It’s finally here. Billed as the greatest season in Survivor’s 20-year history, Winners at War will conclude tonight with a three-hour finale on CBS, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Before we discover who will become just the second two-time winner in the iconic reality TV show’s history, the KSR crew that has Live Blogged through most of the season weighs in on who we believe will become the Survivor GOAT.
Kindsey Bernhard: Denise
When the season started, I picked Michelle to win it all. Since then, I’ve had two dreams about her (and no that’s not weird because coronavirus dreams are no joke). The first dream was that she beat Kim to win it all. The second dream, which happened last night actually, I saw Michelle at a stoplight and yelled out to her that I was a huge fan and that I thought she was going to win it all. We then preceded to go to the same graduation party where I totally fangirled. The night of the graduation party was the same night as the Survivor finale, so I sadly realized that meant she wasn’t winning.
Despite my dreams and the fact I do like Michelle and follow her on Instagram, I believe Denise is going to win it all. Denise has played an incredible game. She dethroned the queen, which in my book, makes her the new queen. Denise made every shut up and vote during one of the crazy tribal councils, which RESPECT. She’s made smart alliances, won immunity when needed, and hasn’t made herself a huge target. And the final reason, my mom’s name is Denise and she too is a winner.
Richmond Bramblet: Natalie
The most frequent visual through the season, contestants whispering at tribal, not knowing what anyone is doing, will be symbolic for the entire season if Natalie wins. While everyone has been running around the main game like chickens with their heads cut off, Natalie has been grinding it out in her extended side quest to get back to win $2 million. Look, she’s been “Livin’ On The Edge” since day two, and she’s been SURVIVING. Natalie racked up 16 Fire Tokens™ by playing the secondary game dealt to her, and the players voted to EOE (many of whom will now comprise the jury) have witnessed her kill it. She’s the most determined, she’s focused, and she hasn’t had to deal with Ben or Tony’s shenanigans for five weeks (35 days, so seven weeks if you ask Tony). She’s got to win this first challenge, and if she does, I think Natalie’s the 40th winner of Survivor.
Roush: Kentucky Nick
I’m a ride or die. What more can I say? I guess I could say that if it does not happen, it’s Tony’s game to lose. He has an idol and he’s built a nice buffer around him. With an exceptional resume and a solid social game, he’ll earn all of the jury’s votes if he makes it to there final three. The only person that can take him down is Sarah and I believe $2 million is worth blind-siding him to return the favor.
Mrs. Roush: Natalie
She’s a mother flippin’ beast. I’m confident she’ll scrap her way back into the game. She’s worked harder than anyone else. She was the first person voted to the Edge of Extinction and has busted her tail to do everything she can to get back into the game. No one is mentally or physically tougher than Natalie.
Chris Tomlin: Tony
If Nick can’t win (or doesn’t), I’ve made my unabashed enjoyment of watching Tony play Survivor no secret; in fact, I’d like to go on record as calling this final five — Tony excluded — the dullest possible outcome for this monumental season (unless there’s a way to add Adam or Kim back in). The goings-on with all our castaway faves at EOE have far and away been more interesting, but in this final episode I’m expecting Tony’s mania to be the most worthwhile thing of note. Gimme all his spy shacks, spy ditches, spy lofts — I’ll take it all, because if Michelle ends up winning the most important season of Survivor since the first, I don’t think I could take it. I didn’t even remember her in the first episode (and I’m still not sure I do, if we’re being honest). I’m also more than okay with Sarah winning; she’s a great competitor, has a great social game and she’s easy to root for.
It would seem to me that editing from week one has ramped up to telegraph that Natalie’s coming back from Edge of Extinction — and she’s incredibly deserving, a true workhorse (unless that throwaway edit last week of her giving an extra idol to Tyson was only included because they had to since he’s the one returning).
Here’s how it could play out — Tyson comes back with Natalie’s idol in his pocket, and he’s convinced to go all in on taking Ben down during his first vote, only to get the heave-ho himself in the second vote. I’m becoming increasingly suspicious that they’re going to let the EOE folks vote as well, which ruined the inaugural Survivor: Edge of Extinction season by having dull dummy Chris win and rendering the entire season moot. So if that’s the case, they GOTTA take out whoever comes back from there ASAP. My prediction? Your final four is Tony, Michelle, Denise, Sarah. Despite an attempt from Denise/Michelle to form a girls’ alliance to take Tony down, Sarah sticks with him to her detriment, because — as we’ve heard mentioned unceremoniously in passing over and over again — Tony’s social game is much better out there than we’ve seen from our quarantine couches. I think the Tribal vote is a blowout and Tony emerges the season 40 winner. And I’m totally good with that.
Don’t overthink it: Tony is going to win. The last month has been all about him and it’s his to lose at this point (and he won’t). BetOnline has him at -1000 odds to take the two million, and while I admire these cute scenarios everyone crafted up, Tony is your champ. Don’t be silly. It’s so obvious.
Unless he doesn’t, in which case I think fire will take him down and Tyson will shock the world upon arriving from Edge of Extinction in Natalie’s place. This scenario will pay 33/1.
And to our fellow live blogging friends, we’d love to hear your predictions as well.