By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Adam Klein, the millennial homeless shelter manager from San Francisco, has become the 33rd winner of Survivor and is a million dollars richer.
Adam won a unanimous Tribal Council vote beating fellow finalists Hannah Shapiro and Ken McNickle.
Adam had one of the most emotional Survivor stories ever told as during the time he was battling in Fiji, his mother, Susie, was battling lung cancer back home. She was his reason and purpose for playing the game.
“My mom and I, my whole family, have been huge Survivor fans and to even just be in this theatre right now would’ve been a dream come true. Let alone to play the game, let alone to win the game,” Adam told host/producer Jeff Probst on the Survivor Live Reunion Show, revealing that he and his mother were almost cast for the ‘Blood vs. Water’ season.
When Adam got the opportunity to play, there was no question in his mother’s mind what she wanted him to do. Probst reiterated that once the producers discovered his mother’s situation, they agreed to delay casting him so he could stay with his mother.
“My mom lived at 100%. She was always dancing, singing, smiling, laughing and loving,” said Adam. “I talked to my mom, my dad and my brother about and I said if now is not the right time, we can do this later and my mom said…You have to go, now.”
Adam believes his Survivor experience brightened his mom’s spirits but it was so difficult to be away from her.
“The hardest part of the entire thing wasn’t the food or the sleep, for me it was being away from my family and yet there was this energy I know she was sending me from home,” said a tearful Adam revealing that his mother died an hour after he arrived back home from Survivor.
In a tribute to his mother, Adam is donating $100,000 of his winnings for cancer research to Stand Up To Cancer and through December 31, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is matching donations for Adam Klein’s efforts to raise money for lung cancer research up to a total of $100,000.
Adam, Ken and Hannah managed to make the final three after sending Jay, Bret and then David to the jury. Ken, who won the final Immunity Challenge, decided to vote out David, who had grown from an anxiety-ridden personality to become one of the biggest threats in the game.
“I got out there, I got into the game and I had this voice in my head that was telling me, nobody liked me. I am surrounded by these people and they show me such love and support and I realized they really do like me and the irony is that is what made me such a big threat,” he told Probst.
Survivor Season 34 will air next March and is entitled “Survivor: Game Changers”. The cast will consist of 20 returning players. The names that were made public during the reunion show were: Michaela Bradshaw, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Tony Vlachos, Tai Trang, Caleb Reynolds, Ciera Eastin, Cirie Fields and Ozzy Lusth.