December 12, 2005 07:45 AM

Sports radio host Danni Boatwright beat out Stephenie LaGrossa on Survivor: Guatemala, The Maya Empire Sunday night, taking the $1 million prize, a 2006 Pontiac Torrent – and the admiration of the other players on the 11th edition of the reality show.

LaGrossa, 25, who also competed on Survivor: Palau, apparently made too many enemies in her efforts to cross the finish line.

“Your strategy was just to backstab,” player Judd Sergeant told the Survivor vet as she and Boatwright defended how they played the game to the jury.

Then there’s Boatwright: As it happens, the 30-year-old Kansan is no stranger to TV competitions. She appeared in the 1992 Miss Teen USA Pageant and the 1996 Miss USA pageant and on Star Search as a spokesmodel contestant. Her strategy on Survivor was to keep things running smooth and lay low – even if in the final lap she had to sell out her popular alliance partner, Rafe Judkins.

Forced to eliminate either LaGrossa or Judkins, Boatwright – thinking that her chances would be better up against the little-liked LaGrossa – picked Judkins, who had released her from an earlier promise that she would take him to the finals if the opportunity arose.

“To outlast all the boys is kind of fun,” said Boatwright. “Two tough girls.” Judkins then threw his support to LaGrossa to win.

In the end, only five votes had been announced when Boatwright reached the four necessary to win. “I felt like I did outwit,” Boatwright declared when the dust settled. “And I definitely outlasted.”

On Monday morning, Boatwright said on Live with Regis and Kelly, “I’ve been a runner-up in pageants and it (wasn’t) going to happen this time.”

And so ends the 11th edition of the CBS ratings favorite. The show’s 12th edition, Survivor: Panama, Exile Island, currently being filmed in Panama, will air in the spring. The network has also announced that it will air the 13th and 14th versions of Survivor in the 2006-07 season, and last week producer Mark Burnett confirmed that he had signed host Jeff Probst to a new multiyear contract.

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