Survivor Winners at War: Why was ____ sent to Edge of Extinction first?

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

At the first Tribal Council of Survivor: Winners at War, Natalie was voted out, and her torch was snuffed. Here’s what went wrong for her.

Survivor: Winners at War gave us a premiere for the ages. We saw 20 winners hit the sands of Fiji to battle for the crown of Survivor crowns, and watched paranoia clutch at both tribes as everyone asked themselves, “What do we do?”

Each of these players knows instinctively that you must keep a low profile to make it far in Survivor. With everyone thinking the same way, we saw a reluctance to name names or point fingers. But by the end of the episode, we saw the strongest duo on Sele cut in half.

”It’s not blood, but it’s pretty close with Jeremy,” Natalie admits in the episode. In San Juan Del Sur, Natalie was tight with Jeremy and played her game in his honor following his elimination. On a tribe where the next most threatening duo had become Adam and Denise (who broke away from camp to look for the water well and drew attention in the process), that cohesion was very threatening.

As much as it pains me to say it (it’s hard to root for anyone to go home this season), Sele made the right choice here.

Related Story. Who voted for whom?. light

Among the 10 most recent winners, Natalie arguably played the most dominant game her first time around. People remember her cunning late-game strategy and flashy Tribal Councils (“Jaclyn, did you vote for who I told you to vote for?”). Despite never showing up in the Dalton Ross pre-season votes as someone the other winners would want out of the game, Natalie is still a very significant strategic threat. That, paired with her nearly familial bond with Jeremy, was enough to seal her fate.

Let’s talk about the two elephants in the room: Rob and Parvati. Despite being two of the most iconic Survivor players ever, neither of them received a single vote in the Winners at War premiere. That actually happened. The best way to understand why that happened is to think about the prospect of being the one to attack Rob or Parvati.

When legends like these can make Ben, a former Marine, star-struck and flabbergasted, you know you have a problem on your hands. Organizing a coalition to take out Rob or Parvati sounds easy in theory. But what if they found out? After all, there was an extra day for chit-chat before tribal council. Who knows what could happen in that time? Parvati and Rob are legends for many reasons, not least of which is their ability to eliminate those who threaten them.

In hindsight, being an upper-middle tier winner didn’t help Natalie here. That, in conjunction with landing on a tribe with her bestie Jeremy, may have actually been some bad luck, as it made her a viable first vote-off to her tribe-mates.

Next. Survivor winners: Ranking the best Sole Survivors by season. dark

”Natalie, the tribe has spoken.”