‘Survivor 46’ finale: 5th place finisher receives standing ovation after elimination — ‘I feel amazing’

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Warning: this story contains spoilers from the “Survivor 46” finale — read at your own risk!

Heading into the Final 5 immunity challenge on finale night, Maria Shrime Gonzalez knew that her game was on the line, and the only way to save it was to win the necklace. Unfortunately, the 47-year-old parent coach from Dallas never could have predicted that two of her fellow competitors, Kenzie Petty and Liz Wilcox, would team up at the challenge to take her down. Without the safety of the immunity necklace, Maria was a sitting duck at tribal council and was unanimously eliminated in fifth place.

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Before Maria brought her torch over to Jeff Probst to be snuffed, her former teammates — Kenzie, Liz, Charlie Davis and Ben Katzman — all gave her a big hug and raved about her gameplay. Charlie referenced the ouster as a “big one,” Ben called her “Lieutenant Mom,” Liz told her she did a “great job,” and Kenzie praised her as “incredible.” Maria teared up at the show of emotion from her friends.

The foursome then jumped up and gave her a standing ovation on her way out of the tribal council area. In a season full of so many blindsides and betrayals, Maria’s elimination was not a surprise at all. She had won three individual immunity challenges — one shy of the all-time female record — and was likely on her way to claiming the $1 million check had she made it past this vote.

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“You know what? I feel amazing,” Maria stated in her exit interview. “I played such a good game. I’m 47 and I smoked some of these guys. It felt really good to know that, at my age, at my stage of life, I still got it.”

Earlier that day, Kenzie and Liz told Maria that she was a “bad ass” and the only way they could defeat her in the challenge was by working together. While Kenzie and Ben were at the “Survivor Sanctuary” enjoying the season’s final reward, Maria was back at camp looking for a Hail Mary in the form of a hidden immunity idol. Alas, there was none to be found. Maria’s last-ditch strategic effort was to try to get everyone to vote out Ben because he was playing an under-the-radar game, but no one took the bait.

Are you happy with how things played out during the “Survivor 46” finale, titled “Friends Going to War,” on May 22, 2024? Let us know by sounding off down in the comments section.

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