The season finale of Survivor: David vs. Goliath airs tonight on CBS. Read a live recap and join the discussion here.
The episode begins with Jeff welcoming us live from the studio in Los Angeles. He calls this season one of its most popular as he introduces the castaways from this season (Alec is missing though). Afterwards, we get a recap of the season.
We return to the island, and we see all the castaways searching for the hidden immunity idol. They’re all trying to find it secretly, and Angelina finds the clue for the hidden immunity idol. However, she loses the clue shortly afterwards. She decides to go searching for the idol at that moment instead of waiting until later. She can’t find it, so she returns to camp. She knows she’s been away from her tribe members for a suspiciously long time, so she makes up a story about falling from a tree and hurting her back. Her tribe members console her, and she’s amused that they seemingly bought her lie. Regardless, she’s determined to find the hidden immunity idol later.
It’s time for the reward and immunity challenge. They must go through a series of obstacles to release puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces must be used to build a staircase. The first tribe member to climb to the top of their platform and then solve a puzzle will win a spaghetti reward (as well as immunity). The challenge begins, and Kara and Davie take an early lead as they are the first to retrieve puzzle pieces for their staircases. Mike catches up, and it soon becomes a showdown between Kara and Mike. Angelina is not too far behind though. Kara is the first to climb up to the platform and begin working on the puzzle. Davie, Mike, and Angelina soon begin on the puzzle too. They are eventually joined by Nick, with Alison in last place. Soon enough, they are all working on the puzzle at the same time. Nick completes the puzzle first. Nick wins immunity! Jeff tells Nick he can bring two people to join him on the reward, and he chooses Angelina and Mike.
The castaways return to camp, and Nick, Angelina, and Mike enjoy their reward. Angelina notices they are by the well. She remembers her immunity idol clue said that the idol was near the well. While they are eating, Angelina proposes a Final 3 with Nick, Mike, and herself. They say they are on board, and Nick says he wants Alison to be the next one voted out. Even though they’d rather see Davie go first, Angelina and Mike agree to Nick’s wishes. While discussing the possibility of Alison having an idol, Angelina confesses to Nick and Mike that she found the clue that morning. She requests their help to find the idol. All three of them go searching, but Mike still has a wine glass in his hand as he looks through the bushes. Mike finds the clue Angelina lost earlier, and soon enough they help Angelina find the idol. She retrieves it from the rock wall, and she’s very glad to have found it with her two closest allies.
Later, Alison discusses the vote with Angelina, and Alison breaks down crying when Angelina hints it could be Alison going home tonight. However, Mike still wants Davie to go home, so he later talks to Angelina about voting him out instead of Alison. Angelina is torn since she doesn’t get along with Alison, but Mike wants to break up the Nick and Davie duo.
It’s time for tribal council. Jeff begins by discussing the immunity challenge. He asks Nick how does it feel to pull out the win, and Nick says it’s the best feeling he’s had all game. Jeff asks Angelina about the scrambling that happened after the challenge, and Angelina says that a lot of names have been thrown out. Alison says she doesn’t think that’s true and clarifies that the only names being thrown out were hers and Davie’s. Jeff asks about Angelina and Alison’s relationship, and they admit they haven’t always gotten along. Angelina points out how she hasn’t voted for Alison in the past two tribal councils, and Jeff reads between the lines. He says it could be Angelina saying she’ll finally vote for Alison tonight. Davie adds that he thinks there is a determined pecking order, and Nick says people better be on the same page as him tonight. Jeff asks Davie about the possibility of a blindside, and Davie says that being blindsided at this stage of the game would leave a nasty taste in someone’s mouth. He says it could cost someone a million dollars since the personal bonds are so strong now. Mike agrees that a blindside could be brutal, but he says that it’s simply the nature of the game. Afterwards, it’s time for the vote.
Jeff reads the votes. The first vote is for…
Davie is voted out and the eighth member of the jury. Before he leaves, Davie says the person who orchestrated this move will have his vote to win. As he walks away, Mike whispers that he orchestrated the move.
We return to the live studio, and Jeff talks to Davie. Davie says he’s been blown away by the fan response, and Jeff talks about how Davie was an alternate who made it onto the show at the last minute. Jeff says it’s been such a pleasure to have Davie on the show.
After tribal council, Nick is fuming that he was lied to again. “It just makes me sick,” Nick says. He is frustrated with Mike and Angelina not following through with their promise to vote out Alison. Angelina and Nick sit by the water, and she explains to Nick that Mike was adamant that it had to be Davie tonight. Nick says he knows it’s true since Mike always has to get his way at every vote. Nick wanted Alison out, and he’s very angry they kept her in the game once again. Angelina tells Nick that he, Mike, and herself will still be in the Final 3. Nick says he doesn’t think that’s true anymore and has no trust in Nick. “She’s going to win!” Nick says loudly about Alison so everyone back at the shelter can hear him. In his confessional, Nick says he’ll win immunity tonight and he’ll decide who goes home.
It’s time for the immunity challenge. They all must balance on a narrow perch and use a bucket on a rope to collect water to pour into a chute. When they pour enough water, they will be able to retrieve a key and go back to shore to unlock puzzle pieces. The first to solve the puzzle will win immunity. The challenge begins, and Alison is having a tough time balancing on her perch. However, she is the first to collect her key. She can swim back to shore, but she’s quickly followed by Nick. As Alison and Nick work on collecting their puzzle pieces, Kara and Mike are making their way to shore too. Angelina is behind, but she eventually gets her key and joins the other castaways on the beach. They all are working on the puzzle now, and Nick is the first to solve the puzzle. Nick wins immunity!
The castaways return to camp, and Angelina says she’s elated that Nick won immunity. She’s eager to vote out Alison tonight. She also has her idol in her possession, and tonight is the last time she can play it. She wants to play it and make a dramatic show about it. She hopes the others outside her alliance will vote for her, so she can cancel their votes against her. She also plans to give Alison a fake idol to play, just so Alison will leave in an embarrassing way. She shares this with Mike and Nick, and they aren’t enthused about this plan. Mike even tells Kara about Angelina having the idol. Afterwards, Kara goes to Alison and tells her that Angelina has the idol. They hope that somehow Mike will be voted out tonight, so they want to scramble to get the votes cast against Mike. Alison campaigns to Nick, and he admits he didn’t like that Mike lied to him last time. Nick also agrees with Alison when she points out how good of a game Mike has played and could be a jury threat. Later, Alison finds the fake idol Angelina planted in a tree. Angelina pretends to cry and shout out to Mike that Alison found the idol. In her confessional, Angelina admits that this plan of hers is evil.
It’s time for tribal council. Jeff asks about the fallout from the Davie blindside, and Nick admits he was not happy about it and had a temper back at camp. Angelina says everything is good now after they talked it out. Jeff points out how Davie says he’ll vote for whomever orchestrated his ouster unless someone else tops that move. Nick laments how he didn’t have a part in that blindside, but he did blindside people who probably didn’t appreciate it. Angelina and Alison point out how there’s still friction between them before Alison says she views Mike as a threat. Mike makes a comment how everyone should leave the game with dignity, which is a snarky comment against Alison. Jeff points out how there also seems to be tension between Alison and Mike. Alison admits that she did try to flip Nick and Kara into voting out Mike with her, and Nick says that the moves that will be made are all about what benefits their individual games. Afterwards, it’s time for the vote.
Before Jeff reads the votes, Alison plays the fake idol. She admits she believes it’s a fake idol, but she’ll play it just in case. Jeff tells her that it is indeed a fake idol. Next, Angelina admits to making the fake idol. Afterwards, Angelina plays her idol for herself.
The first vote is for…
Alison is voted out and the ninth member of the jury.
It’s time for the immunity challenge. They each must drop a ball in a metal cage that will maneuver its way through a track until it falls out at the bottom. They must catch the ball and place it back in the cage. As the challenge progresses, they will have to add additional balls. If a ball drops, then they are eliminated from the challenge. The winner of this challenge will win immunity and a guaranteed spot in the Final 3. The challenge begins, and everyone is still in the challenge by the time they have to add a third ball into their cage. Angelina is the first to drop a ball, and she’s quickly followed by Mike. It’s now down between Kara and Nick for immunity. Kara is the last one to drop a ball. Nick wins immunity!
The castaways return to camp, and everyone pleads their cases to Nick so he’ll pick them to join him in the Final 3. The two not picked will battle it out in a fire-making challenge. Later, Nick reveals his decision to all three of them. He tells them that he’ll take Angelina to the Final 3 with him since he thinks Kara and Mike will be tougher to beat in the end. Angelina is happy, and she admits in her confessional how it’s finally sinking in that she could win Survivor. Before tribal council, Kara and Mike practice making fire since they know that the fire-making challenge will determine who gets the third seat in the Final 3.
It’s time for tribal council. They first discuss their pitches to Nick before Nick reveals that he’ll be bringing Angelina to the Final 3. She thanks Nick before Jeff asks Kara and Mike about the fire-making challenge. Kara thinks it’ll be a good competition, and Mike says he just hopes it happens quickly. They sit at their stations and the challenge begins. They begin building a flame that will burn through a rope. Kara is the first to get a flame, but it disappears quickly. Mike gets a flame and it builds into a fire. He nurtures the fire to keep it going as Kara struggles to get a fire. “Do not give up,” Jeff tells her. Mike’s fire eventually grows big enough to burn through the rope, which it does. Mike wins the challenge! Nick, Angelina, and Mike will be the Final 3. Kara is eliminated and the tenth member of the jury.
On the morning of Day 39, Angelina, Mike, and Nick celebrate making it to the Final 3. We hear confessionals from all three of them. Angelina says the game tested her more than anyone else in the Final 3, and she learned that she’s capable of anything. Nick says he had to build relationships to make it to the Final 3. Mike says he felt alive being on Survivor.
It’s time for the Final Tribal Council. They begin discussing the social and emotional intelligence of the game. Elizabeth begins the discussion, and she tells the Final 3 they are undecided. She wants genuine answers and for the Final 3 to not come across as politicians. Christian asks about their biggest moves, and Nick says he built several named one-on-one alliances with people. This allowed him to gain information to know what was going to happen. He says he got the right information to make moves at the right time. John tells Nick he thinks his game faltered toward the end, and he asks what was strong about his game in the second half. Nick says he was open for business and adapted to new strategies. He says he joined up with his Jabeni tribe members again. Angelina speaks up, and she says she had to rebuild her game after the Elizabeth vote. Angelina says she was able to pick herself up, and she made inroads with Carl and formed a bond with Christian. She also brings up getting rice for the tribe, but Davie interrupts and says getting the rice wasn’t a selfless move since she did it for a strategic purpose. Mike pleads his case, and he said his goal was to keep threats in the game that would be willing to work with him. He tells Gabby he could tell she never had any interest working with him. Alison brings up Mike’s sarcasm and how it could be biting, and Mike apologizes for the dignity comment he made about her before she was voted out. Mike said he was humbled when he was part of the Goliath tribe, so he played a game that came across as someone who was just happy to be there. However, when the numbers decreased to around nine people, he felt confident enough to influence the decisions. Nick speaks up, and he says he had to put his own fate into his own hands. He thinks he had a tougher time than Mike. Gabby next asks Angelina her viewpoint about being a woman in the game, and the difficulties faced in the game simply for being a woman. Angelina agrees, and she says it was tough as she’s viewed as being harsher than she intends to be. Kara says that Mike played the social game that she wished she could’ve played.
The discussion turns to the physical aspect of the game. Dan calls out Mike for not helping around camp as much as the others. Mike says he’s an older guy and couldn’t chop wood as well as Dan or the other young people. Next, Davie asks Angelina and Mike how are they Davids and how is Nick a Goliath. Angelina said she dug deep, such as when she found the hidden immunity idol. The jury give her props for finding the idol, especially since they’re often only found by men. Next, Alison asks Angelina if her intention with the fake idol was to embarrass Alison. Angelina says it wasn’t, but Nick interrupts and says she wanted to embarrass Alison. Angelina says the intention was to keep Mike safe. Next, Nick explains he was a Goliath in the game by winning several immunity challenges and by being a good people person. His people skills helped make people open up to him to tell him about their advantages.
The discussion ends with the outlast portion of the game. Angelina says she’s a military wife, so she thought her military experience would transfer onto Survivor. However, she says this was a tougher experience. Nevertheless, she says she was able to pick herself up and her story was about triumph. Nick says he went through lots of ups and downs, and he had to work his butt off. He says he was the last David remaining against four other Goliaths. He says he was a David the entire game, and he had to find whatever slingshot he could to survive and stay in the game. Mike says he wanted to play the game and not be a goat dragged to the end. He believes he achieved that. He compares the game to the saying about a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He says the game wasn’t ever about the pot of gold, but about the rainbow. He’s crying as he says this, and other jury members are visibly moved too. Afterwards, it’s time for the vote.
We see John vote for Nick and Christian vote for Mike. But who will win?
Jeff reads the votes back at the live studio in Los Angeles. The first vote is for…
NICK WILSON WINS SURVIVOR: DAVID VS. GOLIATH!
It’s time for the live reunion show! Jeff says the theme of David vs. Goliath was perfect for Nick, and Nick agrees and says it was the season he was meant to be on after trying out to be on the show over and over again. Jeff asks what was Mike’s draw to be on the show despite having a successful job as a Hollywood writer. Mike says he didn’t want to just observe, but he wanted to live and do something exciting. Jeff talks to Angelina next. He’s aware she’s polarizing among fans, and asks about her reaction to social media. She says she’s not polarizing in real life, but she’s proud that we all live in a time where women can find their voice. She’s glad times are changing. Jeff agrees that if a man played the game Angelina played, he would be commended for his aggressive style of gameplay. We see a video reel of Angelina asking Natalie for her jacket, and Angelina admits she found jacket-gate amusing. She admits she could tweak a few things about her game if she plays again. Before the next commercial break, Jeff talks to Dan about having the idol nullifier played against him and how he’s now part of Survivor history.
Jeff talks to Christian next, and he admits that he was unsure how he would fit in with his fellow castaways. He was pleasantly surprised to see how well he managed to fit in, and it made him gain more confidence in himself. He compares Survivor to the first day of school. He learned to not limit himself after the first day. Jeff talks to Gabby next, and she says her friendship with Christian is still alive after she tried to blindside him. Jeff talks to Natalie next, and she says she wasn’t happy with how she was portrayed on the show in such a negative way. She didn’t like coming across as lazy and confrontational. Jeff says that makes him feel bad, so he asks the other castaways if they feel the edit didn’t accurately portray them. No one raises their hands, and Natalie says they are all lying. Natalie adds that whenever she was shown, she was in the hot seat and on the defense.
The show ends with a preview for the next season of Survivor. The 38th season is called Edge Of Extinction. Four returning players will be included: Joe Anglim, Aubry Bracco, David Wright, and Kelley Wentworth.
And that wraps up the season finale of Survivor: David vs. Goliath! Thanks for reading, post your thoughts in the comment section below, and come back in the spring for Survivor: Edge of Extinction!