Best Survivor Winners No. 25: Erika Casupanan (Survivor 41)
After a year without Survivor due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show began the next era, which kicked off with season 41, simply titled “Survivor 41”. It felt like more of the same editing wise, however, as Erika Casupana, the eventual winner and the first woman to win the show since Sarah Lacina did so in season 34 “Game Changers” (which aired in 2017) barely got any airtime in the pre-merge portion of the game.
Perhaps this was because her tribe failed to lose an immunity challenge and therefore, Erika was never in danger of going home and needing airtime. Her tribe did attempt to throw an immunity challenge to get rid of her but it didn’t end up working out for them, obviously.
When the two tribes thought they had merged, Erika ended up being stuck on an island by herself and then was given a choice as to who would be safe from the first post-“merge” tribal council. She chose to flip things upside down and give the team that had lost the challenge immunity instead.
As the game continued on, Erika mostly stayed under the radar though Shan did target her at one point, but she won immunity and saved herself. She won two total immunity challenges during the merge and while we didn’t really get to see Erika’s game up close thanks to editing, she clearly wowed the jury and put on quite the performance at the final tribal council.
It showed too, as she wound up winning 7-1 over fellow finalists Xander and Deshawn. Erika was hard to rank because her game wasn’t shown much but this felt like a good spot for her on the list.
(Content on this page written by Leigh Oleszczak)