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Why “The Traitors”' CT Doesn't Think He Stole MJ's Winnings: 'That Money Wasn't Hers' (Exclusive)

The 'Challenge' vet also tells PEOPLE why he thinks what he and Trishelle Cannatella did to MJ Javid is "different" from what Johnny Bananas pulled on Sarah Rice

<p>Chris Haston/PEACOCK</p>

Chris Haston/PEACOCK

'The Traitors' season 2 winners Chris "CT" Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella

The Faithfuls won The Traitors season 2, but not without getting a little blood on their hands.

At the fire pit on Thursday’s finale, The Challenge vets Chris “CT” Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella decided to do one last banishment after ousting the final Traitor, Kate Chastain. This came as a complete surprise to Shahs of Sunset star Mercedes “MJ” Javid, who wanted to end the game and split the prize pot with Cannatella, 44, and Tamburello, 43.

Following two rounds of voting — because the first ended in a stalemate, with each player receiving one vote — Cannatella and Tamburello voted out fellow Faithful Javid, 51.

“It was talked about that CT and I wanted to win together,” Cannatella admits to PEOPLE in a joint interview with Tamburello. “But MJ, I knew 100 percent, was Faithful.”

Related: Alan Cumming on the Flirtation Between The Traitors' 'Castle Daddy' CT Tamburello and Phaedra Parks (Exclusive)

Cannatella first voted for Tamburello before pivoting to Javid. She thought that, between Tamburello switching his vote from Chastain, 41, to Sandra Diaz-Twine at the final roundtable, him not lighting her torch to give her safety earlier in the season and his letting her get the shield in the cabin mission, he might be a Traitor.

“I was like, Oh, he didn't need the shield because he's a Traitor," Cannatella says. “So I really had a doubt. I didn't want to believe it. But I was just like, It's possible that CT could be a Traitor."

<p>Euan Cherry/Peacock</p> 'The Traitors' season 2 finalists (from left) rishelle Cannatella, Kate Chastain, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Mercedes "MJ" Javid and Chris "CT" Tamburello

Euan Cherry/Peacock

'The Traitors' season 2 finalists (from left) rishelle Cannatella, Kate Chastain, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Mercedes "MJ" Javid and Chris "CT" Tamburello

Tamburello explains why he ended up switching his vote at the last roundtable after promising Cannatella he’d go for Chastain.

“I was thinking that what was gonna happen was, we get rid of Kate, Sandra convinces Trishelle to vote for me because it would have been two and two: MJ and Sandra versus me and Trishelle, basically,” he says. “And then they sway Trishelle to vote for me and then that's just them two and Trishelle, then they get rid of Trishelle, or they share it with her. But either way, it looked like I was gonna be out next and I didn't want that to happen.”

Related: The Traitors Season 2: Who Was Banished and Murdered, and Who Won?

Cannatella reveals that Diaz-Twine, 49, “was planning seeds with me, making me think that CT was my Traitor angel, the person who was not letting me get murdered.”

Tamburello claims that, in a moment that didn’t make it to air, Cannatella started expressing her suspicions about him after the final roundtable where they banished the two-time Survivor winner.

“Right before we left, we’re at the bar, Trishelle tried to start to tell everybody that she thinks I'm also a Traitor and then I'm working with Kate right before we walk out into the fire pit,” the single dad says. “I’m like, Oh, great.”

<p>Euan Cherry/Peacock</p> 'The Traitors' host Alan Cumming (center) with winners Chris "CT" Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella

Euan Cherry/Peacock

'The Traitors' host Alan Cumming (center) with winners Chris "CT" Tamburello and Trishelle Cannatella

Tamburello says the “confusion and paranoia” of the game got to him at the fire pit. “It doesn't just go away because you know the Traitors are gone,” he adds.

Some Challenge fans likened Cannatella and Tamburello not sharing the prize pot with Javid to how Challenge legend Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio decided not to share the winnings with his Rivals III partner Sarah Rice after they completed the final together.

“That's different,” Tamburello insists. “They had won with Sarah. They were champions. They won the money to get crowned champions — and then he took it from her.”

Related: Alan Cumming Shares Which Traitors Contestants Impressed Him and Who He Thinks 'Blew It' (Exclusive)

In regards to Javid on Traitors, “that money wasn't hers,” Tamburello says. “She made it to the finals. She was really, really close. She could see the money at the end of the table, but she didn't win the show.”

The Real World: Paris alum says he “felt bad for MJ in the moment.”

“We couldn't take it back, once we threw in the red pouches, but if we could have voted again, we would've probably all went together,” Tamburello says.

Javid made it clear during the Traitors reunion that she harbors resentment towards Cannatella and Tamburello, even blocking them both on Instagram. Cannatella doesn’t understand why, since she initially voted to banish Tamburello and split the final winnings with Javid.

“I feel like it was a little maybe a woman hating on people's part,” Cannatella suggests. “I was going to take her. I literally told her, 'I trust you 100 percent' right before we went to the thing.”

<p>Euan Cherry/Peacock</p> Mercedes "MJ" Javid

Euan Cherry/Peacock

Mercedes "MJ" Javid

As host Andy Cohen pointed out during the Traitors reunion, players who come from a competition background versus those who don’t handled the betrayal in the game differently.

“I could be sympathetic to people who haven't played competition reality shows and they get upset,” Tamburello says. “But it was almost when you're voting for your home team in sports and they lose, right? She should be proud of the way she played the game. I just don't believe an attack of someone's personal character in their personal life because you didn't get your way.”

Related: Chris 'CT' Tamburello and His Challenge Costars Appreciated Being 'with People Our Age’ on The Traitors

Cannatella and Tamburello’s win comes after time away from reality TV for each of them. They both hope to continue their reality TV careers, but perhaps not on as physically-demanding shows as The Challenge. “It doesn't have to involve me getting electrocuted or shot out of a cannon,” Tamburello jokes.

Cannatella agrees. “I'm 44 years old, I don't recover the same way that I did in my 20s,” she says. “But I would love to do some more shows. I like the more strategy type of gameplay — that's what The Traitors was — and so I think that's why I thrived in that environment.”

As the last man standing on The Traitors, Tamburello joked on the show that he felt like the castle Bachelor. But Tamburello doesn’t plan on going on a dating show anytime soon. “That's too much estrogen,” the MTV star says. “I had had enough time with all you in Traitors.”

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