Survivor Winners at War: Ranking all 20 performances from season 40

Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /
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Survivor: Winners at War
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

9. Yul Kwon

Unlike Natalie, Yul succeeded in playing a strong social and strategic game right off the bat. He built an immediate bond with Sophie, which really felt like the brains of the Dakal tribe working together. They were able to bring in Nick and Wendell as a tight four, as well as the Game Changers trio for an overwhelming majority.

In the first few days of Survivor: Winners at War, it became clear that nobody wanted to throw out names. In order to keep the target away from him, Yul gradually planted the idea of a “Poker Players Alliance”, composed of Tyson, Rob, Amber, Kim and Jeremy. This ploy worked out perfectly, as everyone bought into it and the first two Dakal boot were members of this alleged alliance.

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This allowed for Yul, someone who wasn’t connected to the Survivor community, plenty of time to build legit friendships and alliances. It worked well for three Tribal Councils, but when his four-person tribe lost another challenge, there was nowhere for him to hide. Wendell’s pre-existing relationship with Michele made it tricky for Yul to get the numbers to vote for either of them.

This is especially painful since, for the first time in a while, production decided to scrap the idea of an early merge. If they merged when they typically do, Yul would have made the merge and his final result could have been dramatically different. For the second time in his Survivor career, Yul has been dealt with surprising production twists.


– Forming strong alliances with like-minded players right out of the gate
– Planting a target on Amber, Tyson and Kim with the poker alliance rumor
– Mastering the art of getting someone else to throw out the name he was thinking of
– Delivering extremely perceptive comments and speeches at Tribal Council
– Raising awareness for ALS and the battle Penner and Stacy have been fighting
– Outlasting all of the other old school players from the season


– Unable to use the Fire Tokens twist to his advantage
– Creating too crafty of a scheme to get Wendell’s tokens
– Getting voted out right before the merge, in a season where the merge arrived way too late