3. Jeremy Collins
Jeremy is one of a handful of winners who hold the special distinction of being a champion in a season with a full cast of returning players. It takes a special skill set to win Survivor when the competition is made up of experienced contestants. Jeremy proved he was up for the challenge in Cambodia, and he followed that up with a strong outing in Winners at War.
After Day 2, it might have seemed that this wasn’t going to be a long journey for this firefighter, as his friend Natalie got her torch snuffed. However, Jeremy didn’t stop working. He was able to connect well with Michele and Denise. Jeremy went from being the outsider to the top dog fairly quickly, being the voice of reason when the Sele members were thinking about going after the big guns.
After a relatively easy decision to vote out Danni, Jeremy was ready to make a move. He wanted to keep Rob and Parvati as meat shields but realized the importance of weakening their position in the game. As a result, Jeremy and Michele decided to take advantage of the division in the tribe and put together a voting block to eliminate Ethan. Instead of scrambling himself, he left the hustling to Michele. That prevented Jeremy from letting his threat level get too high.
The swap put Jeremy and Denise in the minority. However, the bonds he built continued to pay off as Denise played her second idol for him. He didn’t end up receiving any votes, but that Sele relationship guaranteed him a spot at the merge. Unfortunately for Jeremy, many of the threats he wanted to keep around, including Rob and Parvati, were voted at Tribal Councils he wasn’t involved in.
That put Jeremy in a tricky position. He tried to build something with Wendell, but he wisely understood that he didn’t have the numbers to keep him alive and wrote his name down to save face. He also proved to be on the right side of the numbers in the decision to take out Adam. At that point, Jeremy’s focus shifted from thriving to simply surviving.
Thanks to Natalie, he purchased a Safety Without Power advantage for only one token. At the Final Ten, he felt the heat and wisely decided to play it. Although it seemed like he was jumping ship, if Jeremy stayed he would have been voted out, so that was the perfect way to play that advantage. That’s when his plea for keeping the big threats together was finally answered by Tony.
Jeremy joined Tony’s voting bloc for the next couple of votes. Together, they were able blindside Sophie and Kim, without Jeremy needing to play an idol or advantage. Jeremy’s improbable run ended at the Final Seven when Tony decided to shoot first. He wasn’t expecting Tony to take out a fellow lion at that point, leaving the game in disappointment. That said, surviving that many Tribal Councils the way Jeremy did was remarkable.
– Blindsiding Ethan in a savvy move to weaken Rob and Parvati
– Buying the Safety Without Power advantage and playing it correctly in an advantage standoff
– Denise playing an idol for him
– Winning the first Individual Immunity of the season
– Getting Michele to let him borrow her expensive advantage
– Correctly holding onto Michele’s advantage
– Surviving several crazy Tribal Councils without an idol to make the Final Seven
– Seeing his close friend and ally get voted out first
– Not being able to save Wendell or Tyson from elimination
– Having his fate in Tony’s hands instead of in his own