Who Really Should Have Won Survivor

Claudia Messina, Editor in Chief

Season 40 of Survivor began airing on TV on February 12th of 2020. This season brought together the winners of seasons past to determine the true survivor. Survivor began airing in 2000 with Jeff Probst as its host. Probst has been hosting Survivor since its beginning and has seen how players react to certain challenges as well as how players grow throughout the game. This season, however, was especially interesting in the way that Probst had already watched every player play, some more than once, and every player knew each other since each had won a season of their own. 

The show Survivor is very physically and mentally demanding, it is a game of pure will and alliances. It consists of physical challenges and tribal councils where members of the tribe will vote off another player. This season once voted off the island players were sent to another island called the edge of extinction where they could participate in different challenges and earn fire tokes, the Survivor form of currency, to buy food and other advantages later on in the game. 

Season 40 was full of drama between players, unlikely alliances, sacrifices, and betrayal making it overall extremely entertaining to watch. As the show was nearing its end, it became pretty clear who was going to make it to the final three, however, when the players from the island of extinction were given one last chance to try to win their way back onto the island, many viewers were pleasantly surprised with the addition of the mix. Natalie Anderson had spent most of the game on the edge of extinction since she was voted off at one of the first tribal councils. Since then, Anderson worked her way to the top of the members of the island and gave the challenges her all. When news of the challenge to win a spot back on the Survivor island arrived at the edge, the competitive atmosphere heightened. Having won so many fire tokens in all her time on the edge, Anderson bought herself all three advantages but made the mistake of isolating herself from the group. After her victory in the challenge, she was added to the final group of contestants and made it to the final three. 

Usually, once there are only three players left, those who had been voted off hold a meeting to decide the winner and runner ups. However, due to the pandemic, this meeting could not be held on the island since all players had to be sent home so they held the announcement of the winners virtually and aired it along with the originally filmed episode. The final three contestants were Natalie Anderson, Tony Vlachos, and Michelle Fitzgerald. Each player’s tactic in the game was unique. Vlachos had his spy hideout and Fitzgerald tried hardest not to draw too much troubling attention to herself. Each contestant played an amazing game and made the show all the more interesting. When it came down to it though, Tony Vlachos has been voted the winner and received the two million dollar prize.

This surprised many viewers who expected Natalie Anderson and her classic working-her-way-to-the-top-story. Besides, Tony played a very reckless game and it was not anticipated that the voting party would take his side. Also, of all the contestants that played, the suffering that Natalie endured on the edge of extinction and the hard work that she put into earning her fire tokens made her possibly more deserving of winning the grand prize. However, when it came down to it, the jury decided that the isolationist tactic that Natalie exhibited on the edge made her unfit for winning Survivor. Nonetheless, this season pleased many viewers and brought back fond memories of seasons past; it will be interesting to see how the production crew of Survivor tops this season.