Australian Survivor may have crowned its latest Sole Survivor in a nail-biting final episode but do you know how the finales really unfold?

Monday night saw Mark Wales crowned the winner in a unanimous vote against Shayelle Lajoie and Chrissy Zaremba after 47 brutal days in the Aussie bush.

The finale was once again filmed on-set at the conclusion of the competition, marking Australian Survivor: Blood v Water the second series in a row without a live finale.

australian survivor abbey holmes
Abbey Holmes lifts the lid on what happens at a Survivor finale. Source: Network Ten.

So, how does a Survivor finale typically work?

In an exclusive chat with So Dramatic!‘s Megan Pustetto, two-time Australia Survivor competitor Abbey Holmes said there are usually “months” between the final vote and announcing the winner.

“So, generally what happens… in that last tribal council, they pitch their story to become the Sole Survivor and the jury votes,” she spilled in episode 100 of the So Dramatic! podcast. “But then [host Jonathan LaPaglia] grabs the urn and he says ‘I’ll go count the votes’.”

is the australian survivor finale live
The finale is usually filmed “months” after the final vote. Source: Network Ten.

After the final vote count, JLP declares “I’ll take the votes with me to Australia” before the season wraps up at whatever wondrous international location they’ve called home for the preceding two months.

“Then they do a live finale months down the track to announce the winner,” Abbey dished. It all seems very dramatic, but according to the star, it’s to avoid spoilers leaking before the finale airs.

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Abbey Holmes Is Yet to Experience an Australian Survivor Finale

Despite having appeared in two seasons of the hit survival series — Champions VS Contenders in 2019 and then All Stars in 2020 — Abbey is yet to experience all that a live finale has to offer.

“I haven’t been able to go to the finale,” the AFLW star explained, adding that it’s been a culmination of setbacks.

“I didn’t go to the season four finale because it was around footy finals, and then [2020] with the All Stars finale, that was when COVID had really hit,” she said. “Hardly anybody went up to Sydney from Melbourne…. Not everybody was there.

“So I’m still yet to experience the finale, which breaks my heart.”

Want even more behind the scenes Australian Survivor goss? Listen to episode 100 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!

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