Mark Wales Wins Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water

who won australian survivor blood vs water finale 2022 chrissy zaremba mark wales shay lajoie winner wins final tribal council winner

Mark Wales has been named this year’s Sole Survivor, as Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water comes to an end.

It’s been a highly charged season jam-packed with emotional betrayals, blindsides galore, and some of the most gruelling challenges we’ve seen yet.

This season saw Castaways sign up in pairs for the Blood Vs Water theme, only to have host Jonathan LaPaglia separate the duos immediately.

There was no bigger shock than the moment two-time winner and Queen of Survivor, Sandra Diaz-Twine herself, landed on the beach, alongside her daughter Nina Twine, who was playing for the first time.

After retiring from the game after playing Survivor: Winners at War back in 2019, Sandra came out of retirement for Australian Survivor when she realised she would have the opportunity to play alongside her daughter Nina.

“I keep saying I’m retired, but I keep coming back!” she laughed while speaking to The Latch.

“As of right now, I’m retired again!” Sandra said that she had “passed the torch on” to Nina, explaining: “She’s capable, she knows the game, I hope that American Survivor watches and says ‘damn, we messed up passing on her!’ She’s ready for whatever comes next!”

For a time, it seemed like Nina would be a force to be reckoned with, until a twist of fate saw her fracture her ankle during a Reward Challenge. “I can’t decide if this is worse than being blindsided!” Nina exclaimed during her emotional medical evacuation.

In Nina’s absence, a very strong alliance of six emerged, consisting of Sam Gash and her husband Mark Wales, cousins Jordan Schmidt and Josh Millgate, as well as “Juicy” Dave Goodchild and Chrissy Zaremba.

The group proved near indestructible, as they blindsided big players of the season like King Khanh Ong and Jesse Hansen. Oh, and Sam pinched Jesse’s Hidden Immunity Idol in the process, marking one of the biggest betrayals of the season.

Even after KJ Austin won an advantage in the Australian Survivor auction that enabled her to blindside Jordan out of the game, the remaining players continued working together, for the most part, and quickly eliminated Juicy Dave, Jordie Hansen and KJ.

This left Chrissy, Mark, Josh and Shay going into the finale. The final challenge saw the final four go head-to-head in an epic endurance challenge, which Shay won, forcing the remaining three members of the Big 6 alliance to turn on each other as they went into Tribal Council.

Josh made a pitch to Mark that they could load up on votes and eliminate Chrissy, but Mark wasn’t having any of that. He pitched to Chrissy that they vote Josh out because he was the biggest threat for the win.

In the end, Shay, Mark and Chrissy all voted Josh, and Josh voted Chrissy. Notably, Josh refused to hug anyone on the way out. Ouch!

When it came to the Tribal Council, Mark made a strong pitch to the jury.

“When I walked onto the sands of Samoa four years ago, I met the love of my life,” he began, looking at Sam. “We didn’t want to be the couple who came back and blew it.”

Mark said that “the strategy that [he] came up with was to win,” noting that it “sounds simple, but it was really hard to execute”.

Mark then detailed all of his strategic moves, beginning with targeting Andy Meldrum in the very first episode, through to when he chose not to reunite with Sam when it came time to swap tribes, and then down to the decision to vote Josh out at the last tribal council.

“I’m sure it still stings but I’m still your mate,” he told Josh.

“There’s no doubt this has been an incredible season. The only thing left to do now is to read the votes. A moment like this should be shared with the people you love the most,” said Jonathan LaPaglia.

They then brought in the families of the Final Three, including Mark’s dad and step mum.

Unable to make it to the Final Tribal Council, they also played a video from Sam’s mum and Mark’s step mum, who was with the couple’s son, Harry.

“Harry wants to say I love you daddy I love you mummy,” adding that she “wasn’t surprised Mark had done so well”.

“He’s a champion,” she added.

Miss the finale and want to catch up? Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water is streaming now on 10 Play. Catch all of our coverage, here. Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.