This tribe was comprised of favorite Survivor players from previous seasons. At the Final 16, a tribe switch occurred. The new Malakal consisted of four Fans and four Favorites. Malakal lost all four post-switch Immunity Challenges, merging with a 6-4 minority. Despite this more Favorites made the merge with a 6-4 majority over the Fans. Their tribe color is purple.
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- Malakal and its rival tribe, Airai, are the first tribes in Survivor history to each have ten members on Day 1.
- Malakal is the first starting purple tribe to produce a winner.
- Erik Reichenbach is the only original Airai on post-switch Malakal to make the merge.
- Six members of the original Malakal tribe wound up eventually returning for another season later on (Cirie Fields, Amanda Kimmel, James Clement, Ozzy Lusth, Parvati Shallow, and Jonathan Penner). By comparison, only one original Airai tribe member returned for another season; Erik Reichenbach in Caramoan, another season that has the Fans vs. Favorites twist.
- All seven returnees from Micronesia were on Malakal at one point.
- Not much information was known about James Clement and Amanda Kimmel due to China being aired while Micronesia was being filmed. Amanda did not reveal what became of her, while James hinted that he did "something stupid".
- The color scheme used in this season is copied for Caramoan.
- Similar to Bikal, after the tribe switch occurred, Malakal lost all remaining Immunity Challenges.
- Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel, and Cirie Fields are the only Malakal members to improve on their previous placements.
- Cirie is the only one of these three to not make the Final Tribal Council.
- Malakal is Cirie Fields's second purple-colored starting tribe, following Casaya from Panama.
- Malakal (and Dabu) lived at the same camp used by Ulong in Palau.