Survivor: China Winner Announced: Was it Todd Herzog?

On Sunday night, Todd Herzog became the second openly gay man to win a season of Survivor in the show’s 15th season, which took place in China.

Last month we questioned how Instinct magazine had the prescience to declare Herzog “Million Dollar Man” on its December cover. Turns out, they may have known a thing or two but didn’t spill the beans. Herzog did not disclose in the magazine’s interview whether he had won the million or not, an admission that could have cost him the prize money.

Hunky James (below) won the $100,000 Survivor fan favorite award, and Mark Burnett announced that he was going to give lunch lady Denise $50,000 to get her life back on track because she’d lost her job ecause of the show.

JamesReality Blurred reports: “The saddest part of the reunion was not when lunch lady Denise explained her mullet (which had to do with gender roles, and her desire to retain her femininity for her husband despite needing short hair for her job), but when she revealed that she lost her job because of her newfound fame. ‘They didn’t give me my job back,’ Denise said, so she’s ‘a janitor now. … I miss dinner with my family. … I’m missing out on a lot more than I’d originally planned on doing.’ That’s because her bosses ‘said it’d be too distracting’ for her to work in the lunchroom because the kids are so excited to see her.”

Congratulations to Herzog, whose “devious” ways seem to have taken him far. Let’s hope he pays his taxes on the winnings and doesn’t end up in the clink like Richard Hatch.

Did Instinct Magazine Spoil Survivor: China? [tr]
Survivor: China Shows Off its Skin [tr]


  1. cory says

    the ballots are counted live during the finale, so even todd wouldn’t have known if he was a million dollar man at the time the article came out.

  2. Jon Kowing says

    How could Instinct know who won since Herzog himself didn’t know? The winner was announced live last night. At most, Herzog knew he was in the final three. And he may have felt confident in his chances against his other two competitors. But I can’t imagine Survivor producer Mark Burnett would let anyone know if they were going to win or not. Not only would it be scandalous if anyone found out, but — and perhaps most importantly for the medium — it would destroy that ultimate live reaction shot.

  3. Wayne says

    This type of hedging has been going on for years in regards to Survivor. Several seasons back there were off-shore betting houses that were blocked by CBS because they were releasing information about the final 2 or 3 before it was announced. When a show finishes production so far in advance there’s no way to keep it a secret. Yes, the winner isn’t known by the winner himself, but it’s certainly known by someone, or several or many someones at CBS prior to the live show. It would be simple to reveal the truth for the right amount of money.

  4. says

    come on guys, despite the “live” reveal of the votes, he could still have known. You think the contestants haven’t talked to each other? What’s-her-name and Erik have formed a relationship since leaving China. Surely the possibility exists for them to have discussed who they cast their votes for.

    And good for Todd, he totally deserved to win.

  5. PJ says

    Why do journalists keep bringing up Richard Hatch when they discuss Todd? Even CBS did it this morning. Sure, they’re both gay and they both won. But the similarities end there. Hatch was all bluster and intimidation; Todd was wily and friendly. None of the 13 other winners are mentioned when Todd is there. I don’t like seeing these two guys lumped in together just because they both happen to be gay. I guess it’s proof of how few journalists actually watched the show they’re covering today.

  6. Steve says

    “That Show”, Michael, consistently wins Thursday night 8pm ratings, 7 years later. It’s still one of the most-watched shows on television.

    Oh, and I love Todd.

  7. WizardBoy says

    Todd planned to be on Survivor for 7 years — since he was 14, according the story. He schemed and planned and plotted — knowing what kind of alliance he needed to win, and lo and behold, there the three of them were at the end…..

    BRAVO for Todd playing the game: OUTWIT, OUTLAST, OUTWIN….. he deserves a million.

    And stop picking on my future ex-husband!

  8. says

    Could Todd’s “Instinct” cover be simply been one of several possibilities to be used that month? I doubt they knew the winner, but it would be more feasible that they were leaked the final 3 and prepped the millionaire cover in case he won. Otherwise he probably would have been bumped from the cover. Did the issue hit newsstands prior to the finale? If it did, then someone knew. Too risky for the mag if they didn’t.

  9. dctopman says

    Couldn’t the title just have been refering to the fact that he was competing for the “Million Dollar” prize. He was the only out gay contestant this season on any reality show competing for one million dollars. It was not said in the article that he was the winner. It is kind of like saying “Ron Paul, next President of the United States”, not that he will be but that he is running for office. Just my two cents…

  10. Mike says

    It find it funny that quite a few on here were bad mouthing him after the first airing. Some said he was weak but some included myself saw him as smart, confident and a real threat. Congrats Todd now let’s go out. :)

  11. seattlekyle says

    He was cute at first. Last night he just looked terrible. Even HE had a mullet! Uggh! FEAR THE MANLET!! Clean yourself up then come visit us in Seattle Todd!

  12. dan says

    “Spoiler after the jump” should read “hahaha, spoiled your fun!” because, it is, no jump necessary, clear what you’re implying. Especially if we’ve read your previous post about Instict’s prediction.

    As a follower of this blog and Survivor via (shows day after air), I got fucked.

  13. JOE says

    Forget about Todd, the new one to watch is the American Gladiator “Militia”, aka model/dancer Alex Castro, better known for his “full release” videos with Dynamite Studios, stripper appearances on “Cristina” and with the Cirque du Soleil show “Zumanity”.
    I expect Gladiators to be a big family show, lets hope the culture police don’t zap Alex from the show once they learn his past….