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'Survivor: Nicaragua' Winner: 'My Immediate Plan Is to Push Limits'

by Audrey Fine, posted Dec 20th 2010 7:00PM
Survivor Nicaragua Fabio JudAfter months of jockeying for position, backstabbing and other such endearing maneuvers that make 'Survivor' such a joy to watch, we have a new winner.

At 21, Judson "Fabio" Birza is the youngest ever 'Survivor' millionaire and he managed to achieve that honor without an alliance. No small feat.

With his "goofy" charm and laid-back surfer dude mannerisms (not too shabby for a boy from Missouri), Fabio truly did stay under the 'Survivor: Nicaragua' radar until it was time to shift in to high gear and win three Immunity Challenges in a row. Talk about clutch. No choking for this model, musician, student, heartthrob.

How is the newly minted millionaire processing his win? We spoke to him this morning from rain-soaked Los Angeles where, on 25 minutes of sleep, he was as delightfully whimsical as always.

Last night when Jeff asked what you were going to do with the money you mentioned something about traveling with your band and connecting the dots. What does that mean?

I'm talking about all the artistic communities around the world that are isolated. And how, as communication speeds up, we'll be able to learn a lot more about each other. I think it's time to celebrate our differences rather than use them as a means of conflict. I want the power to shift from these old politician dudes into the hands of people who want to use it for good.

Fabio SurvivorWhen we interviewed Yve after she was voted off, she said that even her own teenage daughters were rooting for you! Has the attention from girls been nuts?

[Laughs] Yeah, man, I've gotten a lot of love from teenagers girls and boys. l get lots of messages on Facebook from the boys saying, "You just seem so cool, would love to hang." It's funny [how I get noticed now] in any public place like the airport -- they won't even stop me, they just look at me out of the corner of their eyes and I nod. Especially before I cut my hair.

You and your mom seemed so close when she was in Nicaragua with you (for all of two minutes, thanks to Chase). Did her telling you to "get your head back in the game" help you to regain your focus and set your eye on the prize?

Totally. After those three got to go out on the reward -- Chase, after all the dumb decisions he'd made and skated by on, and how annoying Sash was with that monotone voice and smile -- I just couldn't let anybody else win, and I felt like the jury and the fans felt the same way.

Others have cited the rain or the lack of food or sleep as the hardest part for them. What was the most brutal aspect for you?

That stuff didn't affect me man, you saw how much fun I was having. And, being around three people who want you the f*** out of the game shouldn't be fun, but to me it was. Other people reached their complaining part way before me. I would go through my focus time where I'd visualize everything I'm thankful for -- because I believe that waves of gratitude are the strongest -- and I'd trip myself out thinking that it was destiny to win!

On the show, you were always listed as 'Fabio: Student'. What do you really do?

I've modeled for four years, studied theater for three years, have been playing the drums for nine years and I go to school at Santa Monica college. I've just finished applying to all the UC (University of California) schools to study communications and mass media and world art culture. I still want to get those two degrees someday.

What's up next? What are you going to do tomorrow, besides sleep?

Tomorrow, I've got to do international press, which'll be cool because hopefully they'll pick up on what I'm talking about with the whole connecting the dots thing. Then I'm going home to St. Louis for Christmas on Wednesday and am gonna drive back out with a couple of buddies and and have New Year's Eve on Venice Beach. Then, in February I'm going to fashion week in Paris. I'm going to get a zoot suit, a blue couture velvet or suede leopard print suit and live it up ... now that I'm rich. (Laughs.) I'd say that my immediate plan is to push limits.

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Joyce N.

Congrats, Jud! You worked hard at those last three challenges and won them fair and square at a time when winning them meant everything. Was thrilled to see you win it all.

December 20 2010 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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