It all came down to this. With six finalists headed to the ‘Survivor’ finale, we knew that ultimately only one would be left standing. Find out who won below. WARNING: spoilers ahead!
Heading into the episode, there were six castaways standings — three Millennials and three Gen. Xers: Ken McNickle, David Wright, Bret LaBelle, Adam Klein, Hannah Shapiro, and Jay Starrett.
Right away, David used a trick we’ve seen multiple times: creating a fake idol with hopes that someone would find it. Well, Jay did — and he was so excited. Could this actually work this time? Well there was a real advantage in the game and it was the one Sunday left for Ken: the legacy advantage that gave him immunity for this next tribal.
At the first challenge for both immunity and reward, it started with a combination and ended with a puzzle. While Jay was in a big lead figuring out his combo first, he left it revealed for everyone to see and catch up to him in the puzzle — and that’s just what happened; David won. He then had to pick two people to join him on a steak dinner.
Jay obviously had to do something so he decided to use the advantage Adam had given him, allowing him to steal a reward. However, he didn’t want to steal it from David, since he won fair and square, but he wanted to go with him and chose Adam to join them, since it was his advantage to start. Could he talk them into keeping him? Well, he tried his best! When it came time for tribal, we found out that convincing didn’t work.
Jay played the fake idol thinking he was safe and quickly finding out it wasn’t. Ken used the legacy advantage that Sunday left (after pulling it out of his boot like a cowboy), giving him immunity. He had the first vote, but the next three went to Jay and he was sent home. We have to give him a ton of credit though because he was all smiles leaving, knowing that it was the combination mistake that ruined it all — and he played an awesome game. He also complimented everyone on the way out! So so cute.
Loyalty Runs Deep
The next reward/immunity challenge was equal parts water, balance, and words. Bret actually took a lead throughout most of the challenge, getting to the word puzzle the fastest, but it was KEN who pulled ahead and solved it first, winning. Of course Dave and Ken were ready to convince Bret and Hannah to vote out Adam — and Adam was ready to fight for his life. So, he went searching… and he found an idol. His mistake: telling Hannah. She had been playing both sides, so it really ended up being her choice who she brought to the end. If she told Dave about Adam’s idol, they could vote Bret. So, what did she do? Well, Adam did use his idol — and Hannah made the huge move: she got Ken and David to vote Bret and out he went!
Adam was obviously shocked, but he had to focus on the next challenge: a balancing act… er, more like a game of “what way will the wind blow?” At the end of 30 minutes, whoever had the most plates would win. Adam gave up playing his own game to make sure Dave didn’t win. Hannah and Ken actually tied, and had to go into a five-minute showdown! This one came down to the last second too — and Ken won again.
Ken had stayed loyal to David through the entire game, so would Ken stick to loyalty and bring him to the end as he promised? Or would he realize that he was loyal as long as possible and couldn’t win against him in the end? He chose the second. David was sent home.
Final 3 Time: Hannah V. Ken V. Adam
So, it was time for the pitches and the questions from the jury. An interesting argument was made by Adam — Hannah was the millennial who flip flopped back and forth, while Ken was a Gen. Xer set in his ways; he put himself in the middle. Jessica straight up asked Ken how he could possibly flip on David after preaching loyalty all season and promising him on day two he’d bring him to the end. Ken had a good answer (through tears): his daughter was his first ally, David was his second.
There was a huge theme throughout the entire Q&A session: Hannah was ready to fight! She argued pretty much everything Adam said and really wanted to show that she was responsible for a lot of decisions. She came off a bit defensive but really came prepared to show how much she had grown. The last question was from David, asking everyone what the journey meant to them, and how it had changed them. That was when Adam told the group about his mother, revealing that two years ago he had applied to play Blood Vs. Water with his her, before she was diagnosed. Of course, everyone was shocked.
With that it was time to vote, and head to the live show. And the winner is… Adam! Yes, he got every single vote. He revealed that he flew home immediately after the show and told his mother repeatedly that he loved her, and that he won. She passed away an hour after he got home. Now, Adam has partnered with Stand Up 2 Cancer to raise money for lung cancer research — his mother never even smoked. He donated $100,000 of his winnings right off the bat. You can donate here; Bristol-Myers Squibb will match each donation 100%.