'Survivor: One World' crowns Kim Spradlin winner and sole survivor
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/14/2012
Survivor: One World's $1 million grand prize was won by Kim Spradlin during the live portion of Sunday night's finale broadcast on CBS from New York City.
"I think my biggest move was just really getting to know each person. I think if you go and win all the challenges, you can't get any votes in the end if you don't have a personal connection with almost every person sitting on that jury," Kim, a 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, TX, said duringSurvivor: One World's reunion special.
Kim beat Chelsea Meissner, a 26-year-old in medical sales from Charleston, SC, and Sabrina Thompson, a 33-year-old high school teacher from Brooklyn, NY, in the season's final jury voting results, which Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed live during the broadcast.
Kim received all but two votes, as Sabrina received two votes from Troy "Troyzan" Robertson and Leif Manson.
During the live reunion show following Survivor: One World's finale episode, Jeff also revealed that Kim had won $100,000 as the winner of the season's "Player of the Season" home viewer vote in addition to her million-dollar prize.
Survivor: One World's special two-hour finale broadcast began on Night 36 with five women remaining -- the first time in the show's history the Final 5 consisted of all women.
Kim; Chelsea; Sabrina; Christina Cha, a 29-year-old career consultant from West Hollywood, CA; and Alicia Rosa, a 25-year-old special education teacher from Chicago, IL, returned from the previous Tribal Council after voting out Greg "Tarzan" Smith. The women felt good about eliminating him, and then they began reflecting on how far they had come since Day 1.
Each woman was amazed she had made it to the end looking back on the beginning of their Survivor journey when they had struggled to even build shelter, feed and provide for themselves, and win any tribal Reward or Immunity Challenges against the men. Alicia believed she played "one hell of a game" although she was surprised she had made it so close to the end.
On Day 37, Sabrina and Kim received Tree Mail and talked about getting rid of Alicia. However, Kim thought Alicia wouldn't get many votes. Kim told Sabrina that Chelsea was probably a big threat -- more of a threat than Alicia -- because a lot of people would send votes her way.
While Kim was gunning for Chelsea, Sabrina wasn't so sure about whether to vote her off. Kim said it would be smart to take Christina to the end with them, and with Kim's apparent change of heart, Sabrina wondered whether it was actually her own head on the chopping block due to the fact she and Chelsea were both members of Kim's alliance since the beginning.
Later on, the Tikiano tribe met with Jeff, who then explained the rules to what would be their fourteenth Immunity Challenge, but eighth Individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
The castaways learned they each had to race across a balance-beam maze. If they fell off, they had to go back to the start. Each player then had to traverse across a giant rope net, collecting five bags of puzzle pieces along the way. After using those pieces to solve a puzzle, the castaways would then have the clues they needed to reveal three numbers that would solve a combination lock. The first person to race to the top and get it right would win Individual Immunity and receive a one in four shot at winning the million dollars.
Kim solved her puzzle first and she was followed by Alicia. After a tough race, Kim ended up winning Individual Immunity for the third time although she had trouble figuring out the combination lock and had a couple failed attempts.
Once the tribemates returned to camp after the challenge, Chelsea pulled Kim aside and discussed taking Alicia out next -- ultimately making the Final 3 Chelsea, Kim and Sabrina. Kim considered that plan but also had other options in possibly keeping Christina and Alicia around and voting out Chelsea.
Chelsea told Kim she felt lucky they had developed a close friendship throughout the entire game and then insisted Kim would win if they both went to the end together. Chelsea told Kim she recognized her best friend had been running the game and just wanted to be by her side when she won the money.
"Kim has had my back throughout this entire game. She's always been honest with me. It's a million-dollar game. She thinks I could win it and she still wants me to go to the final with her. So hopefully she's not about to backstab me, but I don't think that's the case," Chelsea said.
Chelsea then told Kim she should tell Christina and Alicia to vote for herself -- allowing Kim to tell their tribemates to get Chelsea out -- and then asked Kim to play her hidden Immunity Idol to save her. Chelsea thought it was a great idea, but Kim still wasn't sure whether she wanted Chelsea sitting next to her in the end despite their close bond.
"At the time, I thought it was such a smart thing telling Chelsea I had the idol. I can honestly say sitting here today, I wish she didn't know. Because now that I'm sitting here with immunity, she's expecting me to play that idol for her no matter what. It's like, I just have to be so careful at how I play tonight. I feel like I have all these weapons in my belt and I want to play the right ones and not just take them all out and play them for the hell of it," Kim said.
Meanwhile, Alicia was feeling confident Kim was remaining 100% percent loyal to her. She never thought Kim would take Sabrina and Chelsea to the end because all the votes would be split amongst them. Alicia assured herself she should relax and stop being paranoid. At the same time, Christina also believed Kim was going to vote for Chelsea and that she'd be a fool not to because Chelsea would be a huge competitor in the end.
That night, Survivor: One World's Tikiano tribe members arrived for their eighth Tribal Council altogether, the fourteenth session of the season overall. Jonas Otsuji, Mike Jefferson, Jay Byars, Leif, Troyzan, Kat Edorsson, and Tarzan -- the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh members of the jury respectively -- arrived to listen in on the session.
Kim announced they'd have a brand new decision to make the following day because anyone could win Individual Immunity, and that could change everything in the game. She also told Jeff she thought she'd be able to separate her head versus heart when playing the game but it was becoming increasingly more difficult to do so because she was experiencing a lot of emotions for certain castaways.
The tribe then cast their votes one by one, and Jeff revealed the outcome soon after. Alicia received three votes, while Chelsea received two. As a result, Alicia was ousted fromSurvivor: One World, and on her way out, Kat whispered to Troyzan that Kim had "backstabbed" both herself and Alicia.
"I realized what mistakes I made in this game and it was definitely giving up my power [by] voting out Tarzan. I don't want to dwell on it too much. The game is done, I'm out and I'm definitely not a sore loser. I'm proud of Kim. She pulled me completely, and Christina, I brought you there. All those girls wanted you out from day one, so good job Christina. Bask in it, because you suck right now," Alicia said following her elimination.
On Night 37, Christina felt like she was on the outs of her tribe considering she thought herself, Alicia and Kim were going to the end together. Christina said she planned on trying to convince them to keep her in the Final 3, claiming it would be a good call because people thought she didn't deserve to be there and had been riding people's coattails the entire time. Christina wasn't upset Kim had lied to her, because she realized it was just a game and fully accepted that.
Chelsea then acknowledged Sabrina might not be the best person to take to the end with herself and Kim, while she thought Christina wasn't well spoken and it'd be a joke if she tried to state her case in front of the jury at the final Tribal Council session.
On Day 38, Christina felt the need to win Individual Immunity, and Chelsea and Kim admitted they'd be completely shocked and dumbfounded if she ended up pulling that off.
After taking the long walk of remembering their "fallen comrades" and participating in a ceremonial burning to pay respects to their memory, the remaining five tribemates then proceeded to their final Immunity Challenge -- their fifteenth Immunity Challenge but ninth Individual Immunity Challenge of the season overall.
Jeff explained the rules to the castaways and told them they'd be required to use a long pole to maneuver a small wooden bowl through a channel. When they got to the top, they'd place the bowl and head back to the next one. To make it more difficult, the entire structure sat on a spring -- which meant if they touched it, it would wobble and their bowls might fall, sending them back to the start to begin again.
The first person to stack all 10 of their bowls would win immunity and go to the final Tribal Council, where they'd have the chance to plead their case of why they deserved to be the sole "Survivor" and potentially win the million-dollar grand prize right along with it.
Kim ended up winning the final Immunity Challenge, and Chelsea congratulated her and called her "a beast" after she had won Individual Immunity for the fourth time. Kim was going to lead the vote as to who would become the other two members of the Final 3 and also vie for the million bucks.
Following the challenge, the remaining members of the Tikiano tribe traveled back to camp, and they knew a huge decision was looming ahead. Kim felt awesome knowing she was going to go into Tribal Council safe from the vote. Christina then asked Kim to just say aloud what their plans were rather than allowing her to be blindsided. Kim admitted to her face she was going to be the next one to go, and Christina was seemingly okay with it.
"I feel like Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea have their decisions already made. I mean, I thought maybe I could talk to Kim and try to switch it, but Kim's pretty adamant in keeping it the way it is. So I figured my last day here -- Day 38, Final 4 -- can't really complain. I might as well make it enjoyable and as peaceful as possible," Christina explained.
Kim told Chelsea how she told Christina flat out she was going home, and Kim found it strange that Christina didn't fight to stay.
"I feel like I did make my decision to go with Chelsea and Sabrina, but I think I'm starting to second guess myself. Up until this point, there was less at stake. There were more chances to go home and the decision is going to change as to who I'm going to sit in the end with. I think if I take Christina to the end, I don't think she could get one vote, and I do think Sabrina will receive quite a few more votes than Christina would. So, I think I'm going to try to make what is the best decision for myself in this game," Kim said.
That night, Survivor: One World's Tikiano tribe members arrived for their ninth Tribal Council altogether, the fifteenth session of the season overall. The same jury that arrived for the prior Tribal Council returned in addition to its newest member, Alicia.
Christina announced to the group she was definitely getting eliminated because the alliance of three girls had been formed since Day 1. Jeff asked how they had a quiet afternoon when Christina should've been scrambling for a spot in the game, but Christina said it was really hard to try to break up a very strong bond and friendship.
Christina technically "rolled over and died" and gave up on trying to make it into the Final 3, but she didn't understand how she could possibly convince three girls with a pact to make a switch.
Kim said she absolutely wouldn't have acted the way Christina did if she was in her shoes, because she was opposed to the idea of giving little effort to win no matter how grim the game might seem. Both Kim and Sabrina agreed they would do everything in their power to remain in the game. Kim added that Christina wouldn't have been a bad person to take to the Final 3 with her had she made her arguments, but Christina opted out of that opportunity and declined to voice her reasoning.
Jeff then revealed the votes and Sabrina, Chelsea and Kim all voted to oust Christina from Survivor: One World, while Christina voted for Sabrina.
"I'm honored to make it to the Final 4, however, I wish I had played this game a little bit differently -- probably a little bit more strategic -- although being the underdog in the game, I'm pretty proud of myself to be where I'm at. Trying to make it to the Top 3, I would have loved it. However, how do you change the minds of three girls who are pretty adamant and loyal to where they're at?" Christina said upon her departure from the game.
On Day 39, Sabrina woke up emotionally overwhelmed because she never expected she'd make it that far. She felt blessed with amazing friends and an unforgettable experience. She then went on to explain how she had gotten laid off from her teaching job in a tough neighborhood, and she said she'd love her kids to be able to experience all that she had seen and touched in the South Pacific. Sabrina was ready to "get her game face on" and was prepared to "go in blazing with no mercy."
The Final 3 then celebrated how far they had made it in the game with a rewarding victory brunch. Chelsea said she didn't expect to be sitting in the Final 3, and if she didn't win the money, it would be alright because she had an amazing adventure and would come out of the game with lifelong friends. Meanwhile, Kim wanted to win and was glad to sit in the end after enduring a tough time in which she recently got divorced, ending her four-year marriage.
That night, Sabrina, Kim and Chelsea arrived for their final Tribal Council session and the entire jury joined them, including Christina. The nine people held the Final 3's fate in their hands and were asked to acquire all the information they needed in order to make a million-dollar decision. Each final castaway was given the opportunity to offer an opening statement, and then the jury would have a chance to address and/or confront them by asking questions or stating their opinions of the tribemates.
Chelsea told the jury her strategy was to become a powerful pair with Kim and control the game together. She said they made all their decisions jointly and her game changed at the merge when she realized she had to stop playing emotionally. Chelsea said she didn't have too much of an emotional connection with any of them in particular to really have betrayed anyone, unlike Kim.
Kim then talked to the jury and told them she played a "poker game" with no rules, and she was proud to have played such a strategic game. Kim said it was hard to send people home she cared about, but she kept thinking about how the money would help her family back home, and then she begged forgiveness from the jury and asked them to view Survivor as a game. Kim said her end goal was to sit in the end, and she made it.
Sabrina then addressed the jury and told them she found "balance" in the game to avoid being a target. She scaled back in physical challenges, while she played a socially-strong game. Sabrina apparently chose not to step up in decision-making processes by allowing Chelsea and Kim to actively be the messengers while she hid in the background as to not be blamed for blindsides or betrayals.
Sabrina said she played a behind-the-scenes game because she knew she wouldn't be able to separate the game from real life, and then she brought up the fact she got laid off from her job of teaching inner-city children shortly before appearing on Survivor: One World.
Afterward, the power shifted and the jury then had control of the game. They began asking the Final 3 questions to ease their own minds or seek a little revenge.
Jonas asked Chelsea what the boldest game-changing move was that she had made in the game without Kim's guidance or initiation, and she said it was taking Kat out. Jonas told Kim it was not smart of her to decline taking Christina to the final Tribal Council, and Kim said she took Chelsea because she didn't want everyone to hate her and no matter who she sat next to in the end, it wouldn't matter because she had played the best game of anybody.
Christina then asked Kim if she could take out either Chelsea or Sabrina, who would it be, and Kim said she'd take Chelsea out because she believed she'd have an easier time winning against Sabrina. Jay asked Sabrina if it was also her strategy to do "squat" around camp like she had done in the challenges, and Sabrina said "yes" because she always came across overbearing in reality and wanted to give other people a chance to shine in the game and have the power.
Mike told Kim the whole jury knew she had instigated every blindside and that it could've been incredibly stupid of her to take the blame for all them and announce she was behind them rather than passing some of the responsibility onto her fellow alliance members. As a result, Mike said many jury members had a lot of hostility towards Kim because they knew the truth -- and the truth was that she had played a pretty dirty, deceiving game in their eyes.
Tarzan then thanked Chelsea for keeping him in the game so that he could be reunited with his wife on the island. He had no questions for the Final 3. Leif then stepped up to the plate and told them his departure was a "very sore moment" for him. Kim admitted she wasn't sure whether she could trust Leif because he had said things and done the opposite. Afterward, Alicia told Kim she played a "hell of a game" and loved her and then wished her luck.
Troyzan told the Final 3 that first off, he didn't hate their guts. However, he admitted to still having beef with Kim. He asked her a key question which he claimed could separate her from the money or basically put it right in her pocket. Troyzan asked her at what moment in the game she made the move to "demolish his chances of winning the game," and Kim told him it was taking Jonas out. Troyzan said the "Survivorgods had spoken and it was like uno, dos, adios."
Kat then approached Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina and told them she had been badly hurt in the game and felt destroyed by Kim. She then sadly announced she is going to receive her third open-heart surgery next year, and therefore, it wasn't in her spirit to remain angry with anyone.
Kat then faced the jury and told them not to base their decision on being mad because life is precious, and as a result, she was going to vote for the person who played the best game. She brought the Final 3 to tears and then told them she forgave them.
The jury then cast their votes for which person they believed should be the winner of Survivor: One World. The only votes that were immediately shown was Troy voting for Sabrina and Kat casting her vote for Kim.
During the live portion of Survivor: One World's finale episode, the Final 3, the jury, Jeff, and the studio audience gathered in New York City to discover who had won the million dollars.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Five people had voted for Kim's victory, while two previously-eliminated castaways voted for Sabrina to win. The remaining two votes were not shown until the castaways admitted later on during the reunion special whom they had voted for.