Survivor winners: Ranking all 45 Sole Survivors by season

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /
12 of 45
Ben Driebergen Survivor season 35 episode 12
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Best Survivor Winners No. 34: Ben Driebergen (Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers. Vs Hustlers)

Upfront, it should be noted that Ben Driebergen is one of the more entertaining winners in modern Survivor history, and he utilized what was given to him in the best way possible in order to secure a victory.

He played hard for 39 days, from when his core post-merge alliance tried to flip the game on him and even before the merge.

His social game, while spotty near the final third, kept him through most of the game, as he swapped tribes numerous times and never once found himself as the main target.

His Ben Bombs truly brought a smile to many people’s faces, and his one-liners about churching things up and “secret, secret, secret” brought levity to tough situations.

In terms of win equity, however, Ben gave up the majority of the core tenets of Survivor in order to win. He killed his social game in the way he handled the majority, opting to hunt for idols ever since the Lauren vote as a means to stay alive. He gloated to his competitors, including many on the jury, doing the best job of antagonizing people.

In 34 seasons of Survivor, Ben does not win the game. On Day 38, he was supposed to be voted out after losing the Final Immunity Challenge.

Instead, a new “secret advantage” was inserted to the winner where they could no longer vote out their final jury member target, but instead, choose one person to sit with them in the Final Tribal Council while the other two make fire.

Ben Driebergen, the person, is a lovable guy that I’d love to see play the game many times. Ben Driebergen, the Survivor winner, got conveniently lucky to the point that almost feels like Big Brother levels of production interference.