The long-running reality show crowns its newest winner

By Steve Helling
Updated December 16, 2015 10:15 PM
Monty Brinton/CBS

There are no easy seasons of Survivor. From the harsh conditions to the big personalities, the experience is simultaneously exhilarating and miserable for the contestants.

But this season took it to the next level. All 20 contestants had played the game before, but none had won. The result? A hungry cast who was willing to make big moves and stab each other in the face to win the million dollars.

There was strategy and double-dealing, and it was delicious to watch. And there was a lot at stake – the winner would become the show’s 30th victor in 31 seasons. (Sandra Diaz-Twine has won the game twice.)

Six contestants made it to the final episode: Jeremy Collins, the likable (and buff) fireman from Massachusetts. Spencer Bledsoe, a student from Chicago who thrives on strategy. Kimmi Kappenberg, the Texas mom who has made quiet moves and never been in danger. Keith Nale, the aw-shucks Louisiana firefighter who is great with a one-liner. Kelley Wentworth, the Seattle marketing manager who displayed a natural aptitude for the game. And Tasha Fox, an athletic accountant from Missouri.

So who walked away with the million-dollar prize? (Spoilers ahead!)

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Kappenberg was the first to go, followed Nale and Wentworth. The final three addressed the jury, owning up to their games. Collins evoked tears from the jury as he talked about his family back home.

In the end, the 10-member jury sided with Collins. He received all 10 votes on a clean sweep. In the audience, outside of camera range, his pregnant wife, Val, wiped away tears as the votes were read.

After the sixth vote, Collins ran into the audience to hug Val and his two daughters.

Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance began long before the contestants set foot on the island. The American public voted to put the contestants on the show. Public campaigning started weeks before the competition began.

“It’s a fantastic season,” host Jeff Probst told PEOPLE about Second Chance. “Some of these people waited 15 years to play this game again, and they came ready to knock it out of the park. It was so much fun to watch.”