Alone: Frozen, an all-star, cold-climate version of the long-running History Channel survival series, has aired its finale, and for the first time in the show’s 10-season, seven-year history, a woman has won.
While men have won every season, including the season contestants competed in pairs, women have been runners-up four times—and two of those women did not decide to leave on their own.
In season three, Carleigh Fairchild was the runner-up, but was forced to leave the competition by the show’s medics because her BMI dropped to a low level. In season seven, runner-up Callie Russell was medically evacuated because of frostbite.
What Alone: Frozen’s winner said being Alone’s first female champion
The six survivalists who retuned for this new 50-day challenge in Labrador, Canada—who “face[d] extreme conditions worse than any previous season,” according to the network—were:
- Greg Ovens, season three
- Woniya Thibeault, season six
- Mark D’Ambrosio, season seven
- Amós Rodriguez, season seven
- Callie Russell, season seven
- Michelle Finn, season eight
The last two standing in the finale were Michelle Finn and Woniya Thibeault, ensuring a female winner. Finn tapped out on day 38, leaving Thibeault to continue to day 50 and win the $500,000 prize.
Woniya Thibeault, 45, is a survival instructor from California and Nevada who teaches “to help people feel connected to their wildest, freest selves, to their human community, and to the living world around them,” according to her company’s website.
She first appeared on season six of Alone, placing second, and writes on her site that “took me to the edge of my physical capacity, and that was before I even stepped onto the plane.”
After winning Alone: Frozen, Woniya said, “I feel so incredibly grateful to be able to represent women in this way, and to show the world that we are every bit as capable.” Watch her reaction to learning that she’d won, and hear everything she had to say: