‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ Finale Recap: And the Winner Is…

'Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X’ (CBS)

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Last Week: Will, Sunday win “Survivor”? Nope.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog…

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Vinaka Tribe (wearing black)
Adam – 25, Homeless Shelter Manager
Bret – 42, Police Sergeant
David – 42, Television Writer
Hannah – 24, Barista
Jay – 27, Real Estate Agent
Ken – 33, Model

Back-Up Headlines: “Hannah and Her Misters,” “Ken He Take the Million?,” “The Daves I Know…Will Win.”

We start off after Tribal and Jay is not happy that he burned his idol. But, tomorrow’s another day, and maybe the “Survivor” fairies have planted another idol out in the wilderness.

Meanwhile, Bret is bummed that they took out Sunday when David was wide open. That crazy Bret, wanting to do silly things like vote out the BIGGEST THREAT IN THE GAME!

Bret compares this to Seal Team Six letting Osama bin Laden go. Okay, now that is crazy.

While everyone is sleeping, David sneaks out and channels his inner Runaround Bob Crowley. His arts and crafts excursion results in a pretty impressive fake idol. He even paints a coconut and shoves it inside. Attention to detail!

Sure enough, Jay finds in the next day. Best of all, he doesn’t doubt its legitimacy for a second. Oh Jay…

Later, Ken cracks open his legacy advantage. Apparently he will be immune at the next Tribal Council. Well, that’s straight-forward. My apologies for those who were hoping the Legacy Advantage was a pin-up photoshoot.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race through an obstacle course and retrieve a bag of tiles. They’ll use the tiles to complete a combination lock. Once they have the combination, they’ll cover their answer and use a key to unlock pieces to a bat puzzle. The first person to complete the bat puzzle will win immunity and a steak dinner.


Oh no, it’s just a puzzle that look like a bat that’s hanging upside-down. Oh well, a boy can dream.

We start off and Jay jumps out to an early lead. However, he forgets to cover up his combination. This allows David and others to copy his answer.

Jay is the first one to the puzzle, but the other players are hot on his heels. This mistake proves to be costly as David is able to complete the puzzle and win immunity and reward.

Probst allows two people to join David for the meal, but Jay interrupts them before he can name his dining companions. Apparently, Jay wants to use the reward theft that I had forgotten about several episodes ago.

Jay chooses to dine with David and Adam.

Huh…this reward would be good if it was strictly a reward challenge and you wanted to go into an immunity challenge with strength. But, that reward was for immunity. Anywho, Jay tells us that he’s going to use the meal to draw Adam and David over to his side.

At the dinner, David and Adam admit that they’re worried about Jay going on an immunity run, but Jay says that doesn’t matter because he’ll take them to the final three.

David is considering this because Ken is the only other person who promises to take him to the end.

Back at camp, Bret and Ken agree that Jay’s time is up. Hannah, on the other hand, is worried that he has an idol. Oh, he totally does. (Wink.)

The dinner party returns and Hannah says, “Oh, we were just talking about you guys.” Yeah, that’s what people want to hear on “Survivor.”

Hannah and Adam approach David about voting for Bret. It seems like everyone is into it, but Adam is worried about Jay winning through to the end.

Meanwhile, Bret and Jay are hilariously comparing their arguments for targeting each other. This season is awesome. Everyone gets along.

Before we head to Tribal, Hannah tells Jay that she’ll vote for Bret if Jay can get Adam on board. The two have a chat and Adam tells Jay that he’ll give him a shot.

That night at Tribal, Adam admits that Jay used the reward to try to get on his good side.

This doesn’t surprise Bret, and he knows that both he and Jay are the targets.

David thinks the reward dinner is big because it’ll help him be stronger for the next challenge. He also thinks he could beat Jeff Probst in an arm wrestling challenge. Dude, did you see Probst on “Two and a Half Men”?!


Hannah tells Jeff that every vote is a huge decision. Also, the sky is blue.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. A lot of that this season.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol…and Jay does!

Oh man…this is gonna be bad.

Jay talks a TON of trash as he hands the fake idol over to Probst. Probst breaks the bad news to the poor kid, then throws the fake idol in the fire for good measure.

Sooooo…Probst did ask for an idol. Does that mean one is still out there?

Aaaaand, before the votes are read, Ken uses his legacy advantage. This season is like Calvinball.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Ken, three votes for Jay, and the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Jay.

Fortunately, Jay takes it like a champ. He laughs and smiles the whole way out. I love that kid.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will maneuver a buoy through a series of obstacles. They’ll then use handles to carry puzzle piece across a teeter totter. First person to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Hilariously, the puzzle’s answer is “Not a Participation Trophy.” I also would have accepted “Get Off of My Lawn.”

The Survivors are ready…and they go. Ken is the first one to get to the puzzle-piece transporting portion. However, he tries to carry too many pieces at once and drops them. This allows Bret and David to catch him.

Bret is the first one to start the word puzzle. He’s followed by Ken, Adam, and David. Hannah eventually joins them.

“Participation” is a long word. Are we going to see a “Two Hours Later” lower third?

Nope, Ken figures it out to win immunity.

Back at camp, Adam is psyched that they’ll finally be able to target David. He knows he has Bret and Hannah on his side. However, he’s worried that there’s an idol still out there. He heads out looking for it and…he finds it!

Meanwhile, David approaches Hannah and Ken with the idea of getting rid of Adam. They agree that they’re a threesome and it doesn’t matter which order Bret and Adam exit the game. They approach Bret with this plan, and he’s obviously into it.

Wait…why even bother getting Bret on board if they already have the numbers?

Sure enough, Bret tells Adam what’s up. He assures Bret that everything is OK and shows him the idol. He also lets Hannah in on the secret.

Hannah, however, is playing in the middle. She can either spill the beans and they can get rid of Bret or stay the course and they can get rid of David. She says it all comes down to who she can beat in the end and who will take her to the end.

So, nobody and everybody?

That night at Tribal, Will is wearing a floral-print shirt! That’s Zeke’s gimmick!

Adam admits to being the first one to hunt for an idol.

Bret isn’t thinking about the final three, he just wants to survive the night.

Hannah believes David is the biggest threat. Bret agrees.

David is worried that his number might finally be up. But if it is, he’s gained confidence from his time in the game.

Adam points out that David’s story is why he’s dangerous to take to the end.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…yet again.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol and…Adam does. He plays a REAL idol for himself.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for David, one vote for Bret, one vote for David, one vote for Bret, and the sixteenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Bret.

As Bret gets up, he says, “The flipper flips again.” What do you expect from a flipper?! He then congratulates David on winning a million dollars.

Adam is amazed that everyone stuck with David. David is also amazed. Oh, we’re all amazed.

Later, Hannah tells Adam that there is no way she could have turned on Ken and still won the game. Or not turned on Ken and won the game. Or done anything ever and won the game.

She’s not going to win…that’s what I’m saying.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will use a pole to work a series of bowls through a wire frame. They’ll then stack the bowls on top of the wobbly frame. First person with thirteen bowls stacked, or the person with the most bowls in their stack after 30 minutes wins immunity.

Fun Fact: I did this as a test challenge during “Survivor: Blood vs. Water.” I totally won. Er…came in second place…it was a Redemption Island challenge, so that counts as winning. Don’t judge me.


Not much to describe here except for slow stackin’.

Adam and Ken are in the lead. Adam smartly decides to watch to see if Ken will screw it up on his way to the win. And, the wind takes out Ken’s stack!

Oh man, the wind takes out Adam’s stack too!

Pro Tip: I used the pole to bop my bowls into a straighter line.

Eventually, everyone decides to wait to see if their puzzle will stand up. Ken and Hannah are tied. Adam is one behind.

And time expires. Hannah and Ken will have to face off in a tie-breaker.

Immunity Challenge Sudden Death: At the end of five minutes, the person with the most bowls in their stack will win immunity.

Again, not much to describe here. Ken wins it seven to six to claim the final immunity.

Back at camp, David knows his worst-case scenario is a fire-making challenge. Hannah, on the other hand, is going to try to get Ken to finally flip on David.

She tells Ken that they can’t beat David, but Ken’s whole game has been based on trust and friendship.

Meanwhile, David tries to convince Adam that Ken is rock solid so he might as well turn on Hannah. Adam doesn’t buy it though, because he can’t beat David at the end either way. He’s not wrong.

Better practice that fire makin’, Adam.

Hmm…I wonder if that’s Ken’s best bet. Stick with David, and if he loses a fire-making challenge, you don’t have to worry about him. And if he wins, you have the loyalty card to play.

That night at Tribal, Probst points out how far Hannah has come from someone who took half an hour to vote. She admits she’s come a long way. I’d agree with that. I just think it’s too little, too late.

Adam says his only goal was to make sure that David didn’t win immunity. David says that’s because Adam knows he played a better game. Adam is glad that David can finally admit it.

Ken claims that he’s not going to change.

David admits to making a final three deal with Ken on day three. He says that he’s so impressed with how loyal Ken has been in a game that breeds so much backstabbery.

(David didn’t say “Backstabbery.” Also, “Backstabbery” is not a word.)

Hannah thinks all three of them are in danger. Well, she’s 2/3rds correct.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…yet again, yet again.

Probsty tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for David, one vote for Adam, one vote for David, and the seventeenth person voted out of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…David.

Wow…I didn’t know Ken had it in him. I thought we were going to see a fire-making challenge for sure.

Also, Adam’s gonna win, right? During the exit press, I didn’t get the sense that many people were impressed with Ken’s game.

The final day starts off with Ken complaining about how Millennials can’t appreciate a sunrise without talking and selfie sticks and Snapchats. (I might’ve made up the last two things.)

Later, the trio is greeted by the traditional day-39 brunch.

Everyone states their cases for winning the game…and then we’re off to Tribal. That was quick.

Whoa…cleanly shaved David is going to take some getting used to.

Also, ZEKE’S SHIRT! You know he packed it specifically for tonight.

Taylor bats lead off. He claims that his vote is still up for grabs and he wants everyone to state their case. Hannah says she played a strategic game and put everyone on the jury. Even Jessica?

Ken claims that he showed everyone that he was loyal. David might disagree with that.

Finally, Adam thinks he played the best game out of the final three. He chooses not to go into detail.

Sunday wants to know if each finalist played more like a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. Oh, c’mon. Probst had to have put her up to that.

Ken thinks he’s old school and he’s more rigid. He also claims that he isn’t a flipper. Adam thinks Ken would’ve done well in season one, he also thinks Hannah flipped so often that her alliances never knew what to expect. He then claims to be a combination of Gen-X and Millennial. A Gillenial…if you will.

Hannah then takes credit for getting rid of Sunday.

Jessica is up third. She calls Ken out for claiming to be loyal and then voting out David. He tells David that he was his number two alliance and his number one alliance was with his daughter. I’m thinking Ken’s daughter might get the same amount of votes that he does.

Will bats clean-up. He starts by telling Ken that he respects him more for voting out David than he does for his trust and loyalty. He then asks Adam why they voted out Bret instead of David. Adam claims it’s because Hannah went rogue and he thought it was a mistake.

Hannah says she voted that way because she didn’t want to lose Ken’s trust.

Zeke claims that this Tribal represents an evolution in “Survivor” strategy and that the winner should reflect that change. He doesn’t think Ken achieved that objective, so he asks Adam and Hannah how they helped the game evolve. Adam says that he intentionally kept threats in front of him so they could whittle their way down to the end. Hannah defines a trust cluster as people working together until they need to turn on each other. She also thinks Adam is taking credit for a lot of moves that he didn’t make.

Michelle asks Hannah how many votes she was on the wrong side of, Hannah responds that it was everyone except for the Michaela vote. She then asks why Adam’s victories overshadow his blunders. He says that he was able to overcome his blunders and blunders of his alliance-mates. Hannah claims that she didn’t make any blunders, but Adam thinks voting out Bret was a blunder.


Bret wants to know when Ken started playing the game. Ken says that he started playing immediately because he was on the bottom of Gen-X.

Jay asks Adam why he didn’t use him to take out David. Adam tells Jay that he loves him like a brother and that Jay is the only one who knows why he’s playing the game.

You’re not going to make me cry, Adam.

Chris confesses to being a trial lawyer. And as a lawyer, he wants to advocate for Adam because Adam was able to get Ken to flip on David.

Ken disagrees, claiming that nobody convinced him to change his mind.

Finally, David tells everyone how “Survivor” has changed him. He wants to know how the game has changed the finalists. Hannah says that she was terrified of the game, but now she knows she can push through anything. Ken thinks that the game has helped him overcome his social anxiety. And, Adam tells everyone about how he is playing for his mother who is battling cancer.

You’re not gonna make me cry, Adam. #lies

Anywho, Hannah did a lot better than I thought she would. If I was going on points I’d go Hannah by a smidge, then Adam, then Ken waaaay in the back. But overall I think this is Adam’s to win.

Voting Time: No votes are show yet again, yet again, yet again…

Probst tallies and then magically transports to Los Angeles. Alright, we’ve got five votes for Adam and the winner of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” is…Adam.

Verdict: I thought this season was a breath of fresh air. Big moves, likable characters, and no real bitterness.

Power Rankings Results: Michele Fitzgerald had four of the final six in the correct slots, Shirin had two of the final six. The final score is Team Michelle 116, Team Shirin 105. Therefore, Michele is the “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X” Power Rankings champion! Her biggest win this year!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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