Survivor Winners at War: Breaking Down Every Players Path to Victory

We are in the homestretch of Survivor Winners at War, and I want to break down/rank the chances of winning for all the remaining players. Fans of the show can all probably agree that if Tony Vlachos sits in front of a jury on finale night, then his chances of winning are almost guaranteed based on the edit. Not to mention Tony’s overall gameplay this season. Due to this, I am focusing on people who can win, granted Tony gets taken out before FTC.

I will make quick notes about people on the Edge of Exinction who still have a shot winning:

Kim: If she can come back, take out Tony, maybe knock out a Denise or Jeremy as well, then we are looking at a damn impressive game. The girl played from the bottom on day one and eventually lost to another elite player (Tony).

Sophie: Another person who, if they come back with a vengeance and can knock out those who blindsided her, then Sophie played a fantastic game where she had a substantial amount of influence on many different votes/blindsides. Sophie also killed most of the early immunity challenges for her teams.

Parvati: She has thrived on EOE. Parvati has earned 6 Fire Tokens while out there, bought multiple jars of peanut butter, and has consistently killed all the challenges. She didn’t have a fair shot at the first EOE challenge without an advantage. If she can pull out a win in the second challenge, enter the game, take out some power players, and then use the relationships she built on EOE and carry the guaranteed votes from vets like Rob and Ethan, then Parv can somehow win this season. Not very likely, but there is a path to victory that the others on EOE don’t have.

Onto the main cast:

6th — Ben Driebergen

At this point, it is smarter not to vote out Ben because he is alienating himself from potential jurors and has become a goat. Ben has been used a pawn by Tony, blown up many potential blindsides by telling both sides the plan, and never leaves a good taste in the mouth of those going out the door. Adam, Jeremy, Kim, and Rob are all guaranteed never to vote Ben on finale night at this point.

What sucks about Ben’s game is there isn’t any cohesion to it, and in the end, he always plays second fiddle to most leftover. As much as Ben loathed Adam, he ironically needs someone like Adam to remain in the game to make Ben seem much more tolerable. He needs to use his idol advantageously and make a move against Tony. If Ben can figure out who Tony’s next target is, use his idol on that individual, and then knock out a Jeremy or Michele, then he can make some moves. Even if Ben were to win the remaining challenges, I can’t imagine the jury being super impressed by his game. Mostly because Ben carries the stigma from his original game on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers that all he knows how to do is win challenges and find idols.

The jury is a bunch of people who respect the game of Survivor, and Ben is the antithesis of what a Survivor winner looks like.

5th — Nick Wilson

One of the most intriguing moments from last week’s episode was Nick talking about him game-planning who he would like to sit next to at a Final Tribal Council. Up until this point, Nick has not gotten the edit of someone planning for an FTC. However, it could be pointing to a turnaround from him in this finishing stretch. At different points, players have viewed Nick as an obvious target, and he continues to remain in the game by thriving within chaos. When the game calms down, Nick’s obvious weaknesses and flaws become glaring, but when things go awry, Nick finds himself in positions to leverage his overall odds of winning. He was quick to jump on the Sophie blindside because Nick understood that he’d have no chance at beating Sophie, and overall, he’d be the smallest target to come out of the move.

In a world where Nick sits next to Ben and Michele/Denise in front of an FTC, then his ability as a public speaker could put his game in a light the edit never showed. I think Michele and Denise are playing better games, but if Nick can pull a blindside on someone like Tony or Jeremy and then kill the FTC, then he could snatch a close win.

4th — Sarah Lacina

I thought Sarah was playing one of the best overall games this season until Tony’s recent turnaround. I feel bad for her because Sarah, the human being, established too much trust in a crazy person like Tony Vlachos. As good of friends as they are in real-life, Tony made a fool of Sarah when he blindsided Sophie, and then proceeded with a 5–3 vote against Kim composing of half the people who voted for Sophie and half the people who were gunning for Jeremy the week before.

Tony is making Sarah look like Trish from Cagayan, and at FTC, other players could poke at these weaknesses in her game. Then again, she did create good relationships with Tyson, Sophie, Kim, and Ben (not to mention Tony). It could be a toss-up as she played a phenomenal game before Tony went full Tony.

3rd — Denise Stapley

Denise has 6 Fire Tokens in her pocket right now. If she gets more, on Finale Night, she can show them to the jury. From a social standpoint, Denise has played the game exceptionally. People in the game trust her, even if she’s played double agent at times. I think Denise has played the most cutthroat game on paper when you consider she’s completely fine voting out an ally if it means she is safe. Denise blindsided Sandra and has absorbed her powers. She is playing the strategy of anyone but Denise, and while it might not look like a compelling game, it has been a successful one.

I think Denise could win against anyone other than Tony if she can presents herself well in front of the jury. There’s a lack of outplaying in her game and a massive amount of outwitting and surviving.

2nd — Michele Fitzgerald

I did not care much for Michele going into this season and love her now. Since the first tribe swap, Michele has been on the outside looking in. Michele has a great story of survival where on Sele #2, it was her and Parv versus the world, and she fought to keep Parv in the game, failed, and once she did, was able to adapt and ride the waves towards a Yul blindside. Those moves encapsulate Michele’s game. The people on the jury who were allies respect the amount of loyalty she has shown, and the people weren’t her allies will appreciate her gameplay.

Now that the numbers in the game have dwindled, Michele needs to start making plays and figure out who she wants to be sitting next to at FTC. Surviving is no longer the play, trying to win is.

1st — Jeremy Collins

What’s funny about Jeremy’s game this season is that he has been thriving despite playing the exact of his actual gameplan. His goal was to be one making plays, rather than being a passenger among blindside votes, etc. Jeremy was able to make an early play on original Sele when they blindsided Ethan. For a long time in this game, Jeremy was a player who everyone went to for information, so much so that Jeremy had to play passively. He had significant influences in plays, but so many people would go to him with plans that he’d get forced into being the most active listener alive.

It’s legitimately crazy that Jeremy is still in this game. At the first tribal council, they decide to separate Natalie and Jeremy because they got viewed as a pair. It could have been Jeremy as the first boot easily. When Denise blindsided Sandra, Sandra had given the idol to Denise to blindside Jeremy. The last two weeks have been Tony rallying numbers to save Jeremy. The guy is surviving by a hair and has played a solid all-around game in terms of challenges, strategy, etc. The big thing is he needs to be the one to get Tony out. If Tony goes to these lengths to save Jeremy, then Jeremy needs to bite the hand that feeds. If not, people will view Jeremy as a tool in Tony’s game. This is the point in the game where Jeremy turns it on; I just hope he isn’t too distracted by his distaste for Ben.




25 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.

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Allan Aguirre

Allan Aguirre

25 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.

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