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Survivor: 5 Finalists That Should Have Won Their Season (& 5 That Didn’t)

Audiences don't always agree with who becomes Sole Survivor. Here are the 5 most worthy winners and the 5 least deserving

Jeff Probst on Survivor

With a brand new season of Survivor underway, we know you're excited to see who will be the next Sole Survivor of your favorite television show. With 38 completed seasons under its belt and no signs of stopping any time soon, we have seen a LOT of winners and even more losers over the years, and it can be pretty hard to keep track of.

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Since the winner depends on a jury, it's safe to say that sometimes the audience isn't super pleased with who takes home the crown and the title of Sole Survivor. So, we made a list. Here are 5 winners that definitely deserved their win, and 5 finalists that should've, but didn't.

10 Didn't: Aubry Bracco (Kaôh Rōng)

In the 32nd season, the castaways were divided into three tribes:Brains, Brawn, and Beauty. The final three in this season were Tai Trang (Beauty), Michele Fitzgerald (Beauty) and Aubry Bracco (Brains). The vote ended up being a 5-2-0 split, between Michele and Aubry.

While clearly the jury chose Michele, you might remember that this woman coasted through most of the season (and was reprimanded for it by the jury). We're not sure exactly why she won, but Aubry definitely demonstrated some outlasting (since the brains were almost totally voted out) skills. In fact, we're pretty sure that everyone thought that Aubry deserved the title, but you win some, you lose some.

9 Did: Richard Hatch (Borneo)

In the very first season of this hit show, Richard Hatch took home the very first title of Sole Survivor. Honestly, it's safe to say we all loved Kelly Wiglesworth, but we also don't think anyone's mad about Richard Hatch taking home the crown.

It was a close vote between him and Kelly (4-3!), but Richard eventually won out because his strategic and leadership skills. How can we mad at the first winner, right? It was at least well-deserved.

8 Didn't: Ozzy Lang (Cook Islands)

In the 13th season of the show, the final tribal was also a close call. The final three were Yul Kwon, Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth, and Becky Lee. Becky was pretty much not in the mix, but the vote between the two boys came down to a 5-4 split.

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Both were fierce contestants, but Yul was much more known for his strategy, while Ozzy could simply just be labeled as the perfect "survivor." None the less, our favorite challenge beast and provider didn't quite take the crown, and we're not sure any of us are quite over it yet.

7 Did: Jud "Fabio" Birza (Nicaragua)

During the 21st season of the show, the tribes were split into two based on age. The final three in this season were Chase Rice, Matthew "Sash" Lenahan, and Jud "Fabio" Birza (all from the 'Young' tribe). Fabio made it to the final three because he won immunity (yet again).

In the final tribal, all three castaways were chastised for some reason or another, but Fabio's unconventional coasting strategy won him a slight edge over Chase in a 5-4 split. We're sorry if you were a Chase fan, but we're not totally mad that Fabio took home the title.

6 Didn't: Amanda Kimmel (Micronesia)

Season 16 was was one of our absolute favorite seasons - Fans vs. Favorites. The Favorites kind of dominated the season, and the final three quickly became Amanda, Cirie, and Parvati. Cirie was kind of out of the question, and when Amanda won the immunity challenge, she had to make a decision who to bring to the final two.

Honestly, Parvati deserves the win for convincing Amanda to bring her to the final. However, the jury still ended up being split 5-3, in Parvati's favor. Amanda was an honest powerhouse, and Parvati is one of our favorite villains. All things considered, Amanda totally could have won if she just made one better decision.

5 Did: Mike Holloway (Worlds Apart)

In the 30th season, tribes were separated into White Collar, Blue Collar, and No Collar. The final three of this season actually had one of each: Will Sims II (No Collar), Carolyn Rivera (White Collar), and Mike Holloway (Blue Collar). Honestly, ever since the merge, the blue collar tribe was holding on by a thread.

Mike was definitely on the chopping block but through strategy, idols, and immunity challenges (he won FIVE out of the final SIX challenges), the tribe just couldn't get rid of this powerful threat. At the final tribal, the jury couldn't help but congratulate this beast, and he won Sole Survivor with 6 out of the 8 votes.

4 Didn't: Russell Hantz (Samoa)

Season 19 took off with three tribes. While we met lots of interesting contestants this season, the final three were Mick Trimming, Russell Hantz, and Natalie White. You can say what you want about Russell (and yes, he's a villain), but there isn't a doubt in our minds that he deserved the title of Sole Survivor.

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Natalie won the vote with a 7-2 split over Russell. Natalie was a coaster and didn't really do much, but it turns out that too many were just too offended by Russell's game play. It's a game, and boy do we hate it when the jury takes things personally. We're sorry, Russell, at least you won the "Sprint Player of the Season."

3 Did: John Cochran (Caramoan)

In the 26th season, another Fans vs Favorites, we got all of our favorite players back. The final three in this season were Sherri Biethman (fan), Dawn Meehan (favorite), and John Cochran (favorite). Sherri was kind of ignored at the final tribal, and Dawn and Cochran had a strong alliance the entire game.

However, Dawn was criticized for her instability, while Cochran was praised for his incredible strategic skills. Cochran took the title of Sole Survivor with a unanimous vote, taking all 8. While we maybe weren't huge fans of Cochran in his first season, none of us are mad that he won this one.

2 Didn't: Parvati Shallow (Heroes vs. Villains)

In the 20th season, our favorite heroes and villains returned. The final three were all villains: Sandra Diaz-Twine, Parvati Shallow, and Russell Hantz. Russell couldn't quite squeeze out the win (again), and Parvati couldn't take round 2. Instead, Sandra won her second title in a 6-3 split between her and Parvati.

Paravti was a powerhouse, as per usual, but she couldn't quite convince the jury of her social and physical skills. Instead, Sandra convinced them of her alliance to most of the jury, and her attempt to actually get rid of the villains. Honestly, we're kind of mad about it. We're pretty sure most of us our Parvati fans, right?

1 Did: "Boston" Rob Mariano (Redemption Island)

In the 22nd season of this show, Redemption Island was underway. The show featured 16 new castaways and two returning players (Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano). While Russell was cut loose at the second tribal, Rob managed to claw his way to the end. The final three were Natalie Tenerelli, Phillip Sheppard, and Rob Mariano (all from the same original tribe).

Rob pretty much ran the game, and for some reason, NO ONE voted him out. We were all mad that Boston Rob didn't win his first season, right? Well, it was his time to shine, because we won the title with an 8-1 majority. Forever one of our favorite players, Rob, and boy did he deserve this title.

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