“Survivor” Finale Recap: Who Won “Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers”?

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Survivor Finale Recap December 20 2017

By Shari Weiss |

Survivor Finale Recap December 20 2017


The winner of “Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers” was announced on Wednesday’s three-hour season finale. Find out who won and get the full recap below!

As Gossip Cop reported, season 35 of “Survivor,” once again set in Fiji, premiered in September. The 18 contestants were divided into three tribes of six — Heroes, Healers or Hustlers — based on how they are perceived by others. But even before the merge, the groups were mixed up, allowing the castaways to form alliances outside their original team. All, of course, had the same goal: Not only survive the 39-day competition, but win the title of “Sole Survivor” and take home the $1 million prize.

Ashley was eliminated on last week’s penultimate “Survivor,” leaving a final five of Devon (Hustler), Ryan (Hustler), Chrissy (Hero), Ben (Hero) and Mike (Healer). The final episode, appropriately titled “Million Dollar Night,” set out to narrow the field to the final three, who would then make pitches to the jury on why they deserve to be declared this season’s winner. At the same time the taped events aired, host Jeff Probst presided over the live reunion in Los Angeles, where all of the competitors gathered for the winning announcement.

The festivities started with Probst introducing the players to the audience at CBS Television City before showing the rest of what went down in Fiji. On Night 36, following the Tribal Council, Chrissy was confident she, Mike, Devon and Ryan would finally get Ben out next. “One of us must win tomorrow,” she said of the upcoming challenge. Ryan, though, worried he would find yet another idol. Indeed, Ben knew he was “vulnerable” without any alliance, and so he stayed up all night hunting for protection. “This is more than a game for me. This is a mission, this is a job,” he said.

On Day 37, he returned to camp exhausted and unsuccessful. And then he found it. “This idol guarantees me a spot in the final four,” he declared, unbeknownst to his rivals. Chrissy decided to “make up” with Ben, and he agreed to be “friends again,” though they both knew it was “only for gameplay.” He was still planning to play his idol and “blindside” her. At the Immunity Challenge, they had to go through a water-based obstacle course that led to a color-focused puzzle. Up for grabs was not just safety and a spot in the final four, but also a reward of comfort food. Mike and Devon made it to the puzzle first, while Ryan was last. Chrissy ended up scoring the win, ruining Ben’s plan to take her out.

Surprisingly, she chose Mike and Devon as her reward partners, despite her long-time alliance with Ryan. Mike was convinced there was a clue to an idol at their reward feast, but there didn’t appear to be. Devon was confident Ben wouldn’t play another idol and they’d send him home. Still, they also decided to use an inactive idol to make Ben think they had one of their own. They thought he bought it, but he knew he had the only real idol left. Only Devon wondered if Ben was acting, too, and thought about writing down Mike’s name in case Ben really did have insurance.

At the elimination ceremony, Ben was deemed the “common enemy” and Chrissy pulled out her faux idol. She vowed to give it Devon, Ryan or Mike, and Ben pretended it was a “heartbreaker” and that he could be facing “the end.” The four thought they had the “numbers,” but before the votes were announced, Ben stunned them all by revealing his secret idol. That nullified the ballots against him, and made a tie with one vote cast for Mike and one against Devon. Now they had to re-vote, but only Devon and Mike were in jeopardy and they themselves couldn’t vote. It was solely up to Ben, Ryan and Chrissy. With the new tally, Mike was the one eliminated. Jeff then teased there would be a “twist” at the upcoming final immunity challenge.

Back at camp that night, Devon was relieved he trusted his gut and voted for Mike, but as happy as he, Chrissy and Ryan were to be in the final four, they were still frustrated about Ben’s continued success. And Ben himself knew that without winning the last challenge, he wouldn’t make it to the final three. The trio thought one of them just needed to win immunity to finally get Ben out, but they didn’t know what the “twist” would be. At that final Immunity Challenge on Day 38, they had to stack letter blocks on a wobbly platform to spell “heroes,” “healers” and “hustlers.” The twist: The winner would also receive one last secret advantage.

Ryan maintained an early lead but Ben then overtook him. One move away from winning, nearly all of his blocks fell. The others dropped theirs, too, making it a pretty level playing field. One move away, Ben suffered a devastating setback again. Amazingly, Chrissy then won again, guaranteeing her spot in the final three. Ben, believing his fate was now sealed, was gutted as she cried tears of joy. Ben later pleaded with Chrissy to take him to the end, and she agreed to hear him out at Tribal Council. Secretly, though, she said in a confessional, “There’s no way that’s happening.”

As for her secret advantage, it allowed her to choose one player to join her in the final three, and the other two would have to compete in a fire-making challenge for the remaining slot. Chrissy clued Devon and Ryan in, explaining that she would pick Ryan, because she thought Devon would be able to beat Ben in the challenge. At the ceremony, Chrissy celebrated her success as Ben bemoaned, “It is what it is.” He was then surprised to find out about her game-changing final advantage, which essentially gave him a last-minute chance to survive.

As expected, Chrissy announced Ryan would go to the final three with her while Devon and Ben would compete. They had to build a fire that would be hot enough and high enough to burn through a cord and raise a flag. Ben made a flame first and got his fire to a substantial size, winning the showdown before Devon even got a light. With that, Devon was eliminated and now the eighth and final member of the jury. Chrissy, Ryan and Ben were the final three.

On Day/Night 39, it was time for the final Tribal Council, where they each had to face questions from the jury and explain why they should win. They had to focus on three principles: How they “outwit” others with their social game, how they “outplayed” the conditions of the competition and how they won the respect of those they “outlasted.” For “Outwit,” it began with Desi asking Ryan to explain why he deserved to be in this position and he spoke about his social relationships. In contrast, Joe called Ben’s social game “horrible,” which he admitted. Chrissy tried to distinguish herself from both by touting her loyalty and how she got to know everyone.

For “Outplay,” Cole commended Ben for his idol-finding and Chrissy for her challenge-winning while calling out Ryan for his lack of survival skills. He acknowledged that, but pointed out how he found the first advantage of the game and then later found the idol others were wrestling over. Desi and Ashley gave Chrissy props for tying the record for most female individual immunity wins, and Joe went as far as calling her a “queen.” Ben played up his determination in finding idols to save himself, which led Desi to criticize Chrissy and Ryan for allowing that.

For “Outlast,” Ryan against stressed his social bonds and his deals with the jury members. Ben admitted that he saw all the jurors as “hurdles” and “threats.” Mike said he would be a “legend” in “Survivor” history no matter what, but he and Joe were unsatisfied with his comments. He then confessed his PTSD and stressed how his journey shows veterans how service members can work through it. Chrissy argued that she played a “good, clean, solid game without leaving a trail of destruction,” and also said that as a mom, she’s a healer, hero and hustler all in one. “I think if you vote me as the winner, I think you can all be proud of me as the winner of your season,” she declared.

The votes were then cast but, as always, the results were kept secret until the reunion show. Finally, the moment of truth came… and BEN WON! Following the celebration, all 18 contestants reflected on the season. Chrissy spoke about finally getting to play after applying for 16 seasons and Ben talked about playing with PTSD. He was then reunited with his former Marine buddies for the first time in years.

It all culminated in Probst previewing season 36, which will premiere on February 28. The new installment, called “Survivor: Ghost Island,” features new contestants facing the advantages that turned into mistakes that did players in during past years. Gossip Cop will again have weekly coverage.

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