'Survivor' castaways receive $200,000 from singer Sia after Season 43 finale
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/24/2022
Three Survivor 43 castaways have been awarded cash prizes totaling $200,000 from pop star and longtime Survivor fan Sia Kate Isobelle Furler.
Sia recently handed out her "Sia Award" in different cash amounts to her three favorite Survivor 43 players: fourth-place finisher Jesse Lopez, third-place finisher Owen Knight, and Ryan Medrano, who was the tenth person voted out of the game and the third member of the jury.
"The Sia Award is a beautiful gesture, and it comes straight from Sia's heart," Jeff Probsttold Entertainment Weekly. "It's all her. It's very fun to be a witness to her process."
EW obtained videos of Sia FaceTiming with each of the deserving Survivor castaways to deliver her good news.
Sia gave Jesse, who was defeated bySurvivor 43 winner Mike Gabler at the final fire-making challenge, a whopping $100,000 for his wife and family.
"I was devastated," Sia told Jesse via FaceTime about his loss.
"And I really think you deserved to win, and I just think you played the most epic, sneaky, wonderful game in the whole world. Killer. [Playing Cody Assenmacher's idol] was the most epic move I've ever seen... I'm so impressed and I'm so into how much you love your family, and I'm so into where you came from."
Sia gave Jesse "mad props" and also told him that she's personally going to request that he is selected to play again for a future returning-player season.
"I poured my heart into the game," Jesse shared with Sia in response to the big gift. "I was 100 percent myself out there, and so for you to see something in me and just appreciate that, thank you so much."
When Jesse got eliminated fromSurvivor, he cried about how he really needed the money to help his family and he felt he had let them down. The entire cast, however, assured Jesse that he made his family proud and played the best game of anyone.
Sia also gave $50,000 to Owen and another $50,000 to Ryan.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
Owen made it to the Final 3 of Survivor 43 with Gabler and Cassidy Clark, but he received zero jury votes to win. Cassidy only received one vote.
"I really see you and I really loved your personality, and how beautiful and kind [you are]," Sia told Owen via FaceTime.
"I'm used to being the underdog and a little bit of an outsider, and I just felt so sorry for you... and I wanted to make sure I gave you something just to lift your spirits."
Sia told Owen that she loves him and he needs to "keep going."
"You spoke for all the underdogs, and that meant a lot to me because I don't say much publicly," Sia explained, "and so when other people say what I feel or mean, that makes me feel proud and it makes me feel seen as well, so you made me feel seen during that day."
Owen thanked the singer and entertainer for being "so incredibly kind and generous," adding how he's not in "the most lucrative line of work" as a college administrator.
"I don't need all of that [money]. I will share some of it. That is so kind and thank you so much!" Owen said.
Sia concluded, "This is for you, because I know you give to people every day." However, she gave him permission to spend it -- or give it out -- as he pleases.
And Ryan Medrano, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, provided food by fishing and making fire for his tribe all season long. He stayed out of drama, and so Sia rewarded him $50,000 for being "a gem" and "so cool."
"I was bummed you got let go so soon. I was really [rooting] for you... You're a totally beautiful, beautiful person," Sia told Ryan while he was sitting in his car on his lunch break from work. "Your vibe was awesome... I just love you as a person, man. I see you as a hero."
"I really appreciate that!" Ryan said in reply. "That's going to help me so much! I'm talking to Sia right now! My face hurts from smiling!"
Joe Anglim also agreed to chop off his long locks for Sia after Survivor: Edge of Extinction in exchange for a $15,000 donation to charity from
Jeff told EW of the generous pop star, "Back when we did the live reunion shows, she would either be sitting in the audience or in my dressing room. She would watch the finale and then let me know who she wanted to receive 'The Sia Award.' The players would find out immediately. It was very powerful to see it go down."
In recent seasons, however, the aftershow has been taped in Fiji immediately after Jeff's reading of the votes for the winner of Survivor.
"Now that we do the aftershow in Fiji, the process is slightly different. She watches the finale from home, and then I get a text letting me know who she would like to receive the award. There is surprisingly little fanfare," Jeff explained.
Jeff went on to reveal what originally inspired Sia to give money to savvy or relatableSurvivor players.
"She gets a lot of joy from watching Survivor players take on such a personal and often vulnerable life adventure," Jeff said. "And she has been incredibly fortunate in her own career and wants to share some of that fortune with others."
"She definitely just made the holidays for Jesse, Owen and Ryan a lot brighter!" the longtimeSurvivor host added. "What a way to finish Survivor 43!"