Why Christian should have won season 37 of Survivor


Survivor Season 37 Logo (Credit: Survivor CBS)

Survivor has been a television staple for many years since its premiere in 2000, but the show has recently found a new home on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

While Hulu and Amazon Prime currently host a myriad of different seasons, Netflix is home to two of the most popular: Season 16 and Season 37. Now, I found this out one day while I was with some friends, and we were trying to find some reality T.V. to put on in the background while we painted our nails. So naturally, we chose Season 37 of Survivor: “David versus Goliath.”

Were we expecting to have any emotional attachment to this random season of a random show? Absolutely not. But we were pleasantly surprised the moment Christian Hubicki blessed our screen. From the first episode, he was charismatic, charming and seemed like an all-around genuine guy.

The moment fellow contestant, Alison Raybould, chose him as the weakest member of the David Tribe, he accepted that because of his physical appearance. But what Christian lacked in physical ability, he made up for in brainpower. He solved a slide puzzle in under five minutes, winning the first challenge for the David tribe. Christian embodies the phrase “appearances are deceiving” (which is, conveniently, the title of the very first episode).

*Spoilers for Season 37 of Survivor*

Right off the bat, Christian makes himself a fan favorite. After coming out on top during the first challenge, Christian gives the very first confessional of the season with a time-lapse explanation of the slide puzzle algorithms he made during his undergraduate studies. Then, in about the first half-hour of the first episode, Christian shows how much character and charisma he brought to the show. He shows these traits long after his confessional and well into the season.

When the new castaways make their way back to their respective camps, Christian quickly raises his social caliber. He makes friends with the other underdogs and gets along with everyone. He quickly forms an alliance with fellow David, Gabby Pascuzzi, and they bond over their nerdy interests. In an alliance they affectionately called the ‘Mason-Dixon’ alliance, he also teams up with southern charmer (and eventual winner) Nick Wilson.

Honestly, Christian is a genius. From solving the slide puzzle in such a short amount of time to his quippy remarks and strategic thinking, he makes the game interesting. He can execute blindsides and strategies while still being soft-spoken and not drawing attention to his brainpower. He forms strong alliances with influential people and quickly rises as the fans’ and contestants’ favorite player.

Along with becoming a solid teammate and ally, Christian takes over any puzzle in team challenges and finishes them with time to spare. During the tribe swap in episode four, Christian becomes a member of the newly-formed Tiva tribe alongside fellow castaways Gabby Pascuzzi, Alison Raybould, Dan Rengering, and John Hennigan. The tribe members became fast friends and quickly dominated the challenges.

The team of two former Davids and three former Goliaths proved to be a Goliath itself and does not even see tribal council for the entirety of its existence. Physical challenges were no problem with pro-wrestler and self-proclaimed ‘mayor of Slamtown,’ John, and S.W.A.T. team officer Dan. They were able to lift any heavy object, move quickly and have the stamina to endure long challenges. When tackling the puzzles during the challenges, Alison and Christian could complete them quickly. The bottom line, this tribe was unstoppable.

What stood out to me the most was not their complete domination in challenges, but the unlikely alliances formed on the tribe. Dan and John enlisted Christian to join an alliance that they dubbed ‘the brochachos,’ and the interactions between the three were hilarious. Christian kept up with their macho-man vibes and was able to playfully banter with them.

Eventually, the rest of the contestants caught on to Christian’s brainpower and realized they needed to vote him out. What I found super interesting about them trying to vote him off was how each time his name was brought up, they mentioned how much they hated the idea of voting him out. He had such a significant impact on his fellow contestants that they struggled to vote him out.

When they finally decided that it was Christian’s time to go, it took multiple tries for them to vote him off. During the newly merged tribe’s first attempt, fellow castaway Davie Rickenbacker saved him using an immunity idol. Then, castaway Carl Boudreaux’s idol nullifier that he uses in his alliance with Christian to get Dan voted out is a huge success. Next, Christian takes an algorithmic approach to find an immunity idol on his own and succeeds.

His most impressive escape from elimination came from a challenge for individual immunity. The contestants were to stand from a small platform and hold on to a bar above their heads.

Eventually, the last two contestants standing were Christian and, former Goliath, Alec Merlino. Christian decides that talking to the host, Jeff Probst, and his fellow castaways that had already been eliminated was his best course of action. He shared numerous stories and anecdotes and discussed everything he could think of until Alec stepped off, and he won the challenge after more than five hours. Not only is his stamina impressive, but his brilliant idea to focus on something other than the challenge helped him win. While listening to the edited compilation of the myriad of topics that he chose was hilarious, what amazed me was that he came up with that idea in the first place. It was honestly the most brilliant thing he could do, and he won individual immunity by sheer willpower.

Eventually, all good things must come to an end. Former ally, Nick, turned on him, and Christian was eliminated. Although Christian did not win, he had some of the best strategies and played the game very well. I can assure you that if he ever returns to the small screen on another season, I will be rooting for him again.