|Filming Location||Jalapão, Tocantins state, Brazil|
|Season Run||February 12, 2009 - May 17, 2009|
|Filming Dates||November 2, 2008 - December 10, 2008|
|Tribes|| ██ Jalapao|
|Returnees|| Coach Wade (20, 23)|
J.T. Thomas (20)
Tyson Apostol (20, 27)
Survivor: Tocantins - The Brazilian Highlands is the 18th installment in the U.S. reality show Survivor. It was filmed in Tocantins, Brazil and premiered on February 12, 2009. Once production of Survivor: Gabon was underway, CBS began casting for this season. Shooting occurred between October and December 2008.
J.T. Thomas became the Sole Survivor on the live finale broadcast May 17, 2009. He finished the first "perfect game" in the history of the show, not having a single vote cast against him all season and earning all seven jury votes in a unanimous decision, beating out Stephen Fishbach. In addition, J.T. was named "Sprint Player of the Season", earning the fans' vote over Taj Johnson-George and Sierra Reed.
- First Impressions: On Day 1, Jeff Probst instructed the newly-marooned castaways to make their first vote-off. Relying only from first impressions, the tribes must select which of their tribemates will be the biggest liability to their team, and these two players will "not make it to the journey." The contestants assumed that the two would be eliminated, but the "journey" was revealed to be a four-hour trek to their camps. The two people who were singled out (Sierra from Timbira and Sandy from Jalapao) will be airlifted to their camps, while their tribemates underwent a treacherous walk to their respective encampments.
- One-time use Hidden Immunity Idols: After being whisked away to their camps, the two left out players were given a choice between creating a shelter (to possibly change their perceptions of them) or search for a one-time use Hidden Immunity Idol that can only be good at their first visiting Tribal Council. Unfortunately, both Idols were never found and wasted away in the process.
- Exile Island: Exile Island returns this season, with new twists. After a Reward Challenge, the winning tribe must send one person from the losing tribe to Exile Island, and in return, the said person must pick one member from the winning tribe to join him/her in Exile Island. Another twist is that, upon reaching Exile Island, the two banished players will get to chose between two unmarked bottles; one bottle contained a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol, hidden somwhere at their camps. The player who gets the clue will also have the option to switch tribes at will (hypothetically, if a banished player already found his/her tribe's idol, the player in question may switch tribes to potentially find the other tribe's idol). The person who gets the second bottle will get nothing.
- Hidden Immunity Idols: Hidden Immunity Idols return this season.
|Contestant||Original Tribe||Merged Tribe||Finish|| Votes|
26, West Hollywood, CA
|Jalapao|| 1st Voted Out|
31, Dayton, OH
|Timbira|| 2nd Voted Out|
49, Rock Hill, SC
|Timbira|| 3rd Voted Out|
53, Louisville, KY
|Jalapao|| 4th Voted Out|
18, Lakeland, FL
|Jalapao|| 5th Voted Out|
24, Raleigh, NC
|Jalapao|| 6th Voted Out|
26, Austin, TX
30, New York, NY
|Timbira|| 7th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
29, Lindon, UT
|Timbira|| 8th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
23, Los Angeles, CA
|Timbira|| 9th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
46, Auburn, AL
|Timbira|| 10th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
37, Bolivar, MO
|Timbira|| 11th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
37, Nashville, TN
|Jalapao|| 12th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
26, Waukesha, WI
|Timbira|| 13th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
29, New York, NY
24, Samson, AL
The players were split into two tribes, Timbira and Jalapao, prior to the game. However, before the game started, Jeff stated that each tribe was to vote for one of their own to not make the trek to camp. The selected members, Sierra Reed from Timbira and Sandy Burgin from Jalapao, assumed they had been eliminated, but it was then revealed that these two would be flown to their respective campsites while the rest had to trek for four hours while carrying supplies. Nevertheless, this would impact their game; both Sierra and Sandy became distant from their tribes. Sandy was eliminated, but Sierra was spared due to Timbira's repeated Immunity Challenge wins.
Both the Hidden Immunity Idol and Exile Island twists were in play, with the clues to the Hidden Idols available at Exile. The winning tribe of each Reward Challenge would be able to select one member of the losing tribe to be exiled, while the exiled player would be able to choose a member of the winning tribe to join them. On one of these occasions, Brendan Synnott from Timbira and Taj Johnson-George from Jalapao formed a secret cross-tribe alliance for the Merge, bringing in Sierra and Stephen Fishbach, respectively. The alliance members saw several repeat visits to Exile, securing both Immunity Idols by sharing the clues. After J.T. Thomas accidentally stumbled upon the Hidden Immunity Idol in Stephen's pocket, Taj and Stephen agreed to bring J.T. into their own alliance, and the three decided to share the use of the Idol. Timbira was able to win the last three tribal Immunity Challenges, leaving Taj, J.T., Stephen, and Joe Dowdle as the only Jalapao members remaining. Shortly after the merge, Joe was evacuated from the game due to an infection in his knee.
After Joe's evacuation, Timbira had a major numerical advantage on Jalapao, up six players to three. However, Timbira had divided into several factions: Coach Wade, Tyson Apostol, and Debbie Beebe, Brendan and Sierra, and Erinn Lobdell on the outside. Coach's faction decided to align with J.T. and Stephen in an attempt to overthrow Brendan and Sierra. With Brendan and Sierra acting distant, Taj and Stephen decided to betray their Exile alliance; Brendan neglected to play his Idol and was voted out. With the dissent among Timbira exposed, J.T., Stephen and Taj aligned with Erinn, navigating between the two Timbira factions to eliminate them all, becoming the final four.
After knocking Taj out of the game due to her likelihood of winning the Jury's vote, J.T. eliminated Erinn after he won his third consecutive Immunity Challenge, bringing Stephen the Final Two. At the Final Tribal Council, the Jury unanimously voted for J.T. to be named the Sole Survivor, believing he played a stronger and more strategic game compared to Stephen.
|1||"Let's Get Rid of the Weak Players Before We Even Start"||February 12, 2009||Timbira1||None||Carolina||7-1|| 1st Voted Out|
|2||"The Poison Apple Needs to Go"||February 19, 2009||Jalapao1||Brendan||Candace||7-1|| 2nd Voted Out|
|3||"Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This"||February 26, 2009||Jalapao||Jalapao||Brendan||Jerry||6-1|| 3rd Voted Out|
|4||"The Strongest Man Alive"||March 5, 2009||Jalapao||Timbira||Sierra||Sandy||5-1-1|| 4th Voted Out|
|5||"You're Going to Want That Tooth"||March 12, 2009||Jalapao||Timbira||Brendan||Spencer||5-1|| 5th Voted Out|
|6||"The First 15 Days"||March 25, 2009||Recap Episode|
|7||"One of Those 'Coach Moments'"||April 2, 2009||Timbira||Timbira||Joe||Sydney||3-2|| 6th Voted Out|
|8||"The Dragon Slayer"||April 9, 2009||None||Tyson||None||Joe||No Vote|| Evacuated|
|9||"The Biggest Fraud in the Game"||April 16, 2009||Brendan, Debbie, J.T.||Tyson||Stephen||Brendan||4-3-2|| 7th Voted Out|
1st Jury Member
|10||"It's Funny When People Cry"||April 23, 2009||Debbie, Erinn, J.T., Tyson||Debbie||Stephen||Tyson||5-3|| 8th Voted Out|
2nd Jury Member
|11||"They Both Went Bananas"||April 30, 2009|| Stephen|
|Coach||Erinn||Sierra||4-2-1|| 9th Voted Out|
3rd Jury Member
|12||"The Ultimate Sacrifice"||May 7, 2009|| Survivor|
|Stephen||Taj||Debbie||4-1-1|| 10th Voted Out|
4th Jury Member
|13||"The Martyr Approach"||May 14, 2009|| J.T.|
|J.T.||Coach||Coach||3-2|| 11th Voted Out|
5th Jury Member
|14||"I Trust You but I Trust Me More"||May 17, 2009||None||J.T.||None||Taj||3-1|| 12th Voted Out|
6th Jury Member
|J.T.||Erinn||1-0|| 13th Voted Out|
7th Jury Member
|Reunion Show||Jury Vote||Stephen||7-0||Runner-Up|
^1 Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge.
|Survivor: Tocantins Voting History|
|Original Tribes||Merged Tribe|
- Tocantins is pronounced: "Toe-can-cheens".
- This season marks the third country (Brazil) to be revisited as a location of filming, following Panama and Palau, though it became the first country to host two seasons in two separate locations. While Survivor: The Amazon was filmed in the Rio Negro river, this season was shot in an entirely different province of Brazil, at the Rio Novo river.
- It is the first season since Survivor: Thailand to feature two male players in the Final 2.
- This season, the 18th, is currently the latest season to feature a Final 2 (and also consisting of a 7-person jury).
- This is the first season since Survivor: Panama to follow the original format that was used during the first six seasons (a pool of sixteen contestants, with six players voted out before the merge, one made the merge but did not make the jury, a seven-person Jury and two players at the Final Tribal Council).
- Thus far, it is the only season to feature black as the color for a starting tribe (Black has been mostly used as the color of the merged tribe).
- Abi-Maria Gomes from Survivor: Philippines was originally recruited for this season, however she was cut because she might gain an advantage due to her being Brazilian. Gomes is originally from Goiás, a neighboring state of Tocantins.
- This is the fifth season to feature a medical evacuation.
- This is the first season since Survivor: Palau with no Tribe Shuffle
- JT and Brendan tied the Survivor strongman record that was previously held by Rupert, carrying 220 pounds of weight in a reward challenge.
- That record has since been surpassed by both Brandon and Jim of Survivor: South Pacific (both carried 240 pounds of weight in a similar challenge)
- This is the latest season to feature Exile Island.
- Of the contestants eliminated before the jury phase, there were at least two contestants whose names began with the same letter (Carolina and Candace; Jerry and Joe; and Sandy, Spencer, and Sydney).
- Out of those couples, Jerry and Joe were the only pair to share the same first initial, and not be eliminated back-to-back.
- All three returning players who debuted in this season have made it to a Final Tribal Council
|Survivor (US) Seasons|
Borneo · The Australian Outback · Africa · Marquesas · Thailand · The Amazon · Pearl Islands · All-Stars · Vanuatu · Palau · Guatemala · Panama · Cook Islands · Fiji · China · Micronesia · Gabon · Tocantins · Samoa · Heroes vs Villains · Nicaragua · Redemption Island · South Pacific · One World · Philippines · Caramoan · Blood vs Water · Cagayan