Survivor: Second Chance season finale recap “Lie, Cheat and Steal,” Season 31, Episode 14 (original airdate Dec. 16): It was the most unpredictable finale in Survivor history, one where you’d be OK with a couple of the finalists walking away with the million (as long as it wasn’t Abi). The episode starts with Tasha, Jeremy, Keith, Spencer, Wentworth and Kimmi vying for a spot in the final three. It’s been an amazing season filled with the best mix of talent, class and unusual drama (Terry’s emergency exit, Joe collapsing and Abi just being Abi). Here’s how things went down (note: who won Survivor won’t be revealed until the end of this recap). It was quite the marathon view, so I apologize in advance for typos.
Immunity Challenge 1 (there’s three of them in this episode)
It’s day 36. The challenge finds the final six building a giant staircase, one step at a time. It’s an exhausting challenge that has them running up and down the staircase. Keith actually has to use a stair plank as a cane to finish. Spencer is first to the top and gets the lead on starting his puzzle. Wentworth is second and truly his only competition. Jeremy third. Then Keith and Tasha. Kimmi’s last. Spencer is able to solve the puzzle first and wins individual immunity.
The solid alliance between Tasha, Jeremy, Spencer and Kimmi shows a crack when Kimmi pitches Wentworth on the idea of her jumping ship and casting her vote against either Spencer or Jeremy. They’ll never expect it, Kimmi touts, convinced they have her complete trust. Wentworth thinks “it’s the turning point of the game.” But Spencer is way too smart for those too. He knows Kimmi’s up to something and wisely starts warning the rest of the alliance. Sweet, sweet Jeremy refuses to believe Kimmi would every betray him. “You, me and Tasha have to all vote for Wentworth,” Spencer tells Jeremy. Nah. Jeremy thinks Spencer is being paranoid and that Kimmi is solid. Just to be sure Jeremy spends some good one-on-one time with Kimmi in the hammock where she assures Jeremy that people are just getting paranoid and that she’s solid with their alliance. Jeremy believes his friend.
At Tribal Council Spencer drops a bomb on Kimmi, he outs her sharing his thoughts on what Kimmi is up to and warns that they (Spencer, Jeremy and Tasha) will be voting for Kimmi and if the rest of them don’t jump on board now they might fall into a rock draw. It works, but it’s complicated.
Before Jeff reads the votes Wentworth plays her immunity idol. Smart move. Jeremy’s a bit unsure too, so he pulls out his immunity idol. Now no votes for Wentworth or Jeremy will count. Jeff reads the votes. Three go to Wentworth and three go to Jeremy. Now the confusion starts. It’s the first time in Survivor history where no votes are cast (there is no one to vote off). So now what? No rocks. No votes. Who goes home? Probst knows what he’s doing (some off camera guy at this point has got to be pulling out some bible book on the rules). He begins the instruction telling them that they need to vote again, but this time they can’t vote for Spencer, Jeremy or Wentworth.
“Kimmi, Kimmi, Kimmi,” Jeremy says while giving her the finger wag. He realized she did indeed vote against him. He skips up to the podium clearly indicating that Kimmi is now the target. That arrogant skip didn’t go unnoticed by the jury.
The new vote brings another tie. Three votes for Kimmi and three votes for Tasha. Rules referenced again. Apparently in a deadlock vote, Survivor rules allow for the voting members to have an open discussion to see if they can come to a unanimous decision on who to vote out. If they can’t come to a unanimous decision then there’s a consequence – everyone who doesn’t have immunity becomes fair game in a rock draw, which means Keith gets pulled into the mess. Keith starts some nonsense rationale that maybe he should just go home and let Kimmi continue. Someone slap some sense into Keith the world is thinking. We don’t want Kimmi, we want Keith! Spencer holds firm that there’s no way Tasha is going home, so either they vote for Kimmi or else. Wentworth needs her one and only ally (Keith) and talks Keith out of his dumb ass idea. They all agree that Kimmi is the person to go. So much for blindsiding Jeremy! Ouch, now that was a stinger for Kimmi.
Who went home on Survivor tonight? Kimmi
Immunity Challenge 2 / Tribal Council
I think it’s like Day 37 now. The second immunity challenge has survivors racing through a giant obstacle course to a series of six stations. They must grab a bag of puzzle pieces and bring them back to complete a puzzle. The winner is guaranteed final four. Wentworth went for the toughest challenge first and is first to complete the course and first to complete the puzzle. Wentworth wins immunity. She never needed it more.
That outcome was exactly what Tasha, Jeremy and Spencer was trying o avoid. Now the brilliant Wentworth has been scavenging idol-looking items and sews Keith a one beauty of a fake immunity idol. The faux idol is exactly what could unhinge Jeremy they think.
At camp Jeremy indicates secretively to Keith to vote for Spencer, we think he’s turning on his alliance. Keith tells Wentworth and she’s on board, so it looks like three votes will go to Spencer. At Tribal Council Jeff does his usual round of questioning. “There are some tricks around to be played,” Keith tells, but doesn’t reveal that fake idol (he thought it would be a cheesy way to go out). Tasha, Spencer and Jeremy hold strong and Keith is voted off.
Who went home on Survivor tonight? Keith
Immunity Challenge 3 / Tribal Council
It’s Day 38 now and its down to the final four: Spencer, Jeremy, Tasha and Wentworth. The challenge has the survivors with one hand tied behind their back. They need to drop a ball down a shoot, where the ball spirals down a course and must never drop to the ground. The game is all about spacing and timing. Wentworth drops the ball first. Tasha drops next. Spencer slips, and Jeremy wins it. He’s an emotional mess. He says he can’t even express his emotions. Now he’s got to figure out who he wants to sit next to for the jury. Jeremy may stick with his alliance or jump ship, he tells everyone that he’s going to leave his decision to Tribal Council and what feels best to him. Spencer threatens Jeremy that if he writes his name down he will do everything in his power to make sure Wentworth wins. Jeremy sticks with his alliance, clearly not pleased with Spencer’s last minute scramble.
Who went home on Survivor tonight? Kelley Wentworth
>>>The final three were Jeremy, Spencer and Tasha
Final Tribal Council
It was finally the Jury’s turn to ask questions and this time their vote was for who they thought should win the game … Jeremy, Spencer or Tasha.
Savage: He asks for the trio to give full, truthful and heartfelt answers, as many of the jury members haven’t made their decision yet. Savage focused on Spencer and Jeremy’s arrogance and questioned them on specific actions.
Fishbach: Jeremy you brought trust, honor and integrity into a season that it didn’t exist. Fish focuses his question on Tasha possibly being the person doing the dirty work for Jeremy. He pressed Spencer on voting blocks.
Ciera: Flippers rarely make it to the end she tells, and questions why this season should flipping be rewarded.
Keith: Keith shares that where he’s from it’s just natural to be humble. He pits Spencer against Jeremy by having them explain why the other deserves to win a million dollars.
Abi-Maria: What was your subtle move that got you to the place where youa re at. Tasha credits realigning with Spencer. Spencer credits the distrust shift he made from Joe to Spencer. Jeremy credits his move as being that of finding the idols.
Kimmi: She outs Spencer as being a downright bully at the last Tribal Council and says she will use him as an example for her children.
Joe: He targets Sasha and probes for more details on her gameplan.
Kelley: She reminds the trio that she was in the same seat they were in 15 years ago and it all came down to just one question, and she uses the same: Pick a number between 1 and 10.
Cass: She’s still ticked about Spencer from their season. Chaos Cass thinks he borrowed cues from her.
Wentworth: Leave it to Wentworth to deliver the game-winning question. She simply asks what was your second chance story about? Tasha tells it was about building and maintaining relationships. Spencer says it was changing who he was when he first played and who he is now. And then it comes to Jeremy. “I’m here for Val,” he says through tears. “Everything I’m doing is for them. My second chance is all about them.” It’s all about family for Jeremy, and that everyone can relate to. He played a classy game and truly deserved the win. When it came time to vote he won over the entire jury, proving that good guys can finish first.
>>>Who won Survivor? Jeremy Collins (he received all 10 votes!)
Standings (in season order):
Kelly Wiglesworth (Season 1, Borneo) Voted off 8th
Jeff Varner (Season 2, Australian Outback) Voted off 4th
Kimmi Kappenberg (Season 2, Australian Outback) Voted off 13th
Terry Deitz (Season 12, Panama) Left Day 13 for family emergency
Peih-Gee Law (Season 15, China) Voted off 3rd
Stephen Fishbach (Season 18, Tocantins) Voted off 10th
Monica Padilla (Season 19, Samoa) Voted off 5th
Abi-Maria Gomes (Season 25, Philippines) Voted off 12th
Vytas Baskauskas (Season 27, Blood vs. Water) Voted off 1st
Ciera Eastin (Season 27, Blood vs. Water) Voted off 9th
Tasha Fox (Season 28, Cagayan) Tied for runner up
Kass McQuillen (Season 28, Cagayan) Voted off 7th
Woo Hwang (Season 28, Cagayan) Voted off 6th
Spencer Bledsoe (Season 28, Cagayan) Tied for runner up
Kelley Wentworth (Season 29, San Juan del Sur) Voted off 15th
Keith Nale (Season 29, San Juan del Sur) Voted off 14th
Jeremy Collins (Season 29, San Juan del Sur) WINNER OF SURVIVOR
Shirin Oskooi (Season 30, Worlds Apart) Voted off 2nd
Joe Anglim (Season 30, Worlds Apart) Voted off 11th
Tasha Fox and Spencer Bledsoe
Survivor returns in February for a new season of Brains Vs. Brawn Vs. Beauty