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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stephenie Edged Out for $1 Million
As Early Word predicted yesterday, Danni Boatwright (left) has won the $1 million jackpot on CBS's Survivor: Guatemala.

After the show, runner-up Stephenie LaGrossa, who grew up in Glenolden, gave a smiling shout-out to folks back home: "I hope all my fans back home in Philly are proud of me, too. ... I'm going back to Philly. I'll be home for Christmas." Interviewed live from L.A. on KYW-TV (Ch. 3), she said she won $100,000, might be getting married soon, and has gotten some offers, including one involving fitness apparel.

The final tally wasn't close. Stephenie got only 1 vote. The reason was obvious: The jury was stacked with people she'd betrayed.

In her opening remarks to the jury, Stephenie, who attended Temple University, failed to say what those folks no doubt wanted to hear: "I'm sorry." Instead, she said, "I've been as honest as I've ever been."

Clearly juror Judd disagreed. After accusing Stephenie of lying to his wife (she visited as part of a reward), he cast his ballot, delivering words meant for Steph: "I always kept my promises. You never did. I promise I ain't votin' for ya."

Earlier, Stephenie botched her best shot, when she and wilderness guide Rafe voted out nonathletic Lydia, 42. She would have been easy pickings in the final immunity challenge, which involved balancing on a wobbly platform. When the less treacherous Danni won it, their gooses were cooked.

Ironically, it was Danni's deceit that influenced Stephenie to betray Judd. When Danni claimed Judd vowed to get rid of the strongest player, Stephenie felt targeted and turned on him.

As host Jeff Probst pointed out, a key moment came when Danni outbid everyone for a secret edge in that episode's immunity challenge. She used it and won immunity. An investment of less than $200 turned into a nice, fat million.


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