It’s finale night on ‘Survivor’! Someone returns to the game from the Edge of Extinction, and more importantly, ONE person is voted the WINNER of $1 million!
Lauren O’Connell, Rick Devens, Julie Rosenberg, Gavin Whitson and Victora Baamonde are the five players remaining in the game on Survivor: Edge of Extinction. First, though, one of the 11 players on the Edge of Extinction gets a chance to win their way back into the game. The players have to navigate a rope obstacle course, then navigate two balls through a maze, and whoever finishes first wins. Chris Underwood — the THIRD person voted out of the game way back on day eight — pulls out the epic win.
Chris was on the original Manu tribe when he was in the game, which means he knows Devens and Lauren, but has no relationship yet with Julie, Gavin and Victoria. Devens (who previously came back from the Edge of Extinction) betrayed Chris earlier in the game, but he promises him they’re on the same page now and they shake hands on going to the end together. Chris also chats with Lauren, and gives her a message from her ally, Kelley Wentworth — she has to play her idol in a BIG way for herself or someone else. This means Chris is the only person who knows about Lauren’s idol.
At the reward/immunity challenge, the six players have to go through a series of obstacles and complete a difficult puzzle. With some guidance from Chris, Julie wins the challenge and earns a spot in the final five. Since Chris has not had ANY rewards on Edge of Extinction, Julie chooses him to join her on the reward, along with Lauren.
Julie and Lauren try to talk Chris to voting out Devens. He lets them know that the jury wants Devens or Victoria to win, so they make a plan to split the votes between those two, considering the possibility that Devens could have an immunity idol. Meanwhile, Victoria approaches Gavin and Devens with a plan to vote out Chris. Chris assures Devens he will be “completely loyal” to him, and he proves it by sharing a secret with him: He was given two halves of an immunity idol when he returned to the game. The halves can be put together if both players who have them make it past this vote, and Chris gives Devens the other half. Meanwhile, Lauren assures Chris that she’ll give him her immunity idol if Devens plays his at tribal.
At tribal council, Devens plays his immunity idol, and Lauren keeps her promise by playing hers for Chris. Devens gets three votes, Chris gets one and Victoria gets two, so Victoria is headed home. Back at camp, Devens goes searching for a new hidden immunity idol, while also hiding two fake idols in hopes of tricking some of the other players. Devens finds the REAL hidden immunity idol, and Julie and Chris watch him do it. Afterward, he gives his half of the other idol back to Chris, so they’re both safe at the next vote. Meanwhile, Julie and Lauren both find Devens’ fake idols, and have no idea they’re not real.
At the immunity challenge, the players have to run an obstacle course to collect puzzle pieces, then solve the puzzle. Devens pulls out a come-from-behind victory to win the challenge and earn a spot in the final four. Devens tells Gavin that he’ll give him his extra hidden immunity idol — as long as Gavin promises to bring him to the final three if he wins the next immunity challenge. Gavin shakes hands on it, but admits in a confessional that he might have to go against his word.
Since there were three idols found that morning, Lauren becomes skeptical about whether or not her immunity idol is real. She plans to vote out Chris with Julie and Gavin, but also approaches Chris about voting out Julie. At tribal, Julie and Lauren both play their fake idols, while Devens plays his real one for Gavin (which Chris pretends to act shocked about). Chris, of course, plays his real idol for himself, so Devens, Chris and Gavin are all safe. Chris gets three votes, which don’t count, and Lauren gets the other two, so she’s headed home.
At the final immunity challenge, the players have to balance a tower of blocks on a wobbly ledge. Whoever stacks all their blocks first wins. Chris wins the challenge, which means he gets a spot in the final tribal council. Now, he gets to choose the one player who will join him, and the two players who will fight it out in a fire making challenge for the final spot.
Devens tries to plead his case with Chris, but Chris admits that it would be a “stupid” move since Devens is obviously the biggest threat to win. He also agrees to help Gavin and Julie learn to make fire to decide which of them will have the best shot at beating Devens. At tribal, Gavin takes the chance to build his resume by telling Chris to bring Julie to the end, and give him a chance to go against Devens. However, Chris wants to make a big move of his own — he offers up his immunity necklace to Julie and decides to take Devens on himself. It pays off, as Chris wins and takes Devens out of the game.
At final tribal, Julie, Gavin and Chris all plead their case. At one point, Chris interjects to ask Gavin his own question, which pisses off the jury. Meanwhile, Julie gets called out for claiming she used emotions as strategy and not making a legitimate big move in the game. Chris makes sure to bring up his sales tactic that got Lauren to give him her immunity idol, and explains why it was his biggest move. After the first segment of tribal, the jury is still mostly undecided.
Gavin insists that Chris had an ‘unfair advantage’ by coming into the game with just three days left and automatically receiving an immunity idol. However, Chris says he played a better game in three days than Gavin did in 39. Meanwhile, Devens points out to the jury that Gavin NEVER had his name written down the entire game, which backs up Gavin’s strong social game.
Finally, a winner is named at the live finale. The votes FOR the winner are read as follows: Gavin, Chris, Gavin, Chris, Gavin, Chris, Gavin, Chris, Chris, Chris, and the winner of sole survivor is CHRIS!