‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Fans Call Michele Fitzgerald a ‘Bitter Ex’ for Not Voting out Wendell Holland

In Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 7, lone original Sele tribe member Michele Fitzgerald seemingly held all the power in who went home. Because she didn’t eliminate Wendell Holland, many fans began calling her a “bitter ex” who made her decision based on emotion.

Michele Fitzgerald Wendell Holland
Michele Fitzgerald and Wendell Holland | Robert Voets

Michele Fitzgerald and Wendell Holland on ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’

After her surprising victory in Survivor: Kaôh Rōng (Season 32) and his close win in Ghost Island (Season 36), Michele Fitzgerald and Wendell Holland returned to compete against other former champs in Survivor 40: Winners at War.

They began on opposing tribes but swapped together into NuSele. In a confessional, Michele described their relationship as “dated,” while Wendell claimed they simply “kicked it.”

Parvati Shallow noted the two were “awkward” around each other as he seemed snappy with Michele. Even though their first Tribal Council left the Kaôh Rōng champ as the last original Sele member, Michele seemingly held all the power going into the next one as the “free agents” alliance were ready to cut one of their members.

Instead of siding with Yul Kwon, she chose to eliminate him and saved Wendell. Many fans felt that Michele made the decision based on emotion because they aren’t convinced she’s over her ex-boyfriend.

Fans call Michele Fitzgerald a ‘bitter ex’ for not voting out Wendell Holland

Some called the New Jersey native a “simp” and a “bitter ex” as they believe she’s “seeking validation” from Wendell. One Reddit user explained, “a self-respecting person would not put up with his s****y treatment if they didn’t have to” as Michele could have easily voted him out in Episode 7.

Many believe Michele “clearly still has feelings for him” because she “seems troubled by his past actions” and “keeps teasing him.” According to one user, Michele would have noted she was “completely done” with Wendell in a confessional, and “their past relationship wouldn’t have bothered her as much.”

Survivor star and podcaster, Russell Hantz, went as far as to compare her to a battered woman who kept running back to her abuser because she didn’t eliminate Wendell.

While several viewers believe Michele made her choice based on emotion, some agree with her decision and think people are only upset because she eliminated Yul, a fan-favorite numerous people vocally supported.

Others believe Michele made the ‘logical’ decision to keep Wendell Holland

Many viewers disagree and think Michele made a “logical decision” by eliminating Yul, “one of the biggest threats remaining,” and keeping Wendell “who can’t seem to bite his tongue.”

A fan noted the Kaôh Rōng winner “slayed a giant” and “maintained a cordial relationship with Wendell,” who could bequeath her fire tokens later down the road.

Additionally, others pointed out Michele might be behaving “playfully” and playing the long game as she would rather sit next to Wendell at Final Tribal Council or have him as a vote for her.

Numerous viewers believe Nick made the wrong choice and should have initially voted for Wendell and then eliminated Yul on the re-vote as he could have received his ally’s tokens.

Many fans also called out the “sexist” comments about Michele still having feelings for Wendell as they blame the portrayal of their relationship on the edit.

Survivor 40: Winners at War airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.