'Survivor' Crowns Season 35 Winner -- Find Out Who Won the $1 Million Prize!
By Jennifer Drysdale
Warning: Spoilers ahead from Wednesday's Survivor finale.
It was Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers this season on Survivor -- and a hero came out on top! After 39 days, a tribe swap and several crazy idol plays the show crowned their latest champion on Wednesday night.
Congrats to Ben Driebergen!
The new champ gave his wife a huge kiss after he was announced the winner, then hugged the rest of his family members who were at the live Survivor finale.
The 34-year-old Marine proved he'd do whatever it took to get himself to the end -- including winning a fire-making competition to make it into the final three.
Following his insane idol play last week, Wednesday's episode kicked off with Ben joining Chrissy Hofbeck, Devon Pinto, Ryan Ulrich and Mike Zahalsky in the final five. After Dr. Mike was voted out, Ben was left to battle it out with Devon in a fire-making challenge and came out victorious when the 23-year-old surf instructor clearly didn't practice.
"Every single of one of you I had a hand in putting there, because you guys were hurdles. You guys were a hurdle to a million dollars, you were a threat to me providing for my family, and I respect you guys as threats, but I had to put you in those seats," he said to the jury. "The reason that I should be the Sole Survivor this year is that after being deemed a King and being deemed a dictator by [Chrissy], I never quit looking, and I never quit battling against all of y'all."
"I was not put here. I got myself here. And I told everyone I was out here for my family, and I am out here for my family, and I talked about stuff that happened in the military," he continued, emotionally speaking about his battle with PTSD. "So if I can be labeled a hero for showing all those vets that it can be done and there is happiness -- you're going to have to work hard for it, but it can be done."
While the vote seemed to get a little close, Ashley Nolan told ET last week that the jury didn't make their decision out of bitterness.
"There was a lot of conversations that went into the decision, a lot of fair questions that were asked that really allowed for everyone to have an equal playing field, no matter who they did wrong or who they screwed over or anything like that," she explained. "A lot of fairness went into the decision and who played the best game."
Survivor returns for season 36 next spring on CBS.