The Final Three are three remaining contestants on Day 39 that are present at the Final Tribal Council to plead their case for the title of Sole Survivor. This is currently the only alternative format to the Final Two.
Introduced during the events of Survivor: Cook Islands, host Jeff Probst later explained that the reason behind adopting this endgame scenario would be to prevent a strong, well-liked individual from getting to face off against a less respected individual, so by adding a third player in the mix, the odds are changed.
Whilst fan reaction to the change has been received mostly positively, several castaways have adopted taking two other castaways to the end with them who have not done as much or been obnoxious, which in turn has coined a player who fits this mold as a "goat". It is also very common that only two of the three castaways in a Final Three receive votes.
This format has become more common than a Final Two and has been seen in twenty-seven seasons. A Final Three with a nine-person jury started in Survivor: Cook Islands and continued through Survivor: Fiji. This configuration has also been seen in six subsequent seasons, spanning from Survivor: Samoa through to Survivor: One World. A Final Three with a seven-person jury was seen in Survivor: China, Survivor: Gabon, and Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, while a Final Three with an eight-person jury was featured in seasons spanning from Survivor: Philippines to Survivor: Worlds Apart (except for Survivor: Cagayan), as well as in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Survivor 41, and Survivor 42. A Final Three with a 10-person jury was first used in Survivor: Cambodia, and would later be used in Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Survivor: Game Changers, Survivor: Ghost Island, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, and Survivor: Island of the Idols. However, Island of the Idols would have apparently had an 11-person jury had a castaway not been ejected. A Final Three with a 13-person jury was seen in Survivor: Edge of Extinction. A Final Three with a 16-person jury was seen in Survivor: Winners at War.
- In seasons with a Final Three, the number of Sole Survivors based on the gender of the losing finalists have been:
- Against both of the opposite gender, nine (Todd Herzog, Bob Crowley, Natalie White, Sophie Clarke, John Cochran, Sarah Lacina, Tony Vlachos, Erika Casupanan, and Maryanne Oketch).
- Against both of the same gender, three (Fabio Birza, Kim Spradlin, and Natalie Anderson).
- Against both of different genders, fifteen (Yul Kwon, Earl Cole, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Rob Mariano, Denise Stapley, Tyson Apostol, Mike Holloway, Jeremy Collins, Michele Fitzgerald, Adam Klein, Ben Driebergen, Wendell Holland, Nick Wilson, Chris Underwood, and Tommy Sheehan).
- China, Philippines, San Juan del Sur, Worlds Apart, and Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers are the only seasons whose respective Final Threes all received votes.
- Fiji is the only season to have the Final Three comprised only of African-American contestants.
- Winners at War is the only season where the Final Three was comprised of people from only one state, as all three finalists were from New Jersey.
- Both seasons to have three female finalists (One World and San Juan del Sur) started out with blue and orange tribes, and had their winner come from a blue tribe.
- All purple merged tribes have produced Final Threes with one female finalist and two male finalists.