Jake Billingsley
S5 Jake Billingsley
Contestant Profile
Born: August 21, 1941 (1941-08-21) (age 76)
Hometown: McKinney, Texas
Occupation: Land Broker
Survivor Career
Version: United States
Tribe(s): Sook Jai
Chuay Jai
Finish: 6/16
Alliance(s): Sook Jai Alliance
Challenge Wins: 6
Votes Against: 7
Days Lasted: 33

Jake Billingsley is a contestant from Survivor: Thailand.

The leader of Sook Jai, Billingsley opted to fill his tribe with young, strong players under the presumption that they would dominate in challenges, only to falter when conflicting inter-personal relationships developed.


Retrieved from

Born in Tyler, Texas, and raised in Texarkana, Texas, Jake Billingsley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry from Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. He began his career as Assistant County Agricultural Agent back in Tyler. While there, he accepted a job as Agricultural Consultant for a Texas-based utilities company and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President. He eventually left the utilities business to pursue real estate. He worked for various firms in capacities ranging from Associate to Senior Vice President before deciding to open his own company specializing in commercial real estate.

Jake is currently a land broker, and has been active in commercial real estate in the Dallas area for over 30 years. In 1995, he moved to Colorado and became the President and General Manager of an outdoor adventure company that provided hunting, fishing and horseback riding trips through remote regions of the San Juan Mountains (a business he took over after his son-in-law was tragically killed in a plane crash). He enjoys videography/photography, backpacking, camping, hunting and writing. His perfect day would be on a boat in the Virgin Islands with his wife, Jeni.

Jake and his wife currently reside in McKinney, Texas. He has a 37-year-old daughter, Jamie Carlson, and a 35-year-old son, Jay, as well as three stepsons, Donnie (40), Mark (39) and Michael (37), and nine grandchildren (six boys and three girls). His birth date is August 21, 1941.[1]


Jake Billingsley, Being the oldest male contestant (And oldest one overall), was asked to came up with the oldest woman, Jan Gentry. First they was asked to pick the color of their buffs and subsequently their location. Jake picked the purple buff, with the tribe's name being Sook Jai. It was revealed that Jan and Jake would pick the tribes themselves. Jake picked Stephanie DillKen StaffordPenny RamseyJed HildebrandShii Ann Huang, and Robb ZbacnikErin Collins was also placed on the tribe due to being the last woman left. His enthusiastic tribe headed out to their beach with the boat backwards. Once they arrived, everyone scattered about. However, after a heavy rainstorm, the tribe fixated on shelter. At the first challenge of the season, Sook Jai won because Ghandia Johnson botching up the last puzzle. However, Jed and Stephanie didn't contribute to Shelter. Later, Jake, Erin, Ken, Penny and Shii Ann went out to gather food. Jed questioned why it would take five people to gather food in the area the size of a kitchen. Sook Jai would continue their winning streak by winning reward and immunity.

Despite the winning streak, The tribe was not unified. Jed and Stephanie, now joined by Robb, elected to sleep on the ground. At the Reward Challenge, Jake and Erin sat out. Despite the initial lead, Ken, Robb, Stephanie, and Jed were all disqualified for knocking down various members of Chuay Gahn without being in the Attack Zone. The resulting Penalties allowed Chuay to win their first challenge. Chuay Gahn also won a mental Immunity Challenge, sending Sook Jai to Tribal Council. Jake voted against Jed for his lack of work ethic. Jed would be the one to go in a 5-3 vote. Sook Jai won the next two challenges, winning them chickens, bananas, and immunity.

The next time the tribes met, it was for an Survivor Auction. Before it started, the castaways were given the chance to Mutiny, but no one took up the offer. Chuay Gahn won the Immunity Challenge. Before Tribal Council, Shii Ann was on the chopping block for being annoying. Jake didn't care as she was a hard worker. Instead, the sickly Stephanie was voted out in a 5-2 vote. After the vote, Robb become paranoid. Robb would also lead Sook Jai to victory in the Reward Challenge. During the feast, Robb had an epiphany about his behavior. Unfortunately, Chuay Ghan outwitted Sook Jai during the Immunity Challenge. Once again the tribe bonded before Tribal Council. Robb was the one voted out unanimously. 

The next Tree Mail had jars of paint. The tribe was told to decorate themselves. When they met with the equally decorated Chuay Gahns, they was paired with the member of the opposing tribe who had the same colored paint. Jake was paired with Jan which she found interesting as they were the ones to pick their tribe mates. Then it was revealed that the tribes would be living together. Everyone bonded quite well. However, Shii Ann, feeling ostracized, considered flipping. Sook Jai demand to know where her loyalty lies, which she didn't know. At the Immunity Challenge, Everyone was shocked when the tribes were not truly merged. Sook Jai would lose the challenge and voted out Shii Ann for conspiring with Chuay Gahn. Life was awkward because of the fake merge. At the Immunity Challenge, It came down to Jake and Brian Heidik. Jake was unable to hold his breath and lost. He felt terrible for losing. The tribe had one last bonding moment before Tribal Council. In an emotional Tribal Council, Erin was voted out. 

Jake was desperate to find a way to break Chuay Gahn. He told adventure stories of his youth. Everyone had a hard time believing in the tales and Clay Jordan grew annoyed with him. At the next challenge, everyone saw a portion of their loved one videos. Jake saw his wife, Jeni. It was revealed that everyone would compete to see the whole video and that the tribes had officially merged. Jake was paired with Jan for the challenge but lost to Clay and Ken in the first round. Jake stilled tried to find a way. The trio decided to vote against Brian and tried lobbying to Clay. At the Immunity Challenge, Clay won over Ken. The Sook Jai change their votes to Ted Rogers, Jr., who was viewed as alienating himself but the Chuay Gahn stayed together and Ken was voted out.

Jake explained to Ted on why he, Ken and Penny voted against him. Jake was being called "Jake the Snake" because of his efforts to sneak into the Chuay Gahn alliance. At this point, Penny felt being aligned with Jake would cause her to lose and distanced herself from him. Jake lobbied against Brian and Clay. At the Reward Challenge, Jake was the first person out due being without a partner. At the Immunity Challenge, Jake was knocked out fairly early. Helen won immunity and Penny was voted out in a 4-2-1 due to being a bigger threat.

Jake referred to the events of Tribal Council when Chuay Gahn said their voting out the least productive members. Jake reminded everyone that his increased his work load, something that ticked Clay off. The Next Reward Challenge was the Loved Ones Challenge, much to everyone's delight. Jake was able to see his wife, Jeni. The challenge was an eating contest. However, the twist was the loved ones had to do the eating. Although Jeni came close, Helen Glover's husband, Jim won the challenge. Jim was welcomed into the tribe with open arms during his 24-hour stay. Jeni's attempt to win gave Jake the inspiration go though the challenge. Jake was reunited with Jeni for the Immunity Challenge. Despite coming close to winning again, Ted and his brother won immunity. Without immunity and being the last Sook Jai left, Jake was unanimously voted out. 

At Final Tribal Council, Jake claimed that the finalists were in the hot seat and he was glad to be on the jury. Jake reminded everyone about the Tribal Council on how they gotten Penny to turn on him, what was the vote based on and how Clay blasted him after said Tribal Council. Jake asked Clay why he lashed out for saying the same thing Brian say. Clay bluntly told him that he was making multiple alliances with everyone. He did asked Brian how he felt at that point. Brian claimed he didn't feel the same way. Satisfied, Jake voted for Brian to win.

Voting History

Jake's Voting History
Episode Jake's
Voted Against
1 Sook Jai Tribe Immune
2 Sook Jai Tribe Immune
3 Jed -
4 Sook Jai Tribe Immune
5 Stephanie -
6 Robb -
7 Shii Ann -
8 Erin -
9 Ted -
10 Jan Clay, Penny
12 Jan Brian, Clay,
Helen, Jan, Ted
Voted Off, Day 33
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • Jake ShapingMyHat

    The cover of Jake's auto-biography.

    Jake wrote an auto-biography, Shaping My Hat, that was published in June 2005.[2]
  • Jake starred as Sheriff Jimmy in the 2006 movie, After Sundown.[3]
  • On January 9, 2010, Jake attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • Jake suffered a heart attack in 2010 while hiking and has since gotten quintuple bypass surgery.[4]


  • Jake's luxury item was a journal and pen.
  • Jake was the oldest contestant in Thailand.
  • Jake is the oldest castaway that did not compete in Survivor: Borneo.
  • Jake is the first male castaway to pick his entire tribe in a Schoolyard Pick.
  • Jake was the last Sook Jai member standing in Thailand.
    • Jake become the first man to become the highest-ranking member of their original tribe by virtue of every other member being eliminated from the competition. Both Richard Hatch and Ethan Zohn became the highest-ranking members of their starting tribes by winning the game against an original member of their tribe.
  • Jake is the only member of Sook Jai to vote for Brian Heidik to win.
  • Jake won a people's choice award for being the most popular contestant on Thailand.