Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel went up against returning contestant Michael Skupin, sex therapist Denise Stapley and bartender Malcolm Freberg in Sunday's finale of Survivor: Philippines, but only one was crowned the sole survivor of the show's 25th season. Who was it?
After two challenges, Michael won immunity for the first tribal council and Malcolm was voted out after Denise abandoned her alliance with him and decided to vote with Lisa and Michael. The final three then toasted themselves with a decadent breakfast that included mimosas, sausages, croissants.
During the last tribal council, each of the finalists spoke to the eight-member jury of contestants who had previously been voted out. Denise, who voted against her former ally Malcolm to earn the spot, said she refused to apologize for doing so; Lisa and Michael both also said they felt they deserved the victory.
Each juror was given the opportunity to address the finalists, providing for exchanges that were often awkward and/or testy given that, as host Jeff Probst helpfully pointed out, "they have a shot at a million dollars, and you don't." And Jonathan Penner used his time to reveal to the other jurors Whelchel's history as a child TV star — information she hadn't publicized throughout the competition. "You guys deserve to know that" before voting on whether to award her the million-dollar prize, he told them.
Perhaps that played into the jury's vote, because Denise was named the winner when the results were read live from the CBS Studios in Hollywood Sunday night.
What do you think? Did Denise deserve the victory? And did Lisa's past, and the fact that she tried to hide it from the other contestants, influence the vote?