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‘Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X’ Crowns Season 33 Winner

Live finale from CBS Television City in Hollywood reveals $1 million winner

(Spoiler Alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Wednesday’s “Survivor” Season 33 finale)

Adam Klein, a 25-year-old homeless shelter manager from San Francisco, California, won the title of “Sole Survivor” and the $1 million prize in the live vote reveal, broadcast from CBS Television City in Los Angeles Wednesday night.

A self-described “super-duper fan, Klein’s win is bittersweet.

While the Stanford alum shot the show in Fiji last March and April, his mother was battling stage four lung cancer. In private interviews on location, Klein tearily chronicled his desire to have his mother see him compete on the show that the family had watched together for years.

In an emotional interview during the live “Reunion” telecast on Wednesday night, Klein told the story of making it home from Fiji to his mother’s bedside an hour before she passed away. He said she recognized him and heard his voice. He told her “I won,” sure in the outcome although the votes would not be revealed for seven more months.

Klein’s brother and father attended the broadcast at CBS on Wednesday night and accompanied him on the post-show red carpet. CBS and Survivor have set up a lung cancer-specific campaign with Stand Up to Cancer with corporate donors matching personal contributions at SU2C.org/Survivor.

Throughout the season, Klein played savvy and aggressive, finding and using multiple hidden immunity idols and leveraging a gameplay “advantage,” without alienating the jury who ultimately handed him a clean sweep 10-0 win.

33 Seasons, 1292 Days on an Island, Still Fresh
Even in concluding its 33rd outing, the original reality phenom continues to evolve, surprise and innovate. By casting all diehard fans who grew up watching the show for years instead of beautiful people recruited for eye-candy, the game play on “Millennials vs. Gen X” far outpaced other “all new player” seasons.

This fall season introduced the first ever “Reward Steal” advantage and a “Day 36 Legacy Advantage,” an advantage uncovered by one player in the opening moments of the season that would not ripen until the finale.

For host Jeff Probst, challenge producer John Kirhoffer, and the “Survivor” braintrust, both new twists delivered rippling penumbras of story consequences that outpaced each advantage’s actual utility within the game mechanics.

Still a Ratings Winner
Since the Cubs’ World Series Game 7 thriller delivered a programming highlight of the year for Fox (39 million viewers) on Nov. 2, “Survivor” has averaged a 1.8/6 in the key 18-49 demographic and 8.42 million viewers overall. It regularly wins its Wednesday at 8 p.m. timeslot against regular programming (like “Lethal Weapon,” “Arrow”) and has finished second against specials like NBC’s “Hairspray Live” and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special.

Before the “Survivor season” concluded, TV Guide had already ranked finalist Hannah Shapiro as the 14th “Best TV Performance” of 2016, edging out Constance Zimmer (“Unreal”), Milo Ventimiglia (“This is Us”) and placing Shaprio alongside a group of TV icons of they year like Sarah Paulson and Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”).

The next season of “Survivor,” featuring returning all-star players, begins with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, March 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.