The Final Tribal Council is the final event of the game before the reunion. This is where the finalists face the Jury, who will have a very important decision to make in voting for a winner. The person who gets the most votes from the Jury will win the title of Sole Survivorand the one million dollar prize that goes with it.
On Day 39 (or Day 42 in Survivor: The Australian Outback), the final two or three generally either clean up, tear down, or burn down their camp as a tribute to surviving until the end of the game to pay a tribute to the time they played in the game. They then trek to Tribal Council one final time. Up until Survivor: Panama every season ended with a Final Two, but since the Final Three was introduced in Survivor: Cook Islands, only Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: Tocantins, and Survivor: Cagayan have had a final two.
While remaining contestants are present to watch over the proceedings, the host, Jeff Probst, does not ask either the finalists nor the Jury any questions, as opposed to an ordinary Tribal Council.
Another change is that in the Final Tribal Council votes are cast not by the remaining contestants, but by the Jury, and that they are voting for and not against somebody.
The finalists will be given a chance to convince the Jury that they deserve to win Survivor. They might talk about their strategic moves, they're alliances or their athletic ability but no matter what they talk about they are trying to convince the Jury that thy are the most deserving person to win the title of Sole Survivor. After the finalists deliver their opening speeches, the Jury will given a brief time to think about their speech or question before addressing them. Each Jury member has the option to:
Ask each of the final players a question (either for one specific finalist, or all of them), which that player must answer.
Make a short speech which requires no answer but is meant to throw the finalists off guard, possibly venting all of the Juror's frustrations after being eliminated from the game, or telling the Jury why they should vote for a certain player.
When all Jury members are finished, each final player will make a closing statement, allowing them to respond generally to the Jury's questions and again explain why they would be the most deserving winner (this practice has been abandoned since Cook Islands). After this, the host will ask the Jury to vote for who they think deserves to win the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar cash prize. Unlike previous Tribal Council sessions, where players write the name of the tribe mate they want to go home, this time, the Jury votes for a winner.
After the vote, the voting urn with the votes in it is taken away by the host. The players are told that the vote will be announced during the live finale, and the votes are secured somewhere until then (it should be noted, though, that on Survivor: Borneo the votes were read immediately after voting). On two situations, in Africa and Thailand, the Final Tribal Council and finale have been spliced together to disguise them as one event, until moments later the camera shows the studio audience. This is possible by re-creating the Tribal Council area in the stage and telling the contestants to wear the exact same clothes they wore on the Final Tribal Council.
Prior to the use of a three-way final Tribal Council, the Jury has always been odd-numbered with seven people, thus ensuring that no tie would be possible. However, with every Final Three Jury, or as in the case of Micronesia of an even-numbered Jury for a Final Two, a tie may be possible; it is unknown what mechanism is used to resolve a tie should it occur as it hasn't occurred yet. During the finale of Micronesia, Jeff Probst was seen holding a white envelope that he claimed held the solution for a possible post Jury vote tiebreaker, but its contents have not been revealed as of yet since no tie for first place has occurred yet in the show's history (there have been three instances of two players in a final three vote being tied for second).