‘Survivor’ Finale Recap: The Winner Of Season 41 Is Revealed

Five contestants were left to start the season 41 'Survivor' finale, but only one could be crowned the winner at the end of the show!

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Five players are left during the finale of season 41 of Survivor. The final five are Xander Hastings, Ricard Foye, Heather Aldret, Deshawn Radden and Erika Casupanan. With just three days left, after an already grueling season, the group has to start over on a new island with no food and no shelter. Erika and Deshawn hash out their feud from the last tribal council, where Deshawn publicly told the tribe that Erika had no plans to bring Heather, her number one ally, to the end of the game.

Understandably, though, Erika is still frustrated, and the next day, Heather makes it clear that she’s upset with Erika. Deshawn insists that he only blew up Erika’s game out of frustration, as he was on the bottom at the previous tribal. At tree mail, the players are all given a phrase to unscramble, which is a clue to an advantage. Then, they have to use the clue to find said advantage.

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Ricard and Xander on season 41 of ‘Survivor.’ (CBS)

Erika finds the advantage, which gives her a “small advantage” at the next immunity challenge. The challenge is an obstacle course with a 75-piece puzzle at the end. Erika’s advantage is that her ladders in the obstacle course will have some rungs already built in place, while the other players will need to place all the rungs themselves.

Erika wins the immunity/reward challenge, and chooses Heather to go on the reward with her so they can make amends. She apologizes to Heather and Heather assures her that her hurt feelings are with Deshawn, not Erika. Going into tribal council, Xander has hidden immunity idol that he can’t use past this vote, so he’s safe, along with Erika. Due to Heather not being as big of a threat, the vote is between Ricard and Deshawn.

While Ricard has been a bigger threat throughout most of the game, he also formed a close bond with Erika, Heather and Xander during the last several votes. Plus, it’s clear that Heather and Erika can’t stand Deshawn at the moment. Ricard does everything in his power to convince Erika, Xander and Heather to keep him. He tells Xander that he has a baby due the following week, and they share an emotional moment. It leads Xander to consider using his immunity idol to make a move and save Ricard at the vote.

‘Survivor’ Season 41 — Final 4 Revealed

At tribal, Ricard does whatever it takes. He puts the focus on Deshawn’s ability to win the game, and opens up to the whole group about what he’s missing at home. In the end, Xander decides not to use the idol on Ricard, using it on himself instead (just in case). Ricard gets all four votes (aside from his own) and is sent home, leaving Xander, Heather, Erika and Deshawn as the final four.

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A scene from the final episode of ‘Survivor.’ (CBS)

The immunity challenge requires the players to walk across an uneven walkway and build a series of blocks to spell out ‘FINAL 3’ on a wobbly platform. Xander is victorious in the challenge, automatically earning his spot in the final tribal council. Now, he has a tough decision to make, though. He will automatically choose one person to bring to the final 3 with him, leaving the other two players to compete in a fire-making competition, with the winner earning the last spot.

While making the decision, Xander thinks that Erika has built the strongest resume, and doesn’t want her to be able to add a fire-making win to that list. He’s also fairly confident that Erika will be able to make fire since she had to do it on exile earlier this season. So, he tells her that he’s going to take her to the final tribal and make Heather and Deshawn fight it out.  However, Erika practices making fire just in case, and Xander watches her struggle to do it. Now, he’s second guessing his decision, and considers choosing Erika, who he considers a threat, to make fire so she could possibly be taken out.

‘Survivor’ Season 41 — Final 3 Revealed 

In the end, Xander goes with his original decision to take Erika to the final 3, leaving Heather and Deshawn to make fire. After a major comeback, Deshawn beats Heather, making Deshawn, Erika and Xander the final three.

Now, it’s the jury’s turn to make a decision. Heather and Ricard are on the jury, along with Shan Smith, Tiffany Seeley, Naseer Muttalif, Evvie Jagoda, Liana Wallce and Danny McCray. Deshawn focuses a lot on his social game as he reminisces about his journey, while Xander points out how he adapted to being on the bottom and helping to take out the majority alliance toward the end of the game.

Naseer also makes a point to give Xander some credit for some moves he made like giving up immunity to get rice for the tribe, and trading places with Erika on a reward challenge so she could eat. Meanwhile, Ricard calls out Deshawn for lying about playing a sincere game and brings up situations where he apparently lied to people he was supposedly aligned with. As for Erika, she recalls the big moves she made in the game, like changing the game with the hour glass twist, and then helping to form the majority alliance in the final 6.

Ricard pushes Erika to further explain her social game and the relationships she formed. He warns her that other members of the jury do not feel like her social game as strong as she thinks it is. Erika puts a lot of focus on how strong she stayed in her alliance to Heather and how strong that relationship was. Xander also spends a lot of time talking about how he held onto his immunity idol as long as he could, and what went into him being able avoid having to use it.

The jury also questions Xander’s decision to bring Erika to the final 3 when she was perceived as the biggest strategic threat left. Xander defends his decision, but admits that not viewing Erika as a threat might have been a mistake. However, he makes sure to point out that he didn’t want to give Erika a chance to up her resume with the chance to build fire, as well.

Deshawn also has to address Shan and his decision to vote her out and go against their alliance, which was formed as a way to make a grander social movement and fight against injustice. He assures her that he never wanted to sell out their group, and admits he has a lot to learn about how to handle himself in certain situations. Meanwhile, Erika gets a leg up from Danny, who makes sure to compliment her game.

‘Survivor’ Season 14 — The Winner Is…

Finally, it’s time for the jury to vote FOR the person who they think should win. For the first time since season one, Jeff lets everyone know that he’s about to reveal the winner ON the spot instead of back in the United States months later. The votes for the winner are read: Erika, Deshawn, Erika, Erika, Erika — and Erika is the winner of Survivor season 41!

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