Lisa survives, everybody else is now dead.

Survivor live finale recap: And we have a winner

We made it to the end of Survivor NZ! As always in real life, a Christchurch librarian emerges victorious. Luke Harries recaps.

It’s been one hell of a journey, and it has all boiled down to this week’s live finale, where Christchurch-based librarian and Survivor superfan Lisa Stanger was named the winner and sole survivor of Survivor NZ season two. A well deserved win, if you ask me.

This jumbo sized two-hour finale was packed with awkward pauses, pointed questions, a rowdy audience, and even a special celebrity guest. Here are some of my highlights from the finale of Survivor NZ season two.

The classic “walking through the corridor” intro

From the halls of 30 Rock on SNL to the World of Wonder studios in RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, I cannot tell you how much I love this cheesy TV trope. The live backstage walkthrough shot is a masterpiece in timing and choreography, with members of the cast scattered through the green rooms of the Vodafone Events Centre, pretending to be deep in conversation as Matt Chisholm walks through. Kaysha and Karla took it a step further, as did Adam, making for some excellently camp live TV. Strong start, team.

Live TV gold.

Lisa forgets how to speak after winning

After the votes were read, it was Lisa who emerged victorious. Matt Chisholm, trying to keep the live broadcast party going, tried to get a few words out of the new sole survivor, but Lisa wasn’t giving Matt much to go on.

I get it, winning Survivor would be a huge moment for anyone, let alone a diehard survivor fan, so I can’t really blame Lisa for being at a loss for words. Still, that doesn’t make it any less funny watching Matt try desperately to elicit even the tiniest soundbite.

Adam falls asleep during Dave’s tribal speech

Before the votes were read, we watched as the final three made their case at the final tribal council. It was an eventful night, with Matt and Dave’s friendship coming to light, and clearly some of the Jury had already made their minds up about Dave. True to form, no one made that more glaringly obvious than Adam, who pretended to fall asleep as Dave made his case.

Of course, it wasn’t too long before Brad revealed to Dave that the Jury knew his big secret, and Dave’s game went up in smoke.

Survivor welcomes a special celebrity guest

It’s uncanny.

Chissy doesn’t want to give his son an immunity idol

In one of more bizarre exchanges, Matt Chisholm felt “ambushed” when he realised Brad still had the hidden immunity idol he was voted out with – because Matt had brought along another one to give to him.

While trying to decide what to do with the idol, Matt floats the idea of keeping it to give to his son, but then decides “I’m not sure my little fella deserves it.” Pretty stink, Dad.

Dave & Matt drama

One of the biggest topics was Dave and Matt’s friendship, and how it affected the outcome of the game. It seems that, after leaving the island and watching the drama play out on screen, most of the cast were at peace with how the game unfolded, but that didn’t stop Chissy from trying to stir up some drama.

Chissy wasn’t going to let Matt off that easily.

Chissy really wanted to grill Matt about exposing Dave’s secret to the jury, asking “Do you feel responsible for Dave getting no votes?” and asking the rest of the cast if anyone thought they’d be in the final three if it hadn’t been for Matt and Dave’s alliance. Only first-out Jose responded to that last one – “I’ll say that I’m probably one of the few who still definitely WOULDN’T be sitting there.”

Eve wins People’s Choice

Uhh, of course she did, she’s the best.

That’s it for Survivor NZ!

It’s time to climb out of the drink for the last time – Survivor NZ is done and dusted for another year.

Me too, Matt. Me too.


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