David and Sharn face the jury
David and Sharn face the jury

Survivor winner after brutal grilling

Australian Survivor has crowned its first All-Stars winner.

Model David Genat scored a resounding victory over barrister Sharn Coombes after 50 days in the game, picking up $500,000 for his troubles. Footballer Moana Hope placed third.

The votes were revealed by host Jonathan LaPaglia via satellite link-up, as he was unable to travel back to Australia for the finale. Sharn, too, appeared via satellite, having stayed in Melbourne with family for the reveal of the votes.

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Coombes scored just one vote in her favour after an intense grilling from the jury, some of whom accused her of lying and playing a "destructive" game.

FACING THE JURY

Sharn and David plead their cases.
Sharn and David plead their cases.

Before the votes were revealed, David and Sharn fronted the members of the jury for a brutal interrogation.

"I'm the only person in Australian Survivor history to play 100 days of this game - I've never had my torch snuffed," said Sharn, who'd also placed runner-up in her original season. She noted that once the two previous winners were voted out in the first two tribal councils of this season, she realised she had to play a less obvious game.

"I assumed the role of this quiet house mouse, but building genuine relationships with everybody," she said.

"Why do you think I'm sitting here again after 50 days? It's not because I was dragged here. I've been the puppet master."

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David kept the jury entertained with a lively run through his highlights in the game - including being a "mole" within his alliance and duping tribunate Phoebe into sharing her clue for an idol, only to snatch it out from under her.

"I'm the only person in Australian Survivor history to have two idols at the same time," he reminded the jury.

Then they both faced some tough questioning, with jury member Locky accusing David of playing it too safe in the final days of the game.

David has been crowned The Survivor All-Stars winner.
David has been crowned The Survivor All-Stars winner.

Shonee was typically blunt with Sharn: "You didn't get my vote last time, so why should I vote for you this time?"

Harry said Sharn's game had been "destructive" at times, while Brooke made it pretty clear Sharn wouldn't be getting her vote: "You lied to a lot of us here on the jury, and we're all going to determine your fate," she said.

"To me it seems like you're so focused on getting to the top two, rather than the damage you do to the jury. You've done a lot of damage along the way."

Moana then confronted Dave for sending her to the jury, accusing him of being "weak" for avoiding sitting with her at the final two.

"I understand that you have to put your family first - but you took away my dream, to take care of my family," she told him.

HOW DAVID WILL SPEND THE MONEY

Survivor star David is now $500k richer.
Survivor star David is now $500k richer.

Speaking to news.com.au on Monday ahead of the finale airing, David said he left the final tribal council feeling certain he had the win.

"I felt like I had a very good read on the jury - I gave them what they needed, and I had the game to back it up. I felt very confident," he said.

"I feel for (Sharn), she's a brilliant person. To go twice to the final tribal council must be really hard to deal with; it's just brutal."

David said he was as surprised as anyone he wasn't voted out earlier in the game - "I would've gone for me immediately" - but said perhaps this being an All-Stars season helped his cause: "To their credit, they wanted to play with big players. "

David will use most of his winnings to improve life for his family.
David will use most of his winnings to improve life for his family.

 

David had spoken throughout the game about what a win would mean for his family. He told news.com.au that he'd use the $500,000 prize money to relocate them back to Australia from the US and to help meet the needs of his wife has lupus, and his daughter, who is dyslexic. He'd also like to make some charitable contributions to the Fijian villages near where Survivor is filmed, some of which don't have clean water.

"But I'm going to have some fun too - I'm going to buy at least one new motorcycle, if I can swing it!"

THE FINAL CHALLENGE

David and Sharn struggle through the final challenge. Picture: Nigel Wright
David and Sharn struggle through the final challenge. Picture: Nigel Wright

 

Earlier, the final three had battled it out in a tough - but surprisingly quick - final immunity challenge. David, Sharn and Mo each player had to stand on narrow pedestals jutting out of the ocean, with one hand on an idol and the other attached to a weighted cord, pulling each of them off balance. Step off the pedestals or let go, and they were out.

Moana was the first to fall after 70 minutes. After the two-hour mark, Sharn slipped just as suddenly, leaving a stunned David the winner. It was a far cry from the epic final challenges of seasons past, some of which have spanned for more than 10 hours.

GAME'S BIGGEST THREAT

Speaking to news.com.au last week, host Jonathan LaPaglia conceded even he didn't quite understand how a player as dangerous as David had lasted 50 days in the game without anybody voting him out.

"I had the same question when I was on the island, and then when I was watching at home: 'Why are you guys not targeting him from the get-go?' That's the big question that I had. And I really don't know the answer!" LaPaglia said.

"He's pulled off some incredible moves this season that they were all aware of and all fell into line. But just watching him from the season before, Champions vs Contenders, he was super-dangerous then. How can you come into this season and not want to target him straight away? Maybe it's a testament to how charming he is."

Originally published as Survivor winner after brutal grilling