The “Survivor: Second Chance” season finale scored big with viewers, winning Wednesday night’s primetime ratings race as firefighter Jeremy Collins won a unanimous 10-0 victory from the largest jury in the show’s history.
The festivities at CBS Television City in Los Angeles also proved a popular ticket, with 220 people on the waiting list and multiple insiders saying this was the most hotly-requested finale in the show’s history.
For the 9.5 million viewers who tuned in and those who needed better hookups at CBS, here are nine moments — some sweet, some bittersweet — that you didn’t see on TV.
1. With a poor viewing angle from their position on set, the outgoing cast jumped out of their seats to get a view of the teaser trailer for the next season playing on house monitors. They’re true fans.
2. During the reaction shot cutaways of the reading of the final vote, jury member Kass McQuillen leaned over to Collins and said to him “That’s my vote.” She had squiggled a star next to his name.
3. Spencer Bledsoe and Tasha Fox tied for second and third place with zero votes. So what happens to the prize money? “I think third place and second place money, we get the average of it,” Bledose told TheWrap after the show. “Second place is $100,000, I think.” For a six figure payday, this landed a bit numb.
Had Kelley Wentworth won the final immunity challenge, managing an increasing fleet of balls running in and out of a metal chute, she could have won the season.
3. Wentworth revealed a secret practice heat for the final immunity challenge. “We practiced that challenge before we actually did it,” she told TheWrap. “We got to practice that final challenge once before we did it. We had one practice run and I killed it.” When it counted, she came up short. “The second time when we they actually filmed it, I got in my own head.”
4. Executive producer/host Jeff Probst made only one pitstop between the time the show went off the air and moments later when he was wrapped. He walked across the stage to hug the defeated and deflated duo of Tasha Fox and Spencer Bledsoe. Similar to the rocket docket departures of his hosting buddy Ryan Seacrest, Probst then slipped off the set through the back and was not seen again.
5. While host Probst lathered “Clooney-esque” credentials on cast member Joe Anglim (“Girls want to date him. Guys want to hang out with him”), Anglim deflected by highlighting his relationship with his father as an inspiration. Meanwhile, a cameraman frenetically roamed the audience looking for the dad for a cutaway. Several audience members tried getting the anxious cameraman’s attention, pointing to him and directing him in to place. The cameraman picked off a shot of the proud pop just in time.
6. “I need to take a break. I need to refocus on life, refocus on the things that are important,” a morose and depressed Bledsoe told TheWrap after the show. “I’m definitely not looking at a third chance right now.” The 23-year-old who arrived to the franchise as an eager super fan two years ago did not even dress up for the finale, sporting a hoodie and corduroys. He stuck out amongst his peers who went full-glam (see above.) It was a stunning disintegration of spirit from even seven months ago when TheWrap interviewed Bledsoe days before leaving for production in Cambodia.
7. The dispensability of cast members and the fickle fortunes of screen time bore out as audio technicians “de-mic’ed” Shirin Oskooi and Monica Padilla on stage after the show ended. Neither of them had been asked a question nor uttered a word on the live show. In addition to the superfluous microphone, Oskooi had the double indignity of having to sit in the far corner, usually reserved for the “first boot,” even though she was not the first person voted out. Actual first castoff, Vytas Baskauskas, was reportedly excluded from the finale for violating show rules by allegedly returning back to the U.S. while production was still in progress, resuming his Yoga teaching practice and going on social media.
@JeffProbst great season through and through. Bummed I’m not invited to participate in the finale with all my castmates!
– Vytas Baskauskas (@vytasyoga) December 15, 2015