Survivor: Edge of Extinction may be the only game with 16 finalists! On the Wednesday, May 15, finale, Rick Devens, Lauren O’Connell, Gavin Whitson, Victoria Baamonde and Julie Rosenberg were technically the final five, but the 11 contestants who had been living on Extinction Island arrived at the top of the episode for their chance to get back in the game. It was a close competition and came back to vet Joe Anglim and Chris Underwood; ultimately, Chris pulled through and got back in the game.
Once Chris got back in the game, he aligned with Devens; Devens revealed to him that he had an idol and they agreed they wanted to go all the way together. However, Devens had previously screwed Chris over and knew Chris remembered that. Chris also revealed to Lauren that Wentworth told him she had an idol and that Wentworth said Lauren needed to use the idol correctly — either on herself or someone else — in order to show the jury she could make a big move.
The first immunity challenge was also a reward challenge that came with steaks and dessert, something everyone wanted. When it all came down to a puzzle, Julie proved that she had what it takes, winning it all. Chris, who was behind throughout most of the challenge, ultimately ended up helping her through it, which rubbed Devens the wrong way.
During reward — which Julie shared with Chris and Lauren — they spoke about splitting the votes between Deven and Victoria. Afterward, Chris showed that he received an idol, the same one that Devens had received when he came back, which he had to split. They shared it together. Later, Lauren promised Chris that if Devens played his idol, she would play hers to save him. And she kept her word; Devens played his idol and Lauren then played hers for Chris, proving that she was a woman of her word. However she didn’t have to play it; Chris only received one vote, Devens received four and Victoria received two. Vic was sent home.
That night back at camp, like clockwork, Devens woke up to search for immunity idols, after hiding two fake idols that he had made. While Julie and Chris start to search shortly after he does, Devens once again found an idol. So, he gave Chris back the half off his idol. Then, Julie and Lauren both found fake idols, thinking they were real.
The next immunity challenge included an obstacle course up above the option, followed by a large puzzle. Devens pulled off an epic comeback during the final stretch, winning individual immunity once again. At tribal, Julie and Lauren both played their idols, only to be told they were fake. When Devens got up to play his idol, he used it for Gavin, causing Chris to then pull his out … and use it for himself. (His idol was real, as well.) It was a good thing Chris used his idol — he received four votes and Lauren received the other two; she was sent to jury.
During the last immunity challenge — the most important, since no idols were left — almost everyone struggled … everyone but Chris. The returner, who had yet to win an immunity idol, won the challenge, landing a spot in the final three.
At tribal, everyone was grasping at straws; while Devens was the clear frontrunner, Chris and Devens had made a deal they’d be loyal to the end. However, Chris said that after so much time on the Edge, he wanted to go out without any regrets and wanted to prove his spot. So, he gave up his necklace to Julie — sending her to the final three — and decided to go head to head against Devens in a fire-making contest. It may have been the closest fire-making challenge in years, but Chris’ fire was the first to break the rope, sending home Devens.
The Final Statements
Chris, Gavin and Julie later headed to make their final pleas to the jury. Although Chris made a big move, many brought up that he spent 28 days away, coming in with only three days of gameplay left. During their final speeches, he brought up that that was true, but Julie didn’t even go to tribal until day 17. Midway through the speeches, most of the tribal even admitted they were still undecided.
Chris also explained that in three days, he convinced Lauren to play her idol, won immunity and gave it up to prove he could beat the strongest person in the game. However, Gavin didn’t feel that it was fair; he felt that Chris didn’t really play the real Survivor game.
Another highlight of the final speeches was when Devens asked anyone who never had their name written down to raise their hand — Gavin was the only one.
So, who won it all? Jeff Probst read the votes live in Los Angeles and it wasn’t a blow out, like we’ve seen time and time again. Wentworth, Lauren, Devens and Aurora voted for Gaven, while the rest voted for Chris (yes, even Vic!) — who won the $1 million!