‘Survivor 40’: Natalie Anderson the First Woman to Receive Jury Votes Since Season 35’s Chrissy Hofbeck
In Survivor 40: Winners at War, Sarah Lacina spoke of the gender bias in Survivor and the community. Interestingly enough, Natalie Anderson of Season 40 is the first woman to receive any jury votes in the last five seasons, despite a female competitor reaching the Final Tribal Council every time.
Chrissy Hofbeck on ‘Survivor 35: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers’
Initially placed on the Heroes tribe, then 46-year-old New Jersey-based actuary, Chrissy Hofbeck, got off to a rough start after vomiting in an immunity challenge and losing her only ally at the first Tribal Council.
However, she received a super idol from Hustler Ryan Ulrich and allied with eventual winner, Ben Driebergen. A few days later, Chrissy and Ryan landed on the same tribe together thanks to a swap, and they formed a long-standing alliance.
Also close with JP Hilsabeck, the three were initially a part of the majority in the merge. However, they ended up in the minority once several allies chose to flip. Despite the disadvantage, Chrissy kept herself safe by winning a record-tying four individual immunity challenges, the oldest female to do so.
She also won the final challenge and chose to sit next to long-standing ally Ryan, pitting Devon Pinto against Ben in the first-ever fire-making twist. The veteran won the challenge and ultimately became the Sole Survivor over Chrissy, who placed runner-up.
Natalie Anderson on ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’
Six years after her victory in San Juan del Sur, 34-year-old CrossFit coach Natalie Anderson returned to compete against 19 other former champs in the first-ever all-winners season.
Her tribe lost the first challenge and immediately targeted Natalie due to her pre-existing relationship with Jeremy Collins. She arrived at the Edge of Extinction first and promptly found an idol that she sold to Sandra Diaz-Twine.
The SJDS champ located a few more advantages she successfully sold to players in the game and earned fire tokens by completing “effort tasks.” Therefore, she had 14 tokens when it came time for the final re-entry challenge, and she used them on three advantages as well as an idol for herself and Tyson Apostol if either of them won.
Natalie barely earned her way back in on Day 35 and teamed up with outsider Michele Fitzgerald. She successfully played her first idol, found another one, and then won the last individual immunity challenge, earning a spot in the Final Tribal Council.
However, the CrossFit coach went the safe route and chose not to eliminate forerunner Tony Vlachos in the fire-making challenge, which cost her the win.
Natalie Anderson the first woman to receive jury votes in five seasons
Although Chrissy had a strong argument to win the game and her immunity wins were impressive, the jury awarded Ben the victory because of his historic idol gameplay and underdog status. Chrissy received the votes of Ashley Nolan and Mike Zahalsky, while five jury members voted for Ben.
In the following season, Ghost Island, Domenick Abbate and Wendell Holland tied for the first time in Survivor history. Therefore, Laurel Johnson, who received no votes, broke the tie by voting for Wendell.
In David vs. Goliath (S37), Nick Wilson won with Mike White as a runner-up, and Angelina Keeley, who finished third, and without any votes. Chris Underwood and Gavin Whitson placed first and second in Edge of Extinction (S38), respectively, with Julie Rosenberg as the no-vote third-place finish.
Finally, Tommy Sheehan won Island of the Idols, and Dean Kowalski placed second over Noura Salman, who didn’t receive any votes. In Winners at War, Natalie received four votes, which is the most for a female since Sarah Lacina’s win in Game Changers (S34).