‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ finale review: Was Natalie Anderson, Jaclyn Schultz, Missy Payne the winner?

Survivor -Was the “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” finale everything that we hoped for and then some? If nothing else, it was certainly eventful, and we spent most of the episode wondering one question: Is Natalie going to go the distance?

We’re going to go through the finale piece by piece, going through some of the events that happened. Let’s just say that even though this is not the best season, we still had a pit in our stomach through most of this.

First elimination¬†– This was mostly great television. After Keith won Reward, he had a chance to practice for the Immunity Challenge, which he also ended up winning. This led to a crazy scramble at camp, with Natalie realizing that while she could go to the end with Baylor and Missy and maybe do okay, she really wanted that other move on her resume. Voting out Baylor here is smart; she was a better competitor than Missy, who won’t be taken seriously in front of a jury.

Second elimination РThis was more interesting, and at the time we were watching this, we thought that this may be where Jaclyn really cost herself a chance at winning the whole game. She won immunity, which was awesome for her and a real achievement since even Jeff Probst had written her off. Then, she chose to go ahead and vote out Keith over Natalie.

The reason we worried about this for her is that while Keith is likable, and probably had votes for Alec and Wes, would anyone else have really voted for him? We don’t know, and Jaclyn may have been able to make a good case that she actually had a hand in strategic decisions.

Final Tribal Council¬†– For the most part, pretty boring … except for Reed. His entire speech had clearly been planned for days, and most of it was spent slamming Missy by calling her an “evil stepmother.” The vote was clearly between Natalie and Jaclyn; the former played the stronger overall game to us, while the latter played an okay game, but one that also benefited from several little breaks along the way.

We actually thought that Jaclyn may have ended up winning the entire season based on the jury speeches, but in the end, we feel like they did the right thing: Natalie wins! She had every vote other than Jon, Baylor, and Reed; ultimately, we feel like she made a mistake in sending Keith home over Natalie (though it’s always easy to say that here). Let it be known that we will ask this in our exit interview tomorrow.

As always, we welcome your thoughts right now with a comment, and you can head over here to read some further “Survivor” coverage right now! Also, sign up to get some further TV news on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!