Aras Baskauskas, the good-looking, single, yoga instructor hottie from Santa Monica, won the $1 million prize on “Survivor: Panama – Exile Island” Sunday night after the jury of cast-offs decided they hated Aras less than they hated Danielle DiLorenzo, who had earlier been the sole vote to eliminate heavy-favorite Terry Deitz. Danielle's only chance was to pick Aras for the final two hoping she might squeeze past in the jury voting which came down to a popularity contest, as always.
During the 5-week island stay, Aras always played well with others and didn't rock the boat, while Danielle blew it early by boasting that she was not interested in making friends and in the end, when it mattered, it was Aras' new friends who made him rich.
"I felt that everyone took a liking to Terry towards the end. It was a fifty-fifty. It was risky," Danielle said of her choice to try to outlast the yoga instructor versus taking the popular fighter pilot with her. "These were two of the most competitive and smartest. I think that they played the game the best out of everybody and I just figured that either way I was taking a shot."
To confirm her choice as the right one, Jeff Probst polled the jury. Only Cirie and Bruce would've have voted for Danielle.
“Terry is the most deserving of the 16 to win the $1 million,” said Shane Powers, the crazy guy who chose the Survivor show to also try to quit smoking. He called Danielle “useless” at the campsite.
Terry voted Aras as the winner and showed enormous respect for him during the challenges. “I’m just so used to writing this name down,” he said, before adding, “Of the two of you, you are head and shoulders the winner.”
“The biggest mistake I made was not keeping the game in my own hands and then relying on somebody else to take care of it for me,” Terry said after he was voted out. “That’s what got me.”
But, he added, it was “not bad for a 46-year-old guy. I hope I made my friends and family proud.”
He was the third oldest of the 16 who began the 39-day competition whose season started in February; Danielle and Aras were tied with two others as the youngest at 24.
When Jeff asked how the jury would have voted had Terry been in the final two, a show of hands showed the veteran pilot would have been the winner. “You were that close to a million dollars, Terry,” he said. And it's interesting to note that Terry continued the curse of the person winning the car challenge not going on to win the grand prize.