Who Will Win 'Survivor 44'? Winner Predictions

This week marked the final regular episode of Survivor 44. And after a season full of advantages, wild outcomes, and hilarious characters, we are down to the final five contestants: Carolyn Wiger, Carson Garrett, Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, Lauren Harpe, and Yam Yam Arocho. As we approach Wednesday's three-hour finale and reunion, here's how we gauge the chances of each of the remaining contestants to take home the title of Sole Survivor and the million-dollar check.

Related: Everything to Know About Survivor 44

Who will win Survivor 44?

It seems very unlikely that a member of the Tika three won't win the season. They have undoubtedly been the main characters of the season, with all of the trio leading in the confessional charts going into the finale. They pivoted from going to Tribal Council the most and containing the season's biggest characters in the premerge to overcoming the odds and absolutely dismantling the opposition as the strategic forces of the postmerge. Now, how the winning odds break down within that three, is up for debate.

If we were ranking based on chances of sitting in the Final Three, we'd go Yam Yam, then Carolyn, then Carson. But if we're ranking based on chances to win should they be in the Final Three, that list is reversed.

The youngest castaway of the season has also become the biggest threat to win should he make it to the Final Three. Carson has been one of the most impressive and well-rounded contestants in Survivor 44. His comprehensive studying of challenges have paid off with him crushing the puzzles and winning an Immunity Challenge. His social bonds across tribes is a huge contributor to the Tika group's success in the game. And he was able to successfully guide the Sokas and Ratus to accomplish what he wants, making him the rare castaway to know the outcome of every vote this season.

The biggest issue for Carson will be getting to the Final Three in the first place. Last week the competition became aware of his excellent game, and his name has been thrown out as a target each of the last two episodes. Even Carolyn, who used an idol on him, acknowledged that she knows he can't sit in the end. Carson does have the ability to ensure his seat on Day 26 through winning challenges or firemaking. But, considering how many shots we have gotten of Carson standing near the fire this season, many are using this as an indicator that he is yet another Final Four "fallen angel."

On paper, Survivor fans may consider Carolyn too much of a "character" to win the game. But the "new era" of the show has proven that anyone can win if they have the right resume and story. Luckily for Carolyn, she has both. The vast majority of the season, she has been underestimated and written off by her competition as wacky and not all there. But she displays an immense amount of skill, between being able to clock when the winds may be changing and being able to both find an idol and withhold its identity for so long. If she makes it to the Final Three, she can easily craft a narrative about how she was the person everyone who counted out, and she counted them on perceiving that for her to slip through and control the game behind the scenes.

Her issue, like Carson, is that everyone has recently become aware of how good she is. After stunning everyone by revealing her idol and playing it on Carson, all eyes suddenly shifted her way. And while the Tikas stuck together through this most recent vote, Yam Yam seemed to legitimately consider voting out his number one ally. If he gets that opportunity again as he gets closer to the Final Three, he may not pass on it.

Related: CBS Announces 90-Minute Episodes for Survivor 45 and The Amazing Race 35

A wise Survivor podcaster reasons, if Carson and Carolyn represent the strategy-forward and character-forward narratives, respectively, Yam Yam is the "just right" baby bear of the trio. His energy, joyfulness, and snark has given him the most confessionals of the season so far, as he's able to perfectly bridge talking about making cutthroat decisions while throwing in one-liners along the way. Yam Yam's biggest superpower is his ability to schmooze people. We consistently see how his opposition is against voting him out because of the bonds he made with them. And, most pertinently, he is one of the best Tribal Council performers of the season, able to keep people distracted from impending blindsides with jokes that have everyone rolling.

As mentioned before, Yam Yam really debated voting out Carolyn and breaking up the Tikas. Some were arguing it would have been the right thing to do, as he would have to fight a hard battle against her and/or Carson if he sits next to them. He does have his own unique narrative, being able to get revenge on those who wrote his name down and surviving being the target the most out of anyone this season. But, despite the luminescence he brings to every scene he's in, he may be outshone by the "bigger moves" of his fellow Tikas.

Lauren has been the quietest person in the Final Five. And while that does not necessarily discount her from being a winner, it has made her a lesser character compared to the Tikas in Survivor 44. She has also been left by herself, as her closest ally Jaime was blindsided in the last vote. So it would be understandable if she becomes the easy next target, not wanting Lauren to proceed any further.

All that being said, there's a chance they may not get that opportunity. Of the castaways left, Lauren has won the most Immunity Challenges, and seems to be the strongest in endurance. If she's able to harness those skills and win safety for the next two rounds, that brings her right to Day 26. She would have a tough battle sitting next to at least one of the Tikas. But her personal story of being a single mom makes her easy to root for. And considering the jury is full of her closest allies in Brandon, Kane, and Jaime, it's the underdog story that could have her coming out on top.

Heidi's in a unique position, in that she's the person left most likely to make the Final Three, but least likely to win, in my opinion. Soka's dominance gave her a quieter start to the season. But she popped majorly when the merge hit, as she found an advantage, an idol, and orchestrated several moves to dismantle the Ratu opposition. But her stock has fallen in the past weeks, losing her tightest ally Danny and using her idol when she didn't need to. She's been left in a position where she feels if you can't beat Tika, join them, leading her to vote with them against Jaime last episode.

As mentioned before, Heidi may be the smallest threat left, but has the most locked-in Final Three at the moment with her, Yam Yam, and Carolyn. And if these past few seasons are any indication, anything can happen at Final Tribal Council. Heidi has her own underdog story, the last remaining Soka who survived losing her closest allies. She has amassed some power at points in the game, which she could use to her credit. And, like Lauren, she has people who could stump for her on the jury. It would be an uphill climb for Heidi. But if there's anything the new era of Survivor has taught us, it's to not count anyone out.

Next, check out our interview with Survivor 44 sixth-placer Jaime Lynn Ruiz.