By now, I assume that everyone has watched last night’s Survivor finale and I can finally ask the question that is on almost everyone’s mind.
How did Mike Gabler win Survivor 43?
The most obvious answer is that Gabler won by building a better fire than Jesse. If Gabler hadn’t won the firemaking challenge, Jesse would have gone to the final three and I think it was pretty clear that Jesse would have won. The jury was fully prepared to vote for Jesse and I kind of got the feeling that they never really considered a scenario in which Jesse didn’t make it to the end. Jesse played such a good game that he seemed inevitable, despite the fact that he never won individual immunity and apparently never really learned how to make fire either.
The final three was Gabler, Owen, and Cassidy. Of the three, Cassidy could probably claim to be the most strategic player. She was the one who was always plotting and getting involved in blindsides. Owen was the player who impressed everyone just by making it to the end despite the fact that he was always being targeted. Gabler, on the other hand, often seemed to spend the final days of the game laying low. After he won the one immunity challenge, he kind of stayed out of the limelight.
And that turned out to be good strategy because Gabler won the jury’s vote and he won easily. (Only one vote was cast for Cassidy. The rest went to Gabler.) And then he won almost everyone’s heart by announcing that he would be donating the money to charity.
How did Gabler win?
It may have been unexpected but all the signs of a Gabler victory was there. Gabler handled himself well while asking questions from the jury. He didn’t apologize for anything that he did but, at the same time, he didn’t gloat. He was humble and he was honest and the jury reacted well to that. Owen was well-liked by the jury but he couldn’t really point to any big moves that he had made, beyond winning immunity when he needed it. Cassidy had quite a resume but, like Aubrey Bracco in Survivor 32, she didn’t really bother to build up the type of personal connections that Gabler had. In the end, Gabler won because he was likable and he had just enough of a resume that he could claim that he had played a strategic game.
So, Mike Gabler is our latest winner. Congrats, Gabler!
Well, we’ve got a few months off now. This blog will return when either Big Brother, Survivor, or the Amazing Race returns. Until then, thanks for reading! See you soon!