Controversial 'Survivor' twist solidifies Marine vet's fate in the finale

Nick Paschal
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

The Survivor finale was a real nail-biter as all three finalists received votes — but as we all know, there could only be one survivor.

It was a long and twisty road for Ben as he dropped multiple hidden immunity idol bombs during the past couple of tribal councils, and after finding yet another hidden immunity idol in the finale, the former Marine had one more bomb to drop.

Controversial Twist

Once Ben played the final idol of the season, it was the end of the road for Dr. Mike. Meanwhile, Devon, Chrissy, Ryan, and Ben headed to the final challenge. Chrissy was able to win her fourth individual immunity, which tied a record for female Survivor contestants. Plus, her win came along with a somewhat controversial final twist that had fans and past Survivor contestants running to Twitter to share their thoughts. The twist was Chrissy could pick one person to go to the final three with her, and the other two had to face off in a fire-starting challenge to decide their fate.

The twist gave Ben one more chance, and he smoked Devon in the challenge, sending himself to the final tribal council where he made his case to the jury. Ben explained how just being on the show was a win for him and any other vet dealing with PTSD. “Me being out here now is a message to all those men and women who are struggling that you don’t have to feel alone,” Ben told the jury members. “You don’t have to feel that nobody understands. It’s powerful.”

Ben Is the Sole Survivor

In the end, Ben got four votes (Chrissy got two, and Ryan got one) and was named the sole Survivor.  After being surprised by some old Marine buddies during the reunion show, it was clear that Ben’s mission was complete. One of Ben’s friends told Jeff Probst, “If he pulls one vet out of the gutter just by his story, that’s huge.”

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. 

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