After weeks of challenges, twists, turns, idols, and countless complicated advantages, “Survivor” season 41 crowned the show’s 39th winner (because two people have won twice, Sandra Diaz-Twine and Tony Vlachos).
Read on to find out the winner of season 41 but be warned of spoilers.
The ‘Survivor’ 41 Winner Is…
Erika Casupanan, who is just the eighth person of color to win “Survivor” and the first woman to win since Sarah Lacina won in season 34. She is also the first Canadian winner.
After her win, which was almost unanimous (we would have to assume it was Danny McCray who voted for Deshawn), Jeff Probst dropped another bombshell on the castaways — they were doing the live reunion on location in Fiji, so production rushed in with pizza, champagne and a set change, which is wild.
After her win, Erika had this to say about her game, “The way that I look really affects the way that people treat me outside of the game … I knew that that was something that I had up my sleeve. And I had no ego about how I was going to play … I don’t need to have the full credit for anything. I knew the path to the end didn’t have to be pretty, I just had to get here … I just had to have the chance to plead my case.”
The Finale Breakdown
Erika found the final advantage, which gave her an advantage in the final five immunity challenge. She used that advantage to win (though Ricard almost caught her) and then everyone voted Ricard out, which was smart because he totally would have won if he had gotten to the end.
Then at the final four, Xander won the final immunity challenge and chose to take Erika to the final three with him. His thinking was that the jury didn’t respect her gameplay, which honestly we thought was a pretty good read — until the final four Tribal Council took place. The jury seemed very surprised to hear him say that, but he stuck to his guns and took Erika with him (which it turns out was a huge mistake).
The final four fire-making challenge was honestly one of the best fire-making challenges in “Survivor” history. It went back and forth between Deshawn and Heather several times and kept us on the edge of our seats. Deshawn ultimately pulled it out and it seemed like he might have a good shot at winning.
Going into the final Tribal Council, we honestly did not think Erika was going to win, which is a comment more on the editing this season. Both Deshawn and Xander seemed much more likely to win the money to us based on the editing and their friends on the jury. Since production knows ahead of time who wins, I think Erika could have gotten a better edit.
During the final Tribal Council, it became very apparent that the jury thought Erika played a great under-the-radar game. Even Danny McCray, the former NFL player, said that he envied the way she played the game because it was the game he wishes he had played. So, I wish we had gotten a better sense of her game. I feel like we spent an awful lot of time with all these bigger threats, which makes sense because you have to build them up in order to see them fall, but there should have been more indication of Erika’s lowkey mastermind game.
“Survivor” returns for season 42 on March 9, 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!