“Survivor: Philippines” host Jeff Probst told retired Major League Baseball player Jeff Kent during Sunday’s finale and reunion show that Kent’s “exit speech is probably the best there has ever been.”
When Kent was voted out, he said he had earned millions of dollars in baseball but wanted to win this game — and the $1 million, which was probably $600,000 after taxes. Denise Stapley ultimately won the game.
“What is it about this game that you wanted to win?” Probst asked him.
“This game draws you back in,” said Kent, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Austin Texas Oak Hills Stake. “Your competitive nature just gets kicks up another notch. This is a very competitive game.”
“What is it?” Probst asked. “You could do lots of things. You were in the World Series.”
“Baseball is a game of anticipation," Kent said. "And I think that is what this game is about. You sit there at tribal council not knowing if you’re going home, so that anticipation increases your adrenaline drive through the roof. And that draws you in to compete."
Stapley, 41, a therapist, won the $1 million — or $600,000 or less, as they joked about it — and the title of sole Survivor during Sunday’s finale and reunion show. She was at every single tribal council in this season of Survivor.
She was in the final three with “The Facts of Life” actress Lisa Welchel and returning player Michael Skupin.
Probst read six of the eight votes — Stapley had four, Welchel had one and Skupin had one. In a video posted on the Survivor website, Kent shares his thoughts about the final three and why he was planning to vote for Stapley.
Probst asked how the jury members would have voted if Malcolm Freberg, who was in the final four but was voted out just before Welchel, Skupin and Stapley, had been in the final three and Kent indicated that he would have voted for Freberg. Welchel did win $100,000 as the Sprint Player of the Season.
Probst also told Kent that he and the “Survivor” crew learned a lesson about sportsmanship from Kent.
“You came in with this big baggage, which is, you know, from the Major Leagues,” Probst said. “And every time we had a challenge that Jeff Kent lost, I expected to hear complaining. And every time he said, ‘Hey, they got us. We’ll try to get them next time.’ So, I did learn that from you.”
Probst also asked several players questions about the game, including why returning player Jonathan Penner didn’t quite vote the way he said he would have during the tribal council that Kent was voted off.
“We still don’t know why he voted the way he did,” Kent said. “We kind of had a run-in afterwards. ‘What did you throw that vote for?’ because if not, we’d still be on that island together.”
Utahn Angie Layton was voted off in the first week of the game and didn’t outlast the 21 straight days of rain.
“I had a great time. The best experience of my life,” said Layton, who is a fashion school student, was Miss Teen Utah in 2010 and was runner-up during the 2010 Miss Teen USA pageant.
During the final tribal council, the final three — Welchel, Skupin and Stapley — had a chance to speak to the jury members and the eight members of the jury got to ask the final three questions.
Kent told the trio that he’s seen three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what just happened. The episode showed him asking Skupin which category he was in and also asking Wenchel about her game.
The next season of “Survivor” will pit fans versus favorites in the Camaroan Islands.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company