Survivor: Edge of Extinction came to an end on Wednesday, May 15, after 18 castaways suffered through 39 days on the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. The show was the 38th season of the long-running CBS reality television series. Entering the show, there were 14 new contestants and four returning players.
Entering the season finale, there were five castaways — Rick Devens, Victoria Baamonde, Lauren O’Connell, Julie Rosenberg, and Gavin Whitson — who would be joined by the final returning player.
In the opening challenge of the episode, it was Chris Underwood who made his way back into the game. Chris was initially the third person voted out on Day 8. Chris came back with an advantage — a split immunity idol that he had to share with one contestant for the following tribal council in order for it to activate the next week — and he shared it with Devens.
For the first immunity challenge of the night, it was Julie who won individual immunity to advance to the final five along with earning a steak dinner and some chocolate cake as a reward. She chose Chris and Lauren to join her for the feast.
At tribal council, Devens played his immunity idol and Lauren used an idol on Chris, it was Victoria who was sent to the jury.
After the first immunity, Devens returned to camp and successfully found another hidden immunity that. He also concocted two fake idols with clues and beads from his previous finds, which were found by Lauren and Julie, setting up for what was sure to be a hilarious tribal. In the second immunity challenge, Deven’s unbelievable run continued as he won immunity once again, while already having a hidden immunity idol in his pocket. That meant Devens and Chris were safe at tribal council, with an extra idol to spare.
Lauren and Julie both played their fake idols, while Devens played his idol on Gavin. As a result, the person to be sent home was Lauren.
In the final individual immunity challenge, Chris came out on top to punch his ticket to the final tribal council. He also had the opportunity to choose a castmate to join him in the Final 3, while determining the two castaways who would battle it out in a fire making competition for the third and final spot.
In the final four, Chris made a stunning decision and gave up his immunity idol to Julie. He then gave up his guaranteed spot in the Final 3 in an attempt to solidify his resume by challenging Devens to a fire-making competition for the final spot. The gamble paid off, with Chris knocking off Devens.
The final three was set: Chris, Devens, and Julie.
Who won Survivor: Edge of Extention‘s $1 million prize?
The winner of Survivor: Edge of Extinction was… Chris Underwood!!! Chris received a vote from every jury member outside of Lauren, Aurora, Devens, and Kelley Wentworth.
Edge of Extinction featured a new twist, where eliminated contestants could choose to leave the game permanently or head to a remote beach where they were forced to start over with no fire and no shelter. Contestants who were on the “Edge of Extinction” could quit the game at any time by raising a white flag on the beach. It was designed to “try to get a little deeper psychologically, a little deeper spiritually”, asking contestants, “is there a possibility of the spiritual death and rebirth that you seek in life, where you realize something deeper about yourself?”
Survivor: Edge of Extinction Cast
Joe Anglim — 29, Ogden, Utah
Victoria Baamonde — 23, Bronx, New York
Aubry Bracco — 32, Los Angeles, California
Julia Carter — 25, Bethesda, Maryland
Ron Clark — 45, Atlanta, Georgia
Reem Daly — 46, Ashburn, Virginia
Dan “Wardog” DaSilva — 38, Los Angeles, California
Rick Devens — 33, Macon, Georgia
Wendy Diaz — 25, Bell, California
Eric Hafemann — 35, Livermore, California
Aurora McCreary — 32, Orlando, Florida
Lauren O’Connell — 21, Waco, Texas
Julie Rosenberg — 46, New York City, New York
Keith Sowell — 19, Durham, North Carolina
Chris Underwood — 25, Greenville, South Carolina
Kelley Wentworth — 32, Seattle, Washington
Gavin Whitson — 23, Erwin, Tennessee
David Wright — 44, Sherman Oaks, California