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 /
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Best Survivor Winners No. 40: Mike Gabler (Survivor 43)

A lot of fans were stunned when Mike Gabler was crowned the winner of Survivor 43. For most of the season, he was portrayed as a goofy, old man who was beat up beyond belief and never really a big player in the game. Yet, when the final votes were tallied, he beat Cassidy Clark and Owen Knight by a final vote of 7-1-0.

The term bitter jury will be floated out there a lot when it comes to talking about Gabler’s win and deservedly so. We saw in the finale how Karla told Cassidy that she would turn the jury against her if she was voted out and that’s exactly what transpired.

Cassidy clearly was never going to win over this jury that was looking for any reason to vote for Gabler and any reason NOT to vote for her. I’m not even on Team Cass but she played a better game than Gabler. What helped Gabler, however, was a great performance at final tribal council while Cassidy clearly struggled to explain her game but that’s hard to do when people on the jury are telling you your moves weren’t your moves. Gabler didn’t have that issue to deal with.

When looking back at Gabler’s game, he hid in plain sight, as he mentioned throughout the season and came really close to notching the third-ever* perfect game but how did he do it? We never really saw much of his game during the season.

*Jeremy (Cambodia) technically received votes that were negated by an idol so his perfect game status is in question.