We're still trying to figure out how Charlie lost on Survivor 46

Weeks have passed since Survivor 46 ended and it is still puzzling on how Charlie did not win. Why did the jury not see he was the season's best player?
SURVIVOR 46- Kenzie, Charlie, and Maria on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+
SURVIVOR 46- Kenzie, Charlie, and Maria on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ /

This is not an exercise in being negative toward Kenzie Petty, who won Survivor 46. She played an outstanding social game and answered certain questions that connected with the jury during the final tribal council.

Instead, this is an examination on how Charlie Davis didn't win the game. As far as the edit went, clearly, the duo of Charlie and Maria controlled most of the game's post-merge votes. With his closest ally on the jury, and not really by his hand, how did Charlie not win Survivor 46?

Charlie's strategy was well-thought-out and well-executed. He found a strong, trustworthy partner to work with through the game. He also wanted to keep the spotlight off himself. He was willing to deflect credit for moves to remain out of the crosshairs. Sometimes Maria benefited from this deflection, and sometimes, others benefitted.

Let's be clear, most moves were orchestrated by both of them, although Charlie was more of a big picture strategist. Maria's biggest move was to draw in Q in when no one else wanted to work with them. Both decided about the same time, going into the final six vote, to take the other out. Charlie quickly learned the people he needed to pull off that blindside desperately wanted Q out, and Maria didn't see it. Ultimately, that cost her the game.

How did Charlie lose the jury at final tribal on Survivor 46?

My Messy, Sweet Friend
“My Messy, Sweet Little Friend” – Idol fever strikes the NuiNui beach and launches a massive hunt for the last hidden immunity idol of the season. With the end of the game in sight, castaways begin to question whether their resumes are enough to win the title of Sole Survivor. Then, in a test of precision, castaways compete for immunity and a spot in the final six, on SURVIVOR, Wednesday, May 8 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on-demand on /

Honestly, it's not like Charlie was awful at the final tribal council. He wasn't. If he could have done something better, it was probably that he wasn't as adamant about explaining his strategy of deflection and playing from the shadows as he could have been.

Maybe, some of the other players weren't aware of that fact. Instead, it seemed as if they thought Maria carried him, and she allowed everyone to think that. Maybe, she convinced herself of that, too.

One thing that might have helped is if he had volunteered to make fire against Liz. That seemed to be a sticking point with the jury, but in reality, it shouldn't be. There is no reason to put yourself in danger of being beaten by making fire if it isn't necessary. In Charlie's case, it should not have been necessary. Did he play it safe? Absolutely, but it shouldn't have mattered.

It came down to two specific votes that were changed due to the answers given to a specific question. Q asked the final three what they intend to do with the money. It was an absolutely terrible question. It is one that should never be asked. By nature, it usually requires the finalists to pander to the jury with their answers.

In truth, what the winner takes home after taxes is not as substantial in the modern world as it was two and half decades ago. What people choose to do with their winnings isn't anyone else's concern. During the after-show, Q indicated he changed his vote based on this question alone. Ridiculous.

Maria also indicated she felt a connection to Kenzie from her answer, and that's great. No issues with that at all. Kenzie was very human in her answer (and it wasn't a pandering answer, either). But Maria was willing to throw out four weeks of playing side-by-side with Charlie as the power duo of the season based on the answer to a question nobody should even ask.

After his initial shock when Jeff read the last vote, Charlie was incredibly gracious in his statement about Kenzie winning because the jury said she won. In the end, he's right. Kenzie won, but there is still the feeling the season's best player had the win stolen from him for flimsy reasons by a couple of those jurors.