In the battle of Millennials vs. Generation X, someone has claimed the winner’s title after 39 days of blindsides and challenges. Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X started their 3-hour finale night with six people still left competing for the prize. Hannah, David, Ken, Bret, Adam or Jay would be walking away with the title and the prize money – it was essentially an even battle with three Millennials and three Gen X-ers left. But it has all lead to this moment.
After a surprising unanimous Tribal Council vote, Adam scored the million dollar prize, with Ken and Hannah tying for the two runner-up spots. David, Bret and Jay placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. It’s a shocking vote to say the least, and one that will be heavily debated, as unanimous winning votes don’t come around often. Some past winners have earned this distinction, like Earl from Survivor: Fiji and J.T. from Survivor: Tocantins, and it shows the value of someone’s game. And especially how this jury was feeling during the particular season.
But did Adam deserve to win? I’m inclined to think so. While I initially guessed that Adam could’ve become the goat this season (the person brought to the end with no chance of winning), the hesitation stemmed from a potential bitter jury. In most seasons, this is expected thinking; it’s happened in the past and it could always happen again. I feared that some of Adam’s past actions, like his ego or the backstabs, might have lost him the game. Luckily that didn’t happen this time around.
Adam made moves that propelled himself further in the game and he broke alliances that no longer helped him. Instead of sticking to the Millennials group, he explored new options and sided with the majority, eventually assuming power positions to determine some votes. His ego did get in the way and he was on the losing side of votes on many occasions. But his resume stood out, he gave off the perception of being in control, and he had stronger relationships on the jury, more so than Ken or Hannah. However, if someone like Jay or David were at the finals instead, Adam most likely would not have won.
Speaking of Hannah and Ken, what went wrong? Hannah’s outcome is easier to understand: She didn’t take a leadership role to direct her own future, won any challenges, or had a good enough resume to win. While she did make votes for her own game, the perception she let out all season hurt her rather than help – nobody believed she was a mastermind.
Ken, on the other hand, is a surprising outcome, especially with losing to a unanimous vote. He had a solid game: Nobody targeted him, good friendships with David and Hannah, won multiple challenges, and no animosity. But yet, he didn’t get a single vote to win. Adam tried to equate his gameplay as one that would work better in veteran seasons; however, that isn’t entirely true. Ken’s gameplay could work any season, in fact it could’ve won him the game last year. His loss is more so due to his subtle nature and lack of genuine relationship. Whereas Adam was bold and trying to connect with everyone, Ken took a step back to take a more quiet approach. It didn’t work in trying to convince everyone on the jury that he had the better game; Adam’s resume alone was more or less already known by the jury.
Rounding out the night was the reunion. It’s not shocking to hear Taylor and Figgy didn’t last – their showmance seemed like one just for the season. And it’s great to hear Michaela is returning for another season to compete; she was one of the standouts this year who could’ve dominated, if not for being blindsided. Survivor: Game Changers, the next upcoming season, is an interesting concept; however, the list of veterans already announced is less than desirable. Some have already played Survivor MULTIPLE times and, depending on their outside relationships with other returnees, it will either hand them the victory or claim another loss.
There are PLENTY of Survivor contestants who would love a second shot to change the outcome of their original season. As proven in the past, players who got the boot early on or mid-way who come back have a different outlook with their second chance. Instead of seeing players like Ozzy, Cirie or Malcolm (who I love but we’ve seen their games countless of times), can we get some new blood to feel pleasantly surprised? When did Survivor’s “returning players twist” become MTV’s The Challenge?
Finale – 7.5/10
Overall Season Review – 8/10