After a whopping 40 seasons of “Survivor,” a King has finally been crowned. Tony Vlachos, who originally dominated the game in “Cagayan,” just won “Winners at War” in a 12-4-0 vote over Natalie Anderson and Michele Fitzgerald. (Read our minute-by-minute live blog.) Tony is now the second player of CBS’s reality TV show to win twice after Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine, who prevailed in “Pearl Islands” and “Heroes vs. Villains.” See the updated “Survivor” winners list by scrolling through our photos above.
Tony fought his way through all 39 days with a huge target on his back, but amazingly he never received a single vote at tribal council. In his final pitch to the jury of 16, this New Jersey police officer talked about how he excelled at all aspects of the game: outwit (by creating social bonds), outplay (by winning four immunity necklaces and finding several idols) and outlast (by being responsible for voting out many of them).
“It’s definitely life-changing,” Tony told host Jeff Probst about winning the record-high prize of $2 million. “With what’s going on in the world, you can really see how financial security is so important. I have mortgages on buildings, people can’t pay their rents now. So with this money I’m gonna make sure that I secure my family and be financially secure for the rest of my life.”
After calling Tony’s triumph a “dominant win,” Jeff apologized that his interview had to be cut short, as the bloated three-hour finale left little room for chitchat. “It was an epic finale,” Jeff declared from his echoey garage. “I look forward to seeing you down the road. You are a great winner and a great representative of our show.”
On Day 39, before the final tribal council, Tony mused about what it would mean to be the first male two-time winner in “Survivor” history. “We always had a Queen of ‘Survivor’ for many, many years,” he said, referring to Sandra. “We’ve never had a King of ‘Survivor.’ Now I’m hoping that I can take it home and be the King.”
“Congratulations King Tony,” Sandra tweeted shortly after Tony’s victory aired on CBS.
— Sandra Diaz-Twine (@SandraDTwine) May 14, 2020