This season of Survivor is doing a lot (maybe too much), but between all the twists and changes, there’s a cast of characters whose entertainment value we can’t deny. While there may not be a clear “villain” of the season, there are several savvy players ready to blindside, lie, and manipulate their way to winning the title of Sole Survivor.
As we inch closer to the big finale of the long-awaited Survivor 41, many of us are wondering who’s in the best position to win the season. Here’s our ranking of the Survivor 41 players as of Episode 10.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #7 — Heather
Nothing against Heather... We just have not seen her strategize at all. She did get some camera time when she pushed through the reward challenge in Episode 4 (and seems to be well-liked enough). After her "big move" at tribal, where she tried to mix things up, players might find her too chaotic and untrustworthy to continue playing with... or they'll bring her to the end as a goat.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #6 — Liana
Liana is clearly a strong player, both mentally and physically, but her failed move in Episode 7 basically scraps any chance she has of winning the game. Her immediate and outward betrayal of her original alliance (plus playing her advantage incorrectly) make her more of a goat than a threat to win.
By Episode 10, it's clear that Liana plays with her heart instead of her head, which is not the way to win Survivor.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #5 — Deshawn
Like the now-voted off Shan, Deshawn was a leader in his tribe. The other members of the original Luvu clearly placed a lot of stock in him. While Danny was once his shield, their relationship has now flopped, and Danny is operating in Deshawn's shadow to a positive effect.
At this point, Deshawn is putting a target on his back as he makes risky moves and upsets his alliances. This could hurt his chances at winning... or, it could be called "strategy."
‘Survivor 41’ Player #4 — Danny
Right now, Danny seems to be in a strong position in both his alliance and in the game at large. Not only that, but he doesn't seem to be upsetting anyone or any alliances. He's liked by his fellow castaways, and people seem to want to work with him, so it's very possible his physical strength will get him to the end.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #3 — Ricard
Ricard is probably the most divisive character on Survivor so far. A lot of die-hard fans are still mad at him for speaking up about “Come on in, guys!” and he doesn’t seem to be getting the most favorable edit.
However, in Episode 10, Ricard makes the biggest move of the game by effectively blindsiding Shan in a split vote when he's safe with immunity. While this is a great move to win the game at the end, he's putting a target on his back by becoming a bigger threat, so his fate will lie in the balance.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #2 — Erika
Erika jumped in the ranks after Episode 6. She's given an immense amount of power after being sent to Exile Island and effectively keeps five people in the game who could be her allies moving forward.
She goes from playing "like a lamb to a lion," so her journey may be a winner's trajectory. Not only that, but week after week, she's considered a strategic target by other players, yet is often on the right side of the votes.
‘Survivor 41’ Player #1 — Xander
Okay, hear us out. Xander has all the marks of a great player. He’s physically, strategically, and socially intelligent, and it’s clear the producers like him a lot (as do many young fans).
Every episode, one player becomes higher priority than the others to eliminate, and despite the fact the 20-year-old has an idol in his pocket and made a big move in Episode 7 — with the fake idol used to trick Liana — he doesn't seem to be on the chopping block. If he gets to the end, Xander could easily become the youngest Survivor winner ever.
So that’s our official ranking as of Episode 10 of Survivor 41… Of course, Survivor is always changing, so every episode could flip this ranking on its head in a major blindside.
Tune into Survivor 41 Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.