‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Why Fans Believe Sophie Clarke is a Top Contender

While some fans thought Sophie Clarke didn’t deserve her win in South Pacific, she is quickly proving them wrong early in Survivor 40: Winners at War. In fact, many viewers are so impressed with her gameplay thus far they’re already considering her a top contender for this season.

Sophie Clarke
Sophie Clarke | Timothy Kuratek

Sophie Clarke on ‘Survivor: South Pacific’

In September 2011, then 22-year-old medical student Sophie Clarke competed on the 23rd season, South Pacific. On the first night, Coach Benjamin Wade recruited the recent graduate into his five-person alliance, which took her far into the game.

After the merge, she won two back-to-back individual immunity challenges and convinced her alliance to turn on Brandon Hantz and send him to Redemption Island.

Challenge beast Ozzy Lusth won his way back into the game, and upset Sophie at the following Tribal Council when he called her a “pretentious spoiled brat.”

However, the recent graduate defeated Ozzy at the last immunity challenge, winning her way into the Final Tribal Council, where she sat next to alliance members Coach Wade and Albert Destrade.

The jury awarded her under the radar gameplay over Coach’s more aggressive tactics in a 6-3-0 vote.

Sophie Clarke on ‘Survivor: Winners at War’

Eight years after her win, Sophie returned to compete against 19 other former champs in Season 40, Winners at War. Initially placed on the dominating Dakal tribe, Cook Islands winner Yul Kwon recruited her into his “free agents alliance,” which also includes Ghost Islands champ Wendell Holland and David vs. Goliath Sole Survivor Nick Wilson.

In her confessional, she called Yul her “nerd shield,” which might suggest he gets voted off before her. Due to Dakal’s consecutive victories, Sophie all but disappeared. She was so invisible that Tyson Apostol forgot her name in a confessional.

However, in Episode 5, when the contestants switched tribes, Sophie tied with Boston Rob Mariano for the most confessionals in an episode this season.

She swapped to expansion tribe, Yara, alongside Dakal tribemate Sarah Lacina joined by former Sele members, Adam Klein, Ben Driebergen, and Boston Rob.

Not only did Sophie find an immunity idol, but the tribe was able to successfully eliminate the Robfather without her, or Sarah, using any advantages.

According to many fans, her impressive gameplay and subtle strategic moves, especially during Episode 5, has turned Sophie into one of the top contenders of the season.

Why fans are so impressed with Sophie Clarke’s gameplay so far

In a Reddit thread, one fan explained she believes the South Pacific champ is receiving a “winner’s edit” despite being “dubbed” as under the radar. They pointed out her “social game is on point” as she already joined the Free Agents Alliance and now has “new allies” in Sarah, which extends to her number one ally and Cops-R-Us partner, Tony Vlachos.

The fan also explained Sophie has “performed well in challenges” and now has a fully activated idol. Finally, the Reddit user believes the alliances she has made will “take her deep into the merge” similar to South Pacific. Many fans agreed and called her a “force this season.”

Another longtime viewer pointed out the “under the radar female” has won every all-star season so far, including Sarah (Game Changers), Amber Mariano (All-Stars), and Sandra Diaz-Twine (Heroes vs. Villains).

Due to the edit and Sophie’s impressive gameplay after five episodes, many fans believe she is a top contender this season, if not the potential winner.

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