Who Should Win ‘Survivor 41’? Fans Weigh In On the Final 6

Survivor 41 episode 11 final 7

YouTube Final 7 contestants of "Survivor 41" at the immunity challenge in episode 11.

With two episodes remaining of “Survivor 41,” fans are bracing for the season finale, which will air Wednesday, December 15. With six players left in the game – Ricard Foyé, Erika Casupanan, Heather Aldret, Xander Hastings, Deshawn Radden, and Danny McCray – fans are eager to give their take on each remaining contestant and their chances.

Here’s what you need to know heading into the penultimate episode of the season, which will air tonight.


Two Contestants Are Leading the Pack Among Fans

Xander Hastings and Ricard Foyé in episode 11 of "Survivor 41"

YouTubeXander Hastings and Ricard Foyé strategize in episode 11 of “Survivor 41.”

Fans seem to have collectively chosen a clear frontrunner for who they want to win the season, and it hasn’t changed since the aftermath of their big move nullifying Liana’s Knowledge Is Power advantage in episode 7. If there were still a Sprint Player of the Season award, Xander Hastings would almost certainly come in first with a bullet. In a recent audience poll taken by Gold Derby after episode 11, more fans chose Xander as their preferred choice than every other contestant combined. Xander received about 54% of the vote, with Ricard coming in second at around 22%. Erika was next with a little under 12%, followed by Danny, with under 6%. Fans seem to feel similarly toward Deshawn as did Shan Smith upon her exit, with the former receiving about 3% of the vote, and Heather, who has received little screentime up until this point, getting only 2%.

Fans online seem to agree, with one posting on the show’s subreddit asking fans to list their contestants from favorite to least favorite. Xander’s average almost certainly seemed to be the highest, with Ricard unsurprisingly coming in second (with many fans putting him in their #1 spot over Xander), and Erika mostly coming in third. Fans mostly seem to dismiss Heather as even somewhat viable, given her lackluster edit and shallow character arc.

Although Xander was in the hot seat as recently as episode 9, his luck seems to have taken a turn for the better, as, although he was completely vulnerable the last two Tribals, he escaped both unscathed and without a single vote. However, he and Erika have also latched on to Ricard, who many (including, most vocally, Shan) see as a viable threat to win if he makes it to the end.


An Unlikely Contender Emerges As a Possible Fan Favorite

Although she hasn’t received much screentime up until this point, Erika herself has become a potential leading contender for the win, especially if Ricard or Xander don’t make it to the finale.

For one, Erika is the only serious female contender left in a season coming off the heels of six male winners in a row (and twelve of the last fifteen winners being male). Given how much real-world cultural considerations have played a role in the season thus far, and with a jury that as of now consists of four women to only one man, Erika’s gender alone may be advantageous if she makes it to the final 3.

Furthermore, many fans have praised Erika for several moves thus far, including how she helped manipulate Danny into turning on Shan in episode 10 (with one post saying it was “really smart gameplay” to “[plant] the seed in Danny’s head and made it seem like it was his own idea”), and for keeping Ricard over Liana in episode 11, reasoning that it makes more sense to blindside him at the final 6. Fans have also highlighted her more lighthearted and humorous moments, with many finding the moment where she told Ricard she would “literally kill you guys” if he didn’t stick to the plan of voting out Shan in episode 10 highly amusing.

Although fans seem to think the victory will go to Xander or Ricard, with Erika as a distant possibility, “Survivor,” has proven to be incredibly volatile, especially in light of strategic powerhouse Shan Smith’s exit. Any fan knows that it is entirely possible anything could happen, and, especially given the new series of twists introduced in recent seasons, fans (and contestants) should be prepared for any surprises.

The 12th episode of “Survivor 41” airs tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The season finale will air next week (Wednesday, December 15) at the same time. Season 42 will premiere Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

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