Survivor: Philippines: Denise Stapley Wins $1 Million!

Entertainment Dec. 17, 2012 AT 9:30AM
Michael Skupin; Denise Stapley; Lisa Whelchel Michael Skupin; Denise Stapley; Lisa Whelchel Credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage.com; Frederick M. Brown/Getty (2)

After 39 days out in the elements of the Philippines, Iowa sex therapist Denise Stapley outwitted, outplayed and outlasted her Survivor competition to take home season 25's $1 million prize.

Though she risked elimination throughout the series having attended every single tribal council session with her Matsing, Kalabaw and merged Dangrayne tribe, Stapley emerged victorious over returning player Michael Skupin and former Facts of Life child star Lisa Whelchel when a jury of her peers awarded her Survivor's top prize of $1 million.

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Survivor's fourth-place finalist, Malcom Freberg, was the last player named to the jury after his elimination on day 38. Six of the eight jury members voted for Stapley to win, with Skupin and Whelchel splitting the remaining votes.

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"In Iowa, you can do a lot with this," Stapley, 41, said after being named Sole Survivor by series host Jeff Probst, who presided over the live finale from Los Angeles.

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Whelchel -- who kept her role as Blair Warner on The Facts of Life a secret until the final tribal council -- did not walk away empty handed. On Sunday's finale, the married mom was awarded $100,000 after fans voted online to name her Sprint's Player of the Season.

Tell Us: Did Denise Stapley deserve to win Survivor: Philippines?

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