Survivor 43: Making a Case for Each Final 10 Player to Win the Game

With just 10 players remaining on Survivor 43, these are my thoughts on the winning potential for each of them. Let’s get right into it!

Cassidy Clark

If anyone were to replicate Erika’s under the radar and underedited winner journey, it would be Cassidy. The biggest concern though is if she got too little screen time up to this point, because Erika had the hourglass moment. Cassidy seems to be near the outer of the majority alliance, so her ability to make a move sooner than later will be crucial.

Cody Assenmacher

Being a big character is a great way to draw screen time, but not all big characters are winner contenders. Cody has generally gotten a positive edit, so his situation could be more Tony and less Coach. At least strategically, Cody seems less prone to flipping (aside from initially on Dwight) so the concern would be if he waits too long to strike again or is over reliant on Jesse.

Gabler (Mike Gabler)

I’m not sure how to say this without giving too much away, but Survivor South Africa fans will know of a potential scenario where someone like Gabler could win. Aside from that, Gabler has the toughest journey to victory out of the final 10 because no one takes him seriously.

James Jones

For the get go, James set himself up as the chess player who wanted to lay low and methodically maneuver his way to the end. That’s typically a successful formula in chess, as you make smaller moves earlier on to set up bigger moves later in the game. He is increasingly becoming a target, though, so his days as a passive gameplayer, or in the game altogether, could be numbered despite the current protection of the majority alliance.

Jesse López

A strong mix of strategic and personal content as well as being connected to pretty much everyone in the game is a strong formula for one of the more popular winner picks. Jesse’s winner stock went up with the reveal that he received Dwight’s idol via Jeanine before blindsiding Dwight. Maryanne having an idol no one knew about was crucial in her victory in 42. Could that be a key ingredient for Jesse?

Karla Cruz Godoy

A fan favorite, Karla’s got both charming and snarky confessionals that remind us of some of our favorite winners. For a non winner, those confessionals could be portrayed as more mean spirited, but Karla’s energy has been positive. While the trend of voting out women is a concern for all remaining women left, Karla’s name has yet to come up as a potential target. Karla remains one of the top winner contenders this season.

Noelle Lambert

A winning scenario for Noelle would likely require an immunity run given her perception as a challenge threat. She hasn’t had any firm strategic control as her closest allies continuously get voted out, and because Noelle hasn’t been a central focus of the story of this season, it’s hard to see her getting an underdog winning situation.

Owen Knight

While Owen is a superfan, he hasn’t enjoyed a lot of control in the game. Typically superfans that go on to win the game are in an insulated position throughout. While Spencer came close in two seasons, ultimately this archetype when playing as the outsider doesn’t get to the winners circle. But Owen’s personal content is ramping up, so maybe he will be a dark horse going into this latter stage of the game.

Ryan Medrano

Ryan had probably the weakest pre merge gameplay out of the remaining players, but that can often be irrelevant post merge. In any case, Ryan is just a step above Gabler in terms of respect from his fellow tribemates. He’s got an uphill battle to even get to the end, let alone with a winning combination.

Sami Layadi

Sami is seen as a central figure with an inconsistent amount of agency and a desire to make big moves. Those are narratives and traits the game would like to see get rewarded with the win, but unless Sami can successfully orchestrate a move, he’ll start to develop more of a “close but not quite” story rather than a winning story.

Are there any sleepers I’m sleeping on? Am I overrating someone’s chances? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @IvanOrnelas2. I also share my thoughts on each Survivor episode live as it airs on the West Coast on @SurvivorWiki.

All images courtesy of CBS.



Manchester United, Quakes, Roots, and Chivas fan. Primarily covering soccer, followed by other sports. Occasionally Writes about Reality TV and Games too.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ivan Ornelas

Manchester United, Quakes, Roots, and Chivas fan. Primarily covering soccer, followed by other sports. Occasionally Writes about Reality TV and Games too.