"Survivor: South Pacific" has ended with a surprising victory for Sophie Clarke. The medical student, who was widely seen as a dark horse, won most of the jury's votes when it was down to her, Benjamin "Coach" Wade and Albert Destrade in the race to win the grand prize.
The two-hour finale of "Survivor" season 23 on Sunday, December 18 began with the final duel between Ozzy and Brandon, who made a huge mistake by giving up his immunity before he was sent to the Redemption Island in the previous episode. The challenge was to holding onto a pole as long as possible.
Ozzy won the final duel and rejoined Albert, Coach, Sophie and Rick. Coach told Ozzy he would gave Ozzy immunity idol if he won immunity, but Ozzy doubted Coach's honesty in wanting to take him to the end. In the other hand, Albert told Coach that they had to get rid of Ozzy should they win immunity.
The First Immunity Challenge in the episode was to balance a board with one arm while building a house of cards with the other hand. Sophie asked Albert to drop his pile and help build her card house, but Albert refused to do it and host Jeff Probst said it's not allowed anyway. After plenty of collapses, Ozzy completed his house of cards first and won immunity.
At the First Tribal Council, Rick was voted out with 3/5 votes. He was pissed and admitted he should've not trusted Coach. He also declared that he would not vote Coach to win.
The remaining four contestants then took part in the Final Immunity Challenge. Ozzy said his strategy to enter the final was to win this last challenge and he had no back-up plans. To win immunity, they had to race through an obstacle course, grab five puzzle bags and put it together. Ozzy led in collecting the bags, but Sophie easily finished the puzzle.
Sophie, who was earlier called the sleeper threat by Ozzy, won immunity and ultimately made it to the final three. After his plan to get the immunity necklace screwed, Ozzy was voted out in the Final Tribal Council.
Next, the remaining three finalists had to make a speech to convince the eliminated contestants why they deserved to win. Albert was up first, saying "Survivor" is a social game and he played it well.
Sophie later claimed she outplayed in challenges and outwitted with her alliance and social game, adding that she was herself and being as honest as possible. Coach, meanwhile, tried to win the hearts of the jury by talking about compassion, love, honor, and how he tried do something different in this game.
After the jury asked several questions and the three finalists defended themselves, they gave their votes. They later headed back to Los Angeles to see the votes being revealed. Sophie defeated Coach and Albert in a 6-3-0 vote. She was declared the winner and brought home the $1 million grand prize.
"I had a feeling, but you never know," Sophie said in a reunion special after the result was announced. "I think I had my finger on the pulse of the game the whole time."