When it comes to “reality television”, one title can be argued as the one that made the genre a significant presence on US TV. This is “Survivor”, a reality competition produced by Survivor Productions LLC and Castaway Television Productions, and airing on CBS since its first season in 2000. Since then a massive 37 “Survivor” contests were aired, several of them special seasons that brought back past competitors for another chance of winning the million-dollar grand prize. The latest season, “Ghost Island”, ended Thursday with a historical milestone for the show: a final tie vote before the winner was picked.
Entertainment Weekly tells us that “Survivor: Ghost Island” contestant Wendell Holland Jr. won the 37th running of the classic survival reality show following the unforeseen development of a tie vote during the finale, which aired on May 23. It had been a surprised for the Survivors at the contest location in Fiji that, rather than hold the results of the last Jury vote for the winner until the production returned stateside (which happened several times in the past), longtime host Jeff Probst went on to tally the results at once.
The ten-man jury for the Ghost Island contest was left with a choice between three Survivor finalists: Domenick Abbate, Laurel Johnson and Wendell Holland Jr. In the ensuing poll, the jury was split evenly between Holland and Abbate, 5-5. This was the first tie vote ever achieved during the final vote for Ultimate Survivor in the competition’s history. The way it was resolved was also novel: Johnson, who got no votes, was named the eleventh member of the jury, and her vote is guaranteed to give the win to one of the remaining two. This last vote was held in reserve until the live reveal on an LA sound studio.
Said vote remained unread for almost a year after “Ghost Island” was shot, with the episode broadcast starting only this February. Johnson cast her deciding vote for Holland, who had the distinction of almost not making it to the end, with his closest to being eliminated was during the challenges to determine the final four, where he beat out Angela Perkins. He and Abbate were also antagonistic towards one another, with the concluding Tribal Council being a stinging verbal showdown between them. Johnson’s decision may have been influenced by Holland giving her an immunity necklace for the “final five” episode.
At the end of things, the final struggle to win “Survivor: Ghost Island” was considered an exciting finish with two strong finalists being so evenly matched that they got the Jury deadlocked. Ultimately a past kind gesture may have contributed to the choosing of Wendell Holland Jr. as Ultimate Survivor.
Photo courtesy of NY Daily News