Kim Spradlin isn't the only "Survivor: One World" winner. OK, technically she is — that cool $1 million is firmly in her bank account — but the season's four finalists can also take comfort in knowing that they made "Survivor" history together: For the first time in 24 seasons, there was not a single man left standing among the final five contestants.
The feat is all the more impressive considering where the women began. At the outset of "One World," the two tribes were separated on gender lines, with the men of Manono showcasing their clear physical advantage with two early immunity wins. It certainly didn't help that the women of Salani were turning on each other, with in-fighting dominating much of their air time in the season's earliest episodes.
Eventually, the women pulled themselves together to stage one of the most impressive comebacks in "Survivor" history, knocking five men out in a row and cutting out the final male — the unforgettable Tarzan — one vote later. So after such a rocky start, how did Salani find the strength to rally together and get rid of the men?
"I think it's because we had a rocky start, I believe that's why we ended up with five women at the end," Kim told MTV News at the "One World" finale on Sunday night. "We had to learn to trust each other. We really had to get each other's backs and become a group."
"There was a day when we all just stood around. We held each other's hands. We were like, 'You know what? We can do this,' " third-place finisher Chelsea Meissner said. "I think it was that first challenge we won against the guys, where they were really ahead of us and we came out of nowhere and won it. We all hugged and it was that moment where we realized, 'We can do this. We can so do this.' "
Christina Cha, who finished the season in fourth place, credited the women's success to the men's willingness to cannibalize each other. "That was what I noticed about the guys — they had no unity," she said. "The guys weren't united from day one."
Another factor, according to runner-up Sabrina Thompson: The men simply were not needed. "You don't need a man in this game to come get [you] fire, to do this or do that," she said. "Once we started winning challenges, we knew we could do this."
In a season dominated by precisely one person, one would think that the plan to get rid of all of the men stemmed from winner Kim. But one of her fellow finalists remembers things differently.
"You know what? I'm going to take credit for this one Kim, OK?" fifth-place finisher Alicia Rosa weighed in, recalling the fall of the men with the same firecracker glee that made her such a memorable competitor all year long. "I [outlined] who the five girls were, from the beginning, and that we were going to wipe [the men] off the island. That, to me, was my biggest dream come true, to do that. I always said that on the island: 'We have to do this. We have to do this. Do not play with those men. It is not going to happen! '"
Not to say that the self-proclaimed mastermind of the men's demise isn't without some regrets.
"I will say I wish Matt had used a little bit more of his Southern charm. Maybe he would've lasted a little bit longer," Alicia laughed. "He was really nice to look at!"
Previously On MTV News' "Survivor" coverage:
» Why Kim Deserved to Win
» Kim Spradlin Talks Winning "One World"
» Our Final "Survivor" Predictions
» "Survivor: One World" Gets Tarzaned
» Troyzan Surrenders His Island
How do you feel about the women's domination over the men? Let us know in the comments section or hit me up on Twitter @roundhoward!