After 39 days of blindsides, little bit of romance, trust clusters, and emotional journeys, we have our 33rd Survivor winner, Adam Klein! Klein won by a clean sweep claiming all 10 votes beating Ken McNickle and Hannah Shapiro. I was surprised by Adam getting all 10 votes because I surely thought Ken would receive some of the votes. I thought Ken played a great physical game but there were flaws in his strategic game. Before I dig into last night’s finale, I want to congratulate Adam on a well-deserved win. He was on my top 3 favorite players from this season and he did play a great social and strategic game and watching him go on this emotional, tough journey was great to watch. I know that this is an exciting time for him and his family.
We start out the finale with the final 6 heading back to camp and Sunday was voted out. Bret was extremely frustrated that Dave was still in the game. And who can blame him? David is the mastermind of everyone ever since the merge. He stayed loyal to Ken and Hannah which in turn made them loyal to Dave. He is a major threat to win the game. Poor Jay, though. He played his idol and didn’t have to because Adam, Dave and Hannah decided to blind side Sunday. With no security left, Jay went on a hunt to find another immunity idol. Low and behold, he found a coconut shell revealing what looks to be an idol!! However, it was a ruse set up by Dave…clever gameplay on his part. The look on Jay’s face when he found the “idol” was priceless. And speaking of advantages, Ken opened up his legacy advantage and it turned out a paper form of an idol only for that night at tribal council. It was an immediate security blanket for Ken no matter what the outcome was at the immunity challenge. Great gift from Jessica, that’s for sure.
At the immunity challenge, Jay mistakenly forgot to cover his combination locks allowing Hannah, Ken and Dave to catch up. This was Jay’s downfall when Dave came back from the bottom beating everyone in immunity and reward. HOWEVER! Jay used his advantage to steal someone’s reward allowing him to take control of Dave’s reward winning. As a man of integrity, Jay allowed Dave to come along since he won and Adam since he was the one that gave Jay the advantage. With no immunity, Jay’s only chance was to talk to Dave and Adam and convince them to vote out Bret.
Ever since the Michaela vote, Jay has been my favorite player. He showed that he’s not only the surfer dude, enjoying the ride but he’s in it to make big moves and play a great game. He’s won immunity challenges and was always loyal to the people he was with. With no immunity idol, I was literally scarred for his life because I wanted him to win. He also had the grit attitude that displayed he won’t back down without a fight. His social game wasn’t enough to persuade Adam and Dave to flip. At tribal council, he played his idol and when Jeff announced that it wasn’t an idol and threw it to the fire, the look on Jay’s was again, priceless. He was mortified and in shock that that just happened. All votes went to Jay and he was sent home. Such a shame. He’s a great kid, has a good heart and played a great, hard-fought game. I hope CBS invites him to come back another season.
With 5 left, the next target was obviously Dave, right? Wrong. Adam managed to find the real immunity idol, guaranteeing his spot in the final 4. Bret plead his case to Hannah that if Dave lived to see day 39, they wouldn’t win. Dave argued his side that Bret has a lot of friends on the jury so it makes sense to vote out Bret. In the end, it was Bret who went home, giving Dave that much closer to the $1,000,000.
At this point, I wanted Dave to win the whole thing. He has won immunity challenges, played a great social game, stayed loyal to his tribemates, and had a great evolution on Survivor. He was the man that hated loud noises, the outdoors and everything else. He was a terrified human being, but in the end he came out stronger and braver.
At the final immunity challenge, it was dramatic TV as it could get. It came to a showdown between Hannah and Ken with Ken being the victor. Throughout the whole game, Ken stayed loyal to Dave. But when it came down to it, he knew Dave would beat him so he voted out his ally, and Dave was sent home.
The final 3 of Ken, Hannah and Adam had different styles of gameplay. My favorite part of the finale is when the jurors get to speak to the final 3. If we’re lucky, we get that 1 juror who is to the point of who actually deserves to win the title of sole survivor. Zeke made a great point stating that in 33 seasons of survivor, the gameplay is always changing and it’s always revolutionizing. He wanted to know which of the final 3 best represents that evolution of Survivor
Ken represents that old-school style of play, obviously, since he was a Gen X. He probably could’ve done well in the first season of survivor. I’ve never seen him falter or played a cut-throat game. He stayed loyal throughout the entire game until he voted out Dave. But, you can’t ignore that he’s won 4 individual challenges. His physical game was there but his strategic side was not the best. Bret made a point to Ken asking him when he started playing the game. Ken was never in the game. He was only reliable. He played the game 2 seconds ago when he voted out Dave.
Hannah is what Bret says…a flipper. Her argument was that she was always on the right side of the vote besides the Michaela blindside. She was always part of the important discussions on who to vote out and in the order they go in. In my eyes, that’s not a great way to play and no one likes a flipper. The immediate, obvious threat was there 9 days ago in the form of Dave. Instead of giving Dave a great chance to get to the end, she should’ve voted him out and not worry about trust issues. I will give Hannah some credit but she didn’t have a compelling argument at the final tribal. She never won immunity or had no social game.
Adam played a brilliant gameplay. His only falter was when he got outed by Taylor that he had the reward steal advantage. He found 2 immunity idols, won immunity once and had his mom there the entire time. He always made sure that he wasn’t the obvious threat in the game and allowed others to think they’re in control. Zeke, Jay and Dave were the 3 biggest threats and he made sure they got the heat. In the final 4, he managed to convince Ken to take him to the end. Adam was afraid Ken wouldn’t do that vote because he’s a loyal guy. Either way, Ken still wouldn’t have won.
In the end, Adam finally revealed that his sole purpose on coming to the show was for his mom. Him and his mom were supposed to come out for the blood vs water season but his mom had the diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. Being huge fans of the show, his mom told Adam to go out and live his dream. To come out and actually win is, I’m sure, the biggest happiest moment for the Klein family. It was heart breaking to hear that after an hour when he got home, his mother passed. To see Adam go on this journey was completely awesome.
This season of survivor was awesome. The producers on the show know how to pick the right people because each season gets better. The 34th season of survivor will bring back former players titled “Gamechangers.” Should be a good one! Later today I will post my thoughts on the next season
Thanks for reading!