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The Traitors Winners Address the Final Vote, MJ's Anger & Possible Villain Status

C.T. Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella, the newly crowned Faithful winners of The Traitors, address the controversies around the finale and reunion show.

By Tara Bennett
Alan Cumming Breaks Down Peacock's The Traitors and Compares Porn Stars to Reality Stars

Spoilers below for Season 2 of The Traitors!

As the Fire of Truth crackled between Chris "C.T." Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella — the last two Faithful standing in Season 2 of The Traitors — host Alan Cumming declared them the winners. The former frenemies started out as The Real World cast members and then transitioned to contestants in MTV's stable of hardcore, competition reality shows including The Challenge. They appeared on two separate series together with some dramatic friction, then didn't see one another for years until they were both cast in The Traitors.

RELATED: The Traitors' Alan Cumming Reveals What it Was Like to Be in the Middle of All That Finale Betrayal

While their history bubbled to the surface a few times throughout the season, ultimately they remained loyal to their renewed friendship and alliance. While many from the cast respected their game, third runner-up Mercedes "MJ" Javid clearly felt betrayed that they didn't take her to the end. And she expressed that forcefully during The Traitors Reunion Show, where they both apologized to MJ ... to no avail.

To get their side of the story NBC Insider spoke with Tamburello and Cannatella to air out their grievances and celebrate their victory lap as the big winners.  

Trishelle explains the difference between gamer and nongamer mentality

Trishelle Cannatella and Chris 'C.T.' Tamburello on The Traitors Episode 209

As veterans of the competition reality world, Trishelle and C.T. told NBC Insider that they didn't expect the angry feelings leveled at them by some of the players in the Reunion Show

RELATED: Peter Weber Shares Thoughts on Tension With MJ and Winners at The Traitors Reunion

"I was kind of shocked, to be honest, by how upset some people," Cannatella said. "I didn't see it in the castle because whenever someone vanished or was murdered, they leave, so I didn't know. "And like C.T. said, we've done this The Challenge stuff for so long, I think that we have become immune to it. But, I understand why people are hurt who are not from the competition background.

"But as you can see, none of the gamers even flinched. Janelle and Sandra almost killed each other at the roundtable," she said, laughing. "They got up to almost throw glasses of water on each other, and they're fine!"

C.T. and Trishelle reveal things audiences didn't see that led to the final standings

Alan Cummin poses with the cast of The Traitors Episode 211

Tamburello said he absolutely sympathized with MJ's hurt and anger ... to a point. "She got so close at the final. She could see the money on the table, so just coming up short — especially when it's the first time doing a competition reality show — yeah, I can see that," he said of her still simmering ire.

"But there were also a lot of moving parts that led up to that decision going on before that I don't think anybody really even saw," he continued. "We get rid of [Phaedra] and Sandra is playing this scene with Trishelle. I'm thinking I'm gonna be next because Trishelle thinks I'm the Traitor. Then after they get rid of me, they get rid of her. And then MJ and Sandra — who I thought were really close on the show — are just gonna walk away with it," he said of what he thought was going to happen.

"I just wanted to go all the way," he said as a five-time The Challenge champion. "There's only one person I'm willing to take a chance on and that's it. We just kind of beat [the others] to the punch. It wasn't anything personal. I honestly do think that if we had the opportunity to do the red bag/green bag all over again, given after the whole Spider-Man meme where we're all staring at each other like, 'Now what do we do?' I think we would have gone green because I do believe that at that point, it was super obvious."

RELATED: "Triangle of Sadness": Behind the Stormy Scenes of the Final The Traitors Challenge

"Alan was like also kind of instilling some paranoia, I think," Cannatella added. "Because it was just three left at the fire ceremony, there was a little bit of confusion if the game was just going to end, or if we had to vote again. And Alan's walking around saying, 'There could still be a Traitor.' So I'm like, 'Oh, damn! OK, maybe?'"

"And that's what Sandra was telling you," Tamburello said of Sandra's game to get Trishelle on her side.

Ct Tamburello Trishelle Cannatella on The Traitors during the Reunion

"Oh, yeah, Sandra is planting seeds in my head, as she does, the winner of Survivor twice," Cannatella admitted. "She was like, 'C.T. is your Traitor/Angel,' and then things kind of started to click for me. I was like, 'At the fire ceremony, he didn't light my fire because he knew that he wasn't going to murder me because he was a Traitor. He showed me where the shield was, and told me to get it because he didn't need it because he was a Traitor.' I kind of felt like there were things that were starting to add up that really weren't there."

With all said and done, Cannatella and Tamburello are both happy with the outcome. It's just Cannatella that has to get used to her new status.

"I was just told that apparently I'm a villain now," she said, shocked. "Do I have to go on House of Villains now?" she joked. "I never, ever in my life thought that I would be a villain. But, OK!"

Catch up on both seasons of The Traitors on Peacock now.