Xander Hastings started Survivor Season 41 with a target on his back, thanks to his multiple advantages and label as a physical threat. But, the castaway managed to survive the game until the very end and made it to the final three. Unfortunately, Xander couldn’t make a strong enough case to convince the jury to crown him the Sole Survivor.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the Survivor Season 41 finale.]
Xander received zero votes to win ‘Survivor’ Season 41
In the Survivor Season 41 finale, Xander was one of the last five castaways left in the game. Erika won the final five Immunity Challenge, and at Tribal Council, Xander played his Immunity Idol for himself. He, Erika, Deshawn, and Heather voted out Ricard.
Xander won the final four Immunity Challenge, and he chose to bring Erika to the final three. Deshawn and Heather faced off in a fire-making challenge during Tribal Council, and Deshawn won.
Then, it came time for Xander, Erika, and Deshawn to plead their case to the jury for why they should win Survivor Season 41. In the end, Tiffany, Naseer, Evvie, Shan, Liana, Ricard, and Heather cast their votes for Erika, while Danny voted for Deshawn, and Xander received zero votes. Erika Casupanan was declared the winner of Survivor Season 41.
Xander explains why he thinks the jury wasn’t fond of his game
After the Survivor Season 41 finale aired, Xander talked with Entertainment Weekly about his game and why he thinks he didn’t win.
“I think the jury had been out on me for a long time,” he revealed. “I played a game that was too showing the tender side of me, but then the brain in me is also willing to do anything to get to the end.”
Xander added, “And people just didn’t like that I blended that like, ‘Hey, I care about you, and I want to get to know you, and I want to learn what makes you tick and figure out what’s important to you in life. But I’m also going to do whatever’s best for me because I’m out of here playing my game.’ Yeah, I think that the jury was just out on me. I don’t think that there’s a scenario in which I win.”
From Xander’s side of things, it sounds like the jury had already made up their mind before stepping into the Final Tribal Council in the Survivor Season 41 finale.
Was Xander’s fatal mistake in the ‘Survivor’ Season 41 finale voting out Ricard?
Xander dug deeper into discovering why he didn’t win the title of Sole Survivor in Survivor Season 41. And, according to him, his loss might have been attributed to voting out one of his closest allies.
“I was surprised at no votes, I wasn’t surprised at the loss,” he explained. “I knew I lost the moment I stepped into final four, and I had the necklace on, and I give Ricard a big smile … He’s the biggest threat, so it makes sense to take him out. And in doing so, I could also put him [on to work the jury].”
Xander continued, “And when I saw him, I gave him a big smile because I’m like, ‘Oh, man, I miss you.’ And he just gives me the coldest glare. And I knew it was going to be an uphill battle from there on out. Because having one person as well-spoken as Ricard very against you, it’s going to be a tough thing. When I saw his face, I was like, ‘Oh, OK. So he’s going to be campaigning against me.'”
“And then with everybody else, it’s like, it just takes one person to be like, “Oh yeah, no, he’s completely ingenuine, doesn’t deserve it.’ And then it’s easy to justify everyone else’s game by latching onto that narrative. Like, ‘Oh no, like he is just a bad person,’ or whatever it is. I wasn’t at Ponderosa, so I don’t know what the talk was.”
Survivor Season 41, starring Xander Hastings, is now streaming on Paramount+. Survivor Season 42 premieres on March 9, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.