EW: Sarah’s clearly still a little sore at you. Anyone else?
TONY: I believe they understood that it was a game and that my strategy was not to go in the game and swear on my family. Everybody knows my heart was in the right place at that moment and that’s why they believed me as much as they did, because it was real, it was true, and it was genuine. As far as Sarah, she did some interviews and I heard some things she was saying where she’s a person who honors her badge and this and that. But you know what? Every single day that I’m wearing my uniform and my badge I’m literally risking my life to honor my badge. Honoring my badge on Survivor has nothing to do with life, and that’s why she was on the jury — because she stuck to her guns about honoring her badge when she had no business bringing it into that game. And she did and that’s what happened. So she’s a little salty, but it’s not that deep. We’re gonna talk in another week or two, I’m sure.
EW: You mentioned hearing boos in the audience when you won. I couldn’t pick that up through the TV but what was the reaction like inside the room?
TONY: I was hoping that were saying “Woooooo!” but they were saying “Boooooo!” when they were watching the show and I was swearing on people. I was like, awwww, man. People need to distinguish between a game and life, and that’s exactly what I did and that’s why I succeeded. I would not have won if I was not a good person. I’m a great person. People loved me out there. And that’s the reason I won. People did not reward me because I was backstabbing and deceiving them and being mean to them, they rewarded me because I played the game like it’s supposed to be played to get me to the end. But they knew I was a great perosn. Deep down inside I’m a genuine person and they all saw that.
EW: You made a lot of big moves in this game. What would you say was your best one.
TONY: Pick one because every move that I made I felt it was the best move, but to be honest with you, I really think LJ was the best move because it was that point in the game where I felt I needed to turn things around. Because on paper, the strategy didn’t look good, but when you’re out there, nothing on paper looks good There’s nothing text book about Survivor. I’m sure you know that and all the players know that. It’s a situational game, and at that time it was the best move for me to do because I still had the threats in Spencer and in Tasha who my alliance was terrified of because they were challenge beasts. So while they were thinking about that I was thinking, I have to keep them in the game so I can keep killing my alliance from within and they won’t even see me coming.
EW: Would you come back and play Survivor all over again?
TONY: I believe in a heartbeat, but what can I do this time around? I can’t bring my bag of tricks no more because they’ll be like, “Tony’s bluffing.” I can’t swear on nobody because they’ll say that’s not credible anymore. I can’t build spy shacks because they’re going to be watching while they’re talking. So what else do I have left?
EW: Gotta change it up!
TONY: And that’s exactly my point about situational strategies. So I guess if I go out there — and I’d love to go back out there again — I guess I’d have to come up with something different.
EW: It’s all about adaptability. Okay, so what are you going to do with the money?
TONY: I’m gonna buy a pink chandelier! But after talking to the people in the Brains tribe and you hear how educated they are, it’s the most beautiful thing you can have in this world. So I made up my mind that they inspired me enough to get a college education for both my kids. I have a baby daughter at 15 months and I have another baby boy on the way now. My wife is pregnant. And I’ll have a college fund set up for both of them thanks to Spencer, Tasha, and the nuclear engineer J’Tia.
Click on the video player below to watch an exclusive deleted scene of Tony from last night’s finale. Also make sure to check out our interviews with runner-up Woo Hwang, the controversial Kass McQuillen and fan favorite Spencer Bledsoe. Plus read Dalton’s finale/reunion recap as well as Jeff Probst giving his take on the finale and Probst giving intel on NEXT season. And for ‘Survivor’ scoop sent directly to you, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.