'Survivor: Winners at War' Season 40: Denise Stapley pulls biggest power move ever in show's history
'Survivor: Winners at War' Season 40 returned on Wednesday night, March 18, with a new episode. The previous episode saw Rob Mariano get booted from the show and sent to Edge of Extinction. It was also then, that two tribes became three after the tribe swap and 'Tribe Yara' came into being alongside 'Tribe Sele' and 'Tribe Dakal'.
Now in the preview for the March 18 episode, it was clear that not one but two players would be eliminated. "Only the first tribe wins immunity....Both of the losing tribes will vote somebody out of this game,” host Jeff Probst said while breaking the news to the remaining 14 castaways.
After the immunity challenge, last week's losers 'Tribe Yara' turned it around and prevailed over the other two tribes who had the sword of being sent to EoE hanging over them as they were about to head to Tribal Council later on in the evening. It was here that Denise Stapley shocked everyone by pulling off one of the biggest moves that the show might've ever seen. Denise, a newbie to Dakal tribe along with Jeremy Collins, after the tribe swap joined tribe originals Sandra Diaz-Twine, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe and Tony Vlachos, but it didn't require a lot of thinking to know it was either Jeremy or her who was heading for elimination.
Sandra saw this as an opportunity to pocket some fire tokens. She seemed to have played on Denise's plight of being a new member of the tribe and told her that all of them are voting her out at the council. Getting a bit creative, she told Denise that she would sell her an immunity idol that could possibly help her at the council, in return for two fire tokens. Denise already had an immunity idol and didn't really need another one in order to save herself. She, however, did see this as an opportunity to turn the game on its head and agreed to buy the idol.
She gave Sandra a fire token before they went to tribal council and promised her to give her another one post their return to camp. The prospect of having the deciding vote as to who would be eliminated, in case Sandra was right about the whole tribe voting her out, seemed exciting to Denise. The duo kept this deal a secret in order for Sandra to make it appear that she was working with the other tribemates the whole time and none of them had to know about her strategy for earning fire tokens.
Tribal council rolled in and the Dakal tribe cast their votes. Host Jeff was about to start counting the votes and that is when Denise played the idol she bought from Sandra leaving all the votes cast against her null and void. Counting of votes was about to resume again but Denise stopped host Jeff again and played her other immunity idol for Jeremy. Jeff finally went on to read the votes: Denise, Denise, Denise, Denise... Sandra.
In one unbelievable move, Denise saved herself from elimination, blindsiding Sandra who 'offered' her a chance to save herself, removing a legend from the game, all the while also saving Jeremy as well. Special mention to the fact that she did all this without parting away with the second fire token since Sandra didn't come back to camp and got sent to EoE instead.
What did you think of Denise's move? Let us know in the comments.
'Survivor: Winners at War' Season 40 airs every Wednesday night only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.