Historic 'Survivor' finale impacted by the coronavirus

It was a historic finale Wednesday night for an epic season of Survivor: Winners at War. Due to the coronavirus, there was no reunion show for the 40th season and Jeff Probst hosted the show from a makeshift set he put together in his garage. Which meant there were three hours of intense competition, and it all started with the players from extinction island fighting to get back in the game.

Thanks to the three advantages (more than any other player) Natalie Anderson was able to procure on Extinction Island, the Survivor: San Juan del Sur winner edged out the competition, and rejoined the other five contestants left in the game. Fans were excited to see Natalie back in the game after being the first one voted out, but she had a long way to go.

Michele Fitzgerald won the next immunity challenge, which made for an interesting tribal council. After Natalie played her immunity idol, Tony Vlochos and Ben Driebergen played their idols. With all of the votes going to Ben and Natalie, they had to vote again and this time, were only able to vote for Sarah Lacina or Denise Stapley, and Denise ended up getting her torch snuffed.

Tony was able to win the next immunity challenge, while Natalie found another hidden immunity idol. So at the next tribal council, it was between Ben, Sarah, and Michele, and Sarah decided to flip on her alliance, sending Ben off to the jury.

The final immunity challenge was a familiar game that Michele had won in a previous season. But her experience wasn't enough to beat Natalie, who built up quite the resume in the few days she was back at camp.

At tribal, Natalie decided to take Michele with her to the finals, which meant the "Cops-R-Us" duo of Tony and Sarah would face-off in a fire making challenge. It was a very close battle that went back-and-forth, but it was Tony who prevailed in the end. It was an extremely emotional moment for Sarah and Tony, who have been friends since they played together on Survivor: Cagayan back in 2013.

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It came down between Tony, Natalie, and Michele during a rain-soaked final tribal, as each of them plead their case to the jury. The three contestants each had a very different path to the final three, which made it difficult on the jury members. But in the end, they decided in a 12-4 vote that Tony had outlasted, outwit, and outplayed everyone else, and fans mostly agreed.

Although, Michele and Natalie got plenty of love too.

Tony becomes only the second player in Survivor history to win twice, and takes home the $2 million check, which Tony admitted will come in very handy during these uncertain times.

"It's definitely life changing, especially now with what's in the world, you really see how financial security is so important, Tony told Probst. "I have morgateges on buildings, people can't pay their rent. So with this money I'm going to make sure I secure my family and be financially secure for the rest of my life."

Congrats, Tony!

Video Transcript

JEFF PROBST: One of you is going to earn $2 million and become only the second two-time winner in the history of "Survivor." For the first time ever, I'll read the votes from my garage.

TONY VLACHOS: Oh my god.

JEFF PROBST: Here we go.

KYLIE MAR: It was a historic finale Wednesday night for an epic season of "Survivor, Winners at War." Due to the coronavirus, there was no reunion show, and Jeff Probst hosted the show from a makeshift set in his garage. Which meant there were three hours of intense competition, and it all started with the players from Extinction Island fighting to get back in the game.

JEFF PROBST: She's got it!

[SCREAMS]

Natalie has earned her way back into this game after 33 days being the first person voted out. She is now part of the final six.

KYLIE MAR: Fans were excited for Natalie's win, but there was a lot of game left to play. Over the next two hours, we saw Michelle win immunity, not one, not two, but three immunity idols played at tribal council, forcing a second vote, which sent Denise packing, Tony back in his spy nest, and Natalie winning the final immunity challenge, leading to an intense fire making challenge between Cops R Us duo Tony and Sara.

JEFF PROBST: Tony defeats Sarah. Will take the third and final spot at the final tribal council. What a showdown between competitors.

TONY VLACHOS: I love you so much, Sarah.

SARAH LACINA: I love you back.

[APPLAUSE]

Cops R Us.

KYLIE MAR: The Cops R Us duo got a lot of love on Twitter. And it was an emotional moment for Tony, who has been close to Sarah all season. But it was worth it, because after a rain soaked final tribal, Probst finally tallied the votes.

JEFF PROBST: The winner of "Survivor, Winners at War," Tony.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

Congratulations, Tony.

KYLIE MAR: Fans overwhelmingly agreed that Tony deserved the win, with one fan simply tweeting, Tony is the new "Survivor" king. And while becoming king of "Survivor" is cool, Tony is focused on how that $2 million will help his family through these uncertain times.

TONY VLACHOS: Jeff, it's definitely life changing. I mean, especially now with what's going on in the world, you really see how financial security is so important. Like I have mortgages on buildings, people can't pay their rent now. So with this money I'm going to make sure that I secure my family and be financially secure for the rest of my life.