‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur’ finale: Where does Natalie Anderson stack up among other winners?

Natalie -At the conclusion of every “Survivor” season, we like to take a couple of days off from the show before getting to the winner and season rankings. One, it gives us a chance to rest our hands after some lengthy exit interviews; also, it gives us a chance to properly digest much of the season before making some big decisions on where the winner and the season stack up without an immediate bias.

We’re going to talk about Natalie Anderson as a winner today, and tomorrow, we’ll go through the entire season.

We have now updated our lengthy retrospective article, and after some thinking, have determined that Natalie is, at least for now, the 11th-best winner in “Survivor” history. Let’s go through this.

The case for Natalie – Big moves repeatedly, from getting Jon Misch out to making sure that Baylor was taken out with her immunity idol. She played the jury really well at times, making sure they knew she was the strategic force. Also, don’t forget some smaller moves, including her getting the women to vote out Drew Christy, and also her deciding to keep Keith around for a while longer over Alec.

Also, Natalie was a solid challenge performer, a hard worker around camp, and she was very persuasive. Was it smart to take her to the final tribal council? Not really, but like with Tony Vlachos, she still managed to make it happen. She was a very good player, and one we could see being underrated in a couple of years due to a season that wasn’t always loved.

The case against Natalie – You could cite a large percentage of non-“Survivor” fans this season, her not always being in on the plan (the Jeremy blindside), or even a comment about Jon that set Jaclyn off at camp near the end of the game, and could have come back to haunt her. Most of these, though, are pretty minor things.

The biggest debate – Trying to figure out if Natalie was better than Yul Kown of “Cook Islands,” who was our previous #11. While we do think that he may have been more strategically dominant, we also think that he was aided mightily by that all-powerful immunity idol, and he had many more lucky breaks during the season with so many other players painting big targets on themselves. He slips to #12.

Where do you think Natalie stacks up right now? Let us know! Also, be sure to check out all of our recent exit interviews, or sign up to get some more TV news on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

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