Sarah Lucina was up against Brad Culpepper and Troyzan Robertson in the final episode of Survivor: Game Changers, and she took home the top prize.

SURVIVOR: GAME CHANGERS FINALE RECAP

It was a close game between Sarah and Brad that left a lot of fans unsure who would win. Starting from the mid-season merge, Sarah had been controlling the game, making alliances work for her, and generally getting the game on the path that she saw fit. Brad, on the other hand, showed impressive skill in winning five total immunity challenges (tying a Survivor record), including the last four.

Considering that the players who were seen as the alphas were sent home in the first four weeks of the show, it is almost guaranteed that Brad would have been sent home had he not won those four immunities.

The episode started out in a unprecedented way – with five different players having immunity, thanks to challenges, idols, or the Legacy Advantage. Because of this, Cirie was automatically voted out, as she was the only player even eligible to go home at that time.

Throughout the episode, Brad continued to win challenges, so Aubry and Tai were soon voted off, leaving the final three. Brad clearly thought he had the game in the bag until host Jeff Probst introduced a new Tribal Council format. So instead of the usual Q&A session between jurors and finalists, they did an open-ended debate and discussion to keep everyone involved for longer.

While Ozzy and Debbie though Brad was the clear winner, Zeke and others appreciated Sarah’s cutthroat strategy. It worked out for Brad as well that Sarah’s strategy just happened to not target him. Brad used this to his advantage, while on his own, didn’t seem to quite grasp the finesse of the social game that is needed to win. He stabbed J.T. and Tai in the back, and openly feuded with Michaela during the final Council.

“I manipulated [Tai] on the first one, and I’m going to manipulate him on these two as well,” Brad said at one point during the finale. “He’s lied to me numerous times, and I got no problem throwing him under the bus and voting him out with his own idol.”

Ultimately, more votes ended up in Sarah’s favor, crowning her the winner of Game Changers.