Spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of Survivor: Winners at War.
Only one episode is left before Survivor: Winners at War reveals which Survivor champion will take home the $2 million prize, and Tony Vlachos seems like the most likely remaining castaway to win... at least, the most likely before the Edge of Extinction winner gets to return and have a shot at the prize. Tony's Spy Nest might have helped him outlast Jeremy Collins and Nick Wilson, but I'm beginning to think that the person who might be able to take him down is the player who has been out of the main game for almost the entire season: Natalie Anderson.
Natalie was the first Survivor: Winners at War castaways to be voted out and sent to the brutal Edge of Extinction, where she would have to toil away for a month if she wanted a chance for redemption (and $2 million). Unlike Sandra Diaz-Twine, however, Natalie hasn't given up on the Edge, and is in fact poised to potentially return to the main game and make a run for the top prize. Her odds aren't too shabby!
Even though Natalie has been living in rough conditions on the Edge of Extinction longer than anybody else, she has spent her weeks on the Edge doing more than wallowing and making the most of every grain of rice.
No, Natalie has been amassing a fortune of fire tokens and spending them very wisely. With the Edge castaways on the verge of making a play to return to the game, Natalie has accumulated three advantages for the next challenge, an idol, and enough fire tokens left over that she spent some of them on an idol for Tyson Apostol.
Tyson was clearly touched by Natalie buying the idol for him, and I get the feeling that they'll root for the other if they're knocked out of the game. The alliance with Tyson has also given Natalie some access to peanut butter with valuable calories, so these two might have some extra fuel in their tanks when it comes to trying to return to competition.
Of course, no alliance can last forever, even one forged in shared fire tokens and peanut butter, and one or both of them will presumably be extinct on the Edge of Extinction sooner rather than later in the May 13 finale, although Survivor: Winners at War has delivered some unexpected twists so far. We shouldn't count anybody or anything out at this point, except probably for a return from Sandra.
Basically, Natalie has the advantages, idol, and even some peanut butter to potentially fuel her on her fight to escape Edge of Extinction, and her long stint there guaranteed that she has accumulated some skills (and endurance) she didn't have before. Throw in the fact that she has no real enemies of the people remaining around Tony, and she's a wild card that I think has a shot.
Is part of this argument based on the fact that I don't want Tony to win? Sure, although Survivor did at least do me a favor and let somebody other than Tony win immunity this week. Nothing is certain in what Jeff Probst considers "the best" season of the show so far, so fans will just have to tune in to the three-hour Survivor finale on Wednesday, May 13 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.