Survivor 44 comes to an end tonight, and Pop Crave is taking a look back at one specific question we asked each of this season’s jury members following their elimination: “What are you looking for in the winner?” Although fans have yet to see who will fill the last two remaining seats, the Survivor 44 jury appears to be in agreement on one key trait they wanted to see exemplified by the players who reached the final tribal council: self-awareness.
Most seasons tend to include a finalist or two who either have an inaccurate read on the game and their role in it or knowingly talk up an underwhelming resume in an attempt to sway the jury in their favor. Usually, neither scenario bodes well for a player, and this season, the jury means business when it comes to crowning the Sole Survivor.
Carolyn, Carson, Heidi, Lauren, and Yam Yam remain. Who is your pick to win it all?
Matt Blankinship: What I want to see from people is basically, like, accurate perception—an accurate read of the game and their place in it. I think it’s okay to play a game where you’re not the center of attention all the time and making huge moves or whatever, as long as you know the whole time how everyone perceives you and perceives each other. And then kind of finagle your way to get to the end. If you’re very aware of that, like self-perception, that’s what I respect in a winning game, and that’s what I want to see from players and what I want them to demonstrate.
Brandon Cottom: I think one of the biggest things that I was looking for was the awareness of the game and the intentionality behind the moves. I think there’s a lot of times where you have people that kind of fall into situations, and they might not necessarily know why they did it or what the thought process was that went behind it. So my biggest thing is that I want to see that you’ve made these moves intentionally, understanding how that affects your game and how that’s gonna get you to the end. As opposed to just doing what somebody else said, and then it just happened to work out.
Kane Fritzler: Well, I wanted to win the game. And I’d look for a player who played a game that I respected and respected the way I tried to play the game. So what I would be looking for is to know who’s controlling the game. That’s the bottom line for me. And I don’t want someone at the end who can just sort of figure it out and piece it together. I want to see that somebody was moving with intention and was actually deciding, even if their decision was to sit one out, to go with this vote, or to go with that vote. To know that they were carving their own path. That’s the type of person I like to vote for.
Frannie Marin: I’m looking for somebody who can demonstrate that they had a lot of awareness in the game. As you can see with this season, we’re a little chaotic. There’s always a lot of plans going on, and things get changed at the last minute. But I think the people who can demonstrate that they have an awareness of what’s going on in the game and also an awareness of themselves and how they move through the game are what I’m looking for in a winner. And for me, that’s more important than… At tribal, people are talking about, “Oh, Frannie is a threat because she’s like, winning challenges and stuff.” That’s not really what I care about. I care that you had agency and can tell me about it. That’s what I’m looking for.
Danny Massa: I want people to play hard, play to win, and take calculated, intelligent risks. And leave no doubt. Look at Maryanne’s final tribal. That is probably the greatest final tribal of all time. And I think that’s awesome. I think that you should strive to have final tribals like that. But I also think you should strive to have your gameplay reflect that. So I would respect an incredible final tribal, but I also want it to be like, “I don’t even have to sell this. This is what I did.” And then that being enough. So that’s what I’ll be looking for.
Jaime Lynn Ruiz: I am looking for a socially strong player who can articulate how they moved through the game and got to the final three.
The season finale of Survivor 44 airs tonight at 8/7c on CBS.