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Survivor: Blood vs. Water's Coconut Bandit made off with a bigger prize last night: a million bucks.  

Tyson Apostol beat out his fellow bandit Gervais Peterson and Monica "I'm Nobody's Lapdog" Culpepper to claim the title of Sole Survivor by a nearly unanimous vote during the Season 27 finale.

"When I started the game I was like, I'm gonna be target number one—they're gonna be gunning for me from the get-go," Tyson told me after last night's post-finale reunion show, with the million-dollar check in his hand. So in his third attempt, he said, "I'm just gonna do it all my way, and if it works, great—and if not, at least I had an awesome time."

It did work, and he had an awesome time—including befuddling his fellow Castaways by secretly draining coconuts around camp.

"I was sick of sharing everything with everybody," he told me. "Because you crack up a coconut, and everybody's like, Why don't you pass that around? And I'm like, I didn't even get a sip yet!"

His hijinks also solidified his alliance. "It locked Gerv in because we both had this dirty little secret we had to keep together." It also helped with the hunger pangs. "We were asked by production why we didn't eat the meat out of the coconut after we drank it, and it's because we were so full! We just tossed them and let them rot. There's a lot of rotten coconuts that other people could've eaten instead of starving."

That gave him plenty of energy when he needed it most, allowing him to win immunity in the last challenge and a guaranteed spot in the final three.

The finale opened with five veterans and two "loved ones" still in the game. At the last Redemption Island "duel"—a teeter-totter balancing act—former Big Brother winner Hayden Moss was the first one out, bested by the women he derided as "two grandmas": Laura Morett and Survivor: Australia winner Tina Wesson. With the fate of her daughter Ciera depending on her victory, Laura begged Tina to throw the challenge.

Because why?


"No way, sister!" Tina sassed back—before knocking Laura out and earning the right to return to the game.

Unfortunately, Tina and Ciera's girl power campaign didn't persuade Monica to join them in voting out Gervase. In fact, even if Monica hadn't voted with her bloc, Ciera would've gone home anyway: Tyson handed over his hidden immunity idol to his bro, ensuring the safety of both men.

Of course, this further upset the already fragile Monica who vacillated between triumph (comparing herself to a "first-round draft pick") and despair ("I just want to die inside").


After the final challenge, however, Monica still sided with her original alliance, sending home Tina—really the only one left who might have stolen Tyson's jury votes.

Instead, Tina became the last one to join the jury—where she cast her vote for Tyson.

He won over the jury with an unusual waterworks display, tearing up as he mentioned the sacrifices his girlfriend, Rachel Foulger, had made for him.

Calculated acting or genuine emotion?

"It was a little bit of both," he told me. "I knew if I talked about Rachel I would probably start to cry, and that I needed to show the jury that I was maybe more human—or have more of a heart than a lot of people think I do. I knew if I mentioned Rachel I'd go there, so I did it."


Who is this softie and where did he come from? 

"I think [it was] Rachel being out there and also playing a third time and being so disappointed the first two times that I played," he explained. '[It] really makes you more emotional toward the game and you realize maybe this my last shot, and I think that's a lot of what it was. I think the first time, and even the second, I played, I didn't care about it as much."

This time, he said, "I didn't want to miss my opportunity. I really thought I was done after Heroes vs. Villains. I thought that's it. I made such a poor showing. I was excited to be back."

Although he and Rachel aren't engaged—yet—Tyson said their shared experience only deepened the couple's commitment.

"She's been through all the Survivors with me," he said  "And she knows about it, but only third-hand. So for her to be able to share it with me and know about all the behind-the-scenes and how tough it is, and have the bond—because it really is a bond with a lot of people when you play this game. Nobody understands it 100 percent, until you're out there and you realize all the things that go into it. Everybody, no matter where they've played, has had a similar experience to a certain degree and that's something that only those people can share."

And even after winning the game, he'd be happy to have another shot at Survivor.

When asked about his future plans, the newly minted millionaire volunteered, "Maybe come back a fourth time. There's only a couple guys who've done that."

For once, Tyson wasn't being sarcastic.

"You'd have to! I would have to."

The theme for next season was announced by Jeff Probst at the end of Sunday's live reunion show: "Brawns vs. Brains vs. Beauty." Considering how good Tyson looks in braids and a bikini, he could qualify for a spot on all three tribes.


Were you happy to see Tyson win? What were your favorite moments from Season 27? And what do you think of the newly announced theme for next season?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/18/2016

Season 32 : Episode 15

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I wasn't happy to see Colton at the reunion. Every other player who "quits" without a mediacl reason is left out of the reunion. And he quit. And when he did quit, as he was standing there, Probst suggested that the first time when he was medically evacuated, that it wasn't real. So why was he brought back when Brandon Hantz wasn't allowed back after he quit. At least his departure was entertaining.
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I reckon they brought him only because Caleb, who actually seems like the nicest guy to ever play Survivor, would've refused to go without him. I, too, was disappointed by that sniveller taking away any more time and attention from more deserving players. Also, I think that him hugging Marissa was a calculated ploy to show the world "Look, I'm not racist!" Shudders.
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Tyson was the only one who truly deserved it this year.

Flawless game; like it or not, he was the Sole Survivor.
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Tyson was a very deserving sole Survivor. I admired Monica's physical prowess as well as Ciera's conniving, but Tyson was their match at both.

Sincere condolences to Tina, Katie, and family. I thought both they and Probst handled the matter in as dignified and respectful a manner as possible on a live reality TV reunion show. Class acts, and I'm glad that it will mean more help for the Philippines typhoon victims.

I'm already looking forward to "B³", and I'm stoked it'll be a new cast.:)
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This is the first season of Survivor i haven't watched since i started watching the show 8 years ago; I didn't watch because of the theme of bringing back old contestants... and i won't watch next season if they do it again.

I liked Tyson from the seasons i saw him on, though, so it's cool to learn that he won.
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Tyson won, well I didn't see that coming, on no wait it was obvious from week ten when Ciera gleefully voted out the person who would have had her back. We all have issues with our parents but at a million dollars for first place maybe a game show isn't the best place to settle old scores. A dull final episode with Monica and Gervais sleepwalking to the slaughterhouse why, over and over they were told if they went to the end they would lose yet there was no stopping them. Why, a complete lack of self awareness on both their parts, everyone is a special snowflake the hero of the story and the more they were told otherwise the firmer they pushed against it. Gervais couldn't believe Hayden when he said he was seen as Tyson's lackey, rather than accept how others viewed him, a painful blow to his ego, he did the opposite which was much more comfortable to his self image. Human nature is a bitch.
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Tyson deserved to win really, and I was kind of glad that three alliance players made it to the end. What I was disappointed in was the reunion, Jeff spoke with every contestants except Marissa. Not only was that rude, the time spent on Monica could've been cut short, Colton and even Kat's rambling, to let the contestant who got voted out simply because they found her Uncle overly cocky after a challenge win. It would be nice to see them do a Survivor with members who were voted out first that never got the opportunity to really actually play. Felt so sad for Tiny; she's truly one strong woman.
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they may have been ignoring her because they planned to bring her back for another season and didn't want to give it away at the reunion.
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As soon as Tyson found that last immunity as couple of episodes ago,I knew he would win the whole enchilada. Monica had lost her nerves. Gervais was not doing much except really follow Tyson and the others were too obvious in their strategy which nullified their chances. The fact that he found all the 'immunities' meant that he had both luck and cunning with him.
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Surprised but happy to see a Survivor review on the main page. I wanted Ciera to win but I guess Tyson deserved the win as well.

I feel sorry for Kat. She needs to learn to love herself more first. It seems her idea of self-worth is almost nonexistent. She's young and she has the time to make changes in her life.

If ever they do a returning players season again (F vs F, All-star, H vs V), I hope they bring back Ciera and Hayden. They seem to have the biggest promise out of this bunch.
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Tv.com staff, will we ever get an "edit" option with our messages? Every time I find a mistake after posting, I have to copy my message, delete my post, paste the mesage, make my edit, and repost, and then it leaves those little "Message has been removed" messages.
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~ arf-arf, Monica > a total LapDog, BIG! time . And poor Kat,
she never had self-confidence the first time she played and still doesn't it seems, she now thinks getting "top heavy" will give her some and keep her man Hayden around : / #pathetic on her part.
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I think she was trying to hide the fact that she's pregnant, not a boob job, you don't get a boob job and then hide it under a tent of a top on national tv.
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NOPE, it was a boob job, Hayden even confirmed it, as for the tent - were talking Kat here LoL
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OMG - I cringed when Kat delivered her rambling mess of whatever that was. You know it was bad if you have Jeff Probst interrupting you on love TV asking "What are you talking about?" Imagine how frustrating to edit her interviews must have been for production staff *shudder*
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Previously I thought she had to be playing dumb but after the reunion I realized it wasn't an act. I also thought she embarrassed Hayden by confusing everyone and implying she got a boob job in order to keep Hayden (WTF????). I can't stand Kat.
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I agree! I would be surprised if that didn't embarass him. I didn't see it, but I have read that while she was rambling, he was seen to whisper "Shut up" out of the side of his mouth.
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I agree with most of the post-show buzz that, when considering all factors, Tyson probably deserved to win - although I never liked him.

The most frustrating thing, though, was Monica. She won more challenges than any other player, but Monica never had a chance because she was her own worst enemy.

Every time she had an opportunity to change the game leading to a final three where she would have been competitive - she threw the opportunity away. Sure, she said she made the decision that was "best for Monica," but unfortunately it was - forseeably, one might argue - the wrong decision. Instead she thought that playing the loyalty card was her best option at final tribal counsel, but that has proven to be a losing argument for every third competitor who was brought to the end by other players who socially dominated the game.

Even worse, when she did make it to the end, instead of playing up the fact (barely even mentioning it) that she was the winningest player of the bunch - she let the jury members drag her down into a discussion that forced her to become a defensive emotional wreck. It was just heartbreaking to watch, because final tribal could have been her time to redeem herself, and open the eyes of everyone who considered her to be the "lap dog" Tyson allegedly labelled her.

There is a Monica in a parallel universe that won, who made different game decisions and marshalled her true value at the end by pointing out that of all the weak players this season, she was the closest thing to a "beast" at challenges.
More+
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so true! She won a lot of challenges and I was shocked she didn't play that up at the final tribal counsel. If she went with Cierra (sp?) she couldn't of beaten her and then Gervaise being given the immunity idol by Tyson wouldn't of helped her. She needed to make a move earlier on but at least she made it to the end.

I agree about her being her own worst enemy. Tyson's tears where so calculated...are the jury really that naive. Sure he could talk about his woman which would make him cry...just him crying made me want Monica to win and she was kind of annoying. Thinking back on the season, I respect and like Monica but she sometimes comes off as a doormat (maybe something related to her husband...IDK) yet is also badass (strange contradictions but they seem true).

Towards the middle and end I was rooting for Hayden and Cierra.

Jeff was a great host on the reunion--not scared to ask some tough questions. My question to Survivor is why did they bring back Coulton--lol, like they really thought he changed.
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Well, according to Colton, this time he really REALLY changed. Last time he said he changed, he only thought he changed, but now he actually really did change, and last time when he thought he changed he didn't really change, but now he's definitely changed. ;-)
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LOL!
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I actually prefer Hayden Moss to win because I think he is the one with the guts. I always prefer an underdog like last season's winner. Tyson is like the Alpha Male this season and he won.

Sad to say though, Hayden probably needed to work on his stamina and physical endurance. I cannot remember him winning a single challenge.

You can win survivor without some physical power to win some challenges.

I really liked the Blood vs Water idea. The Brawns vs. Brains vs. Beauty idea sound good. Lets hope it is another strong season.
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I agree - would have loved for Hayden to win. I find myself disappointed almost every time at the winner and finally realized it's because I always root for the underdog. Cochran winning last season was about the coolest reality TV result I've seen, next to Ian winning Big Brother.
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Same as me I like both Ian and Cochran.
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Pfff. Nothing to do with being an underdog. The editing just sets you up to like certain contestants. For example, were you rooting for Sandra Diaz in Hero vs, vill.? She was definitely an underdog. Did you want Malcolm to win? He was definitely a top dog.
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This season many people love Tyson to win and he won but I never think of him as an underdog and I did not think the editing set him to be an underdog. Not everyone roots for an underdog and not everyone dislike the alpha male and some people even root for the villain. It really depends.
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Actually I was a Cochran fan back in his original season. I like the geek-boys :-)
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Real happy with the winner
Is next season having returning players?
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No, it all new players
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For whole season no review and now,when it's over this site does one review. WOOW....
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...and the review was 90% interviewing Tyson after the reunion. Maybe someday, the site will assign a writer who watches the entire season and reviews it before the finale. Doubtful, though...
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Sadly that's how Survivor goes here. At least this season they didn't just post it as a big "this is who won!" Spoiler.
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Why is that surprising
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I am interested to see how the people next season will react to the labels...
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This didn't turn out as good as I hoped. Better luck in the spring.
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