Ben Driebergen has been crowned as the champion of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers and the winner of the $1 million prize money.
After a 2-hour season finale, host and Executive Producer Jeff Probst announced the winner of the 35th season of the CBS reality show in front of a live audience on Wednesday night, Dec. 20.
Epic Plot Twist
Driebergen, a 34-year-old marine from Boise, Idaho, earned the title of the sole "Survivor" after starting the game on the "Heroes" tribe. However, it was all thanks to an unexpected twist that allowed him a second chance and saved him from certain elimination.
After Chrissy Hofbeck earned the victory in the final immunity challenge, she received a secret advantage. She received a note saying that instead of voting someone out, which is what usually happens at a non-final Tribal Council, she had to choose one other person to join her in the final three.
The 46-year-old picked Ryan Ulrich to face the jury with her while the remaining two contestants, Driebergen and 23-year-old surfing instructor Devon Pinto, had to battle it out in a fire-making competition to stay in the game.
Driebergen won the task and was saved from being voted out of the show. All the other three contestants were gunning for him as they considered him as a threat to their chances of winning the show but format change gave the marine a second chance.
The jury then voted Driebergen as the winner and he truly deserved it after winning three back-to-back immunity idols and surviving even when everyone wanted to eliminate him from the game vote after vote.
'Survivor: Ghost Island' Teaser
At the end of the Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers reunion show, Probst gave fans a sneak peek at the upcoming season of Survivor titled Ghost Island, which premieres on CBS on Feb. 28, 2018.
The trailer features some creepy skulls and the tagline, "One bad decision can haunt you forever." Probst explained that the upcoming season will be all about bad decisions made by the show's former contestants.
"Ghost Island represents all the bad decisions made by former players," Probst told EW. "Think of it as the graveyard for Survivor mistakes. We found a really creepy island that serves as Ghost Island and we designed it using actual Survivor items from previous seasons."
However, although the next season will be making use of authentic items from previous seasons, including old idols and advantages, the cast will be made up of new players.