'Survivor's Donathan Hurley Reacts to Sia's $10,000 Check and Their Epic Meeting Backstage (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Donathan Hurely may not have wonSurvivor, but he did win $10,000 -- courtesy of Sia.
The 26-year-old caretaker from Kimper, Kentucky made it all the way to fifth place on Survivor: Ghost Island before he was eliminated on Wednesday's season finale. It was then that host Jeff Probst approached Donathan on stage to get his reaction to his elimination and reveal one heck of a consolation prize.
"I completely blanked out in my mind, actually. It was just like, 'Oh my goodness,'" Donathan told ET on the red carpet at CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles after the show. "I am such a huge fan of Sia... so it was amazing."
"It was just amazing to have her as a fan. She loves Survivor! It's crazy that these celebrities are into Survivor," he added. "It's great."
Sia really is a big Survivor fan. The 42-year-old singer even made a surprise appearance during the season 32 finale in 2015, when she stormed the stage to reveal she was going to give fan favorite castaway Tai $50,000, and donating another $50,000 to the animal charity of his choice.
And while she didn't make an appearance on stage this year, she was definitely at the finale.
"After I got off stage, it kind of hit me. I was just like, bawling and stuff. They took me down to see her, and I was just like, amazed," Donathan told ET. "She's just like, one of the best artists that's out this decade, and I'm just so overwhelmed. I got a hug, I got a picture, she said she's going to tweet it out, and I'm like, 'OK girl, you do that!' But I was just bawling, I was just crying, I couldn't help it."
"I told her that it's amazing to meet her, and she's always inspired me through her music, so she appreciated it, and she's just like, the best person ever," he raved.
Wednesday's finale also marked a Survivor first, when Donathan and the rest of the jury evenly split their votes between Domenick and Wendell, forcing Probst to read the votes aloud at the final tribal council -- and have Laurel (the third member of the final three) to cast her vote for the winner. In 36 seasons, the final vote has never ended in a tie -- and Donathan's "mind was blown."
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"Let me just tell you, when he said, 'We're reading the votes,' Donathan just about fell off his chair! And I was just... I could not believe it. It's never happened before, it was history-making," Donathan shared.
"For a few seconds... I was processing it all, and I was just thinking, 'Is [Laurel] going to go with Domenick, or is she going to go with Wendell?' I know Wendell had played the idol for her, so after I kind of processed that for a sec, I thought that it would be for Wendell, for sure."
Laurel's vote was indeed for Wendell, as he and the rest of America found out on Wednesday night. Find out what he told ET he plans to do with his $1 million prize here, and see more on Survivor in the video below.