Survivor has been our favorite reality competition show for 38 whole seasons. With season 39 underway, we thought we'd throw it back to some of the past winners of the show. Since the jury votes for the Sole Survivor, we can all agree that our favorite player doesn't always take home the title.
In fact, there's no question about it that some winners totally deserved it, and others, well, not so much. In case you've forgotten the past few seasons, we've made a list. Here are the 10 last winners, ranked by how much they deserved the title.
10 Michele Fitzgerald (Season 32)
On Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, the tribes were separated into brains, brawn, and beauty. This is definitely one of those seasons where we're not totally sure what happened at the end. The final three were Tai Trang, Aubrey Bracco, and Michele. Aubrey played a tough strategic game the whole season, while Tai did, too, but broke too many alliances along the way.
Aubrey even won the tiebreaker in the final four to join Michele and Tai in the end. At the final tribal, the jury decided that Michele's relaxed social game was better than Aubrey's strategic mastery, and she was awarded the title. Yeah, we're still upset.
9 Chris Underwood (Season 38)
This castaway was on the last season, Survivor: Edge of Extinction. Castaways who were voted out could choose to remain in the game by sitting on the Edge of Extinction. Eventually, they'd have a chance to compete with the others who were voted out and earn a spot back in the game.
Chris was actually voted out of the game on day 8. He waited it out the entire time, then won the challenge on day 35 to return to the game. With literally one challenge and four days left, Chris won individual immunity and won the majority vote at the final tribal. Like, what?
8 Natalie Anderson (Season 29)
This season, Survivor: San Juan del Sur, was another season of Blood vs. Water. However, this time, all of the paired loved ones were new players. The final three in this season were Jaclyn Schultz, Missy Payne, and Natalie Anderson. This season had many shifting alliances, and at one point Natalie found herself on the outs.
However, she rejoined her old alliance and orchestrated the vote to take out two powerful players, and leaving no more pairs of loved ones. At the final tribal, Natalie was congratulated for making bold moves (especially since her loved one was the very first voted out), and won the vote in a 5-2-1 split.
7 Wendell Holland (Season 36)
You'll remember this season, Ghost Island, as the Wendell and Domenick show. This duo was a force to be reckoned with, and neither of them were ever voted out. At the final tribal, Domenick was praised for being a powerhouse, and while Wendell was accused of riding coattails at some points, he was the one who made powerful and loyal relationships. This season was intense, and in fact, the final tribal resulted in a tie.
That meant that the third finalist, Laurel, was to cast her vote and would decide the winner. It's literally because of Wendell's social game that she voted for him, and he was the winner of the season. That was intense.
6 Jeremy Collins (Season 31)
For Survivor: Cambodia, the tribes consisted of twenty returning castaways. Many of our all-time favs participated in this season, but the final three consisted of Spencer Bledsoe, Tasha Fox, and Jeremy Collins. Tasha and Spencer played in Cagayan together, but that wasn't enough to stop Jeremy from stealing the show. This season was full of voting blocs and changing alliances, but these three clawed through together, actually.
Ultimately, Jeremy was praised at the final tribal for his social dominance, as he made the best relationships and strategic choices. He won the title in a unanimous vote.
5 Ben Driebergen (Season 35)
On Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Ben appeared as a hero. You'll remember that this castaway was a total beast, and definitely played hard. In fact, he ended up being a huge threat. At the final four, Chrissy won immunity. Therefore, she had to decide who to bring and who to send to fire-making.
The other three wanted Ben out, so she let Devon (the best chance at beating him), make fire. Ben beat out Devon, and since the tribe couldn't quite get rid of him, Ben was then crowned Sole Survivor. We're not sure how we feel about winning because you can make fire, but maybe it's because we also liked Devon a whole lot. Either way, at least Ben played well.
4 Adam Klein (Season 33)
This season had the theme of Millennials vs. Gen X. Adam played a sneaky game, and the alliances in this season were blurred and crossed multiple times over. Adam tried to keep his footing, and eventually, he managed to vote out David and make it to the final three with Hannah and Ken.
These two latter players were called out for riding coattails, while with David gone, Adam was the clear strongest player. Adam used strategy and social relationships but also was willing to make big moves. This player won the title in a unanimous vote.
3 Nick Wilson (Season 37)
Nick appeared on Survivor: David vs. Goliath. In fact, he was kind of on the outs for most of the game, and was even a target multiple times. However, Nick put his game in full gear, and made strong alliances and won many challenges. He actually won the last three immunity challenges and secured himself a spot in the final where he won the title of Sole Survivor.
Nick was an underdog and was actually a David, but he proved his challenge skills and his ability to claw from the bottom to the top. Nick definitely deserved the win, and we were happy to see him be crowned.
2 Sarah Lacina (Season 34)
On Survivor: Game Changers, we got a full cast of returning players who were known for making a big move. Sarah, a police officer who played her first game (on Cagayan) a bit too nicely, decided to play a bit more cutthroat this time around. She made powerful alliances, made incredibly strategic moves, and clawed her way to the final three.
While some people thought she played a bit too villainous, she was praised by most for still being able to maintain strong relationships. Honestly, Sarah crushed this season, and she did what it took to win against Troyzan and Brad.
1 Mike Holloway (Season 30)
We think it's safe to say that Mike winning was one of the most satisfying seasons in a long time. On Survivor: Worlds Apart, the tribes were divided into white-collar, blue-collar, and no-collar. Mike, a blue-collar, fought tooth and nail to build alliances and do well in challenges. In fact, he became the biggest threat.
However, Mike was too busy winning immunity challenges and finding immunity idols for the tribe to actually vote him out, and ultimately, they never got their chance. This beast made it to the final three, where the jury couldn't help but award him the title. The best player of the season definitely won, and we're more than happy about it.