By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
The ultimate underdog is now the Sole Survivor.
Mike Holloway, the 38-year-old Texas oil driller, is the winner of Survivor: Worlds Apart.
Mike beat out both Carolyn Rivera, the 52-year-old corporate executive from Florida and Will Sims II, the 41-year-old YouTuber from California, for the million dollar prize.
The trio represented the three tribes which began the series: Mike from Blue Collar, Carolyn from White Collar and Will from No Collar.
Mike scored 6 jury votes winning the 30th season of Survivor while both Will and Carolyn only received one vote a piece.
“When your back is completely up against the wall and you know what position you are in and the only person you can trust is yourself, you are able to make moves that you may not have been able to make,” Mike told host, producer Jeff Probst on the live reunion show about playing much of the game without any true allies once the Blue Collar alliance turned their backs on him.
“Go get firewood. Those firewood walks were strategy talks and looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol,” Mike advised future players.
Perhaps one of the most deserving Survivor winners of all time, not only did Mike exploit every opportunity he could in the game but he is tied with Colby Donaldson (Australia), Tom Westman (Palau), Terry Dietz (Panama) and Ozzy Lusth (Cook Islands) with the most individual Immunity Challenge wins of all-time at five victories.
In winning the final two Immunity Challenges, Mike was able to firstly sway the others to vote out Sierra, who had been successful at many of the challenges, but was able to force a tie-breaker fire-making challenge between Rodney and Carolyn to form the final three.
After over 53 minutes of trying to build a fire, Carolyn finally bested Rodney by taking her time and stacking her wood properly so that her fire reached high enough to burn her rope.
“I am proud of how I played,” Carolyn told Probst of her overall game.
Losing out to Carolyn, Rodney was not pleased at Mike for orchestrating the whole showdown in the first place.
“I would have easily won this game,” said a bitter Rodney in his exit speech. “For this scumbag redneck to make me do a fire competition? It is a bunch of horses—t. He is a scared little baby. He’s silly redneck and he is going to get what’s coming to him.”
At the final Tribal Council, Rodney kept true to his word and voted for his friend, Will.
Achieving some manner of redemption for herself, Shirin Oskooi, delivered one of the most memorable final Tribal Council speeches comparing Mike to a loud howler monkey, who would “rip you apart limb from limb”, Carolyn to a stingray, who “will sting you and sting you dead” and Will to a dead fish, who “poisons you from within”.
“And with that, I will quote Sue Hawk from her final Tribal Council speech during the first season of Survivor…When we all go to vote, let it be the way that Mother Nature intended,” she concluded.
At the end of the finale, Probst revealed the Survivors who will be participating in the second chance, Survivor: Cambodia season airing this fall.
Selected by public vote, Cambodia will feature 20 contestants who only played once before and didn’t win.
The returning Survivors next season will be…
Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart)
Vytas Baskauskas (Blood vs. Water)
Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan)
Jeremy Collins (San Juan del Sur)
Terry Deitz (Panama)
Ciera Eastin (Blood vs. Water)
Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins)
Tasha Fox (Cagayan)
Abi-Maria Gomes (Philippines)
Woo Hwang (Cagayan)
Kimmi Kappenberg (The Australian Outback)
Peih-Gee Law (China)
Kass McQuillen (Cagayan)
Keith Nale (San Juan del Sur)
Shirin Oskooi (Worlds Apart)
Monica Padilla (Samoa)
Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands)
Jeff Varner (The Australian Outback)
Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur)
Kelly Wiglesworth (Borneo)