12/20/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
And the $1 million "Survivor: Thailand" winner is: Brian Heidik, 34, a used-car salesman and part-time actor from Quartz Hill, Calif., who edged out Clay Jordan, 46, a restaurateur from Monroe, La.
The ballots were tallied live during Thursday's intense two-hour finale of the CBS series, with the four remaining survivors having to make it through three tribal councils and two immunity challenges -- one having to do with swallowing a boiled tarantula.
"This is a game," said Heidik, who won both challenges. "We're not at Club Med."
The evening began with four finalists, but Navy swim instructor Helen Glover and teacher Jan Gentry were booted before the final tribal council. Heidik won it all in a 4-3 vote.
When casting her vote, Glover said, "Brian, what happened between you and I (sic) happened between you and I (sic). But in the context of the game, I'm a bigger person and can look beyond what happened to me. You deserve to win ... Several of the team challenges, you almost single handedly won on your own, so for that and your work ethic, you get my vote tonight."
Heidik's acting credits include such shows as "Baywatch Nights," "Doogie Howser, M.D." and the soap "Days of Our Lives." He was also exposed as a former soft-core porn star by the Web site TheSmokingGun.com.