'Survivor' Crowns Season 39 Champion: Find Out Who Won 'Island of the Idols'
By Jennifer Drysdale
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
Congratulations are in order for Tommy Sheehan!
The 4th grade teacher won the 39th season of Survivor, Island of the Idols, on Wednesday night’s season finale, following an intense, dramatic two-hour episode that started with five castaways in the running to become Sole Survivor.
After Dan Spilo’s ejection from the game in last week’s episode, Tommy, Dean Kowalski, Janet Carbin, Lauren Beck, Noura Salman fought it out to get to the finals. But first was a visit to Island of the Idols -- where Tommy got his first introduction to what Survivor legends "Boston Rob" Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine have been up to. "Any of the five that are still standing could easily win this game," Sandra noted.
"They should know there’s no way we’re going to leave them without one last test," Rob teased.
It didn’t take long for Tommy to figure it out, looking through his brand new buff for clues to an advantage. It was Dean who ended up with immunity, however, and Janet (despite her attempt to play an idol) was voted out. Noura won the next immunity challenge, bringing Tommy to the final three, and forcing Lauren and Dean to fight for their spot in a fire-making competition. Dean came out on top, but when it came time to pleading their cases to the jury, Tommy earned the votes needed to win.
It was a conclusion that felt different than seasons past, following the show's first-ever castaway ejection. Dan, who was removed from the game on last Wednesday's episode following allegations of inappropriate touching, issued a public apology on Tuesday to fellow contestant Kellee Kim for his behavior (his ejection occurred after a later alleged incident with someone who was not a player).
Kellee replied to his message on Twitter, writing, "It's curious that Dan has decided to publicly apologize to me -- and just me -- on the eve of the #Survivor39 finale for a series of inappropriate incidents that occurred months ago and impacted a number of women on set."
"I truly hope that some of this self reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward. For me, this statement only underscores the responsibility of CBS and Survivor to take action to prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future. #Survivor," Kellee concluded.
In a statement to ET on Tuesday, CBS said: "Season 39 of Survivor has been unprecedented for all of us, with important social issues and inappropriate individual behavior intersecting with game play in complex ways that we’ve never seen before. During the course of the production, we listened to the players intently, investigated responsibly and responded accordingly, including taking the unprecedented step of removing a player from the game. At the same time, we are responsible for the final outcome of this season. We recognize there are things we could have done differently, and we are determined to do better going forward."
Survivor returns for season 40 on Wednesday, Feb. 12 on CBS.