There are only five castaways left on Season 29 of “Survivor,” but after the two-hour finale on CBS Wednesday (at 8 p.m. EST) the group will be whittled down to one. It has been a long time since the merge pit Jeremy and Josh against each other and even longer since John Rocker caused a stir with his controversial past. Natalie took control of the game in episode 12 with a strategic blindside on Jon, but who will win “Survivor: San Juan Del Sur – Blood vs. Water?”
Here is our ranking of who has the best shot to win the game:
1. Natalie Anderson
Natalie, 28, has to be the favorite going into Wednesday night’s finale. The former “Amazing Race” contestant took control of the game last week when she organized a coup to blindside Jon. In addition to playing an admirably strategic game, she has friends on the jury, going back to her alliance with Jeremy. She has also made much fewer enemies picking off other players than her alliance-mates Jon and Jaclyn. On top of that, Natalie has won challenges and managed to come this far despite her sister Nadiya's elimination in week one.
2. Jaclyn Schultz
Jaclyn, 25, with her boyfriend Jon, were the key players in the game for weeks, managing to set themselves up as the swing vote in almost every tribal council. They set up an alliance with Missy, Baylor, and Natalie that had controlled the game until Natalie’s blindside. If Jaclyn makes it to the final tribal council she certainly deserves credit for her and Jon’s dominance. However, despite the fact that it was Jaclyn’s intuition driving many of their decisions, the mostly male jury may see her as having ridden Jon’s coattails, since he was the face of the alliance.
3. Missy Payne
While much has been on the back of Jon and Jaclyn’s alliance, Missy, 47, has impressively managed to make the right moves to stay in the game thus far and she, with her daughter Baylor, are the last pair of loved ones with both players still in the game – an impressive feat. Also, staying in the game despite a possibly broken foot has to earn her some points. However, nobody has rubbed more people the wrong way in the game than Missy and she may have too many enemies on the jury to win.
4. Keith Nale
Keith, 53, has managed to stay in the game by staying out of everyone’s way and being lucky; that and being arguably the strongest castaway this season in the individual immunity challenges. The fact that he stayed alive long after the rest of his alliance was voted out, is impressive, and many of his former alliance-mates are on the jury. However, Reed may still be angry over the way Keith blew his attempted blindside of Jon in episode 10 and Keith might lose points for having never participated in a major strategic decision.
5. Baylor Wilson
Baylor, 20, likely has the slimmest odds of winning the game. She has been unremarkable in challenges and has largely stayed alive this long because of her mother’s protection and alliance with Jon. Baylor has also made a lot of personal enemies on the jury with her questionable attitude. It would be hard to imagine the jury giving her the million dollar grand prize.
Who do you think will win “Survivor” Season 29? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.