[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Wednesday’s season finale of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng.]
After 39 days, three medical evacuations, three found immunity idols, zero used immunity idols, one spared chicken, and one jury member kicked off the jury, a winner was finally crowned on Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance. And that winner was…Michele Fitzgerald.
The 24-year-old bartender from New Jersey beat Aubry and Tai in the final three to take home the million dollars after winning the final immunity challenge when she otherwise would have surely been sent to jury. She followed that feat up by winning the next challenge as well, a first ever post-final three reward competition, with the reward being Michele’s ability to remove any person she wanted from the jury.
Michele wisely picked Aubry ally Neal to go, a sage selection proved out by Neal’s words upon leaving to be sequestered: “You came to this game thinking you were a badass bitch, but you’re more like a cute little puppy still suckling at the teet. And I don’t think you stand a chance.”
Rude. And also wrong, as the jury (sans Neal) awarded Michele the million dollar prize the very next night. As one juror noted, Michele’s game got stronger down the stretch while Aubry and Tai faded. While Michele had no big moves to hang her proverbial hat on, she made no enemies and won the last two challenges, which gave her the résumé she lacked, and gave jurors a reason to vote for the person they simply liked the most as a group.
RELATED: Ranking Every Season of Survivor
As for me, my vote would have gone to Aubry, who may not have played a spectacular game, but she played a rock-solid one, gaining respect from allies and rivals alike for her even, level play, her big moves (she is the one who flipped Tai away from Scot and Jason), and strong (if not always successful) performances in challenges. But I have no vote.
We’ll have much more finale coverage, including our full recap [UPDATE: my 6,000 word Survivor recap is now live] and interviews with Jeff Probst (like him giving scoop on NEXT season) and the contestants. And for more Survivor finale coverage sent right to you, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. But you can sound off right here with your thoughts on the finale. Did the right person win? Did you like the jury eviction twist? Hit the message boards and weigh in.