After a truly memorable season of “Survivor” that featured frightening medical evacuations, arguments over jackets and a nerdmance like no other, six castaways were still in the running to win the $1 million check at the start of Wednesday’s two-hour Season 37 finale: Nick Wilson, Davie Rickenbacker, Mike White, Kara Kay, Angelina Keeley and Alison Raybould. Were Gold Derby’s racetrack odds correct that Nick would win, or did the jury composed of ousted “David vs. Goliath” contestants have a surprise in store for us?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Survivor” recap of the Season 37 finale, titled “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility,” to find out what happened Wednesday, December 19 at 8/7c. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about what you think of this latest addition to the “Survivor” winners list. Keep refreshing/reloading this live blog for the most recent updates.
8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘Survivor’!” During last week’s penultimate episode, Christian Hubicki was voted out because his fellow tribe members knew they had no shot at beating him in the end. While that left two Davids (Nick and Davie) and four Goliaths (Mike, Kara, Angelina and Alison) still in the game, only three will make it to Day 39 and face a jury of their peers. So which castaway will end up as the $1 million winner of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath?” Let’s find out!
8:03 p.m. — Following Christian’s elimination, everyone was up all night looking for the possibly replaced idol, including the Goliaths who had previously sat searches of this kind out. For different reasons everyone felt like they were the one that needed it most, but well into the next day no one had found anything until Angelina came across a clue! That clue directed her to digging up a ladder that she’d need to climb a rock, but in doing so she lost her clue. Because she couldn’t risk anyone finding the lost clue and the idol before her she decided to immediately go for the idol, but the effort was all for naught because she couldn’t find the idol.
8:09 p.m. — At the first immunity challenge of the episode the final 6 raced through a series of obstacles before releasing a ladder that led them to a puzzle. In addition to winning the immunity the first to finish won a spaghetti dinner as reward. Kara and Davie were the first to release their ladder pieces, but as Kara kept pace to stay in the lead, Davie fell slightly behind as Mike caught up. On the 63-piece puzzle at the end Kara was the first to begin, but both Angelina and Nick made up time to stay competitive against her. Swiftly, Nick assembled his final pieces and finished the puzzle to earn his automatic spot in the final 5! As part of his reward he chose Angelina and Mike to come along with him, leaving Alison, Kara and Davie behind.
8:22 p.m. — At the reward picnic Angelina noticed that they were set up at the water well right where the idol she couldn’t find is located. Despite the food not being on her mind, she was quick to confirm with Nick and Mike that she’d love to be at the end of the game with them, but the three disagreed on whether or not to target Alison or Davie first. Nick was adamant that it should be Alison because he was worried about being the only David left in the game with four Goliaths. When the topic of whether or not Alison might have the idol, Angelina opened up to them about finding the clue and failing to actually get the idol. Foregoing the rest of their meal, they decide to find the idol. Drunkenly, Mike reclaims the clue from the sand which directs them to the rock directly behind them. On the ladder, Angelina finds the idol in the rock wall!
8:27 p.m. — Knowing that she’s the likeliest target, Alison pulls Angelina aside to tell her that she’d like to vote Davie out this time. During the conversation Angelina makes it clear that she’s the one that will be deciding who goes this time since she’s the one “that made the decision at the last few tribals.” While I’m not sure if that’s true, Mike and Kara seem to know that’s how Angelina is thinking and devise a plan to make happen what they want to happen instead which is sending Davie home, not Alison as Angelina would prefer.
8:34 p.m. — At tribal, Angelina tried to say that lots of names were on the table as votes for the night, but Alison stopped her to clarify that it was actually just Alison and Davie who were in danger. Once again, Angelina pointed out that in the last few tribals she could have voted Alison out but instead chose to help send Gabby and Christian home. In doing so she was insinuating that she would be the deciding factor of her fate again tonight.
8:37 p.m. — Nick was equally confident, though to be fair he at least had the immunity necklace on. He told Jeff that having immunity afforded him the chance to be a little more aggressive with the vote and took it as far as saying that it was an opportunity to encourage other players to vote his way. To that Mike discussed how closely the two of them had worked for a while, suggesting that they’d likely remain closely aligned for the rest of the game.
8:39 p.m. — No one used an immunity idol this time around and so Jeff read the votes aloud: Davie, Alison, Alison, Davie, Davie, Davie. As Davie was packing up to leave, Nick told him “Sorry, I didn’t know.” to which Davie replied “Sure you didn’t Nick.” And as he was walking out he told the final 5 that whoever orchestrated the move would get his vote and that it would be up to the rest of them to pull off a bigger move than that if they wanted his vote to win!
8:47 p.m. — Following the tribal council, Nick was “ticked” for being blindsided after all of them lied to him, including Mike and Angelina who he thought he had a final three with. He was most upset with Mike because he finally realized that Mike was playing both sides of the game for many votes. Mike, Kara and Alison all felt like he was overreacting “like a child” and Mike began considering the need to get Nick out next before he comes after him.
8:50 p.m. — For the next immunity challenge each player had to stand on a perch in the water where they had to drop and pull up a bucket of water in order to fill a cylinder the quickest so that a key would release that they’d use to unlock pieces to a large puzzle. Alison was the first to retrieve her key, followed shortly by Nick and then Kara. Nick quickly made significant progress on his puzzle, earning himself a healthy lead over the rest and so in a blow out Nick earned immunity once again!
9:00 p.m. — Back at camp, Angelina was elated that Nick won immunity over Alison. Wanting to make a big move in order to look like a “bad ass” to the jury, Angelina devised a plan with Mike and Nick that required them to lie to Alison and Kara as if they’d be voting Angelina out so that Angelina could use her idol and send Alison home instead. Mike was not game to lie on Angelina’s behalf and so he told Kara of the plan so that he wouldn’t lose trust in her.
9:04 p.m. — Unfortunately for Mike, Kara was setting her sights on voting him out instead. To do so, she went to Alison and not only told her of that plan but also that Angelina has her idol. Alison then went to Nick knowing that they’d need his vote in order to make a move against Mike. With Alison, Nick agreed that Mike is a good strategic and social player. That put Nick and Kara in the middle with a decision to make between sending Alison or Mike to the jury next.
9:11 p.m. — Right off the bat at tribal, Jeff wanted to know how Nick reacted to being blindsided at the previous council. Nick admitted that he wasn’t happy with everyone, but Angelina told Jeff that she smoothed things over with Nick and so all was well. The conversation then evolved to the current state of affairs which led right to Angelina saying that the scrambling at camp was between herself and Alison. But Alison threw Mike’s name out there as a bigger threat which he did not take well. To that Mike insinuated that Alison fighting for her life like that was her sacrificing her dignity to which the entire jury rolled their eyes at.
9:17 p.m. — Before Jeff could read the votes, two idols were played. The first was played by Alison, but she basically knew it was a fake idol (that Angelina had fashioned for her to find) and the second was the actual immunity idol that Angelina had found. With that, Jeff read the votes: Mike, Alison, Alison, Alison. And so Angelina didn’t quite get the fireworks she was hoping for at tribal council, but she did get her wish of Alison being eliminated!
9:22 p.m. — Right away we get to the final 4 immunity challenge that we’ve seen play out for the past few seasons. With one hand tied behind their backs they had to drop a ball down a spiraling slide and over time add a second, third and fourth ball to it, all the while keeping the balls from dropping to the ground as they shoot out of the bottom of the slide. All four players made it to the round of three balls where Angelina was the first to drop a ball, failing to catch it as it came out of the slide. Next was Mike who lost concentration and let a ball come out without him catching it. And as Kara went for her fourth ball, she missed that another ball was coming out and it dropped, eliminating her and sending Nick straight to the final three with immunity and the decision of which of the other three will go with him. The other two (that Nick won’t choose) will be set to build fire at tribal council to earn their spot in the final tribal council.
9:34 p.m. — Once again Angelina was happy for Nick’s immunity win, thinking that he’s her ally and that his win was her win. But the playing field was set for all three of the Goliaths to make their pitch to Nick for him to choose each of them as a finalist. After hearing each of them out, Nick went to the group and admitted that he felt Kara and Mike would be his toughest competition in front of the jury and so told them that he’d be taking Angelina with him and they’d be building fire against one another.
9:38 p.m. — Sure enough, at tribal council Nick made it official that he’d be taking Angelina with him to the final three, giving Kara and Mike the opportunity to earn their spot. After practicing fire all day at camp, Kara is the first to get a spark on her fire , but it goes out and Mike is able to get his own flame started. Kara is able to get a second flame, but that too goes out as Mike continues to nurture a fire that steadily grows to the point of reaching the rope until it burns through and he wins!
10:00 p.m. — In open discussion, the jury began the final tribal council discussing the “outwit” aspect of the game. Elizabeth cautioned the finalists that most of the jury is undecided and that they should all be as honest as possible. Christian took it a step further by asking all of them to provide evidence of them outwitting other players in the game. Nick pitched that he built alliances in order to always know what was going on and pointed toward specific tribal councils that helped him get his way.
10:02 p.m. — Angelina stepped in on a question directed to Mike in order to talk about how adaptable her game was, including the sacrifice she made to get rice for the tribe. Davie stopped her right there to clarify that the point of her selfless act of getting rice for the tribe would be to leave it as a selfless act. Once he got to speak, Mike struggled to connect with Gabby and Alison who questioned his double-dealing and often “biting” humor that may have crossed lines at times.
10:06 p.m. — After Mike scored some points with the jury, Nick jumped in to point out that Mike was able to wait until later in the game to “turn it on,” but Nick began the game in a similarly underestimated spot as Mike but was forced to to turn his own game on much earlier and as such had to fight harder. Before closing out the “outwit” portion, both Gabby and Kara gave Angelina props for overcoming the disadvantage of being a woman in the game and managing to evolve.
10:08 p.m. — During the “outplay” portion, Dan threw shade at Mike for not contributing as much at camp as everyone else, but Mike came back with how he knew he wasn’t as strong at making a shelter or helping around camp as other people and so he focused his energy on being present at challenges. Next Angelina was asked to discuss in what ways she’s a David, to which she went into a monologue about her search for the idol and how hard that was for her. Alison then asked her about the fake idol and if it was a ploy just to embarrass her. Angelina said “no,” but Nick shook his head and made it clear to the jury that Angelina did in fact do it to embarrass Alison.
10:11 p.m. — During his chance to discuss how he outplayed everyone, Nick focused on how he had to overcome the disadvantage of not being as physically strong as everyone else and so he used his intelligence at puzzles as well as an ability to connect with and work with his alliance members (using the example of sharing information with Carl and Davie) to help get him to the end.
10:20 p.m. — With final voting underway we saw ballots cast by John for Nick and Christian for Mike, but none others. Back in Los Angeles at the reunion, Jeff read all the votes aloud to determine the winner and sole survivor: Nick, Mike, Mike, Mike, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick! So by a vote of 7-3-0 Nick is the winner of the million dollars, Mike is the runner-up and Angelina took third. The three jury votes for Mike came rom Christian, Kara and Alison. Who would YOU have voted for? And did the right player win? Sound off in the comments below!
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “Survivor” 37, Finale:
Who will win ‘Survivor’? Nick Wilson
Who will place 2nd? Mike White
Who will place 3rd? Angelina Keeley
Who will place 4th? Kara Kay
Who will place 5th? Alison Raybould
Who will place 6th? Davie Rickenbacker