Kristie Bennett has won Australian Survivor and the $500,000 prize.
She defeated Lee Carseldine for the title of sole Survivor following 55 days in Samoa.
The finale delivered on highlights with Kristie, Lee and El in a gruelling endurance test standing on wooden poles before the dramatic crashing waves of Samoa. They would face off before family members for over 6 hours.
After a punishing, uncomfortable test El collapsed, leaving Kristie and Lee to face off. But Kristie drew on emotions pleading with Lee to give in, fulfilling her dream as an 8 year old girl, and promising to take him to the final 2. It was dramatic, visually spectacular and tugged at the heartstrings.
When it came to the Tribal Council she was true to her word, sending El Rowland to the final place on the jury.
In the final Tribal Council Lee argued he had played with integrity over a physical and social game. But Kristie made a determined ‘live wire’ speech about surviving against the odds, as the only player who had outlasted two entire tribes and 20 tribal councils. While it bordered on arrogant it was a compelling argument in a game that rewards the one who outwits, outplay and outlasts all others.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I’ve managed to achieve my lifetime goal at 24. I never thought that would happen and am so proud to say that I did it,” she said later.
“When Jonathan read my name out, I don’t even know how to explain how I felt. It was as if every single moment was completely worthwhile, like it was always going to be leading to that exact moment.”
Lee added: “I’m so proud of Kristie and what she achieved. She’s got such an amazing story and I don’t think anyone is more deserving. She went through hell and after 55 days of it, for her to win it, I couldn’t think of anyone else.”
The cash prize is one of the biggest in Australian television.
TEN has already renewed the series for a second season with casting now open.