We were on pins and needles as we watched one of our own battle it out on the finale of “Survivor 42”.

KTLA entertainment producer, Romeo Escobar, made it to the final three of the competition series after winning the final immunity challenge. For most of the season, Escobar was the underdog with many doubting he could’ve made it this far, but alas he proved everyone wrong by outplaying and outlasting.

As a self-described “super fan” of the show for decades, he described the entire experience as a dream come true. “I’ve been watching since I was 14-years-old, and I’ve always wanted to be on the show,” explained Escobar. “It was an out-of-body experience.”

Escobar may have achieved his goal, but what’s even bigger was the representation he provided on such a huge platform.

“I’ve received so many messages from around the world of people who feel seen, who feel represented,” he described. “Messages from kids saying ‘I’m watching this episode of you be so vulnerable and come out on national T.V., sitting next to my parents and they don’t know about me. And then parents messaging me ‘you’ve made me understand my children a bit better.'”

The pageant director described the messages as more rewarding than any prize — even the million dollars the winner of “Survivor” usually received.

Being on a competition reality series takes a certain level of strategy, something Escobar may have learned while in the KTLA entertainment department. “I have to credit the years of working in entertainment and on those carpets and award shows,” he said. “You have to be prepared for everything and it definitely helped me play the game of ‘Survivor’ in some way. “