Earl wins Survivor Fiji with first-ever unanimous vote after Dreamz betrays Yau-Man

Earl Cole won Survivor Fiji by a vote of 9-0-0, defeating Cassandra Franklin and Dre “Dreamz” Herd, the first time in the show’s history that a jury has unanimously selected a winner.

That would not have been the case had Yau-Man Chan made it to the end; he was clearly popular among the jury, which said during the reunion that Yau-Man would have received at least six votes had he been in the final three. But Yau-Man was a member of it because Dreamz went back on his promise to Yau-Man to give him immunity in exchange for the car.

While this stunning betrayal got Dreamz to the final three, it also earned him zero votes–and a whole lot of contempt for breaking an agreement he committed to by saying, “I promise to God.” Dreamz was unapologetic; during the reunion, after Jeff Probst asked him repeatedly whether or not he played his fellow cast members and viewers all season, Dreamz finally admitted that he “never intended to keep” his promise to Yau-Man and said, “I never told the truth, so I never wanted to start telling the truth.”

The season that started slowly with half the cast living in luxury ended with a finale of broken promises, which is what this season will be remembered for. Even the winner, Earl, went back on a promise, voting for his friend Yau-Man when Dreamz decided to keep immunity for himself. That earned him some harsh words from the jury, which was a long angrier and much more self-important than they usually are, talking over the final three, ordering them around, and generally being assholes. While some of their questions were valid, the whole thing was very uncomfortable. Apparently, the jury either forgot–or finally realized–that they are all losers.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.