Thursday, August 24, 2000

And the sole 'Survivor' is. . .Rich

By Frazier Moore
The Associated Press

        NEW YORK — Richard Hatch, the ruthless strategist on CBS' Survivor, proved his mettle Wednesday night by wrangling the million-dollar prize.

        During the two-hour finale, Mr. Hatch edged out three rival castaways on the tropical island that served as the setting for this game-show hit. Outlasting Rudy Boesch, Susan Hawk and Kelly Wiglesworth, Mr. Hatch became the lone survivor from the 16 who marooned themselves on remote Pulau Tiga at the series' launch in May.

        When Survivor premiered three months ago, critics called it Gilligan's Island meets Lord of the Flies. On Wednesday, much of America called it a must-see.

        But the TV show more directly comparable was Dallas. Since that drama's “Who Shot J.R.?” mystery in 1980, nothing had gripped the nation in quite the same way.

        An audience that experts said might reach 40 million awaited the final resolution: Would Rudy, Richard, Susan or Kelly be the island cast away who returned home a millionaire?

        A half-hour into the show, Susan, the trucker from Palmyra, Wis., was sacked in a tribal vote.

        River guide Kelly had won immunity from that vote after correctly answering the most questions about former castaways. She also won the second immunity challenge by standing the longest with a hand on the immunity idol.

        Then, in the second tribal council, Kelly decided the fates of Richard and Rudy. Rudy, the retired Navy SEAL was picked off.

        The final choice was handed down by a jury of seven former tribe-mates. Their vote was a squeaker: 4 to 3.


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