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J.T. Thomas

S34 JT Cast Photo1

S20 J.T. Thomas

S18 J.T. Thomas

Contestant Profile
Born: June 23, 1984 (1984-06-23) (age 33)
Hometown: Samson, Alabama
Occupation: Cattle Rancher
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tocantins
Tribe(s): Jalapao
Forza
Finish: Winner
Alliance(s): Jalapao Three
Timbira Alliance (affiliated)
Challenge Wins: 11
Votes Against: 0
Days Lasted: 39
Heroes vs. Villains
Tribe(s): Heroes
Yin Yang
Finish: 10/20
Alliance(s): Heroes Alliance
Challenge Wins: 7
Votes Against: 5
Days Lasted: 27
Game Changers
Tribe(s): Nuku
Finish: 16/20
Challenge Wins: 6
Votes Against: 3
Days Lasted: 13
Gallery

James "J.T." Thomas, Jr. is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Tocantins. He later competed in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and Survivor: Game Changers.

He is known for his southern charm and physical ability in challenges, particularly a key moment involving his breaking a tooth. He was beloved by fans and fellow contestants alike in Tocantins, commanding very strong loyalties even to the point that some players explicitly stated that helping J.T. win the game was as important as, or more important than, winning the game themselves. His force of personality helped him become the first castaway to play a "Perfect Game", not having a vote cast against him all season and then receiving all of the jury votes at Final Tribal Council.

He returned to a leadership role in Heroes vs. Villains. He formed the Heroes Alliance early on, and found a Hidden Immunity Idol, but was perceived as untrustworthy. Shortly before the merge, he made one of the biggest blunders in Survivor history by giving his idol to the infamous villain Russell Hantz, believing he was in trouble. However, this gave Hantz and Parvati Shallow the resources they needed to blindside JT with his own idol at the start of the merge.

In Game Changers, J.T. settled into a comfortable position in the original Nuku tribe. However, a tribe switch put him on the bottom of the totem pole, which was exacerbated when he leaked Nuku's plans at the Joint Tribal Council, leading to Malcolm Freberg's blindside. Despite being a challenge asset and finding a Hidden Immunity Idol, he was voted off when he decided not to play his idol.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

A cattle manager raised in Samson, Alabama, J.T. operates a registered Angus Cattle Ranch. In addition to preparing the land and working the cattle, this southern charmer is responsible for all the paperwork and marketing associated with running the business.

This ambitious 24-year-old gets fired up when people insult his intelligence and says "I'm not a dumb hillbilly, so don't think it!" However, this may be just the strategy that JT chooses to use and isn't above playing the "dumb and innocent country boy role" in an effort to gain alliances with the women. JT attended Troy University and is the first in his family to earn a Bachelors Degree. His is in business administration.

A true family man, JT values his relationships and will work towards forming alliances that will take him very far in the game. This strong country boy is competitive and determined and will use manipulation in order to help him succeed and ultimately win SURVIVOR.

JT is dating and currently resides in Mobile, Ala. His birthdate is June 23.[1]

James "JT" Thomas Jr. (25)
Tribe: Heroes
Hometown: Samson, Ala.
Current Residence: Mobile, Ala.
Personal Claim To Fame: "Being the first in my family to go to college and earn a degree."
Inspiration in Life: "My family."
Previous Finishes: Tocantins: Winner
Favorite Past Moment: "Winning the Final Immunity Challenge."
Previous Survivor He Respects Most: "Myself- I am my own hero, because of what I accomplished and how it brought my family together."
Previous Survivor He Respects Least: Jonny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Micronesia)
Why Did He Come Back?: "It's the ultimate challenge, I couldn't pass it up."[2]

Age: 31
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Previously played on: Season 18: Tocantins, Winner; Season 20: Heroes Vs. Villains, Finished 10th
How have you changed since the last time you played? I’ve definitely been humbled. I have become a little more patient and I don’t think I’m quite as gullible.
What skills do you bring to Survivor that will make you a useful member of the group and what skills have you been learning since you last played? I think I bring many skills to the table. I will always play with all my heart, which has allowed me to overcome many obstacles in my life. I plan to build a very strong team and lead them to the merge. From there, I’ll have to play with the hand I'm dealt to the best of my ability.
What are you most proud of from the last time? My ability to understand that I would have to make a big move to win the game and my guts to act on it.
What, if anything, do you most regret? I most regret the moment I climbed down from the pole in the Immunity Challenge that led to my dismissal. I knew it would be hard to win, so I let myself climb down. If I hadn’t climbed down, I could have held onto the pole for a lot longer. I let myself take the easy way out, which is hardly ever the best decision. Hunger and conditions clouded my judgment without me recognizing it.
How will you play differently this time? I will be more careful about picking my allies. More importantly, I will play a more aggressive Idol-tracking game, and a more determined and fierce challenge game.[3]

Survivor

Tocantins

Assigned to the red Jalapao tribe, J.T. was popular and well-liked by all his tribe mates and his physical prowess in challenges made him very valuable to fellow tribe member Stephen Fishbach. As of Day 2, they created a rock-solid alliance and with the help of Taj Johnson-George became the power-players, eliminating Sandy Burgin, Spencer Duhm, and Sydney Wheeler back to back in Jalapao's three straight Tribal Councils.

Despite his persona and the various ways he benefited the tribe, J.T. was on the losing end when it came to tribal numbers. When Jalapao merged with Timbira, Jalapao was down in numbers 4-6. It was Coach Wade who approached him and Stephen to create a new alliance, known as the Warrior Alliance. Due to the medical evacuation of Joe Dowdle and Timbira slowly self-destructing, J.T. was able to play up his social game and play hard when it came to individual challenges, earning the respect of those voted out.

In the final few rounds of the game, J.T. began winning consecutive individual Immunity Challenges sending strategies into a tailspin after he became a target. Despite all this, the original alliance he created with Stephen was honored when J.T. took him to the Final Two over Erinn Lobdell. In the end, he became the eighteenth Sole Survivor by a vote of 7-0, the series' second landslide unanimous vote and was the first Sole Survivor to play a "Perfect Game" with no votes cast against him.

Voting History

J.T.'s Voting History
Episode J.T.'s
Votes
Voted Against
J.T.
1 Carolina -
2 Jalapao Tribe Immune
3 Jalapao Tribe Immune
4 Sandy -
5 Spencer -
7 Sydney -
8 No Tribal Council
9 Sierra -
10 Tyson -
11 Sierra -
12 Debbie -
13 Erinn Individual Immunity
14 Taj Individual Immunity
Erinn Individual Immunity
Jury Votes
for J.T.
Brendan, Coach, Debbie,
Erinn, Sierra, Taj, Tyson
Sole Survivor, Day 39

Heroes vs. Villains

J.T. was assigned to the Heroes tribe, known for their honor and integrity. It was here that the farmer employed a far different strategy than his original season, creating conflicting deals with James Clement and Tom Westman. In the opening days of the competition, he was relatively comfortable within the tribe and nobody had begun to notice his intentions. Most of the tribe began to see him as their leader and tried to remain on his good side.

Just as it seemed that their rivals had the upper hand, after losing two consecutive Immunity Challenges, where Sugar Kiper and Stephenie LaGrossa were voted off the Heroes bounced back and won immunity. However, their luck ran out when they lost the next three Immunity Challenges, where Cirie Fields, Tom Westman, and James Clement were voted off. The now five-some were a force to be reckoned with and decided together that, after finding the Hidden Immunity Idol clue after winning a Reward Challenge, they would find the Idol together and use it to enable them to become the final five. J.T. upon returning to camp went looking for it alone and was caught by Amanda Kimmel, forcing him to reveal his find to the rest of the tribe. Some time later on, the Heroes began noticing that the men from the Villains were being systematically voted out, alluding to an all-female alliance. J.T. led his Heroes to the belief that if they were to give the idol to Russell Hantz and use it, they'll merge with a Villain on their side and still keep their final five deal.

J.T. wrote a note, wrapped it with the Hidden Immunity Idol and during the Immunity Challenge he handed it to Russell. When the tribes eventually merged, Russell stayed with the Villains and J.T. was blindsided after two idols were played at the first post-merge Tribal Council.

At Final Tribal Council, J.T. asked Russell whether he considered the jury votes while he was playing the game and told him getting to the end is only half of the game, and that the other half is getting the jury to vote for you, and he asked Parvati and Sandra Diaz-Twine to explain their own game. He gave his jury vote to Sandra who won 6-3-0 vote, and became the first two time winner in Survivor history.

During the Live Reunion Show, Russell showed everyone the letter he got from JT when he gave Russell the idol; in response, JT tried to burn the letter in a fire set up in front of the castaways and the audience, but Russell managed to retrieve it, and he won the award for the "Dumbest Move in Survivor History" for giving up his idol to Russell.

Voting History

J.T.'s Voting History
Episode J.T.'s
Votes
Voted Against
J.T.
1 Sugar -
2 Stephenie -
3 Heroes Tribe Immune
4 Cirie -
5 Tom -
6 James -
7 Heroes Tribe Immune
8 Heroes Tribe Immune
9 Heroes Tribe Immune
10 Jerri1 Danielle, Jerri, Parvati,
Russell, Sandra
Voted Off, Day 27
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Sandra

^1 In Going Down in Flames, Parvati used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Jerri, negating J.T.'s vote against her.

Game Changers

JT started on Nuku which on the first two challenges. He was the only member on Nuku to remain on Nuku after the Tribe Switch. He was joined by Mana's Malcolm Freberg, Jeff Varner, Aubry Bracco, Michaela Bradshaw, and fellow Heroes vs. Villains castmate Sandra Diaz-Twine. J.T. stranded his new tribemates out on the ocean while on a snorkeling trip in order to look for a Hidden Immunity Idol, but failed to find it.

On Day 10, he tried to convince Malcolm to target Sandra. On Day 11, Tavua won immunity, but the losing tribes, Nuku and Mana, had to go to a Joint Tribal Council and vote out one member instead of two. JT wanted Tai Trang out for being sneaky, but Sandra wanted Sierra Dawn Thomas out. At Tribal Council, JT leaked to Mana member Brad Culpepper that Sierra was the target and they should vote for Sandra. However, this backfired when Tai played his Hidden Immunity Idol on Sierra and Mana's votes sent Malcolm out of the game.

After returning from Tribal Council, JT was confronted of leaking their plan to Brad, but he denied it. The next day he managed to find a hidden immunity idol. After the reward challenge, J.T. and Michaela squabbled over the latter's consumption of the sugar they had previously won. In order to keep the two fighting, Sandra ate the rest of the sugar, causing J.T. to accuse Michaela of the act.

Nuku lost the immunity challenge. JT talked to Aubry, Jeff, and Sandra about voting out Michaela. Aubry sided with him while Sandra plotted with Michaela to blindside JT, so Jeff was the swing vote. JT decided not to bring his idol to Tribal Council. However, this backfired as Jeff sided with Sandra and Michaela, so JT was blindsided.

Voting History

J.T.'s Voting History
Episode J.T.'s
Votes
Voted Against
J.T.
1 Nuku Tribe Immune
Nuku Tribe Immune
2 Nuku Tribe Immune
3

Sierra1

-
4 Michaela Jeff, Michaela, Sandra
Voted Off, Day 13

^1 In The Tables Have Turned, Tai used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Sierra, negating J.T.'s vote against her.

Post-Survivor

  • In Summer of 2009, J.T., along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?".[4]
  • At the Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Reunion Show, J.T. won the award for the "Dumbest Move in Survivor History" for giving up his Hidden Immunity Idol to Russell Hantz, the leader of the Villains tribe who was not in any danger like J.T. thought he was.
  • When asked about his winnings in a 2011 interview, J.T. replied: "I bought my sisters some new cars and some of my sisters' kids; I decided to help them out with their school tuition costs. I also gave my mother and father some money to help them out, and the majority of it, I invested. I wanted to help my family out and because I have a lot of nephews and nieces, I promised my family I'd pay for my nephews and nieces to go to college one day. I'm just trying to invest in their future and give back to my family."
  • On January 9, 2010, J.T. attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party along with all of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.
  • In February 2010, J.T. appeared on Late Show with David Letterman as Top Ten List Presenter #3 along with nine of his Heroes vs. Villains cast mates.[5]
  • J.T. got married to his longtime girlfriend, Cameron, on April 12, 2015, with the ceremony being performed by fellow Tocantins castaway Stephen Fishbach.[6]

Trivia

Statistics of J.T. Thomas
Longevity
Seasons competed: 3
Days lasted: 79
Challenge Wins
Tribal wins: 18
Individual wins: 6
Total wins: 24
Tribal Council
Total votes received: 8
Exile Island
Times exiled: 0
Redemption Island
Duels won: N/A
Days spent on Redemption Island: N/A
  • J.T. became the second winner to receive all jury votes in a season, following Survivor: Fiji's Earl Cole, and was the first contestant to have played a "Perfect Game", having had no votes cast against him during Tribal Council while receiving every jury vote.
  • J.T. was part of every individual reward in Tocantins. He had won three of four post-merge Reward Challenges, and he was picked by Stephen Fishbach to join him on his reward.
  • Among all winners from seasons with Exile Island as a season-long twist, J.T. is the only winner to never be exiled.
  • J.T. lost 16 lbs. (7.2 kg) during his time in Tocantins.[7]
  • J.T. is the only Hero to vote with the majority at all five Tribal Councils the tribe attended.
  • J.T. lost 13 lbs. during his time in Heroes vs. Villains.[8]
  • J.T. is the first of three winners to be a jury member in a subsequent attempt of Survivor, followed by Aras Baskauskas and Tina Wesson.
  • J.T. was the only member of the original Nuku tribe to remain on Nuku after the Tribe Switch.
  • At both of the Tribal Councils in J.T.'s Survivor career where he received votes against him, Sandra Diaz-Twine was one of them.
  • J.T. was the only member of the original Nuku tribe not to make the merge.

References

Preceded by
Gabon
S17 bob t
Bob Crowley
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Tocantins
S18 jt t
J.T. Thomas
Succeeded by
Samoa
S19 natalie t
Natalie White