Winning this season wasn’t easy. There were three medical evacuations – the most in Survivor history.
At the beginning of Wednesday night’s episodes, there were four contestants left – and each had a strong argument for why they should win the game.
Aubry Bracco had played an exceptional social game, building bonds with other castaways and keeping herself out of real danger. Tai Trang had formed – and broken – key alliances, propelling himself through the game.
Michele Fitzgerald proved herself to be a good scrambler, talking herself out of trouble. Cydney Gillon played an independent game, keeping herself in the driver’s seat throughout the 39 days.
It looked like Fitzgerald was going to leave in fourth place, but she pulled out a last-minute immunity challenge. Gillon went home after losing a fire-making tiebreaker.
The final 3 of Bracco, Trang and Fitzgerald had one more challenge before the final 3: the winner had to choose a juror to vote out of the game. Fitzgerald won the challenge and voted out Neal Gottlieb, who was a sure vote for Bracco.
Michele Fitzgerald in Survivor: Kaoh Rong
CBS / Getty
In the end, it didn’t matter. Fitzgerald won the final vote with five votes. Bracco received two votes and Trang was shut out – though he didn’t go home empty handed.
Surprise guest Sia showed up during the live show to praise the animal lover and drop $100,000.
“I could not let Tai go home without saying that your authenticity and your care for animals really spoke to me, so I want to donate $50,000 [to you]” Sia said. “And I want to donate $50,000 to your choice of animal charity. I just want to say thank you for showing America how to be kind to animals.”
Survivor will return to CBS next fall with 20 new castaways.