Four finalists remained going into tonight's (Dec. 16) finale of "Survivor: Philippines": (Lisa Whelchel, returning player Michael Skupin, Malcolm Freberg and Denise Stapley.
And after 39 days and sitting in every single Tribal Council, Denise won the million-dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.
Before announcing the vote, however, Jeff Probst called for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Newton tragedy -- offering a sober perspective on what it really means to "survive."
So "Survivor" is just a game, but Denise outwitted, outplayed and outlasted her way from the bottom to win.
Here's how she got there ...