There have been a number of controversial winners in Survivor‘s history—in fact, the most recent Sole Survivor is one of them. Whether it’s their gameplay, their relationships with the other castaways, or their personality, some winners definitely incite more polarizing discussion than others.
One of those winners is Jud “Fabio” Birza. His affable nature and easygoing gameplay has divided fans, and his close win is also debated. But in addition to winning Survivor: Nicaragua, Survivor’s 21st season, Birza holds another title from his time on the CBS show—he’s also the youngest winner of Survivor. Here’s the story of Birza’s Survivor win.
Birza won Survivor: Nicaragua in a 5-4-0 vote.
In the beginning of the game, Birza was very carefree, very funny, and had very long hair, which led to his nickname of “Fabio.” Birza was also often on the wrong side of votes, and he seemed clueless about the strategizing, although some argue that he used his personality as a form of strategy.
After the merge, “Fabio then joined several, albeit failed, alliances,” as the Survivor fandom page explains. However, he wasn’t seen as a threat. But towards the end of the season, when the remaining castaways realized that Birza’s niceness meant that he had no enemies on the jury, they plotted to get him out. Birza then went on a winning streak and won the final three Immunity Challenges.
At the Final Tribal Council, Birza was accused of being oblivious to the inner workings of the game, but he explained that he had done it on purpose.
In the end, Birza narrowly beat Chase Rice out to win the season.
Fabio Birza is Survivor‘s youngest Sole Survivor.
At 21, Birza is Survivor’s youngest winner, but the title actually comes down to a technicality. At the time of filming, he was actually the same age as season six Survivor winner Jenna Morasca, as she was also 21 when she was on her season. However, Jenna turned 22 before she was declared Sole Survivor on her season’s live finale, while Birza was still 21 at the Nicaragua finale.
What is Jud “Fabio” Birza doing now?
There’s not much out there about Birza’s current life, but after Survivor he appeared on the cover of City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series. In 2012, he confirmed that he was married and had a daughter, and in 2014, Birza starred in the Sc-Fi TV movie 90210 Shark Attack.