Survivor Crowns Tommy Sheehan Winner of Controversial 39th Season, Island of the Idols
A new winner of Survivor has been crowned!
After a season full of controversy, Tommy Sheehan was named the winner of season 39, Island of the Idols, Wednesday night over Dean Kowalski and Noura Salman in an 8-2-0 jury vote. Lauren Beck and Janet Carbin, meanwhile, were eliminated during the finale in 4th and 5th place, respectively.
The finale kicked off right where last week’s episode left off, which saw contestant Dan Spilo removed from the game after allegations of improperly touching a producer. (Spilo was subsequently uninvited to the taped reunion show and has issued an apology in regards to an additional accusation leveled at him by a contestant to PEOPLE.)
Following Spilo’s ejection, the finale five traveled to Island of the Idols, where they encountered Survivor mentors and former champions Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine. After the remaining tribemates were given new buffs and told they would be living on the island for the remainder of the game, Sheehan, 27, enlisted the help of Kowalski, 29, to locate an immunity idol.
Kowalski, who also earned an idol nullifier last episode, found the immunity idol, but opted to keep it secret from Sheehan.
The final five competed in the next immunity challenge, with was won by Kowalski. While Carbin, 60, felt safe due to having an immunity idol, the remaining tribemates saw her as the biggest threat. At tribal council, Kowalski used the idol nullifier to negate Carbin’s idol, and she was voted out unanimously, finishing 5th.
The next day, the final four competed in the final immunity challenge. Salman, 37, beat out the others and secured herself a spot in the final three. At trial council, she chose to take Sheehan with her to the finals, leaving Kowalski and Beck, 30, to square off in a fire making challenge to decide the third seat at final tribal council.
Ultimately, Kowalski made fire before Beck, sending her to the jury as the final member in 4th place.
On night 39, Sheehan, Salman and Kowalski all pled their cases to the jury. Salman was criticized by the jury for making emotional decisions but commended for winning three immunity challenges.
Sheehan, meanwhile, focused on his strong social game and being apart of the majority alliance for his argument, while Kowalski pointed to his use of the idol nullifier, hidden immunity idol, and being the last original Lairo tribe member standing to build up his case.
After the jury of 10 cast their votes, Probst revealed the results to kick off the reunion show in Los Angeles.
Sheehan was awarded the title of Sole Survivor and the $1 million dollars with votes from Jack Nichting, Kellee Kim, Jamal Shipman, Missy Byrd, Karishma Patel, Elaine Scott, Carbin, and Beck.
Kowalski earned the votes of Aaron Meredith and Elizabeth Biesel, while Salman received no votes.