Kenzie Petty could be the first Charlotte resident to win ‘Survivor.’ Here’s what to know

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The Season 46 finale of “Survivor” is set to air Wednesday, and a Charlotte resident could be the first from the Queen City to take home the grand prize.

Kenzie Petty, a 29-year-old Charlottean who owns eXplicit Salon in Camp North End, has survived 12 tribal councils to earn a spot in the top five.

The red-haired, tattooed, self-described “people person” has quickly built a following on social media after being cast on “Survivor,” with her fans dubbing themselves the “Bimbo Brigade.”

“I don’t know how it happened,” Petty told The Charlotte Observer in February, “but yeah, that’s what the fans have decided to call themselves. So we’re running with it.”

Petty also told the Observer that her psychic, who lives in her building and introduced her to “Survivor,” knew she was going to be on the show when she announced she was going on a “yoga retreat.”

“This is Where the Legends Are Made” – Eighteen new castaways embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they are left stranded on the breathtaking islands of Fiji. Tribes must be the first to crack the code to earn essential camp supplies. Then, three castaways will go on a journey away from their new tribes, on the historic two-hour premiere of the 46th edition of SURVIVOR, Wednesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+(live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Jeff Probst serves as host and executive producer. Pictured (L-R): David “Jelinsky” Jelinsky, Kenzie Veurink, Bhanu Gopal, Tiffany Ervin, Q Burdette, and Jessica “Jess” Chong. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“She did not believe the yoga-retreat thing when I announced it,” Petty said. “She said, ‘I knew. I knew that’s what you were doing.’ I was like, ‘Alright. Yeah.’”

Earlier this month, Petty announced on Instagram that she is expecting a child with her husband, Jackson, whom she married in September.

“It’s such an honor to be joining the club of motherhood,” Petty wrote. “I love being pregnant, I love being alive, and I love my little bean. We couldn’t be more over the moon if we tried.”

With just one episode remaining, Petty has quickly become a fan-favorite, with many hoping she takes home the coveted title of “Sole Survivor” – and the $1 million prize.

Here are a few of her most memorable moments from the show.

Forming alliances from Day 1

Kenzie, who called herself the “queen of the tribe,” took initiative and formed an alliance within the “Yanu” tribe, with Q, Tiffany and Jelinsky.

“The four of us working together, wonderful, perfect,” Petty said. “We’ve got brains, we’re all strong, like, we’re good.”

But the partnership quickly eroded when Jelinsky and Jess, another member of her tribe, were the first castaways voted off the island. Q and Tiffany were the 10th and 12th castaways voted out, respectively, leaving Kenzie as the sole remaining member of the “Yanu” tribe in the hunt for the grand prize.

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An act of kindness

On night 13, right after tribal Ben woke up from a dream and began to have a panic attack, Kenzie, who was sleeping nearby, was the first one to comfort him.

“My mom and sister both struggle with anxiety, they struggle with their mental health, so I’ve been helping people regulate sleep and anxiety before I knew what that was, really,” Kenzie told Ben.

Kenzie held his hand and helped him make a fire to calm his nerves, Ben said.

“I don’t care if it’s a game for a million dollars,” Kenzie said during a confessional the next day. “At the end of the day, Ben’s a person. Is he my competition? Yes. But he’s my friend. And sometimes you just have to be there for somebody and sit with them through it.”

Winning immunity

Roughly two weeks into the competition, the challenge that week involved balancing on a platform in the water. The rules were simple: The last one standing on each team (purple and orange) wins the game – and immunity from elimination.

After some time had passed, host Jeff Probst instructed the eight castaways still standing to balance on the platforms using one foot.

Charlie, Tim, Venus, Liz and Hunter lost their balance shortly after transitioning their weight to a single foot, leaving Tiff and Kenzie standing on the orange team.

Kenzie won immunity, lasting only a few seconds longer than Tiff, but her the purple team won the challenge and were rewarded with food.

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What happened in last week’s ‘Survivor’ episode?

We know Kenzie is safe – for now.

But at the beginning of the episode, we hear contestants question why she received an elimination vote during the last tribal when Venus was ultimately sent home.

Ben admits shortly after that he “blanked” in the voting booth and wrote Kenzie’s name down by mistake.

“I was not supposed to write Kenzie’s name down, I was supposed to write Venus’ name down,” he said during a confessional. “I’m at this point in the game where I haven’t been sleeping, and I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

Though Ben begins to dive into the effects of his night terrors, Kenzie seems skeptical about his true intentions of his vote.

“How does that happen, Ben?” Kenzie asks in a confessional of her own. “Either you’re telling a really dumb lie or a really dumb truth. But I’m not going to harp on it.”

Later, Ben shares a moment with Kenzie where he talks about his recent panic attacks and how he appreciates her help through them.

“I could never let someone go through something so scary alone,” Kenzie said during a confessional. “That’s not who I am.”

Kenzie doesn’t come out on top in the reward challenge, which involves rescuing a ball, jumping through hoops and a maze, but the winner, Charlie, chooses her and Liz for the reward since they missed out on the pizza prize during the previous episode.

At the reward meal, Charlie tells Kenzie and Liz about how they need to vote Maria out. But back at camp, Maria talks to Q about eliminating Charlie from the game.

After Maria wins immunity during a water obstacle challenge, Charlie devises a plan Kenzie, Liz and Ben to vote Q out.

Though he had an idol to play to avoid elimination, Q is ultimately sent home, leaving five contestants vying for the grand prize: Kenzie, Ben, Charlie, Liz and Maria.

What are Kenzie’s odds of winning ‘Survivor’?

According to, Kenzie has the best shot at winning, with a 35.1% chance of taking home the grand prize.

Maria and Charlie have a slightly less chance of winning at 30.8%, according to the site, Ben and Liz have the worst odds of winning, at 2.4% and 1.1%.

How to watch the ‘Survivor’ season finale

The three-hour special episode and season finale of “Survivor” will air on Wednesday on CBS at 8 p.m.