Ultimate Survivor Winners Bracket – Final Four

Welcome to the internet’s FIRST bracket to decide the Ultimate Winner of Survivor, where we’re happy to not wait until March to unleash our ideas. We’ve got four winners left: let’s see who the ultimate will be.

Voting ends Friday, March 17

1. Richard Hatch (Borneo) vs 13. Yul Kwon (Cook Islands)

A match-up between two calm, measured strategists who both won their seasons against challenge beasts by one vote. How you vote on this larger depends on whether or not you give extra credit for being the original or how much you dock for having a really powerful idol. Or you could pick which one you like better. It’s probably just as fair as determining which winner was better.

1. Richard Hatch (Borneo) vs 13. Yul Kwon (Cook Islands)

  • 13. Yul Kwon (Cook Islands) (66% Votes)
  • 1. Richard Hatch (Borneo) (34% Votes)

Total Voters: 181

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24. Kim Spradlin (One World) vs 28. Tony Vlachos (Cagayan)

I’ll be honest: I have no idea how to vote in this one. Any argument for one of these winners over the other for their game play ignores the fact that each of them played the perfect game for them, and that each would fail miserably trying to play in the other’s style. In fact, neither of them could even try, as each are an expression of their personality.

You could say that Kim had more control over her season, but the misinterprets “control” as “less chaotic”. For Tony, chaos is HOW he controlled Cagayan. His competitors just plain couldn’t keep up with him and instead, frequently did his bidding without realizing the damage. But, man… Kim. She got them to HAPPILY do her bidding. I’ve often thought that her style is the one of the most portable winning game in Survivor history. It’s hard to think of a season where it wouldn’t have given her a strong chance of winning.

Honestly, I’m probably going to vote for one of them at work and the other one at home.

24. Kim Spradlin (One World) vs 28. Tony Vlachos (Cagayan)

  • 24. Kim Spradlin (One World) (61% Votes)
  • 28. Tony Vlachos (Cagayan) (39% Votes)

Total Voters: 180

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Co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast and the Canadian of the group, Andy has been watching Survivor continuously since the very beginning and likes to treat that as some kind of virtue to lord over others.

Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cook Islands, Palau, The Amazon, Cagayan
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino
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106 thoughts on “Ultimate Survivor Winners Bracket – Final Four

  1. I voted for Richard and Kim.

    The first one is interesting for me cause I didn’t vote for either of them since the match-up. I don’t have any particular reason why I voted for Rich over Yul because they are both really close for me. The only one which I could point to is that Richard didn’t have any outside help in terms of some twists, and got to the end by his own means (I don’t find either cast as more strategic than the other, so I can’t put either of them down for having them)

    And I voted for Kim, cause I just think that she executed her strategy perfectly, while I think Tony’s can heavily rely on an idol. She would,ve beaten anyone in a Final 3, she had multiple ways to get there, she had a a great social game, plus was also really physical and I believe if we would put her in 100 seasons, she would win at least a good chunk of them.

    And as I said last time, even the ones that I didn’t vote for are great, and I won’t be dissappointed if any of them makes the final round.

    1. I have to dispute the notion that Tony’s game is reliant on idols because there weren’t any votes negated in Cagayan. The presence of idols is disruptive in the vote, and it’d be incorrect to say that idols didn’t help Tony. But to say that he relied on them is, I think, also inaccurate to some degree.

      1. I probably did exaggerate how idols are important for Tony, I admit. But I do think that most of Tony’s plans included having one (and I think that the existence of super idol paralized a lot of players, so even though he could not have one, just the thought of him having it caused them to not target him earlier). And I DO think Tony is a great player and winner he should be given props for using idols really well even if he doesn’t play it, but I still think that Kim’s game is more impressive.

      2. But he didn’t only have the ordinary idol. He had the one that you play post vote. People knew that and it kept the target off him. L

  2. Kat’s luxury item on BvW was a photo of her and Kim. The woman who, if you watched Kat’s Ponderosa, blindsided her so badly that she was emotionally destroyed after it. Both Kat and Alicia were bridesmaids at Kim’s wedding. This is still the same Kim who betrayed them and ruined their chances at a million dollars.

    No disrespect to Tony, but I gotta go with Kim on this one.

    1. I don’t have a problem believing that a player could be blindsided by someone in the game and then become good friends with them after. There are examples of players that never forgive this, but I think that it the minority.

    2. I voted for Kim because the coin landed in her favor, but yeah, Kim managed to play the game both nicely and ruthlessly.

    3. I mean how can Alecia be mad when she was just a half-step behind Kim every time and taking her out was the last thing Kim had to do to secure victory.

      *jerk-off motion*

      1. Her and Todd were masterclass examples of just sucking it up and stroking the jury’s ego despite their answer being patently ridiculous. The only difference is Todd’s effort was so transparent it left everyone in hysterics, but baffingly still worked because Jean-Robert is an odd duck.

        1. Same goes for Chris Daugherty, the original BS artist when it comes to putting on a show for the jury.

    1. This. I love Tony, he is probably my favorite winner to watch. But I don’t think he is better than Kim.

  3. Yul vs. Hatch is a tough one, but I have to give it to Hatch for stepping down at the final immunity challenge. I don’t think any player/tribe threw a challenge in that season* so it was unheard of for him to do that and probably had Production freaking out when it happened. But it really was the only way for him to get to the finals and not lose to, or betray, Rudy without any blood on his hands. Of course now it’s acceptable (mostly) to throw a challenge to get further in the game, but back in Borneo it was unheard of.

    * If this is true, who was the first player/team to throw a challenge?

    1. Rich was the first person to throw an individual challenge, and Ethan was the first to organize the team challenge throw…it happened immediately after the swap where he wanted Silas gone pre merge.

  4. I went with Yul and Kim. Basically in the end I asked myself this question: if they were placed (as a first timer) in a random season of Survivor, who would have the better probability of victory, and I think that is the answer.

    Hatch was fantastic as an inventor of the game, I’m not sure he wins a season later than like 5, where Yul could still be Yul and strategize his way through many seasons
    Tony’s win, awesome as it was, was one in a hundred at best. Kim’s social game could run the show pretty much any season.

      1. “When coming up with ways of looking at things, I ask myself this question: does it help justify putting Sandra at the top?”

  5. I voted Yul and Kim. I appreciate the history of Hatch and the fact that he was a forefather of Survivor strategy, but I think Yul has the edge here because he was playing a more complex game, he was and underdog, and he was innovative with strategy as well.
    As for Tony v. Kim, I went with Kim because in my view (and I may be completely biased) dominating the game with class and calm is a more impressive strategic feat than riding a chaos train to the end (though we all know which one made for better TV).
    I’m pretty sure I would have chosen Kim over Tony even without having just seen Tony get voted out in the premiere of his second attempt out there, but I can’t help but notice that in both cases I chose the one-time player over the two-time player. I wonder if Yul and Kim are at an advantage here because we are only able to judge them by their one successful attempt? This would seem to disadvantage winners like JT, Tom, Tina, who lost a little shine upon their return trip.

    1. I think it’s subconsious, but it’s definetely there. Even if they aren’t winners but someone finishes near the end the first time and then finishes in the first few days it definetely sours our perception of them just a little bit (for example: Rob C., Johny Firplay, Yau-Man and some others). And I wonder if someone finishes early the first time and is at the end the second, it makes the perception of him better than the previous example (for example Parvati, Wentworth). And slightly related to that, even though I love Sandra, and I think that she played a good game in PI, I don’t think that she would be called one of the best winners if she didn’t win her second time.

    2. I didn’t hold the super idol against Yul, because he played a good enough game without really needing to use it or rely on wins, unlike Terry, who had that same overpowered idol, but ended up having to rely on winning immunity after immunity to stay in the game, before ultimately getting knocked out by Danielle.

  6. I get the feeling that no matter who wins in the Kim vs. Tony bracket, that person will win in the final.

  7. Yul because I think he played against a much more game savvy cast than Hatch. Yes, since we’re in the final four it’s nitpick time.

    Kim because I think she is the greatest to ever play so why would I vote for Tony? I’d probably vote for him against Yul or Hatch but that’s not the match up.

  8. If this comes down to Yul vs Kim, I am going to make the argument that Yul should win. They both were first time winners. They played similar strategies. I will have Yul’s God Idol and Kim’s incompetent competitors cancel each other out in the luck factor.

    My argument for Yul is that he was able to maintain control of the game despite being down in numbers. Kim had power from day 1 and never faced a situation where she was down in numbers or had disadvantaged allies. I think Yul’s ability to bounce back is a magnificently impressive feat, especially since he was a recruit.

    1. I mean it wasn’t just the God Idol that worked in Yul’s favour. The bottle twist and surprise F3 also very much were advantageous to him very directly and clearly. I don’t think anyone’s ever had so many twists benefit them in such a direct way.

      That said, like Kim can only beat the competitors put in front of him, Yul isn’t going to be just like “you know what, it’s unfair if I use this God Idol to beat people. I’ll just do this the old fashioned way.”

      (Also, I’d argue Tony’s idol was more powerful than Yul’s, because at least with Yul’s idol they knew what it did.)

      1. At the risk of being shunned by this site I would like to ponder why nobody discounts Yul for having Ozzy to help? Everyone takes him down for the God Idol, but Ozzy is a huge part of his game. Ozzy makes the idol play possible because he wins individual immunity and shifts the focus to Yul. He keeps the target off Yul in the postmerge and keeps the 4 from being pagonged after the mutiny. If Tony is discounted for having Trish as a co-pilot, Yul should be for having Ozzy.

        (P.S. I voted for Yul. He’s great, I just wanted to be devils advocate for a bit).

        1. I always fall somewhere in between on how great of a winner Yul is. There’s many people who rank him bottom tier because of all the various forms of help he had. There are some, mostly on Purple Rock, who rank him the very best because of the strategic way he used that help he had.

          I think he’s somewhere in the middle. I don’t think he made a lot of mistakes, and made the brilliant moves with Penner and Adam to give him the win that I’m not sure many would have been capable of, but I also don’t think he had a good plan to take down Ozzy which is something he thought he needed to do. So he is great, but I don’t think he’s Kim Spradlin (or even probably as good as his first round matchup.)

          1. I think Yul’s plan to take down Ozzy was “Win final three or final four immunity, and then slit Ozzy’s throat.” I’m sure Becky and Sundra would have gone along with the plan. I’m not clear whether he would have pulled the move at five, six and seven…but he might have.

            And it’s not a terrible plan…except there was no immunity challenge at three due to a genuinely out-of-nowhere twist. And all the immunity challenges that DID happen once Ozzy was expendable…Ozzy won. Fortunately, Yul had a backup plan of making a pact with Adam/Candace to beat Ozzy at FTC.

          2. You are right- I’d mixed up Parvati and Candace.

            Something that one only does in Cook Islands.

          3. I don’t think it was ever with Parvati, because it was pretty clear by the time she got voted off that she was hoping to use her charm on Ozzy.

          4. I’m sure it was wit ATS and Parvati, and like I said she didn’t keep the promise (which she didn’t have to do).

          5. And I’m saying “leave it to the last two immunities to take down Ozzy” isn’t the greatest plan, but then again it’s hard to say whether he would have with the chance at 5 or 6 you are correct.

          6. Fair. I do think Yul should have turned on Ozzy at five, and maybe six.

            But ultimately, I’m not willing to downgrade Yul for failing to take out Ozzy since there was no moment when he COULD have taken out Ozzy when he also SHOULD have taken him out.

            Of course he probably can be knocked a little for not beating Ozzy at ANY of the key challenges.

    2. Yul didn’t exactly stumble upon a minority situation Danni Boatwright style. Candice and Penner were Yul and Becky’s closest allies and decided to leave them. I’d argue part of that is on Yul.

      1. Not according to Penner, where he admits that the only reason he mutinied after Candice did was because he thought that either she or Adam had the idol, so he wanted to be where the power was.

          1. Yeah…the only person on the Raro side of the game I liked was Penner, and that’s because he seemed to be the only one in that tribe who was there to play.

      1. And Kim had no Trish. Why? Because she did not cause messes that needed to be cleaned up. She had tight allies. If anything could even be remotely called a mess, she cleaned it up herself. And even though most of the cast were duds or worse, Sabrina and to some extent Chelsea, were not.

        1. This. She had no Trish to clean up messes (which Kim didn’t cause in the first place). In addition, Kim sat next to the strongest competition of her season – Sabrina and Chelsea – in the final 3 and beat them. If Tony had been sitting next to Trish, I don’t think things would have happened the same way. This is not a knock on Sabrina, especially – I think Sabrina was a decent player who had the bad luck of playing against Kim.

        2. In fact she cleaned up a few of Chelsea’s messes too, and Chelsea was one of the good players.

      2. I mean there is the question of “Was the One World cast as bad as they looked or did Kim just make them look like that?”

    1. Counterpoint: if Woo had more than 5 functioning brain cells, Tony would not have won and we’d be talking about how Cagayan had such a garbage ending.

      1. Also a valid point. It’s almost like choosing the best winner is absurdly subjective, particularly when you’re choosing between some of the best ever!

  9. eh, i don’t really care who wins anymore. Kim I guess.

    My top tier of winners is Chris, JT, Todd, Earl, Kim.

    And in terms of liking winners, Rich.

    Top tier of winners in terms of liking them are Rich, JT, Chris, Fabio and PI Sandra.

  10. Even discounting my One World bias, I still think Tony played the better game here, because of the quality of his competition. If a pro sports player beats the JV team, is he better than a guy who won the pro level? Tony’s gameplay may have been chaotic, but HE convinced Woo to take him to the end. HE roped in Trish and allowed her to be his soothsayer. Kim had control over a bunch of people who had never seen the show.

    (I’d also love to see a final match between Yul and Tony devolve into a debate over the God/Tyler Perry idol…)

    1. Don’t make me start the “was the competition worse or did Kim just make them look that way?” argument again.
      Basically Tony beat mediocre competition in a scrappy way, Kim beat bad competition in a controlled way by a huge margin.

      1. Kim made all of her fellow competitors look like turtles flipped on their backs who couldn’t get up for thirty nine days

      1. He has not finished One World, but bravely does not let that stop him from disparaging Kim’s game.

      1. How am I supposed to get any work done now that you’ve put “Yul in the sheets” in my thoughts?

      1. I’m offended for Kim you think she’s a gamebot. She is an empathy machine. There is a reason her fellow players love her and it’s cos she’s warm and lovely. Yul’s competitors respected him, I don’t think they loved him (except Becky they are still best buds).

        1. First of all, I believe that Becky introduced Yul to his wife.
          Secondly, I should have put gamebot in quotes when talking about Kim. I guess I was just saying that she wasn’t exactly the most interesting person on screen in a similar way to Yul.

          1. Yeah, she’s kind of amazing, cos she had a career track to earn A LOT of money in corporate law but left to do something so worthwhile.

  11. I can’t in good conscience vote for Yul. The random luck of the game was so overwhelmingly in his favor- the god idol took him to final three, and then for the first time ever there was no final 2. Yul is a perfect human being, but his Survivor victory is nowhere near as impressive as Richard’s improvisation.

    So I voted for Yul in bad conscience, because there is no way in HELL I’m voting for Richard Hatch over Yul Kwon.

    1. I don’t doubt for a second that Ozzy would have taken Yul to the final 2 in an “iron sharpens iron” ideal.

          1. And he’s always been the type of player who is all about “only the deserving players should be at the end,” so no doubt he’d still have taken Yul to the end. I remember him being pissed the second time around because so called undeserving players like Erik and Natalie made it further than he did.

          2. I think he may have learnt now but that Ozzy was losing to Yul by one more vote at FTC (because Becky was 100% voting for Yul).

          3. Yeah…had it been a final 2, Yul still would have won, because besides Becky, he already had a deal with Brad going ever since they were on the Puka beach, Penner and him seemed to understand each other very well, and he had Adam/Candice’s votes locked up after he made the deal with Adam that if Adam stayed over Penner, Yul would get their votes in the end.

  12. I JUST finished one world like twenty minutes ago and Kim just really….owned all of them. She had Alicia believing she was more popular EVEN AFTER most people said they would trust Kim with their life. Among many, many other things. Also beating Tr*y was so so satisfying. #TeamKim

  13. I’m voting Hatch since the first round to protest his very presence in this contest.

    Him pioneering how this game is going to be played should have been listed outside the competition instead of costing Sandra the chance of facing herself in the finale.

    This round I’m so mad and free of any reason that I also voted against Kim.

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