“Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” came to an end on Wednesday, December 20, with Marine Ben Driebergen being named the winner by a 5-2-1 vote over Chrissy Hofbeck and Ryan Ulrich. (Read our season finale recap.) While Ben’s victory was a shocker — he was only predicted to finish in third place, according to Gold Derby’s odds — he made millions of fans along the way by positively representing the veteran community. But when compared to the 10 most recent “Survivor” winners, how does Ben stack up? Click through our extensive photo gallery above and then sound off by voting in our poll below.
Ben would have been out weeks ago, but he had a knack for finding hidden immunity idols that kept him alive in the game. In fact, he successfully played three consecutive idols that brought him all the way to the Final 4. At that stage, all hope looked lost until host Jeff Probst revealed a secret twist: the winner of the final immunity challenge (Chrissy) got to pick one person to go to the end with (Ryan), while the other two players (Ben and Devon Pinto) had to compete in a fire challenge. Ben beat Devon by being the first to build his fire, so Ben advanced to the final tribal council.
Last season’s winner of “Game Changers,” police officer Sarah Lacina, made a name for herself by playing like a criminal — a cutthroat strategy that worked out. The previous season in “Millennials vs. Gen X,” Adam Klein relied on his strong social game in order to prove victorious. The prior seven winners were Michele Fitzgerald (“Kaoh Rong”), Jeremy Collins (“Cambodia”), Mike Holloway (“Worlds Apart”), Natalie Anderson (“San Juan del Sur”), Tony Vlachos (“Cagayan”), Tyson Apostol (“Blood vs. Water”) and John Cochran (“Caramoan”).
Men have a slight edge over women on the official “Survivor” winners list, with 20 male champs compared to only 15 female victories. Sandra Diaz-Twine is the only two-time winner in “Survivor” history, and she wore a crown during last season’s “Game Changers” reunion to remind people of the fact that she is the show’s self-anointed “queen.”