‘Survivor’ Finale Recap: The Winner Of Season 43 Is Revealed

The season 43 finale of 'Survivor' is here! Find out what went down and who won the title of Sole Survivor.

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Five players are left at the beginning of the Survivor season 43 finale: Owen Knight, Mike Gabler, Karla Cruz Godoy, Cassidy Clark and Jesse Lopez. Of the five players, Jesse is the only one left with a hidden immunity idol, which will be good for just the final five vote. The episode begins with the final five heading back to a new camp, where they’ll have to start over as the game winds down.

All the players get a clue to a secret advantage, but they can’t start searching for it until they correctly solve a word scramble. Karla solves the puzzle first, but is slowed down by a hurt ankle. Owen is next to solve correctly, but Karla finds the advantage first. Since Karla has various injuries and knows she’s a threat in the game, the advantage comes at a good time. The letter reveals that she’ll get a leg up in the next immunity challenge.

survivor 43 final 5
The final 5 of ‘Survivor’ season 43. (CBS)

At the immunity/reward challenge, the players have to complete various different obstacles, collect puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. Karla’s advantage allows her to collect less puzzle pieces, placing a third of them at the finish platform already. In the end, though, it’s Owen who solves the puzzle fastest and wins immunity. In addition to being safe at tribal, Owen also gets a protein packed meal for his reward to help him carry through the final days, and he chooses Cassidy to enjoy it with him.

Owen and Cassidy debate whether they should try and take Karla or Jesse out. Cassidy is gunning for Karla, who’s her former ally, and Owen seems to be on board by the time the meal is done. Back at camp, Karla tells Jesse that she wants to vote for Cassidy, but really, she wants to target Jesse, not realizing that he still has an idol. She pitches the Jesse vote to Owen, Cassidy and Gabler. However, Cassidy isn’t happy with how Karla has handled their relationship in the game, and she fills Jesse in about the target being on him.

At tribal council, Karla points out how high Jesse’s threat level is. He retaliates by pulling out his immunity idol and insisting he’s safe. Karla tries to spin the vote on Gabler or Cassidy now that her original plan has fallen through. She pulls Jesse aside to talk strategy, and it leads into all five players breaking off to whisper amongst each other. Before the votes are read, Jesse plays his idol on himself, so he and Owen are safe. Karla votes for Jesse, which is voided, and the rest of the players vote for Karla, sending her home.

survivor final five
The ‘Survivor’ contestants compete in immunity challenge. (CBS)

The next day, the final four compete in their final immunity challenge. They have to use a long fork to navigate bowls through a difficult maze and stack them on top of another. The first player to stack 15 wins immunity. Cassidy wins, making it her third individual immunity win.

Now, Cassidy has to choose who she wants to sit next to her in the final, and which two players she wants to make fire to earn the final spot. She knows Jesse is the biggest threat, and wants to put him in the fire-making challenge against whoever has the best chance at beating him. Meanwhile, Owen and Gabler both WANT to go up against Jesse so they can hopefully beat him and earn more points their his own resumes.

Jesse knows he’s going to have to make fire. He thinks he has the best chance at beating Cassidy in the fire making, so he tries to convince her to give up immunity and go against him to try and win to better her resume. Cassidy isn’t falling for it, though. She ends up taking Owen to the final three, not wanting to give him a resume boost by possibly winning fire making against Jesse.

survivor season 43
The finalists in season 43. (CBS)

Now, Jesse and Gabler are up against each other in the fire making challenge. Gabler beats Jesse in record time, and earns his spot in the final three against Cassidy and Owen. They have a shot to plead their case to the jury to earn votes to win the $1 million and title of Sole Survivor. All three played different games. Cassidy was on the right side of all the votes and proved to be a physical threat. Owen was the ultimate underdog, surviving despite being on the bottom for most of the post-merge game. And Gabler flip-flopped a lot throughout the game, but did so to further himself, while also forming relationships with just about everyone. He also makes a point to say he is going to donate all of his winnings to charity

Each player makes a case for themself and answers jury questions at the final tribal. Then, the jury gets to vote for who they WANT to win. Like the last two seasons, Jeff Probst reads the votes on the spot. James Jones votes for Cassidy and Karla votes for Gabler, while the rest of the votes are hidden. The rest of the votes all go to Gabler, who wins season 43.

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