episode. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Survivor” is still routinely winning its timeslot in the 18-49 demographic. Also according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Survivor” adds over a million viewers each week when adjusted for “Live + 3 Day” ratings — someone who watches within three days of the show airing — so, the numbers are not bad at all for the show. If you take out live sports, “Survivor” finishes in the top 3 every week for the 18-49 demo.
Ratings are down all over broadcast TV, falling more every year for most shows because of the rise of non-linear viewing — DVRs or getting caught up on a streaming service. So, Hantz’s argument about ratings doesn’t exactly indicate that the season is bad. But he is convinced it’s because of the “wokeness.”
Hantz has been vocally opposed to what he calls “Survivor” becoming “woke” this season, starting with host Jeff Probst doing away with using the term “guys.” He blames this for the falling ratings (which, again, is kind of the nature of broadcast TV now).
“The reason we are losing viewers is because of the wokeness — bottom line. Bottom f***ing line,” said Hantz, adding later, “This is the worst disaster when it comes to ratings in the history of ‘Survivor.'”
Well, yes, but that’s basically been the case since season two — every season after season two has had worse ratings than the season before, barring a few exceptions like “All-Stars.” That’s the nature of TV. It is extremely rare for a show to increase its ratings as it airs. So you could say every season since “Africa” has been “the worst disaster when it comes to ratings in the history of ‘Survivor.'” In reality, that’s just how TV works.
Hantz Also Slammmed How ‘Confusing’ The Season Is
Hantz went on to say that the season is confusing with its needless twists and to that we say — he’s not wrong. “Survivor” fans love a good twist, but this season is getting a little out of control. If the producers have to put a list of advantages or idols that people have when they put their names on the screen, that might indicate that there is too much for viewers to keep track of while they are watching.
Hantz said he has ideas about what the show needs to do to improve, saying, “I want to do a video on what they need to do to change, but the first thing that they’re doing wrong is the wokeness. The second thing they’re doing wrong is bringing all types of challenge stations and things you have to read and things you have to find. It makes it to where everyone that’s watching, it makes it so confusing to watch that you can’t even enjoy it because you can’t even understand it — what’s happening with ‘Survivor?!'”
He finished by saying, “You’re ruining the show that I love!”
And he is not the only viewer who feels this way. Every week on Twitter, fans are complaining about “too many twists,” writing things like, “I don’t understand anything that’s happening” and “‘Survivor’ doesn’t need all these bells and whistles to be good.”
“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!