The biggest season yet of Survivor came to a close on Wednesday, May 13, handing out the biggest prize yet - $2 million dollars – to the lucky winner.
This season saw returning players like Survivor has done in the past, but with a very specific twist: they had all won the game before. This was a sort of last hurrah for many of them to see if they could win for a second (or, in Sandra's case, third) time. And as an incentive, Survivor doubled the prize money.
It was a brutal game all the way through, and even though the winner was notified over video chat while host Jeff Probst read the votes from his garage versus a live show like usual, viewers were still glued to their chairs to see police officer Tony Vlachos take home the win. But did he deserve it?
10 The Spy Nest: Deserved To Win
Tony is a master at creating covert areas where he can spy on others and listen in on conversations, oddly a first ever for the game. He created spy shacks that helped him figure out what was going on the first time he played. This time, he kicked things up – literally – a notch and climbed into a tree right above the water well.
Covering his face with leaves and staying very still, he was able to listen in on seemingly secret conversations and have his partner Sarah lure people there to chat so he could overhear what they were saying.
9 He Played The Same Game: Didn't Deserve To Win
Even though Tony says he played more emotionally this time around, his strategy was still pretty much the same, right down to the person he forged a tight bond with. You would think past winners would have recognized the strong bond between Tony and Sarah and tried to break that up right away.
Maybe he did deserve to win since others recognized him as a threat and saw him playing the same way yet didn't do anything to get him out.
8 Called The Shots Behind The Scenes: Deserved To Win
Despite Sarah's strong arguments that she did a lot for their partnership and her alliance, which is all true, Tony really was calling the shots a lot of the time. Sure, they collaborated on decisions and helped one another.
But consider the spy nest: why did Tony need it in the first place to listen in on conversations Sarah was having with others? Why wouldn't he just trust her when she told him what they told her? Something to think about.
7 Rode Alongside Sarah: Didn't Deserve To Win
With that said, Sarah (sorry, Lacina), did play a strong game, and there's no denying that Tony would not have been able to pull out a win without her. They had one another's backs through the entire game.
They helped one another find out information they needed to know and saved one another several times over. And after Sarah's inspiring speech, it would have been nice to see her win in the end, or at least three females sitting at the last tribal.
6 Had Good Instincts: Deserved To Win
In the final episode, Tony showed just how great his instincts were. He was sure that Natalie came back into the game with an idol and tried to convince his teammates of it, suggesting they vote out Denise to be safe.
They weren't having it, and in the end, both Tony and Ben lost their idols when they could have agreed to vote Denise and kept their safety nets in their pockets for the next tribal. He didn't always need the spy nests: Tony had a knack for feeling people out.
5 Natalie and Michelle Fought Harder: Didn't Deserve To Win
Natalie was voted out first so it's hard to imagine how she could have deserved to win. But looking at her performance on Edge of Extinction and how hard she worked to release advantages and disadvantages in the game while earning fire tokens to gain her own advantages, it was amazing.
She made it look effortless. And as soon as she was back in the game, she went to work throwing Tony under the bus. She was ruthless and relentless, and if any returning player deserved to win, it was her.
4 Won Tribe and Individual Competitions: Deserved To Win
One of Tony's strengths is being able to pull out wins when he needed them most, both for his tribe and for individual immunity. And when there wasn't a competition to be played, he was a master at looking for and finding idols.
Tony almost tied the record for the most individual immunity wins in a game this season, and many of those wins are what saved him from being voted out.
3 Coasted On Popularity: Didn't Deserve To Win
Tony was well-liked by players, many of whom were mesmerized by the fact that he wasn't exactly how they pictured him to be after seeing past seasons. He was painted as a villain and paranoid and it seems like he's more down-to-earth and easy-going than past appearances might have suggested.
This pleasant surprise led many to find it tough to vote him out because, well, he was just so darned funny and nice! That isn't a reason to win.
2 Won The Fire Challenge: Deserved To Win
It was clear that Tony was not a master at making fire. Yet he managed to pull out the win against his best friend in the game, Sarah. He obviously practiced a lot and even though there was little finesse to how he did it, he managed to spark the fire and keep it going long enough to break the string before Sarah.
If Natalie made one mistake, it was in putting them against one another. Michelle had a much better chance at beating Tony at that challenge, and that could have been a two-million-dollar mistake, but one that made Tony a deserving winner.
1 Others Made Bigger Moves: Didn't Deserve To Win
Other players made much bigger moves in the game than Tony. Denise orchestrated a shocking play that took out Queen Sandra, dubbing her the Queen-slayer. Natalie unleashed advantage after advantage in the game that helped her pull strings from the Edge without even being present.
Michelle managed to survive despite being constantly on the bottom, winning immunity challenges when they mattered most. And Sarah was Tony's partner in crime who kept him in check. He did deserve to win, but so did so many others.
The Little Mermaid is the Absolute Worst
In the wake of Frozen 2’s $1 billion haul, the debate rages on about who is the best Disney princess...
The 30 Best Movie Trilogies of All Time
What makes a good trilogy? Well, for starters, you have to follow the same theme throughout the entire series —...
18 celebs that were on TV before becoming Movie Stars
Everyone knows that movie stars get more love than the actors on tv. Why is that? Perhaps there is truly...
Best Female Leads in Horror Film History
From “Scream Queens” to “Final Girls” the female role has continued to evolve in the horror genre, no longer are...
10 Overlooked Movies of the 2010s
The 2010s was a solid decade for cinema. Even with a rise of remakes, creators didn’t shy away from innovation....
10 Times Someone From Jackass Should’ve Died
As America entered the 21st Century, man reached an evolutionary peak once thought unattainable. With the invention of personal internet...
Slow to Fast: All 9 Fast & Furious movies ranked from worst to best
Fast and furious. There are no two words that have meant so much in cinematic history. Love it, or hate...
10 Most Underrated Shows of the 2000’s
It’s a new decade in this 2020, which means we’ve said goodbye to so many shows, and we’re saying hello...
20 Films That Will Have You Reaching For Tissues
Sincerely, how good does it feel after you weep uncontrollably? Is it wrong to find pleasure in undergoing melancholy from...
10 worst movies with a Star-studded cast
Even the brightest stars cannot hope to lighten up the darkest nights. That goes to say that even if a...