The season finale of Survivor: Philippines is finally here! The final four consists of Lisa, Mike, Denise and Malcolm as they are competing to win that coveted million dollars. Mike and Lisa have been together almost from the beginning, while Denise and Malcolm also sit tight with each other. However, there can only be one sole Survivor.
On day 36, the four castaways are happy now that there is peace in the tribe since Abi was voted off. It is time to party, and to strategize, of course! Malcolm tries to get assurance from Skupin that they are still going into the final two together. He didn't seem to commit.
Tree mail comes and has the castaways baffled when it mentions a dragon. At the challenge, Jeff Probst explains the obstacle course where they will grab three bags to solve a dragon puzzle. The winner will get an advantage to the final immunity challenge the next day. This is an important reward to have. They are pretty evenly matched throughout the challenge. As they fight it out doing the dragon puzzle, it finally becomes between Malcolm and Denise. The puzzle master, Malcolm, ends up beating Denise and wins the reward.
Back at camp, Malcolm says he feels bad for Denise but he is planning on going with someone he can beat and he is not sure if he can beat her. After Malcolm won't commit anything to Denise, she is now getting nervous. She goes to talk to Lisa about how Malcolm will most likely get the jury votes. She wants to go in with Lisa and Skupin. Denise then tells Skupin that she is voting for Malcolm. Skupin is still undecided.
On day 38, Lisa and Skupin talk over breakfast on how they can control what happens next. They are on different sides of the coin on who they want to sit with in the final. More tree mail comes as Malcolm reads on how they will go on the traditional Survivor walk of remembering their fallen comrades. The four of them reminisce about Zane, Roxy, Angie, Russell, Dana, Dawson, Katie, RC, Jeff, Artis, Pete, Penner, Carter, and of course, Abi. They had some funny and warm words to share about all of their former tribemates.
The final immunity challenge begins. They will need to balance a ball on top of a wooden bar while pieces are added every few minutes. Whoever is left standing will win the last immunity. Malcolm then reads his advantage. It says that if he drops the ball, he gets a second chance to try again. After the second piece is added, Malcolm drops his ball. Jeff tells him that he gets one more chance to redeem himself. Denise is the first one out. Surprisingly, Malcolm drops the ball again and he is out of the challenge. It's now between Lisa and Skupin. They are both pretty steady but Lisa ends up dropping her ball and Mike Skupin wins the final immunity.
Both Malcolm and Denise are worried as they both try to talk Lisa and Skupin into taking them to the final. Skupin is thinking that maybe he does want to go in with Malcolm because he would like to go up against another warrior. However, Lisa says that she doesn't want Malcolm in the final three because he would most likely win the vote.
At tribal council, Jeff pointed out that Denise and Malcolm, and Lisa and Skupin started out together and are still together at the end. He also talked about Malcolm being dangerous but Malcolm says that Denise is actually the bigger threat. The vote is on. Jeff read the votes as Denise got one vote and Malcolm got three, so he is now out of the game. As he walked off, he congratulated Denise.
Day 39, the last day on the island, becomes a celebration for Lisa, Denise and Skupin. They find a feast on the beach waiting for them. They now have to face the jurors that will decide their fate in the game.
The final tribal council of the season is always interesting. The three now have to plead their case on why they should get their votes. Denise talks about how she survived every single tribal council. Lisa talked about not following her heart until her brother came to the island and she then switched to play the game. Skupin said that he knows that no one wanted a returning survivor to win but here he is in the final three.
The jury members get to talk and ask questions. Artis shoots them down about their loyalty, while Carter congratulated both Lisa and Skupin. The three most interesting were Malcolm, Penner and Abi. Malcolm told Denise not to nod, which was pretty funny. Abi talked about her being the most unlikable in the tribe and that she is heartbroken. Penner decided to break Lisa's secret and let everyone in on the fact that she is a former child star. Lisa then spoke back on how that didn't matter, only what she is doing now matters.
The jury members get to vote on who they want to win this time around. Their million dollar decision is not something anyone takes lightly. After everyone had the chance to vote, Jeff takes off with the basket.
Flash to the Hollywood set where everyone is cleaned up for the reading of the final votes. After an emotional moment of silence for the victims of the Connecticut school shooting, Jeff Probst reads the names written down. The winner is...Denise! This sex therapist from Iowa is the winner of a million dollars and is the sole survivor of Survivor: Philippines.
A preview of next season looks to be exciting as well. It is a fan vs. favorite survivors from the past. Be sure to catch Survivor: Caramoan coming in February.
Do you think Denise Stapley outwitted, outplayed and outlasted everyone this season?
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