Survivor 2017

‘Survivor’ 2017: Who Wins, Aubry, Brad, Cirie, Sarah, Tai, Or Troyzan? [Opinion]

Survivor: Game Changers ends this week, and only six cast members remain: Aubry Bracco, Brad Culpepper, Cirie Fields, Sarah Lacina, Tai Trang, and Troyzan Robertson.

It has been a complex season of Survivor, with memorable personal moments, shifting alliances, and blindsides leading to an unpredictable endgame. Each of the remaining castaways has played a different game to get where they are, with some choosing to go conservative and stick to their original bonds, while others have flipped, flopped, and betrayed their friends. Half will be voted out in the Survivor: Game Changers finale, leaving the Final Three to argue their case to the jury on why they deserve the title of Sole Survivor and the $1 million prize.

So who has the best chance of winning Survivor: Game Changers? Let’s look at their games up to this point, as well as their respective “edits” and rank their likelihood of winning.

6. Troyzan Robertson

Troyzan Robertson
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Troyzan Robertson [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Troyzan has stuck by his alliance with Brad since they got switched together in the pre-merge. He has remained a loyal member of his alliance, even as allies like Debbie Wanner and Sierra Dawn Thomas were voted out. He has held onto the Hidden Immunity Idol he found in the pre-merge and has not been a position where he needed to play it. While he has not made any enemies, he also hasn’t made the moves necessary to win the votes in the end, unless he’s up against two unlikable players. Even if Troyzan has played an impressive social game, his edit has been incredibly weak for someone who made it to the finale, so his chances of winning are slim.

5. Aubry Bracco

Aubry Bracco
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Aubry Bracco. [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Aubry has also had a smaller edit compared to her fellow Survivor players. This is especially glaring compared to her original season, Survivor: Kaoh Rong, in which she dominated the game, made it to Final Tribal Council and came within a few votes of winning. Game Changers has gone very differently for Aubry as she’s faded into the background while constantly being out of the loop and on the outside looking in. It’s rare for a jury to reward a player who has not been in control of at least some parts of the game, so unless she takes charge in the finale, she will likely come up short yet again.

4. Tai Trang

Tai Trang
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Tai Trang. [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Tai’s game has been harder to pin down than others at this point. He found three Hidden Immunity Idols in the pre-merge; he played one on Sierra and has kept the other two. He stayed strong with his alliance of Brad, Troyzan, Sierra, and Debbie, but as their numbers dwindled, he switched and worked with the other alliance. Tai has been shown struggling to find his place in the game, listening to people on all sides and sometimes saying the wrong thing. He has not openly betrayed as many people as he did in Survivor: Kaoh Rong, and his social game seems to be stronger, but like Aubry, he has not made a huge move after the merge. He has been a stronger presence on the show, but it’s not clear if Tai would have the jury votes to win.

3. Cirie Fields

Cirie Fields
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Cirie Fields [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Cirie’s presence in the finale is almost a miracle given her reputation heading into the season. She became the first woman to play Survivor four times and for good reason, with a huge resume of big moves plus a rooting factor as an underdog who blossomed into a dominant player. In Game Changers, she avoided going to Tribal Council until the merge, at which point she helped lead an alliance with Andrea Boehlke, Michaela Bradshaw, and Aubry. Now she has lost Andrea and Michaela and made a costly error by trying to use Sarah’s “steal-a-vote” advantage against her, only to have it backfire. Her chances of getting to the end are now unlikely, but if she can pull it off, it will be hard for the jury to not vote for a legend like Cirie to finally win Survivor.

2. Brad Culpepper

Brad Culpepper
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Brad Culpepper. [Image by CBS Entertainment]

Brad’s reputation going into Survivor: Game Changers was not favorable, mostly being known for dictating decisions and being yelled at by various members of the Survivor: Blood vs. Water cast. However, he completely turned his reputation around in Game Changers by being more social and likable and has remarkably stayed off the radar despite his physical dominance. Up to the Final Six, he has not had to axe any friends, and he certainly has a compelling narrative to present to the jury about changing his game and making it work for him like it did his wife, Blood vs. Water runner-up Monica Culpepper. Brad hasn’t had the biggest edit in the post-merge, but we see enough glimpses of things from his perspective to make him a perfectly viable winner.

1. Sarah Lacina

Sarah Lacina
‘Survivor: Game Changers’ cast member Sarah Lacina. [Image by CBS Entertainment]

While players like Brad have improved upon their second Survivor season, no one in this cast has bolstered their reputation more than Sarah. She was not a big presence in the pre-merge but after the merge, she masterfully straddled the line between alliances while somehow staying off people’s radars. Her game could be likened to Tony Vlachos, the winner of her original season, Survivor: Cagayan, in how she has maneuvered through the game and dictated just about every decision thus far. She has also really dominated in confessionals and screen time in the post-merge, making her a compelling character to the audience. It’s possible that the jury could feel salty about Sarah betraying friendships and playing the game so aggressively, but in this “big moves” era of Survivor, there is no better example of a dominating game player this season than Sarah.

The Survivor: Game Changers finale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

[Featured Image by CBS Entertainment]

Comments