After voting Abi-Maria off in a December 12 episode of "Survivor: Philippines", the remaining castaways began to think their next strategies to win the show. Mike was glad that they had removed a tumor (Abi) from the tribe, and reconsidered his alliance with Malcolm because Malcolm might be too hard to beat.
It wasn't long before the castaways got a tree mail announcing a challenge, but they didn't know whether it was a Reward Challenge or an Immunity Challenge until they met host Jeff Probst. It turned out they would play in a special Reward Challenge in which the winner would get a huge prize and an advantage in the last Immunity Challenge.
The game was to collect bags of puzzle pieces while racing through an obstacle course. Malcolm and Denise were neck in neck to finish first, but in the end it was Malcolm who won the challenge.
Denise then began trying to forge an alliance with Lisa and Mike, who later had their own discussion about who should be taken into the final three. Their decision, however, would depend on who won the Immunity Challenge.
The four finalists then paid tribute to all the previously voted off castaways in the Fallen Comrades Walk, before facing the final Immunity Challenge of season 25. They had to balance a ball on pieces of wood and added a new piece of wood every five minutes. The last person who dropped the ball won the challenge.
Malcolm got an advantage after winning the Reward Challenge. He would be given a second chance if he dropped the ball. He dropped the ball first and wasn't lucky either in his second shot. He was the first who was out of the challenge.
Denise dropped the ball next, leaving it between Lisa and Mike to compete for the Immunity necklace. Mike eventually won it and was automatically sent through to the final three.
Malcolm realized he was in danger of getting voted off, so he tried to convince Mike and Lisa that Denise would be a big threat in the final. Mike contemplated about facing off Malcolm in the Jury vote, but Lisa thought it would be wrong to take Malcolm to the final three. They finally gave their votes and it was revealed that Malcolm were voted off 3-1.
The Jury day came and the final three explained why they should become the winner in the final Tribal Council. Denise said she worked her way out to the final three and wouldn't apologize for anything she had done to get to this stage.
Lisa admitted it wasn't always pretty, but she had played her own game and grew as a player. Mike said he knew no one wanted him to get this far, but he always trusted his guts and deserved to win the grand prize.
The Jury then discussed who should win it, and Penner shockingly revealed Lisa's secret that might affect the Jury members' decision. He told them that Lisa was a former star of "Facts of Life". Lisa started to worry if the Jury thought she's wealthy and didn't deserve the $1 million prize.
Before announcing the results of the votes, Probst invited everyone to join a solemn moment of silence in memoriam of the victims of the Newtown school shooting. Denise was then declared the winner of this season with 6 votes from the Jury members.