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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Ben Driebergen Survivor Winners at War episode 12
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

16. Ben Driebergen

Despite being a recent champ, Ben’s performance in Winners at War brought back old school Survivor. Here was someone who played with a lot of emotion and heart, while not quite being able to keep up with season 40’s advanced gameplay. Throughout the pre-merge phase, Ben didn’t have to worry about being on the chopping block, but he still struggled with his social game.

He often had arguments with Boston Rob and Adam. The way that Rob was able to get the best of Ben was almost hard to watch. He began to gain some traction with Sarah and Sophie on the expansion tribe, but the disagreements picked right back up once the merge came. Jeremy and Ben were at each other’s throats. Not the greatest follow-up for someone who wanted to improve on their social game.

Due to his paranoia and idiosyncrasies, several contestants, especially on the jury, were completely annoyed with Ben. That said, he did form a tight relationship with the strongest alliance in the game: Cops-R-Us. In fact, Ben was on the right side of the votes for the majority of the game. It did feel though that Sarah and Tony were stringing him along as a loyal member of their cause.

Ben was never able to realize that he needed to get Tony and Sarah out if he wanted a shot at winning it all. Instead, he became so tight with them he basically sacrificed his spot in the game so one of them could win. It was a noble move, but it proved that Ben was playing strictly with his heart, and not his mind, much like fellow cowboy Colby Donaldson in older Survivor seasons.


– Forming one of the tightest alliances in the show’s history
– Finding an idol and saving himself with it
– Playing a genuine and selfless game that Ben is proud of


– Giving up his chance to fight for $2 million
– Not receiving Fire Tokens or advantages from the Edge of Extinction
– Boston Rob getting him to reveal who threw his name out
– Being involved in heated arguments with Rob, Jeremy and Adam
– Wasting an idol because he mistakenly thought Natalie wouldn’t return with one
– Not realizing that Tony and Sarah were taking over the game