So what the heck is this Survivor
Answer: You'll be sorry you asked. It's an
attempt to apply Sabermetrics to Survivor. (Sorry yet?
If not, read on.) Essentially, an attempt to answer: "Who's the
best Survivor player?"
So you might notice that we have two ways of measuring total
scores. One is the Survival Score (SurvSc).
It's simply the sum of three components: Challenge Win% (ChW%),
Tribal Council% (TC%), and Jury Vote% (JV%, irrelevant until the
finale). So SurvSc = ChW% + TC% + JV%, for a
max score of 2 (3 after the finale).
The other score is the Survival Average (SurvAv).
It's a simple sum of fractional Challenge Wins (ChW), weighted
TC Ratio (wTCR), and a weighted JuryVote% (to be exact, JV%
times 6). Or SurvAv = ChW + wTCR + (6 * JV%).
This has two advantages over SurvSc: (1) It's always a positive
number (or zero), since tribal council votes are treated as a
weighted ratio (instead of a potentially negative sum), and (2)
it has a larger spread, and in looking at past seasons, we just
feel it better represents the games we saw.
Neither ranking is perfect, however, and we're open to
suggestions. Feel free to comment below with potential
improvements. Check the individual leaderboard
and overall season scores to see how they work.
Special scoring cases
- Final Three vote-off: In a final three
Tribal Council, where only one vote is cast (by the F3 IC
winner), both VFBs are counted, but only the single VAP
counts. This is done because otherwise, the person not voted
off is effectively penalized for not voting someone out, even
though they theoretically did.
Adjustments due to not being voted out
From time to time, a player leaves even when the tribe hasn't
actually spoken. Here are the adjustments made in scoring when
Because quitters leave the game without being voted against,
this inflates their SurvAv and SurvSc overall scores. To
adjust for that, we came up the following fix: A quit should
be scored as a unanimous vote-out by the tribe (including the
person quitting). So if someone quits from an 8-person tribe,
they receive 8 VAP, 8 TotV, and 1 TCA. Nobody receives credit
for voting them out, though. To avoid confusion, we do this
only to calculate their scores, and do not include them in
- Medevacs: We originally came up with a
different means for making a similar adjustment for medevacs,
because it seemed unfair to penalize medevacs in the same way
as quitters. But as time has passed (and the line between quit
and medevac has blurred from Philippines onward),
the unanimous vote-out seems like the best adjustment here,
- Drawing rocks: Since this is essentially a
tie-breaker, we don't do anything special to adjust for a
person being eliminated by drawing rocks. This leaves Paschal
English's and Katie Collins' scores artificially high, but so
- Elimination by tie-breaker: In the final
Ulong "Tribal Council" in Palau, where Bobby Jon and
Stephenie competed in a fire-building competition rather than
voting, we scored it as an individual challenge win for
Stephenie, and not as either person voting.