‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Denise Stapley Used Tony Vlachos’ Ladder to Retrieve Coconuts in Bonus Scene

In one of the most entertaining moments from Survivor 40: Winners at WarCagayan Sole Survivor Tony Vlachos built a ladder to retrieve breadfruit for his tribemates. After a tribe swap, Denise Stapley used his makeshift ladder to gather coconuts for everyone in a hilarious bonus scene.

Tony Vlachos Denise Stapley
Kim Spradlin, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Tony Vlachos, Denise Stapley and Jeremy Collins | Robert Voets

*SPOILER ALERT* This article contains information revealed in Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 5.

Tony Vlachos built a ladder to retrieve breadfruit

On Survivor 40: Winner at War, 46-year-old New Jersey-based police officer, Tony Vlachos, made a 20-something foot ladder out of bamboo and twine to help him retrieve breadfruit for his Dakal tribemates.

After a few of his tribemates marched the ladder to the tree, Tony leaned his unstable creation against the tree and proceeded to climb it. The first rung nearly broke, and he asked someone to give him a “boost” up the ladder.

Even though Tyson Apostol and Sophie Clarke thought Tony was “surely joking” and would “laugh and walk away” at some point, he climbed the ladder and grabbed a few breadfruits from the tree.

Tony also yelled, “top that” to Yul Kwon, who also reached the fruit using a device he made from bamboo and string. 

‘Survivor 40’ Denise Stapley and Jeremy Collins swap to NuDakal

The fun times at Dakal lasted until Episode 5 when they “dropped their buffs” and swapped tribes. Tony, along with Kim Spradlin-Wolfe and Sandra Diaz-Twine, stayed together and were joined by former Sele members, Denise Stapley and Jeremy Collins, to create NuDakal.

Once they got back to the tribe, Jeremy talked to Kim, who was in the minority on the old Dakal with no clear alliances, although she trusted Sophie with half of her idol.

She seemed willing to flip on Sandra and Tony, who both believe Kim is still working with them. Viewers will have to wait for NuDakal to attend Tribal Council to see which side the One World champ chooses.

Outside of strategizing, the new tribe also shared a hilarious moment featuring Tony’s iconic ladder in a bonus scene.

‘Survivor 40’ Denise Stapley used Tony Vlachos’ ladder to retrieve coconuts

On Day 13, NuDakal noticed coconuts located high in a tree, and Tony and Denise attempted to knock them down with a large piece of bamboo. It didn’t work, so the Philippines champ suggested they bust out Tony’s trusty ladder.

In a confessional, Denise described the ladder and explained she wasn’t sure about the strength of the twine holding it together and thought Tony would “snap” it.

Jeremy Collins called the police officer’s makeshift ladder “hilarious, so unsafe, so ridiculous,” and “the climbing angle was way off.” He also noted it wasn’t “fire department Class A specific, would not pass any codes, and would be put out of service immediately.”

Nonetheless, Tony climbed the ladder and almost reached the coconuts until it started creaking. He then said, “see ya,” and began making his way back down his makeshift ladder, causing Jeremy and Kim to laugh.

Because they were starving, Denise offered to climb up because she’s smaller than Tony. She successfully reached the coconuts and threw three down to her tribemates until Sandra requested Denise return to the ground.

The Philippines winner noted the ladder “felt more secure” than she anticipated, and Tony jokingly asked Jeremy to “say something” about his ladder.

In another confessional, Jeremy explained he enjoyed the experience because it was “fun to laugh” and “take a break from 100 mile-an-hour Sele to comedy hour at Dakal.” Watch Survivor 40: Winners at War Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.