Forgive me if this has been brought up before, but: has the nature of the fire-making at final 4 made it next to impossible for a woman to win Survivor?
While it's an incredibly small sample (n of 4), the "fire-making at final 4" has resulted in four male winners in a row, and 3 of 4 who've made fire have won the show (i.e., it's almost a literal king-maker). Not to mention the ooh and ahh spectacle of it is an advantage for a man, even if he's sitting next to a woman in final tribal council. Women have been a part of every single final 3 starting at season 35, yet every single fire-making at final 4 has been won by a man, even if the man didn't ultimately win the game (in one instance).
Since the final 4 fire-making, in all 4 final tribal councils, women have received a grand total of ... 2 votes? 3 votes? Whatever Chrissy received, since Laurel, Angelina and Julie received a grand total of 0 votes. (pre-fire making, Hannah and Tasha both received 0 votes, but the seasons afterwards had a woman winner).
I was thinking about this as we near the end of the 30s, and if a man wins this season, Survivor -- which used to have about a 60/40 male/female winner ratio will be down to 80/20, which is Big Brother levels. But in the earlier part of the 30s, it was pretty back-and-forth. Pre-fire at final 4, it was 3 men, 2 women. Since the fire-making: 4 men and 0 women.
I didn't care about these things before, but it's starting to be an uncomfortable pattern, especially seeing rumblings in the episode thread of a man this season with a supposed "winner's edit." I wonder if someone pointed this out to Jeff Probst -- that for all his praise of Angelina as a role model for his daughter, that she actually received no votes. That in the final 4 fire-making era, we're going to keep seeing Angelinas and Laurels and Julies -- women who sit there at the behest of a man who chooses them as a goat, so he can beat her. And yeah, that happened before the fire-making, but it didn't feel quite so icky because final 4 was a vote that sent someone home, not a "choose your own goat. and shocker! it's a woman!"
Survivor is losing to the Masked Singer in ratings, and in order to stay relevant, they really need not to become American Idol (i.e. only young, mostly white men can win). And I sort of feel after a few seasons of data that the final 4 fire-making has been the turning point. Like we're supposed to ooh and ahh over the spectacle, and pay no attention to the fact that the spectacle has only been benefiting a specific type of player.