Survivor Season 25 Finale Recap

And the winner of Season 25 is....

Survivor Season 25 Finale Recap

In a very, VERY intense season finale, Survivor Philippines has crowned it’s winner.

41-year-old Denise Stapley, a sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is Season 25′s winner, beating out Malcolm (the crowd favorite), returning player Mike Skupin, and former child star Lisa Whelchel.

Survivor Season 25 Finale Winner Denise

The Survivor Philippines finale began with Malcolm winning the Reward Challenge which gave him a huge advantage; a second chance at the final Immunity Challenge. At this point in the game it looked like Malcolm had Season 25 won.

Just like every season, the remaining four castaways did the “Fallen Comrades Walk,” where they revisit the rest of the tribemates and reminisce about them.

  • Zane: They laughed that he gained 30-lbs, quit smoking days before he went on the show, and we ALL laughed when Zane said, “My whole tribe folded after I left.”
  • Roxy: They say she “was a fighter,” but what was that psycho babble about?
  • Angie: Malcolm fondly recalls, “She was my sleeping buddy.” Angie tells us, “I’m kinda well-rounded I feel like…” Um, yeah, two parts of you are.
  • Russell:  Castaways remember his “contagious energy,” we remember him for his Klingon hairline.
  • Dana: “Could have been a great competitor,” but had to leave. She looked amazing at the finale though!
  • Dawson: Denise says she was “very lively addition, a little quirky, a little out there…” but the fact that she made out with Jeff makes her forever memorable.
  • Katie: Was a “potty mouth” but had to go for Denise to stay.
  • RC: They recall her as playing too hard, too fast. I recall that terrible, awkward, weird laugh of hers.
  • Jeff: “I’ve played baseball with some of the biggest spoiled rats, maybe I was one…” Methinks you could make a pretty good porn star with that stache.
  • Artis: Was “loyal to a fault,” and more bitter than he has a right to be.
  • Pete: They recall his loyalty to Abi, we just try to recall HIM. Who is he again? Even Carter is more memorable for not being memorable.
  • Penner: Was called “entertainment on wheels,” and I couldn’t agree more, but I have to say I like his castaway, hungry, cold and hairy look better than his cleaned up Hollywood look.
  • Carter: They remembered him as someone who was super likable, but too bad we never saw that on the show. He didn’t even speak until Week 6 or 7!
  • Abi: Malcolm says, “As much as everyone wanted her gone for so long, to make it to 5th place is pretty impressive.” Love her or hate her, she made this season entertaining.
Survivor 25 Philippines Winner


The final four must balance a marble on pieces of wood. Malcolm has a second chance pass, and he ends up needing it as he is first out. But even with the second chance, he still goes out first. We knew, and he knew, his shot at one million dollars was gone at that very moment. Maybe giving Denise his immunity idol last week and turning Lisa on Skupin would have been a good idea, eh?

Denise goes out next and the battle is between Skupin and Lisa. Skupin prevails, and wins final immunity, guaranteeing himself a place in the final 3. Lisa hugs Skupin and says, “We made it together.” But really, did they?

After returning to camp both Denise and Malcolm are shitting themselves. “We’re all cool, yes?” says Malcolm to Skupin and Lisa, while Denise later asks them, “Are we still good?” Even though they played the game together the entire way through, Malcolm and Denise are now mortal enemies. Denise tried to get Malcolm to commit to a continued alliance but he refused.


At tribal council there is tension in the air. LOTS of it. Jeff asks Lisa, “Lisa, is there a reason you should take Malcolm (to final 3)?” She hesitates….



“Don’t hesitate that long!” says Malcolm, full of piss and vinegar. Lisa finally answers, ”There’s not a reason for me to take him.” Malcolm’s blood boils. He’s still angry with Denise too, but she reminds him, “I tried to approach you and you didn’t give me a commitment!” He later calls her a floater. He’s so mad he can’t see straight. I like Malcolm, but he would have done the exact same thing to Denise had he been given the chance. Tough titty.

Malcolm gets voted off and as he rises from the tribal council bench he snidely snaps at Denise, “Congratulations, Denise!” No worries, Malcolm, we know you’re coming back next season. Jeff has major wood for you, just like he did for Boston Rob. (Sorry Dawson.)


It’s time for the final speeches from the three surviving castaways. None are really that impressive compared to some from the past, but I think Denise said it best.

Denise: “I’m not going to apologize, I survived 3 tribes, I’m not afraid to make moves that would upset people. I’m the one who has survived every single tribal council. I’ve outwit many of you, I’ve outplayed many of you, and ultimately I outlasted all of you.”

Lisa: “I feel like we all outwit, outlasted and outplayed. My strategy was not pretty. Run wide open and fall down, get up, dust off, run again.” She then went on to say her brother showed her to trust her gut. She says before her brother’s visit she was like “a boxer in a ring being afraid to throw a punch because you might hurt someone.” She adds, “It wasn’t a pretty game, but I learned, I proved and I’m proud of my final game.”

Skupin: “Everyone wanted returning players to not progress … so I did things with such fire because I knew my back was against the wall. I think I played my guts out. Outwit, outplay, outlast. I can’t play this game any other way. I love this game too much, and I know you guys do too.”

The rest of the castaways then get to ask the final 3 questions. No one really did a good job at asking questions, but there were some bitter mofos that couldn’t WAIT to put the digs on either Denise, Lisa or Skupin.

The two most memorable at final tribal council were Penner and Malcolm – and RC for her weird laugh.

Malcolm starts ripping Denise a new a-hole. She nods and smiles and he tears into her, “Don’t NOD! Do not NOD!” She nods without even knowing she’s nodding. He gets angrier by the second. “This appeasing everyone needs to STOP!” Denise fires back, “I’m sitting here – you’re standing THERE.”

Penner exposes Lisa for being a child star. The way he went about it kind of shocked me. He seemed like he was chomping at the bit, just dying to tell everyone so they wouldn’t vote for her. But I don’t think Lisa ever had a shot at winning, so I don’t really get why he was so hellbent on exposing the truth. He also ripped into Denise, “You shared with me that you were worried about being a bitch … rest assured the world has seen this side of you.” Hmmm, I disagree! Malcolm would have done the EXACT same thing to Denise had he been given the chance. Penner also had some shit kicking left for Skupin. “I know you keep saying you had this target on your back, but how many times was your name written down?” Not once.

Final 3 Survivor 25

Back in the states it was time for the final LIVE tribal council from the CBS studios in Los Angeles. Before it got underway, there was a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown shootings.  It was nice to see, especially being as tons of people were bitching about Survivor being late because of the President speaking at the vigil. Seriously?!

Survivor 25 Winner Denise Stapley

Jeff reads the votes and it quickly becomes clear who the winner is. DENISE STAPLEY! Jeff later asks the Survivor 25 jury had Malcom been in the final 3, would they have voted for him instead? Only TWO people raise their hands. Wow!

Lisa Whelchel Survivor Sprint Player of the Season

Lisa wins Sprint Player of the Season, based on America’s votes, which is yet another blow to Malcolm. Did you think she deserved it over him?

And finally, Dawson once again cements her place as one of the ballsiest, craziest, most hilarious players on Survivor ever when she bumrushes Jeff on the live show, laying a HUGE kiss on him, and not letting go! Jeff had to rip her off him before saying she doesn’t kiss nearly as good as his wifey. Is wifey the jealous type? Heh.

What do you think about Denise Stapley winning Survivor 25?
Did Lisa deserve to win Sprint Player of the Season? 

Sound off in the comments below!


  • Patworx

    Denise is an awesome winner!

    And Lisa is the best overall character this season.

    • riverlady999

      Actually, Lisa is the best bs’er…she spent alot of time talking about how noble she is and how hard it is for someone so noble to play Survivor (sob)…good actress…and then she changed her rhetoric entirely and she “found herself” so she can finally play the game (included, but not limited to ostentatious prayer meetings). I have no problem with any Survivor player doing whatever it takes to win…that’s the game, but have the guts and the integrity to own it… Denise did and, thank heavens, she won. Reading some of these comments, it’s obvious Lisa has America fooled and I’m so sorry Malcolm didn’t win the favorite $. He certainly deserved it far more than phony Lisa.

    • Sirdion

      Denise was a good competitor in challenges but didn’t play the prominent, ultra impressive all-round game that Malcolm did. She made it to the end because of him and capitalised at the very last stage of the game. Malcolm didn’t even have to use his idol. As for Lisa she’s just a Christian vote getter and a good player, but certainly not even close to Malcolm’s standard.

  • Sherlock32

    Malcolm deserved to win the Sprint Player of the Season. Lisa was fake throughout the game.

    • Shann0nchang

      shut up lisa deserves to win!

      • Grace Lo

        She’s a 2-face Christian (angel outside + devil inside)

    • Grace Lo

      Yes Lisa is so fake. How could she say, “I’ts okay to be sometimes good and sometimes bad, even in the context of the game or not. That’s what Christianity is all about…” OMG!!!

  • kcsmum

    Denise is deserving of the win. I was happy for my girl Blair, but maybe Malcolm was the more “deserving.” I was quite disappointed in Penner. He came off like a spoiled crybaby. But I loved Lisa’s comeback asking how much Penner talked to the tribe about what he did between 12 & 21. Touché, Blair!!

  • Lynda Perky

    Denise or Malcolm deserved to win but since the final challenge was his weakness it went to Denise. I think Lisa is definitely deserving of her Sprint win because she did play hard and the award is part game play and part America’s FAVORITE so all is good. I wish Skupin had won something I really like that guy.

    What got up Penner’s ass? In the Ponderosa spots he was talking about how everyone else is so bitter and he is helping them to come to grips and get along blah blah blah. Then at tribal he starts acting like Abi during one of her meltdowns.

    Dawson is a scary stalker type. Everyone laughed but I don’t know…

  • Richard D.

    Where was Tootie?

    • HoH8

      she was with “Jo”, lol…☺…..

  • Malcolm Rulez

    How did Malcolm not win player of the season? What a farce…

    • Sirdion

      Because he didn’t pray to god

  • Shann0nchang

    best final 4 all deserving win. congratulation to denise but im more on lisa. she knows how to play the game. nevertheless it was a season to watch for.

  • Renee

    I wish Malcolm would of won America’s favorite player instead of Lisa, although I’m glad Malcolm is coming back next season though, so we know we will have some eye candy(; & hopefully next season he will win!

  • Seagerdenise

    denise competed hard in every competition. She deserved to win. Lisa deserved to by the sprint player of the season. She played the game well. Malcom was just so conceited and thought he was the best. I am very happy with the outcome…..

    • jackie

      ur an idiot for everything u just said. denise was so annoying and super ugly and hideous and so was her husband and kid. im super pissed about everything. skupin should have won

  • HoH8

    I LOVE my Dimples and i would’ve done the same as Dawson maybe even worse, lol……

    i didnt like that Dimples didnt tell us that Malcom was in #26 and he didnt go to the audience and talk to any past survivors there……

    i rooted for my Malcom and Denise the whole game….so happy that Denise won……

    so glad that Dimples got to talk to all the survivors…some seasons he forgets some of them…….

    i had read the spoilers on the outcome and they were right…so i was expecting what i saw but it was alot of fun anyway, lol……☺……

  • Dawson


  • Grace Lo

    It broke my heart that Malcolm was in final 3 He betrayed… He’s so kind and just winning challenges just like Ozzy but except the last challenge~~~ So sad for him… I hate Liza. It’s all becoz of her. She’s so evil…

  • Ric3001

    in the final vote – who voted for who ?

    • HoH8

      Did u watch the Finale?…..very simple….the epi showed us that Carter voted for Skupin(he wrote his name as Skooopin)……. Shakira voted for Blair….and the rest all voted for Denise…☺….

  • Sandboost

    Wtf, why didn’t they listen to Malcolm, he said Denise would win! Why did they take her to the final three that was Skupin and Lisa’s dumb choice that cost them the chance to win.

  • Sirdion

    Denise was a good competitor in challenges but didn’t play the prominent, ultra impressive all-round game that Malcolm did. She made it to the end because of him and capitalised at the very last stage of the game. Malcolm didn’t even have to use his idol. As for Lisa she’s just a Christian vote getter and a good player, but certainly not even close to Malcolm’s standard

  • jackie

    i hated denise, she is super ugly and super annoying and she should have been voted off right away. malcolm should have won, or rc. the only reason rc didnt make it was cuz abi was super rude and dumb and pete egged her on and they voted her off. if it wasnt for her, rc would have made it to the end. she was smart and good at challenges. im really pissed about this season. lisa was super annoying the whole time and she did not deserve the fav player thing. malcolm should have gotten that.