Survivor Winners at War finale: Can Michele Fitzgerald win the game?

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

In Survivor: Winners at War, Michele Fitzgerald has set out to prove that she was deserving of her first victory in addition to doing all she can to take home the $2 million prize.

One of the reasons Jeff Probst was hesitant about an all winners season had to do with finding a full 20-person cast of compelling champions. Coming into Survivor: Winners at War, some viewers may have considered Michele Fitzgerald as an unproven player that might not be ready for this caliber of gameplay. Making a deep run into a stacked returning players season is a big step into silencing the doubters, but can Michele do enough to win the $2 million prize?

Michele’s chances of making Final Tribal

Last week’s episode put Michele in a precarious position. With Tony, Sarah, Ben and Denise sticking together, Michele was the odd one out and needed that clutch immunity win to survive. That said, there is a strong chance that the dynamics of the game will shift once someone returns from the Edge of Extinction.

As we saw in season 38, the residents of the Edge have a more complete picture of who has the best shot at winning. They get to see firsthand who the jury is pulling for and what types of moves and qualities they’re looking for in a winner. When someone comes back into the game with that kind of insight, there’s a good chance they’ll try to eliminate the castaway that the jury has the most respect for.

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Based on the jury’s reactions and the overall dynamics of the game, Tony and to a lesser extent: Sarah, are seen as the biggest threats at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Edge of Extinction returnee align with Michele and Denise to try and break up the Cops’R’Us duo. Michele is still vulnerable, but there’s a good chance the focus could shift away from her over the next two Tribal Councils.

Michele Tony Survivor Winners at War episode 11
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Once Michele makes the Final Four, I think there’s a good chance she could either win the Immunity Challenge or get brought to the end. The only situation I could definitively see someone sending Michele to make fire is if Tony wins and he brings Sarah. It doesn’t seem like Michele is the greatest at making fire, but I don’t think she’ll have to test her skills out this season.

Michele’s chances of receiving votes at Final Tribal

It’s true that Michele has been out of the loop for many votes, but we can’t ignore the strong relationships she developed with the jury. Don’t quote me on this, but Michele must have the record for the most Fire Tokens given to her from castaways who got their torches snuffed. In a season that has put a ton of emphasis on this new twist, receiving that many tokens speaks volumes about her adaptability.

That being said, Tony, Denise, and Sarah each have had bigger defining moments than Michele at this point. If she is going to sit beside one of those three and expect to win, she needs to have a monster finale episode. More so than simply winning more necklaces, Michele needs to prove that she can have a measure of control over the next few votes to justify that her game was superior.

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Michele has a solid shot of making the Final Three, especially if the Edge returnee understands the need to eliminate the most powerful players remaining. However, winning is another story. Michele needs to make a signature move that she can call her own in the next three Tribal Councils to have a realistic chance of receiving votes.