Ben has played a very different game this time around, not needing idols or immunities to stay alive, but has he done enough to win Survivor: Winners at War?
Something that the newer generation of Survivor seems to lack compared to the old school days is the prevalence of larger than life figures. Ben Driebergen is one of the few recent castaways to make a name for himself with his signature “Ben Bombs” and a rootable personality. It has been a different season for Ben this time as he has been up against significantly tougher competition… and it has shown. Is he in a position to win it all?
Ben’s chances of making Final Tribal
On paper, Ben has a strong path to Day 39. We all know he’s a bonafide pro at making fire, so if he makes the Final Four, it’s almost a given. That means Ben only has to survive two other Tribal Councils, with a Hidden Immunity Idol in his back pocket. If he wins one of the next two immunities and plays his idol for himself, Ben has a high probability of presenting his case to the jury.
That being said, there’s still the concern that Ben could be blindsided as he has been out of the loop several times this season. Could we even see Ben getting deceived into playing his idol for Sarah and getting betrayed in the process? Maybe not, but it can be hard to tell where his head is at this far into the game.
The edit has recently made light of Ben being tight with Denise, so when it comes down to it, he might join the queen slayer to split up the Cops’R’Us. That could put Ben out of danger if he isn’t immune at one of the next two Tribals.
Ben’s chances of receiving votes at Final Tribal
Similar to Michele, Ben has a legitimate path to the end, but a much tougher task of getting the jury to vote for him. Unlike Michele, nobody wanted to give him Fire Tokens. Out of the Final Five, Ben has the least respect from the jury. On several occasions, we have even seen jury members murmur statements of disappointment and confusion when Ben speaks out at Tribal Council.
His paranoia has rubbed people the wrong way and I could see some bitter comments directed at him if he does get to address the jury. That will work to negate anything he tries to say about playing a better social game this time.
In addition to jury management, Ben hasn’t made any trademark moves to help plead his case. For the blindsides he was a part of, he was never the one who initiated the move, but more often than not, was convinced to join the majority as a number.
It’s going to be a challenge for Ben to come up with a significant move that can match the rest of the finalists. Tony, Denise, and even Sarah have had more control over the game than Ben has. I don’t think winning immunity or making fire will be enough for his case either. He not only needs to vote out Tony before Day 39, but he must be seen as leading the charge to gain any credence with the jury.
With an idol in his pocket and a skill for making fire, Ben has a good shot of making the end, but I can’t see a way he walks out of Fiji as a two-time champion. He hasn’t made any defining moves so far and he doesn’t have the jury’s respect either. It would take a Ben Bomb of nuclear proportions to change that.