‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: How Natalie Anderson Could Repeat Chris Underwood’s Controversial Win

In 2019, Chris Underwood stunned the Survivor community when he won Edge of Extinction after being the third person voted out of the game. How could Natalie Anderson, the first voted out from Winners at War, repeat his victory? 

Natalie Anderson
Natalie Anderson | Robert Voets

How did Chris Underwood win ‘Edge of Extinction?’

On Day 8, then 25-year-old South Carolina-based district sales manager, Chris Underwood, was blindsided and chose to go to the Edge of Extinction for a shot at getting back into the game.

At the Edge, he joined Reem Daly and Keith Sowell, who were angry with him for voting them out days earlier. Chris found an advantage that allowed him to practice the re-entry challenge but received a disadvantage from Keith, who Reem supposedly “let” have it. He narrowly lost the challenge and opted to stay at the Edge longer for another chance.

On Day 35, the 25-year-old won the second re-entry challenge and returned to the game. He came in with two halves of an Immunity Idol and needed to give one half away to someone for at least one Tribal Council before it had power.

Chris chose other Edge-returnee Rick Devens and then convinced Lauren O’Connell to play her idol on him that night, knowing she had one due to a conversation he had with Kelley Wentworth on the Edge, and she agreed.

The next day, Rick returned the idol, and Chris played it on himself at the next Tribal Council. He then won the last immunity challenge and gave up his necklace to personally eliminate the biggest threat left, Rick.

The district sales manager won in a 9-4-0 vote due to his strong connections at the Edge and how aggressively he played the last few days.

Natalie Anderson is killing it on the Edge of Extinction

The Sele tribe voted San Juan del Sur champ Natalie Anderson to the Edge of Extinction first because of her strong friendship with Jeremy Collins. At the Edge, she successfully solved two riddles to find advantages, located one on her own, and transported 20 logs from the top of the island to the shelter on at a time to earn four fire tokens.

Currently, she has more than anyone in the game and knows who has which advantage because she’s the one selling them to everyone. In the premiere episode, Nick Wilson stated, “I think the winner of this season will be the person who is able to use the currency correctly.”

After four episodes, the only person currently using the barter system is Natalie. Additionally, she’s making well-informed decisions when offering advantages for fire tokens rather than trying to give them all to her ally, Jeremy.

How Natalie Anderson could repeat Chris Underwood’s win

In Episode 3, the San Juan del Sur champ commented that she’s going to “pretend to be a peasant” like the other Edge of Extinction castaways when in all actuality, she’s a “billionaire” in fire tokens.

Viewers saw that when she pushed herself to the limit with the log challenge for one token. Therefore, the CrossFit trainer could throw the first re-entry challenge to stack up on more currency.

If it follows Edge of Extinction, then they would compete on Day 17, or Episode 6, giving Natalie at least eight more opportunities to earn more fire tokens before the second re-entry challenge on Day 35.

Spending more time on the Edge not only allows her to strengthen relationships for jury management, but it also allows her to be able to purchase advantages and make big moves.

Additionally, she can use her knowledge of who has advantages to manipulate the competitor into working with her. She has three immunity challenges she can still win, and whatever she does with her fire tokens will also pad her resume if she makes it to Final Tribal Council.

While many viewers and a few castaways who are still in the game claim they don’t like the Edge or would hate to see another returnee win, Survivor is a game based on human connections.

Therefore, it would be nearly impossible for the jury to not vote for Natalie as their suffering on the Edge together bonded them in a way that couldn’t happen if they were in the game.

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