LOS ANGELES >> Sophie Clarke slayed the competition on "Survivor: South Pacific."
The brainy 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, N.Y., overcame 39-year-old "Survivor" veteran Benjamin "Coach" Wade of Susanville, Calif., and 26-year-old high school baseball coach Albert Destrade of Plantation, Fla., to win the CBS reality competition’s $1 million grand prize Sunday. Clarke earned six votes from the nine-person jury of former players.
"I think I had my finger on the pulse of the game the whole time," said Clarke after it was announced she won.
Clarke secured her place among the final three contestants on the 23rd edition of "Survivor" by forging a strong alliance from the outset and winning three individual immunity challenges, including the final physical competition, which ousted seasoned 30-year-old "Survivor" veteran Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth of Venice, Calif., from the 39-day survival contest.
"I knew the only one that could beat me at a challenge — no offense, guys — was Sophie," Lusth said.
Wade, who previously competed on the "Tocantins" and "Heroes vs. Villains" editions, and Lusth, who was featured on the "Cook Islands" and "Micronesia" editions, formed strong alliances with new contestants, though Lusth spent most of the game’s second half on Redemption Island battling fellow voted-off castaways for a chance to return to the game.
At the end of the finale, show host Jeff Probst announced that the 24th season would be titled "Survivor: One World" and would feature two tribes competing against each other while living together on one island. "One World" is set to premiere in February.