The Sole Survivor is the title held by a winner of Suitman's Survivor, determined by a plurality of votes from the Jury, who decides which of the finalists best embodies the show's three word slogan: "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast".
Though there is no one absolute strategy of winning the title, as it is subjective, a contestant must survive all days of competition and gain the respect of most recently eliminated contestants, a group known as the Jury, in order to become the Sole Survivor.
At the Final Tribal Council, the finalists are to be subjected to the Jury, who would either ask questions or make a statement to help them come up with a decision as to which of the finalists is most deserving of the title of Sole Survivor and the one million dollar prize.
All Sole Survivors are known to embody the show's three-word premise:
- Outwit: The strategic element; the ability to eliminate competition whether directly or indirectly, knowing what moves to make, not to make, and the timing of doing such moves. The fulfillment of this element is commonly attributed by making alliances.
- Outplay: The social element; it is how a contestant carries out the "outwit" element, eliminating competition but keeping their respect such that they still give their Jury votes in the end. As such, it is the job of the finalist to still sway the Jury to his favor.
- Outlast: The physical element; the ability to withstand the harsh realities of being a contestant for 39 days, such as harsh weather, tests of willpower, and in a certain extent, challenges. The fulfillment of this element is making it to the Final Tribal Council and facing the Jury.
It should be noted that in the game of Survivor respect does not always translate into likability. In any case, a Sole Survivor has one way or another, fulfilled all three elements of Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.
The finalists succumb to certain pitfalls such as poor work ethic, bad challenge performances, coming off as abrasive to fellow competitors, and lack of self-awareness. As such, it is the job of the finalist to still sway the jury to their favor.
List of Sole Survivors
- Wyatt A., Rhys R., Sam S., and Tim T. are the only four people to win in the Second Generation twice.
- Will C. and Jera H. are the only two people to have won the game with all the votes for the Jurors.
- Will C., Jeremy B., Christian L. and Tim T. are tied for the most Jury votes received for a Sole Survivor at the Final Tribal Council, with 7 Jury votes received each.
- Nine seasons featuring mixed returnees and newbies have been won by returning players.