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Richard Hatch Last Man Standing After Final 'Survivor' Vote

Aired August 24, 2000 - 1:18 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The final four have been whittled to one "Survivor." But you know that. Last night, millions of people watched the finale of a reality TV show about people left on an island to fend for themselves. It was a heck of a way for one guy to become a millionaire.

CNN's "SHOWBIZ TODAY" host Laurin Sydney joins us from New York to talk about the winner.

And I don't know about you, Laurin, I tried to get into the show but never quite got there. But I think I'm in the minority.

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You are, Natalie. I am all "Survivor" all the time.

ALLEN: OK.

SYDNEY: Anyway, after 39 days stuck on a Malaysian island with 15 other competitors, there is finally a sole survivor. Richard Hatch, a 39-year-old corporate counselor from Rhode Island, took home the $1 million prize after a jury of seven "Survivor" castoffs voted him the winner. The "Survivor" finale was watched by an estimated 51 million viewers, except for Natalie Allen.

And here in New York, "Survivor" fans got into the spirit by forming their own tribal councils in front of the TV set. And while many were surprised that Rich ended up the sole survivor, maybe they wouldn't have been if they had known a little bit behind Rich's successful strategy.

CNN's Lauren Hunter spoke with the winner of the first "Survivor" show and discovered that the secret to his success was based in large part on who he decided to trust as allies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD HATCH, "SURVIVOR" WINNER: The alliance began before I got on the island. I knew that I was going to have to have allies in order to get as far as I wanted to get. And when we landed, very, very quickly I identified Rudy and knew he's part of the alliance. Didn't even have to tell him. Just let things move along and knew he was included -- just solid, trustworthy, etc -- and then brought on board Sue and Kelly.

But I'd evaluate it by saying, hey, it's what was needed and it worked. And I'm really happy with the way I played the game.

LAUREN HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And you always seemed very focused on your goal, as opposed to some of the other contestants. It seemed a bit more personal and they were developing friendships, relationships. You seemed very focused on the game.

HATCH: That's what I was there to do. You know, I love traveling, I love vacation -- vacationing, I love camping. I've done it for a month in the woods in Maine, for a month in the mountains of Alaska, and I wasn't doing it for a month on the island of Borneo. I was there to play a game, and that's what I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SYDNEY: And we will have much more with the guy who the tabloids are calling "King Rat" -- sorry if you're eating -- later today on a special "Survivor" edition of "SHOWBIZ TODAY." That's at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time right here on CNN.

Reporting from New York, Laurin Sydney.

Now let's go back to someone who was not part of the 51 million people, Natalie Allen.

ALLEN: Hey, no, no, Laurin?

SYDNEY: Yes?

ALLEN: I have to admit I watched last night.

SYDNEY: But you weren't into it.

ALLEN: Wasn't into it, but I was trying. Maybe next time...

SYDNEY: OK.

ALLEN: ... because there will be more, right?

SYDNEY: Because there is a next time: Super Bowl Sunday.

ALLEN: It's the new wave of television. Thanks, Laurin.

SYDNEY: You're welcome, Natalie.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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