As you may know Denise Stapley the physically and mentally tough sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa received a much deserved win of a million dollars on Sunday nights finale!
Denise has said that she is the one who “outed” Lisa to Penner, which is the information he so conveniently used at the finale tribal council. She has made peace with Abi even though she acknowledges it was definitely difficult to live with her. Denise was quite shocked that Abi voted for her as sole Survivor! Apparently the only person that still seems bitter towards her is Russell, a Kalabaw tribe mate who left early in the game. Ultimately Denise thinks that what clenched the win for her was that she had attended every tribal council and persevered. She also did not want to apologize for how she played the game being proud of herself in her camp life, social game and her proficiency in challenges. She said that there was a part of her leaving final tribal council that thought “I think I just did it!” She was not overly confident however and didn’t want to jinx it so she would never truly consider winning during the five month period they had to wait for the results. As much as she wanted to hope she never let herself believe it until the votes were announced.
Denise says that her family needs to decompress. She takes her stewardship of the prize money seriously and she and her husband first and foremost want to insure the future of their nine year old daughter and other family members.
The Yak: What surprised you the most watching back the season?
The Yak: Who did you enjoying hanging out with the most?
Denise: Without a doubt definitely Michael Skupin and Lisa. I think there was a difference between the friendship of Malcolm and Michael Skupin and Lisa and I, just partly because of age and life experiences . We would be able to have conversations about our kids and different things. That just doesn’t translate. So just being able to spend time within the game where it wasn’t always about strategy and it wasn’t always about the game. It was great!
The Yak: Did you ever find out what bit you in the neck?
Denise: You know we don’t know! We assume it was likely a centipede. They had asked one of the crew members who was a local there and from the symptoms they assumed it was a centipede. Luckily by the end of the day the pain subsided, it was incredibly painful. Dumb us you know we were sleeping on the ground and it was raining, just nasty nasty!
Before leaving home Denise wrote out a two page strategy on how she wanted to play the game and she reports it was almost by the book.
Thanks Denise for speaking with us and Congratulations on your much deserved win as Sole Survivor!