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Tom Westman Wins Survivor Palau, Ian Earns Respect

May 15, 2005 11:29 PM by Joe Blackmon

Tom_westmanIn probably one of the most unusual Survivor moves in history, Ian Rosenberger spent eleven hours and fifty-five minutes standing on a small metal disk only to voluntarily step off and hand victory over to Tom Westman.  In the Thursday, May 12 episode of Survivor, Ian promised to try “not to be stupid again” after an error in judgement almost got him voted off.

Unfortunately, Ian didn’t have much luck at his goal, and opening his mouth at the wrong time during the Sunday, May 15 finale of Survivor might very well have cost him a million dollars.  Before the first immunity challenge, Ian professed “I win the challenge then Tom goes home.  I don’t win the challenge then all of a sudden Tom’s my best friend again.”

In one of the most complex immunity challenges ever that involved climbing a tower, swimming, and figuring out the combination to a lock, Tom Westman was victorious.  Tom told Jenn that he was staying loyal to his friend Ian, but Ian opens his mouth and tells Tom that it would have been a tough decision if he had won the immunity challenge.  This statement opens up the door for Tom to question why he is being loyal to Ian. 

At tribal council, the vote ends in a tie between Ian and Jenn.  In a fire building challenge, Ian is victorious and Jenn is eliminated from Survivor.  After tribal council, Tom rides Ian about plotting to vote him off and tells Ian “to step up and be a man and confess to the whole thing.”  Ian is reduced to tears over the whole incident.

Which leads up to the final immunity challenge, an endurance challenge to see who can stand on a metal disk the longest.  After facing heavy winds and rain, Katie bows out of the challenge after a couple hours.  Tom offers Ian a deal saying that he will take Ian with him if Ian steps down.  Ian refuses, but after a couple hours he approaches Tom with another deal proposal.  Ian offers to step down if Tom will take Katie with him.  Ian says he is doing so because earning back the respect of his friends is more important to him than a million dollars.  After Ian quits, Tom jokes with him saying, “I was about to fall off too, I’m surprised you did that.

At the final tribal council, the jury members grill Tom and Katie.  Katie in particular takes a lot of heat being called everything from pathetic to phony and cruel.  Tom also takes some criticism for not staying true to his five-person alliance.  In a live vote count in New York, Jeff Probst declares Tom Westman the winner of Survivor: Palau.  Jeff also reveals that Guatemala will be the next location for Survivor.      

Topics: Survivor |

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8 Responses to “Tom Westman Wins Survivor Palau, Ian Earns Respect”

  1. rod Says:
    May 16th, 2005 at 1:39 am

    I definetely agree that Tom Westman wins as a sole Survivor. He deserves a million dollar, a hero firefighter has a luck in every challenge. But ian decision earns my respect that somehow, respects are better than a million dollar! Your Great!

  2. JohnA Says:
    May 16th, 2005 at 10:16 am

    Undoubtedly Tom deserved to win and I’m happy for him. Throughout the 39 days Katie was essentially worthless and contributed almost nothing to the tribe. How anyone could justify giving her a vote is well beyond my comprehension.

    The main problem that I have with the show is the fact that virtually all the physical challenges give male contestants a considerable edge. I know that CBS tries to insert a bit of a mental challenge to these events but it’s still not enough to offset the advantage.

    Of course without these type of competitions the show would be pretty dull. So fair or not, I guess that’s show biz!!

  3. JohnA Says:
    May 16th, 2005 at 10:20 am

    Sorry for posting again so quickly but I did want to heartily agree with Rod who posted above. Aside from Tom’s win, Ian’s move was the highlight of the show. He proved to be a class act.

  4. sirgarz Says:
    May 16th, 2005 at 8:47 pm

    Sorry i gotta say i think Ian is an idiot. Who goes on a game show to make friends? Change the game to Wheel of Fortune and its obvious what a ridiculous move it was. I was hoping that Jeff would have asked the Jury how many people would have voted Ian if it were Ian and Tom sitting in the final 2.

  5. MariaW Says:
    May 17th, 2005 at 3:01 am

    I think Tom would still have won (and deservedly so!) if he and Ian were in the final 2. While Tom had always defended Ian, Ian had mentioned to others that he would consider voting Tom off. I’m sure Caryn, Jen, Kat, Jenu & Steph would not have got his votes.
    He may not have meant it or may not have carried it out but he lacked the maturity to know you should not speculate such things out loud, esp. in a competition.
    Or who knows, he may have spent 11+ hours thinking what he would say to each member of the Jury and then he realised he wouldn’t win against Tom, so bow out and regain their respect (and ours at teh same time). who knows?!

  6. JohnA Says:
    May 17th, 2005 at 9:50 am

    I’m just amazed at the jerks who berated Tom at tribal council for lying and being underhanded. Give me a break! Like they would have done any different?

    By the way, someone told me that they thought that those finishing in the final 4 were all in the money. My impression was that Tom got the million and Katie $100,000 for finishing second and that was it. Can anyone comment?

  7. mary Says:
    May 17th, 2005 at 4:20 pm

    but rod just as many women have won.in fact the one that wins most immunities rarely wins. tom was most deserving.

  8. cs Says:
    May 18th, 2005 at 11:03 pm

    Everyone was getting pissed off at Ian for the way he played the game, but if I remember correctly, Katie did the exact same thing in teaming up with Gregg and Jenn on the cruise. And Tom just threatened everyone and stabbed Gregg in the back. Also, Katie was part of the exact same Ian/Katie/Jenn alliance to vote off Tom! I think Ian did the right thing, but he was no worse (and probably was better) than each of the other three. Hyprocritical much?

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