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Season 3: Episode 13 - ETHAN ZOHN: THE SOLE SURVIVOR
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After 39 days on a physical and emotional roller coaster, Ethan Zohn, the 27-year-old professional soccer player from Lexington, MA, is the winner of the million dollar prize, earning the title of SURVIVOR AFRICA's Sole Survivor.

At the end of day 38, three Survivors returned to camp to face the final Tribal Council vote. Joining the Jurors were Tom Buchanan, the 46-year-old goat farmer from Saltville Virginia, who was voted out of the tribe, leaving Kim Johnson, Ethan and Lex to compete for the final two spots.

After winning the final Immunity Challenge, her second in a row, it was solely up to Kim Johnson to make that choice. After weighing her difficult decision, she voted Lex out of the tribe, making him the seventh and final Juror to cast the final vote.

With the voting power shifting from the two remaining Survivors to the seven-member Jury, Ethan and Kim knew their fate rested in their former tribemates' hands. After an often-times tense question and answer session, one by one the jury cast their vote for who they thought should win the title of Sole Survivor.

As the votes were revealed, host Jeff Probst announced, "The Winner of SURVIVOR AFRICA is Ethan Zohn."

Emotions Taking Over 
Upon returning to camp after Teresa had been voted out, the tribe members congratulated each other for making it to the final four. With emotions running high, Lex revealed to Ethan that Tom had been conspiring with others to oust Lex. "In his mind, he can't write the vote down. But if someone else does, it's okay", Lex added. As morning approached on day 37, Lex confronted Big Tom on the issue of trust, asking, "Did you tell Teresa that I can't be trusted?" Tempers flared as Tom denied Lex's allegations. In private, Tom stated, "Lex has been the man to watch. He has been winning Immunity and everything else. That's why he is getting all of the votes." Summing up Lex's situation, Tom concluded, "if you are going to ride in the front with a white horse, you are going to be shot at."

Reflection 
With only three days remaining, Lex and Tom cooled their differences as the stress and paranoia of making it to the end grew. Feeling the pressure of the game, the Final Four trekked to a nearby mountaintop to, as Lex described it, "take some time and Zen out for a little." And while Ethan reflected on the vast beauty of Africa, Lex thought about one thing: "Damn it, I'm gonna walk away with that prize. I am here for one thing and one thing only, to take that million dollars and run with it. It's mine!" ( Final Four on the mountaintop )

Immunity Challenge: Fallen Comrades 
After receiving Tree Mail notifying them of their next Immunity Challenge, the tribe met host Jeff Probst at the Tribal Council site, where he had also invited the members of the Jury to observe the next challenge. He then explained that the challenge would reveal how much the remaining Survivors had learned about those voted out before them. Eight questions would be asked about the other twelve Survivors with whom they had spent the past thirty-six days. The person who answered the most questions correctly would win Immunity.

As Jeff Probst began the questioning, Big Tom jumped out front with an early lead. However, Tom couldn't maintain his advantage as the others caught up to him. With the outcome riding on the final question ("Which female Survivor does not have anything pierced, including her ears?"), Kim Johnson answered correctly, writing "Kelly" on her note pad. Kim had won Immunity for the first time, propelling her into the Final Three.

When the votes were cast in the Tribal Council that immediately followed, Big Tom Buchanan became the thirteenth member of Moto Maji to be voted out of the tribe. After his torch was extinguished, Big Tom looked back on his time spent in Africa: "It's been a journey… I want to say a special thanks to Lex and Ethan for maintaining an alliance with me. Love, peace and hair grease. Big Tom will talk to you later." ( Tom's Final Words )

Rite of Passage 
Well before sunrise on day 38, Jeff Probst made a surprise visit to camp and woke Ethan, Lex and Kim. Unfortunately, Lex had already been up most of the night with stomach problems. Leading the Final Three to some waiting Samburu tribespeople, Probst explained that since they were embarking on a real Samburu ritual, they would follow the tribespeople's lead, "always walking north, fire on the east and west, never looking back."

Starting with a blessing from tribe elders, the rite was an introspective journey to "focus on what you've learned and what you need for the last two days." Following a path past thirteen staffs inscribed with the names of the eliminated Survivors, the Final Three reflected on the impact each of the Survivors had on them. At the end of this emotional trail, the Three were met by more African tribespeople, who gave them a ceremonial cleansing of goat fat and blood. They then concluded the ritual with an elaborate display of traditional, native dance.

Final Immunity Challenge: Hard Idol 
"How badly do you want this?" Jeff Probst asked the three challengers as he explained the final Immunity Challenge. With a hand on a wooden idol and their feet on stumps, the group had to hold their positions without moving their hands or feet. The last person standing would win. After two hours and 26 minutes, Ethan lost his balance and fell out of the challenge. As Kim and Lex struggled to keep their positions, the sun rose higher and higher. When the temperature hit 104 degrees Fahrenheit, Lex's stomach problems got the best of him. He couldn't hold on any longer, and stumbled to the ground after three hours and 21 minutes, leaving Kim Johnson to claim Immunity for the second and last time.

Tribal Council 
Congratulating the 56-year-old grandmother on another Immunity victory, Probst told Kim that she "kicked their asses." With Kim wearing the Immunity necklace again, her vote exclusively would decide who would stay and who would go. "It's all up to Mama Kat," Lex noted. Likewise, Ethan shared his sense of vulnerability: "My destiny is definitely in someone else's hands, and it's a scary feeling." Facing one of the toughest decisions of her life, Kim regretted the inevitable choice she would have to make.

After saying a few words in their defense, both Lex and Ethan agreed that Kim should make her choice without regret. Writing his name on the card, Kim voted off Lex, stating that she loved both of them equally. As Ethan and Kim walked off to spend their last night in camp, Ethan uttered the words "no regrets," to comfort a shaken Kim.

The Final Vote 
Taking one last look at the place where they spent the last 39 days, Ethan and Kim bid farewell to the camp as they headed toward the last Tribal Council. While Kim and Ethan made their way, the jury shared their thoughts on the events. "It's interesting," Kim Powers noted, "that an introvert and the oldest person in the tribe are the last two left." Regarding his vote, Tom said he made his decision in 2.9 seconds after he was voted out. Still angry over her voting debacle, Kelly expressed the desire to "see them squirm." "I'm the sorest loser out there, and I'll be the first to admit it," Kelly confessed.

Final Tribal Council 
After stating their cases for why they should win, Kim and Ethan were asked a series of questions by each of the seven Jurors. Brandon kicked off the questions, asking who they would like to see up there other than themselves. In agreement, both Kim and Ethan said Lex. Adding a second part to his question, Brandon asked which of the seven Jurors deserved to be up there the least. Ethan bluntly answered, without hesitation, "you," referring to Brandon himself. Finding the question more difficult, Kim finally said "Tommy" because of his perceived sexism.

When the seven Jurors finished their questioning, Probst reminded them that this time they would be voting for someone and not against them, thereby writing down the name of the person they wanted to win. In the last Tribal Council vote in Africa, one by one the seven former Moto Maji members cast their votes for who would be the winner of SURVIVOR AFRICA.

Jeff Probst revealed the votes, and in the end, Ethan Zohn walked away with one million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor.