‘Survivor’ 35 finale spotlight: Mike Zahalsky has friends on the jury, but does he have their respect?

Wednesday night the 35th season of “Survivor” comes to an end with the final five fighting for immunity, a mysterious final advantage in the game and the chance to sit in front of the jury and argue their case to take home the $1 million prize and title of “sole Survivor.” With three of his original Healer tribe mates already on the jury and having had a softer hand in the eliminations of everyone else, Mike Zahalsky heads into the finale with perhaps the best rapport with his potential jurors. But did he make big enough moves to actually deserve their votes?

Below I take a look at Mike’s current odds in our finale predictions event and provide a quick analysis of what it’ll take for Mike to win. Do you think he can do it? Sound off in the comments!

SEE When is the ‘Survivor’ 35 finale? ‘Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers’ winner will be announced December 20

One of the biggest topics in the last few tribal councils has been “big moves,” specifically which players have made the type of moves in the game that the jury is going to respect enough to reward. For Mike, this could very well be the biggest question his potential jury has for him. Aside from wrongly playing his own hidden immunity idol and later throwing Lauren Rimmer‘s into the fire at tribal, Mike hasn’t had a lot of moments where he stood out from the pack, despite having a number of opportunities to make big moves.

The reason Mike is the last Healer remaining in the game is because he was the least threatening among them, but also had the strong connections with both Lauren and Ben Driebergen who I think had at one point hoped to use him to their advantage late in the game. (See our analysis of Ben’s game play.) His connections with players from other original tribes gave Mike the opportunities to turn on the Healers and build trust with the Heroes-Hustlers alliance, but he never pulled that trigger. Instead he remained true to the Healers and in doing so watched the tribe sink into their spots on the jury. For that reason, Mike could very well be one of the least likely to win the game, even if he does (and he very well could) make it to the final tribal council. To get there he’ll have to overcome our current odds where we predict he will place just outside of the finals, in 4th place with 8/5 odds.

SEE exclusive odds: Who will win ‘Survivor’?

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Wednesday on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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