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Survivor Season 40 Recap Podcast: A Toast to Tony Vlachos, the GOAT of Survivor

'Winners at War' champ Tony Vlachos makes us all look like fools for doubting his victory, and that's OK

Fox Van Allen

Back in the Survivor: Winners at War pre-season, we thought there was no way one-hit-wonder Tony Vlachos could become a two-time winner. He's too erratic. He's too loud. He's too big of a target. He's too ... Tony.

But in the final episode of Survivor's 4oth season, "It All Boils Down To This," Tony proved us all wrong. And boy, do TV Guide's resident Survivor superfans, the Survivor Brothers, have something to say about that in their finale wrap-up podcast:

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As strong as Tony's performance was all season long, his victory in the finale was not fully assured. After being forced to burn his Hidden Immunity Idol at the final six, Tony came back to win individual immunity at final five and then, in order to secure his spot in the final three, best Sarah Lacina -- pardon us, just Lacina now -- in a fire-making challenge for the ages.

Tony Vlachos and Sarah Lacina make fire in Survivor: Winners at War
CBS/Screenshot

Tony did it all against an incredibly strong challenge from Edge of Extinction returnee Natalie Anderson. Even with Natalie's two idol plays and her own individual immunity win at final four, Survivor's most famous "Twinnie" could only muster four jury votes to Tony's 12.

Could Natalie have turned the tide and eeked out a win with a different strategy? And was Michele Fitzgerald cheated out of a much-deserved second-place finish by nervous jurors? The bros definitely have some thoughts about that.

Natalie Anderson competes in the Survivor: Winners at War return challenge
Screen Grab, CBS/Screen Grab

Plus, the bros discuss the stunning decision by Ben Driebergen to give up his game -- and his shot at $2 million -- for the benefit of Lacina. Was it a "quit?"

And, yes, of course your Survivor Brothers hosts discuss Jeff Probst's shocking call for 16-year-olds to apply for the next season of Survivor. Are we about to get Survivor: Family Edition? And are teenagers psychologically equipped to handle a game that has lasting effects on its mature players?

It's all on this week's Survivor Brothers -- a finale wrap-up special that you can listen to here:

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Tony Vlachos celebrates victory with his family


Thanks so much for reading and listening to the Survivor Brothers podcast all season long. If you're a huge fan of CBS reality TV, we'd like to humbly suggest you subscribe to TV Guide's Big Brother Brothers podcast!

Fox Van Allen and Lance Cartelli will be returning this summer -- or whenever Big Brother 22 happens -- to cover that show from top to bottom. Subscribe to the Big Brother Brothers now to get the latest news about the season's premiere date, contestant previews, live feed scoops, interviews with past Houseguests and more!

Survivor: Winners at War is now over, but you can watch it and every season of Survivor on CBS All Access.

Follow host Fox Van Allen on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow host Lance Cartelli on Twitter and Instagram.

Catch select episodes of Survivor Brothers on YouTube.

Check out Fox and Lance's Big Brother Brothers: The Ultimate Unofficial Podcast From TV Guide.

And if you've read this far down the page, you should totally leave Survivor Brothers glowing reviews on your favorite podcasting app!

Tony Vlachos watches Michele Fitzgerald practice fire making on Survivor