With Survivor now down to six castaways after ousting Julia Sokolowski in a rather dull episode, the finale is right around the corner. Who will win it all? My vote is on Aubry Bracco. I've compiled a list of the seven spoiler-free reasons I believe she will prevail.
While there are some die-hard Survivor fans tweeting their suspicion that Michele is getting a winner's edit, I couldn't disagree more. She hasn't displayed much, if any, strategy in any of her confessionals. In fact, her presence was nearly invisible until the tribes merged. I just can't see Michele winning. Sure, we've heard nuggets of her end-game thoughts, but none of it has been in-depth or impressive. She hasn't done much to warrant a victory. Aubry, on the other hand, has been heavily showcased in every single episode this season. The editors are allowing her to shine with some of the best, witty one-liners we've seen in a long time. Oregon Trail, anyone? The editors have also crafted Aubry's character as one of the few memorable personalities in the game alongside Debbie, Tai and Caleb. I just can't imagine production wanting to ignore the eventual winner with such a lackluster showcase throughout the majority of the season.
When Neal Gottlieb was medically evacuated from the competition, he made a behind-the-scenes move that elevated Aubry as a threat. Although the moment didn't air on TV, it has been a heavy point of conversation in post-game interviews as the remaining castaways believed he had slipped her a hidden Immunity Idol. It left a lasting impact on her future in the game as her fellow competitors expected she could play it at any time. It also, however, put a target on her back, as possessing an Idol typically does. I think, in this instance, it made her a stronger force rather than somebody viewed as a powerhouse who must be removed immediately.
When looking at the remaining castaways, Aubry has the best chance at winning the jury's favor for the $1 million prize. Every contestant I've interviewed this season has mostly praised her performance, including Debbie Wanner who was blindsided herself by Aubry. Do I think she will skate to a unanimous vote? Not necessarily, but I think she has impressed the majority. The only person I believe truly standing in her way is Tai. Although he's won over America's hearts, I don't think the jury will reward him for his wishy-washy, flip-floppy moves if he can make it to the final Tribal Council. If Aubry is as smart as I think she is, Tai will be booted soon.
Very stupid keeping Tai in the game #Survivor— Frank Dinardo (@fjdinardo) April 28, 2016
She is really the only person shown working hard to move deeper in the game. When it comes to strategy, Aubry is commanding the conversation. Her smart scheming has been a primary focus for weeks while the rest of the group seems to be just squeezed into the show. In this most recent episode, she was seen explaining why it might be smart to keep a villain like Jason around in the competition because he would be easy to beat. Sure, everybody else is thinking it, but her commentary stands out among the crowd.
Moments before Julia was eliminated, Tai leaned forward and asked Aubry in a whisper if he should play his Idol. That is power! It shows that she is clearly running the show. She suggested he would be fine, but said he should follow his gut. He took her advice and it worked in his benefit. If Tai finds himself on the jury, that would be a positive point for him to cast his ballot for Aubry. That being said, Aubry has also never been a major target. Her name has mostly stayed under the radar camouflaged by the bullies sabotaging camp and cocky castaways talking their way out of the game.
Nervous 4 Aubrey- it is so clear she is running the show, Tai and whats his name won't piss w/o her permission.. but she has this! #Survivor— C. Burns (@BurnsCis) April 28, 2016
I don't understand why no one ever seems to consider voting Aubry. #Survivor— Ashley Biedazzle (@Biedazzle) April 28, 2016
If Aubry can pull off a victory, she will have undergone a wild story, which Survivor's editors love telling. In the first episode, she was reduced to tears and ready to voluntarily walk out of the competition as she suffered from dehydration. Now, she's fighting every step of the way. I don't think quitting the game would ever cross her mind again. She also made Survivor history [sort of] when she changed her vote last-minute at a previous Tribal Council. She's an unexpected, unlikely underdog, which is why I think she's in the best position.
Although this has no true weight when considering a victor, it's time to take another woman to top of the totem pole. To date, there have been 12 females to win the show versus 18 men.
Will Aubry win? All will be revealed at the live Survivor finale and reunion show on Wednesday, May 18. This will be the 20th consecutive finale I've attended in person. I will be there to bring you red carpet interviews and behind-the-scenes details you won't find anywhere else.
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