In honor of its 20th anniversary, “Survivor” brought back 20 winners from previous seasons, but only one person came out on top during Wednesday’s finale.
During a socially distanced video call, host Jeff Probst revealed that Tony Vlachos won the season.
Heading into the final episode, five castaways remained to win the $2 million grand prize: Ben Driebergen, Denise Stapley, Michele Fitzgerald, Sarah Lacina and Tony. However, 14 formerly eliminated players were waiting in the Edge of Extinction to jump back into the game.
Like most shows caught filming during the coronavirus pandemic, “Survivor” had to go remote on Wednesday’s episode. Probst kicked off the show from his garage in a homemade set. The final contestants virtually joined him later in the episode to find out who won.
Picking up right where the last episode left off, fans saw the formerly eliminated players go through the Edge of Extinction obstacle course challenge to win a spot back in the game. Natalie Anderson came out as the winner, putting her back in the running with the remaining five players.
After initial voting, Denise was voted out, leaving Sarah, Ben, Michele, Tony and Natalie. During the immunity challenge, Tony was victorious, keeping him safe in the next elimination round. To many people’s surprise, Ben was then voted out.
In the final immunity challenge of the season, Natalie won, earning her a spot in the finals. She opted to bring Michele to the finale with her, sending Sarah and Tony to go head-to-head for the last spot. Natalie had hoped Sarah would emerge victorious, putting three women in the finals, but Tony pulled ahead, cementing the final three.
Natalie, Michele and Tony then confronted the jury of their eliminated peers and gave their reasons on why they deserve to win and why their opponents would be voted out.
Probst joined the final three in a video all from their homes before pulling Tony’s name from an urn. Victorious at last, Tony celebrated with his kids, who were also there with him.
The next season of “Survivor,” like many TV shows, remains uncertain in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Probst promised that that they are “committed” to returning in the fall.