Tony Vlachos, the winner of “Survivor: Cagayan,” dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss his experience toiling in the Philippines.
Vlachos was asked what it was like trekking through the jungle.
“Almost like trekking through the streets of Jersey City,” Vlachos joked in-studio on Gio and Jones. “I’m a cop in Jersey City, so that’s what I deal with. When I went to the jungle, I hate that environment. I hate the trees, I hate sweating, I hate the sun, I hate bug bites – I hate all of that. When you’re out there, you’re like, ‘I hate this thing,’ but you just adapt to your environment and you become a product of it. That’s what happened. I went out there, and I just ran with it.”
Vlachos, 43, won $1 million for his efforts. He said he has watched the show off and on since it debuted in 2000 and knew the key to winning: lie.
“All you got to do is lie to people,” Vlachos said, laughing. “That’s what the game’s about. You just got to lie. I’m like, ‘Man, that’s what everybody does to me in the streets.’”
All kidding aside, lying wasn’t easy for Vlachos. He went into the game with that strategy, but when you have to look someone in the eye and mislead them or turn your back on them, it’s difficult.
“You hurt these people,” Vlachos said. “They’re all out there. But we’re out there to do the same thing. There’s only one winner at the end. So it does hurt a little bit, but at the end of the day, that’s the game.”
Vlachos, who is also on “Survivor: Game Changers,” which was shot in Fiji and premiers Wednesday, said he prepared for the show by gaining weight – upwards of 40-50 pounds.
“I just ate a lot,” he said. “This second one that I went on, I was eating 5,000 calories a day for a month straight. The muscle cannot keep up with the fat, so I gained more fat than muscle, but the point was to put on the weight because out there, you don’t eat. You starve. You eat like a little handful of rice once a day unless you win a challenge later on in the game. When I went, it was raining four days straight. No fire means you couldn’t drink no water because you can’t boil the water. If you can’t boil the water, you can’t make the rice. Four days straight, it was raining. We starved.”