Erwin native Gavin Whitson is one of the few players still standing in “Survivor: Edge of Extinction.” (Photo courtesy of CBS)

By Richard Rourk

The last week before a million dollar winner is announced, Erwin’s own survivor Gavin Whitson is still standing.

During the Wednesday, May 8, episode of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” on CBS, Whitson won the reward challenge, which was for a helicopter ride to a resort in Fiji for a lunch. Whitson was allowed to bring two fellow tribemates and chose Victoria Baamonde and Lauren O’Connell. Winning this reward in past seasons of Survivor proved to be a curse as the winner was often chosen to leave during Tribal Council.

The problem for Whitson was that he had an alliance with Baamonde, O’Connell, and Aurora McCreary, and was only able to take Baamonde and O’Connell on the retreat. McCreary was left behind with Rick Devens, who has been the target of Whitson’s alliance, and Julie Rosenberg, who has sided with Devens.

To make matters worse for Whitson’s alliance, Devens has a hidden immunity idol and Devens pulled out the victory during the immunity challenge. During the Tribal Council, Devens revealed that he had the hidden immunity idol and would be willing to save Rosenberg. Devens leveraged Whitson’s alliance to turn on McCreary and vote her out of the tribe.

The final episode of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction,” which airs on CBS on Wednesday, May 15, at 8 p.m., will see a million dollar winner and Sole Survivor. The finale will see Whitson, Baamonde, O’Connell, Devens, Rosenberg, or one of the contestants stranded on Extinction Island, winning the top prize.

Union Street Taproom, 111 Union St. in downtown Erwin, will host a Survivor Watch Party. NOLI Food Truck will attend and serve their signature dishes. The watch party is family and pet-friendly, according to Union Street Taproom owner Michael Baker.

For more information and updated photos of Whitson’s time on Survivor, you can follow Team Gavin on Facebook.

For more information for upcoming events at Union Street Taproom follow Union Street Taproom on Facebook. To keep up with where the NOLI truck is going to be, follow NOLI Food Truck on Facebook and Instagram.