‘Survivor’ finale: Will Palm Bay lifeguard Janet Carbin win $1 million?
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers about this season of "Survivor."
Did Janet Carbin "outwit, outplay, outlast" enough to win the grand prize? Fans find out this week.
The 59-year-old lifeguard from Palm Bay made it to the finale of the 39th season of “Survivor,” according to News 6 partner Florida Today. The “Survivor: Island of the Idols” season premiered Sept. 25 on CBS and ends Wednesday, Dec. 18, with the winner claiming $1 million. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Carbin competed in the 39-day adventure on the 10-member Vokai Tribe, and she’s made her mark on the long-running reality TV show in a way usually reserved for the younger contestants who for years dominated the series. Beyond the almost-unheard-of act of making fire for her tribe on the first day of the 39-day contest, she has been a physical asset to her team in challenges.
#MeToo on 'Survivor'
On the Nov. 13 episode, Carbin found herself at the center of controversy.
Younger female contestants approached Janet, telling her castaway Dan Spilo had touched them inappropriately. Although a friend and ally of Spilo, Carbin took a moral stand to vote him out and found herself at the middle of a “#MeToo controversy” when the accusers denied the story and voted for a different castaway to be expelled. The incident sparked a social media firestorm and national media attention.
Carbin is guaranteed of making the longest run of any Brevard contestant on the show, as she is one of five remaining. She appears to have settled any major differences with castmates over the controversy, and she will enter the finale with an immunity idol, which could assure her spot in the final four unless another cast member blocks it.
As it turns out, it was Spilo’s departure that moved her from the final six to the final five without the need for another vote.
On Dec. 11, Spilo was ejected for "unacceptable behavior" following an off-camera incident, a first in the show's long-running history. The exact reason for the 48-year-old's removal was not disclosed.
At the end of the episode, a title card read: “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
Spilo, a talent manager from Los Angeles, stirred controversy since day one, when a fellow castaway complained about his “inappropriate touching.” Producers intervened on day 22, when the behavior continued. Spilo was ejected on day 36.
Castaways from Brevard
In CBS promotional material, Carbin described herself as "aggressive" and included among her proudest accomplishments "saving many lives in the ocean." The second-oldest cast member on a show that has been trending older in recent seasons, Carbin was called by host Jeff Probst "pretty hardcore," in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Carbin, who moved here after living in Neptune, N.J., is the third Brevard resident to compete on “Survivor” in the last five seasons, following Ashley Nolan of Satellite High and Sebastian Noel of Viera High. Coincidentally, Carbin, Nolan and Noel auditioned at the “Survivor” casting calls at Port Canaveral and made it on to the show.
Nolan played softball and volleyball for Satellite High and was a Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguard captain cast on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers," the 35th season, which aired in fall 2017. She finished sixth of 18 contestants, lasting 36 of 39 days.
Another Satellite Beach resident and a professional fishing guide, Noel played football for Viera and was cast on "Survivor: Ghost Island" as one of 20 castaways on the show's 36th season. It aired in the winter and spring of 2018. He matched Nolan's finish of sixth place.
"Survivor" made its debut in 2000 as reality television was in its infancy. Cast members compete first as members of tribes and eventually as individuals until only one remains. It bills itself as TV's greatest social experiment with the slogan "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast."
USA TODAY contributed to this report.
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