What a ride. "Survivor: Kaôh Rōng," aka Season 32 -- and the second to carry the "Brains, Brawn, and Beauty" theme -- ended last night with a dramatic two hour finale and one-hour reunion show. Who won the $1 million and title of Sole Survivor? Mark the Chicken! OK, maybe not, but he earned it. He was even there at Final Tribal on Tai Trang's lap.
In the end, the only two players to get votes were Aubry Bracco (Brains) and Michele Fitzgerald (Beauty), with Tai (Beauty) as the "goat." Aubry got two votes (Joe, Debbie) and Michele got five (Julia, Cydney, Nick, Jason, Scot), so it was a solid win for Michele. That was a surprise to many fans, who thought strong strategist/confessional queen/geek warrior Aubry was a lock to win once she made it to the final three.
The episode started with the final four:
- Michele Fitzgerald
- Aubry Bracco
- Tai Trang
- Cydney Gillon
The next vote was a tie, leading Aubry and Cydney (Brawn) to battle it out in a fire challenge. Aubry won, leaving this as the final three:
But Jeff Probst had one final twist: Whoever won the final challenge got to kick someone off the jury. Michele won that challenge and chose, wisely, to oust one of Aubry's main allies, Neal. (You could tell it was a wise move when he insulted Michele as a puppy on his sashay out.)
Michele's final challenge wins and post-merge strategic decisions seemed to seal the deal, with Scot Pollard saying she had a weak start but a strong end, which (in his eyes) was the opposite of Aubry and Tai. If Aubry had won that last challenge and took Julia Sokolowski off the jury, then maybe this whole thing would be flipped and she'd win.
At the end of the reunion show (which Sia crashed to give Tai and his favorite animal charity $50,000)...
... Jeff Probst teased what's ahead this fall on Season 33: A stereotype-driven generation war in Millennials vs Gen X. This certainly has the potential to be insufferable, but maybe it will be a pleasant surprise instead. Probst said the Fiji location is his favorite so far. Read more of his thoughts on the fall 2016 season.
Are you happy that Michele won? With a few notable exceptions (ahem, Jason and Scot) this was a pretty good cast, so hopefully a few of them get to return to play again. Aubry should go first.
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