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The Final Tribal Council is the final event of the game before the Reunion. This is where the finalists face the jury, who will have a very important decision to make in voting for a winner. The person who gets the most votes from the jury will win the title of Sole Survivor and the one million dollar prize that goes with it.

On the final day of the game, the Final Two or Three generally either clean up, tear down, or burn down their camp as a tribute to surviving until the end of the game to honor the time they played in the game. They then trek to Tribal Council one final time. Up until Survivor: Panama every season ended with a Final Two, but since the Final Three was introduced in Survivor: Cook Islands, only Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: Tocantins, and Survivor: Cagayan have had a Final Two.

While remaining contestants are present to watch over the proceedings, the host, Jeff Probst, does not ask either the finalists nor the jury any questions, as opposed to an ordinary Tribal Council.

Another change is that at the Final Tribal Council, votes are cast not by the remaining contestants, but by the jury, who are voting for, not against, somebody.


The finalists will be given a chance to convince the jury that they deserve to win Survivor. They might talk about their strategic moves, their alliances, or their athletic ability, but no matter what they talk about, they are trying to convince the jury that they are the most deserving person to win the title of Sole Survivor. After the finalists deliver their opening speeches, the jury will be given a brief time to think about their speech or question before addressing them. Each jury member has the option to:

  • Ask each of the final players a question (either for one specific finalist, or all of them), which that player must answer.
  • Make a short speech which requires no answer but is meant to throw the finalists off guard, possibly venting all of the juror's frustrations after being eliminated from the game, or telling the jury why they should vote for a certain player.

When all jury members are finished, each finalist will make a closing statement, allowing them to respond generally to the jury's questions and again explain why they would be the most deserving winner, though this practice has been abandoned since Survivor: Cook Islands with the sole exception of being used in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng.

From Survivor: Game Changers to Survivor: Winners at War, a new format for the Final Tribal Council was introduced. Instead of having each jury member speak one by one, the host would now moderate an open discussion to ensure a more insightful rapport between the jury and finalists. The discussion would center on the three aspects of the game embodied through its three-word slogan: "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast".

  • The "Outwit" portion would focus on the finalists' social game.
  • The "Outplay" portion would focus on each finalist's physical game and how they responded to the twists and conditions the game forced upon them.
  • The "Outlast" portion would then give the finalists one last chance to address the jury and give their closing statement.

In Survivor 41, the open forum format was retained, but the structured categories were removed, allowed a freer exchange between jurors and finalists. Survivor 42 brought back the Final Tribal Council format introduced in Game Changers, but renamed the segments to "social", "physical", and "strategic".

After this, the host will ask the jury to vote for who they think deserves to win the title of Sole Survivor and the million-dollar prize. Unlike previous Tribal Council sessions, where players write the name of the tribe member they want to go home, this time, the jury votes for a winner.

After the vote, the voting urn with the votes in it is taken away by the host. The players are told that the vote will be announced during the live finale, and the votes are secured somewhere until then. However, in Survivor: Borneo, the votes were read immediately after voting; this was also the case for all seasons starting from Survivor 41. In Survivor: Ghost Island, the votes were read on location due to a tie occurring between two of the finalists; only the tiebreaker vote by the second runner-up was read at the live finale. On two occasions, in Survivor: Africa and Survivor: Thailand, the Final Tribal Council and Reunion Show were spliced together to disguise them as one event, until moments later when the camera showed the studio audience. This was made possible by re-creating the Tribal Council set on-stage and telling the contestants to wear exactly the same clothes they wore at Final Tribal Council.

Prior to the use of a three-way Final Tribal Council, the jury has always been odd-numbered with seven people, thus ensuring that no tie would be possible. However, with every Final Three jury, or as in the case of Survivor: Micronesia of an even-numbered jury for a Final Two, a tie may be possible.

For information on breaking ties at the Final Tribal Council, see Tiebreaker.

Finalists Jurors Occurrences Seasons
Final Two 7 13 Seasons 1-12, 18
Final Two 8 1 Season 16
Final Two 9 1 Season 28
Final Three 7 3 Seasons 15, 17, & 32*
Final Three 8 12 Seasons 25-27, 29-30, 35, 41-46
Final Three 9 8 Seasons 13-14, 19-24
Final Three 10 6 Seasons 31, 33-34, 36*, 37, 39*
Final Three 13 1 Season 38*
Final Three 16 1 Season 40*


See also[]


Survivor Gameplay
Challenges Challenge Advantage · Do-It-Yourself Challenge · Duel · Family Visit · Immunity Challenge (Final Immunity Challenge) · Immunity Idol · Immunity Necklace · Medallion of Power · Reward Challenge · Survivor Auction
Elimination Edge of Extinction · Ejection · Evacuation · Final Tribal Council · Jury · Null Vote · Quit · Redemption Island · Snuffer · Sole Survivor (Perfect Game) · Tiebreaker · Torch · Tribal Council · Urn
Strategy Alliance · Goat Strategy · Pagonging · Split Vote
Social Dynamics Final Two · Final Three · Merge · Tribe
Twists Casting Battle of the Sexes · Blood vs. Water · Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty · Old vs. Young · Returning Players · Schoolyard Pick · Tribes Divided by Ethnicity
Tribal Council Advantage Amulet · Do or Die · Double Elimination · Double Tribal Council · Extra Vote · Hidden Immunity Idol (History) · Idol Nullifier · Joint Tribal Council · Juror Removal · Legacy Advantage · Knowledge is Power · Safety Without Power · Shot in the Dark · Vote Blocker · Vote Steal
Game Mechanics Advantage Menu · Buried Treasure · Day Zero · Earn the Merge · Exile Island · Fake Merge · Fire Token · First Impressions · Ghost Island · Haves vs. Have Nots · Hourglass · Island of the Idols · Kidnapping · Looting · Mutiny · One World · Reward Steal · Summit · The Outcasts · Tribe Leader · Tribe Switch
Post-Game Contestants on other programs · Fan Favorite Award · Lawsuits and Legal Action · Ponderosa · Reunion Show
Miscellaneous Buff · Camp · Confessional · Luxury Item · Rites of Passage · Survivor Rulebook · Ulonging