The “Survivor 41” finale caused a bit of backlash among longtime fans. In the December 15 finale, Erika Casupanan, the 32-year-old Ontario native, took home the million-dollar prize, which came as a surprise to some viewers.
While some “Survivor” fans defended Erika’s win, calling out producers for giving the communications manager a “bad edit,” others felt the win was undeserved and felt another castaway was more deserving of the “Sole Survivor” title.
Many thought that Xander Hastings, the 21-year-old app developer, played a better game. Fans expressed their disappointment on Twitter and even created a GoFundMe page for Xander.
Fans Create a GoFundMe For Xander
After the December finale, one fan took her support for Xander to the next level and created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the third-place contestant.
“I think the majority vote of Survivor fans nationwide would be that Xander was the true winner of Survivor Season 41,” the GoFundMe creator wrote on the page. “I thought what better way to send a message to the show that we the fans are upset with the outcome than for all of us to rally together and show how passionate we are that Xander was the winner in our eyes.”
The Xander fund currently has over $2,000 as of January 2022. The creator wrote that all proceeds would be transferred to Xander, but she recently updated the page, stating she was not able to contact the former castaway. As a result, she would be reimbursing the donors.
Erika Casupanan Shares Inspiring Instagram Post
“Survivor 41” winner Erika Casupanan took to Instagram on December 18 to share an inspiring message. In the post, Erika said her win was “for the underdogs” and expressed her gratitude for the cast and crew that helped make “Survivor 41.”
In the post, she wrote, “I’m most proud of how my victory is not just my own. My win is shared with anyone who saw even a little piece of themselves in my journey. My win is for the underdogs. It’s for people who know that, for many invisible reasons outside their control, sometimes life isn’t fair yet they keep persevering. My win is for people who had a rare moment of seeing someone on TV that looked like them, sounded like them, had the same stature, the same upbringing, the same weird-coloured hair, the same can-do attitude even when s*** hit the fan or reflected them in their own way.”
Erika is the first woman to take home the “Sole Survivor” title since season 34 winner Sarah Lacina. She is one of just 14 women to take home the million-dollar prize. She is also the first Filipino winner and the first Canadian winner of “Survivor.”
Fans responded to Erika’s Instagram post to express their congratulations. One fan wrote, “Such an inspiring winner. Well deserved!” Another Instagram user wrote, “Well deserved! Absolutely loved watching you on the show!.”
Erika’s season 41 co-star Tiffany Seely also commented on the post to congratulate Erika on her win. She wrote, “Queen Erika so fitting. You’re a class act and as beautiful inside as on the outside!!!”
Season 42 of “Survivor” will premiere in March 2022.