Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Live from the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, Jenna Morasca, the 21-year-old swimsuit model from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, became the Sole Survivor and winner of SURVIVOR: THE AMAZON. During the final Tribal Council in the Amazon, the voting power shifted from the final two Survivors, Jenna and Matthew, to the seven-member Jury. After the Final Two withstood a probing and sometimes uncomfortable barrage of questions, their fate rested in the hands of the Jury.

Once the votes were cast, host Jeff Probst whisked them away to New York City, where the votes were revealed. Shock and amazement dawned on the assembled crowd as an overwhelming 6 to 1 vote found Jenna the decisive victor. Victory was sweet indeed, as she had recently faced nearly certain defeat at the hands of her tribe, battled illness and fended off tribemates' plots. In the end, after having battled back in an incredible bid for Survival, Jenna found herself the overwhelming favorite of the Jury, and the Sole Survivor.

Returning from Tribal Council, where Heidi Strobel had been voted out of the tribe, Jenna, Matthew, Butch and Rob congratulated each other for outlasting the rest and earning a spot in the Final Four. "To be in the Final Four and be the last woman here is really cool," Jenna Morasca, the 21-year-old swimsuit model from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said proudly, "I have accomplished all my goals and then some." Meanwhile, the men conspired behind her back and agreed that she would be next to go.

The Jacaré tribe arrived at the Immunity Challenge, where host Jeff Probst explained the rules. Blindfolded, the Survivors had to navigate a giant maze through which they would collect necklaces placed at four different stations. Each station represented earth, wind, fire, or water. To help negotiate the maze, the Survivors were to read the Braille marked at each station, helping them figure out which stations they had already attended, and which ones were new. First Survivor to collect all four necklaces and return to the center of the maze would win.

As the Challenge began, the blindfolded Survivors moved hesitantly through the network of corridors, searching with their hands. Jenna, realizing the need to win Immunity to stay in the game, raced head to head with the athletic Matthew in collecting the prized necklaces. Matthew's skills were formidable as he gingerly navigated the corridors, but Jenna also persevered through the mud-soaked maze. She even bumped into Matthew and Butch Lockley, the 50-year-old middle school principal from Olney, Illinois, along the way, as the Four groped their way in total darkness. Jenna hurried to gather the necklaces and, once she had collected one from each of the fours stations, she raced back to the center and won the most important Immunity Challenge thus far, keeping her safe from the upcoming Tribal Council vote. Meanwhile, the stunned men of Jacaré began to ponder their own unexpected fate.


Meanwhile, Rob and Matthew escaped camp in order to craft a new voting scheme. "Matt and I went through all of the voting scenarios, and basically, we concluded that we need to vote for Butch in order to save ourselves," explained Rob. Later, Matthew approached Jenna in hopes of creating a secret alliance that would take them both to the Final Two. "The plan is, if I win tomorrow's Immunity Challenge I will take Jenna with me in the final two," Matthew explained, "I will either honor that plan, or do some major backstabbing."

On night 37, at an emotional Tribal Council, Butch Lockley was voted out of the tribe with three votes against him. Butch's departure propelled him into the sixth spot on the Jury, which will ultimately vote for the SOLE SURVIVOR. Upon leaving the Tribal Council area, Butch delivered his Final Words: "I just experienced an adventure of a lifetime. I will never forget these 37 days."

On day 38, after eating a big breakfast consisting of manioc and nuts, the tribe received Tree Mail along with a scale. Shocked, one by one, the three remaining, gaunt Survivors stepped on the scale to weigh themselves. "I realized that my weight has gone from 173 lbs. to 148 lbs. If I have lost that much weight, most of it was fat, and now my body is burning muscle," explained a lean Matthew. "I have lost almost a pound a day for 38 days," added Rob. "I started at 118 lbs and now I weigh 99 lbs. That is a lot of weight to lose," Jenna said.

Host Jeff Probst arrived at the Jacaré camp to explain the dwindling tribe's next quest, in which they were to board a seaplane. "I thought it would be nice to take one last look at the Amazon from a slightly different view: from above," Jeff began, adding that after the seaplane, they were to paddle along the river to a spot where they were to decorate themselves with ancient Amazonian paints and headdresses. Once finished, they were to paddle to Tribal Council, where they would compete in their final Immunity Challenge.

As Jenna, Rob and Matthew boarded the plane and lifted up off the calm river water, they took in the beauty and splendors of the land they had called home for the last 38 days. "What an exhilarating feeling, to get away from camp and take in the surroundings from high above the jungle floor. It is difficult to describe in words," Matthew said as the tribe navigated their way to a jungle hut to decorate themselves with paints and jewelry in preparation for the upcoming Final Immunity Challenge.

Once the trio of Survivors arrived at Tribal Council, the Jury entered, and Jeff Probst explained the rules of the Final Immunity Challenge. In a battle of will, the contestants would have to stand barefoot on a narrow wooden perch, balancing themselves while holding their headdress above their heads. The goal was to stay on the perch longer than anyone else. The person to stay perched the longest with their headdress above them would win Immunity, and was guaranteed a place in the Final Two.

As the Challenge began, Jenna, Rob and Matthew stepped onto the narrow planks and found their balance. Minutes passed, then suddenly Matthew was first to fall from his station and was eliminated. In a strategic move, Rob quickly offered Jenna a deal in which he would promise to take her to the Final Two if she stepped down. Replying, "Let's fight this one out and see who wins," Jenna declined. Ultimately, Jenna Morasco outlasted Rob and won the Final Immunity Challenge. This most important Immunity in the game guaranteed Jenna a one-in-two chance at the million-dollar prize and gave her the crucial choice between Rob and Matthew for her partner in the Final Two.

On night 38, after losing the Final Immunity Challenge, Rob Cesternino was voted out of the tribe. With only three Survivors remaining, and having won Immunity, Jenna cast the only vote, ousting Rob from the game. Rob became the final member of the Jury, which would return the next night to vote for the winner of the million-dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.

After having his torch extinguished, Rob, the tribe's funnyman, looked back at his time spent in the Amazon: "I have no complaints, and I wouldn't change a thing on how I played the game. I had the most tremendous time of my life. I said I wasn't going to stop smiling until they put my torch out, and you know what? I am still smiling!"

On day 39, after marking the final day on the calendar, Matthew and Jenna took time to appreciate the amazing feat they had accomplished by reminiscing about their tribemates, who had been voted out before them. Writing each Survivor's name on their supply crate, Jenna and Matthew made peace with their fallen comrades and added heartfelt words about their new friendships. "That sums up fourteen people that will have changed us for the rest of our lives," sighed a reflective Jenna.

As the Two spent their final day together, Matthew, wanting to add closure to their experience, brought the tribe's boat to shore and placed artifacts from the camp inside the boat, including their Tree Mail figurine. In a ceremonial expression, Matthew then torched the contents in the boat and released it down river. "It's all over and it's out of our hands and we have done all we can do. It's in the Jury's hands now," Jenna said. As night fell, the two remaining Survivors headed out to the Final Tribal Council and said goodbye to the land that had been their home for the last 39 days.

Matthew and Jenna arrived at the final, and most important, Tribal Council, to face the seven members of the Jury: Dave, Deena, Alex, Christy, Heidi, Butch and Rob. The Jury members would seek answers to help them decide which of the Two deserved their vote for SOLE SURVIVOR. Tension set in as the two remaining Survivors prepared to argue their case before a line of questioning that would most likely be tough and uncomfortable.

The proceedings began with opening statements from Jenna and Matthew. Jenna took the subtle approach, choosing to be brief and simple by stating that the Jury members knew who she was. Matthew claimed he was dedicated to the tribe and that he was a very serious competitor who played the game honorably, with integrity.

Butch Lockley was the first Jury member to ask a question. He addressed his question to both Survivors: did they lie or deceive any of their tribemates during the game? Jenna immediately claimed that she, indeed, had lied to Deena, but only because she felt Deena had betrayed the alliance she had with Jenna and several other tribe members. Matthew volunteered that he had lied to Jury member Alex in order to save himself.

Rob Cesternino pointedly asked the pair why they felt the person sitting next to them didn't deserve to be in the Final Two, and that their answers would determine his vote. Matthew asserted that Jenna simply hadn't contributed as much at camp as he had and that she had "expressed a desire to give up during the game." Jenna's retort was pointed as well, as she shot back, "I don't think Matthew has been playing the game." She added that "he doesn't need the money, he doesn't care about the people here, and I just don't feel this is a big deal for him. It's just another adventure on his list of things to do."

Alex Bell came out in full force as he stated with great emotion that he didn't want to hear the two words honesty and integrity anymore. "Those two words have no meaning to me anymore," he claimed. To answer Alex's question about regrets, Matthew explained his naivety at the beginning of the game, and how earlier missteps had almost cost him the game.

Heidi Strobel was next to throw out a question. Her simple, tough question was whether they felt that there was someone else more deserving of being in their position. Both Matthew and Jenna answered the same name: "Rob." Upon hearing his name, an emotional Rob turned away, clearly affected by the turn of events that had brought him to the Jury, rather than to the enviable position in which Jenna and Matthew now found themselves. "Without Rob, and what I would call his tutelage, there's no way I would be here today. I would have been wiped out a long time ago," Matthew calmly explained.

Deena Bennett let it be known to Matthew that she was offended by the fact that he had claimed "may the best man win" at an earlier Tribal Council, which she called as offensive as it was chauvinistic. Matthew apologized if he had, indeed, made the comment.

Christy Smith was the next Jury member to confront the Final Two. She asked what their reactions were when they first learned that she was deaf. Matthew claimed he thought she had a "funky accent." Christy then told Jenna that she could not believe that Jenna had made a comment earlier that she, Jenna, was handicapped because she was beautiful. Christy demanded an explanation. Jenna balked, claiming she didn't remember making the comment. Christy pointedly retorted, "You DID use the word 'handicapped.'" "So, basically, from day one until now you've had a handicap because you're beautiful?" Christy demanded. Jenna explained that she only meant that she would be judged because of her looks, and apologized if Christy had been offended.

The last question, from Dave, was which influential leader each Survivor sought to emulate in the game. Matthew answered Colin Powell. Jenna chose not a leader, but rather her mother because of "her fight and strength."

Finally, the questions were finished, and each Survivor gave final comments. Matthew revealed that he had, indeed, not played with complete integrity. He had lied along the way, but that's part of the game, and he doesn't belong on a pedestal. Jenna then expressed her pride in the fact that she had really come through in the end when she needed to save herself.

Finally, the time had arrived, and each of the seven Jury members walked for the last time to vote. Jeff then explained that the votes would not be revealed until later. With votes in hand, Jeff stepped off onto a jet-ski awaiting him by the river's edge.

Thousands of miles away, Jeff Probst arrived in New York City with the votes. He came before Jenna, Matthew and the assembled Jury to reveal the votes. One by one they were revealed to the tense Survivors. Amazement set in as the vote count named Jenna the winner by an overwhelming 6 to 1 majority. Having been practically counted out by her tribemates in the game's final days, Jenna has mustered every fiber of her being to win two crucial Immunity Challenges against what seemed overwhelming opposition. The desperate bid to stay in the game proved worthy as Jenna Morasca, the 21-year-old swimsuit model from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has outwitted, outlasted and out played all the rest to win the $1,000,000 prize and the title of SOLE SURVI