Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette: JT Thomas

We are almost finished with Survivor Analyst Russian Roulette, where the authors of this site are randomly assigned contestants from the upcoming season of Survivor: Game Changers and must give an honest assessment of what to expect from them. Next up: JT Thomas.

Editor’s note: Since six entries didn’t feel like enough for this series, we invited some more regular contributors to the site and put them through the randomizer. Alycia Swift was fortunate that there was still a great player left in the mix when it was her turn to pull the trigger.

JT was very hard to write about because he won Tocantins unanimously and blundered so badly in Heroes vs. Villains. I was never a fan of his the first time but I am excited to see him play again because he is one of the only legitimate Game Changers in the cast. For better or worse, he did not just think about making a move and not make it, which seems to be production’s minimum criteria to be a GC.

People are in one of two camps about JT’s win: they either think JT’s just amazing, or they think Stephen Fishbach was the brains of the outfit and JT only got to the end because of Stephen and then benefited from Stephen’s awful FTC performance. I saw a mean streak that first time in him, so I rooted for Stephen.

JT and Stephen ended up good friends. He was the country boy in his element. Stephen was the city boy out of his. JT was a great challenge competitor and provider. But more importantly, JT was so charming that others screwed up their game for him and wanted him to win. Other than Kim Spradlin’s One World sheep and Rob’s Zombies, when did this ever happen?

JT came to Heroes vs Villains with some things to prove — that he was strategic and that his first win was not a fluke. But JT made what some call one of the stupidest move ever (Editor’s note: Not me!). Others think it was fine because it could have worked (Editor’s note: Me!). He wrote a “love letter” to Russell Hantz and slipped Russell an idol at an immunity challenge because he mistakenly thought there was an all-female alliance after he saw Russell as the last man standing on the Villains’ tribe. He wanted to buy Russell’s loyalty by saving him. Russell was supposed to use the idol to oust Parvati. In theory, it could have worked.

In theory!

The problem was, JT did not have enough information. He did not know Russell and had not seen his season. He never had a conversation with the guy. Thus, he could not have known that Russell liked to control women and that Parvati was Russell’s closest alliance-mate. But the fact that the guy was on a tribe called Villains should have clued JT in that something was not kosher. (Editor’s note: This is probably only true if Stephen taught him what kosher meant.)

That move cost him his game. On the positive side, JT did show he had some strategic chops as he played the middle of two factions on his tribe before his big blunder. He engineered Cirie’s vote-out earlier that season. This time, JT comes to Game Changers hoping to prove the same thing as last time: that he can be a good strategic player as well as a social player. He’s older. The players are smarter and/or experienced and all have something to prove. No one is laying their game down for him. But not as many players seem to be outright gunning for JT, and some even want to work with him.

WHEEEEEE!

Best Case Scenario

JT holds himself back from trying to play the middle and gets ignored premerge because there are bigger fish to fry with Ozzy, Cirie, and Culpepper on his tribe. He will have a pass for the first few losses (if his tribe loses) because he is a young alpha Caucasian male that is perceived to be good at challenges.

JT will need to find someone like a Fishbach (maybe Cirie if they can get past their history, or Aubry after the swap or merge) to help him with strategy. After the merge, he has to Mike Holloway it to the end, which will be difficult unless other challenge beasts are gone. Then he has to give the same type of performance at FTC, but this time other players will be prepared.

Worst case scenario

His team goes to tribal first, the winners are targeted, and he goes early. But with Ozzy, Culpepper, Sarah, Sierra and himself on the team, how likely is that to happen? Getting voted out because he was a winner probably will not happen. There are more annoying players (Debbie), more dangerous players (Cirie), and more mysterious players (Zeke) on his tribe.

Most Likely scenario

JT will be the last winner standing and will get to the merge, possibly even near the end, but will be taken out when he does not win immunity and is not needed. No one wants to take their best competition to the end. They want goats (Editor’s note: not G.O.A.T.s). JT had one of the best FTC performances, so unless he’s against another silver tongue like Cirie or Sandra, he’s going to outshine them at FTC.

Bro-hug it out!

Read the rest!

Other Game Changers preseason contestant content:

Alycia Swift

Alycia Swift

Alycia has watched the show since the second season. She has never gone back and watched Borneo, but it was gifted to her and is sitting on the shelf. Her favorite moment is the brain over brawn moment when Yau-Man dropped the box of supplies on the corner and broke it open. She has no favorite seasons, but a lot of favorite players and least favorite players as listed herein.

Favorite Players: Yau-Man, Aubry, Kass, Sandra, David Wright, Ken McNickle, Yul, Rob C, Stephen, Penner

Least Favorite: The male trifecta on the WA Axis of Evil (Dan, Will, Rodney), Troyzan, Ozzy, anyone named Hantz, Ciera Eastin (She voted out her mom. That’s just horrible. :P).
Alycia Swift

Latest posts by Alycia Swift (see all)

  • Sad Lil

    Mama likey

  • EmAndScoutInBK

    Nice post! I think your most likely is right on – he’ll make the merge, but is not long for the game after.

    But omg that gif of Sandy missing the high five.

    • We should start a campaign here to get everyone to watch Naked Attraction. I finished the entire first series and was so disappointed to find there were only five episodes.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Next offseason content? We could podcast about it. Like your ill fated Genius podcast (btw I finally finished season 1 and have begun season two, it’s great and I never really understand any of it).

        • EmAndScoutInBK

          I am so grateful to you for introducing this into my life.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I don’t know if there will ever be any more. And if there isn’t I’m so sorry.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            I thought I read they were definitely doing a second season??

          • Kemper Boyd

            I’ve not checked to be fair.

        • I don’t even know what you could possibly say about it in podcast form. It’s just so amazingly insane- it’s an incredibly stupid premise for a show that turns out to be fascinating to watch.

          • Kemper Boyd

            A rude word disclaimer then us talking about genitalia and pubic hair.

          • And talking about how a young mother compared her genitalia to a jam jar!

        • If The Genius ever comes back for a season 5, I’ll probably end up podcasting about it (assuming it doesn’t air during a Survivor season).

          • Kemper Boyd

            Isn’t doing an all-stars.

          • I haven’t heard that. It would be kind of ridiculous, since every season has brought players back, and season 4 was (if I remember correctly) all returning players.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Maybe that’s the one I’d heard about then.

        • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

          People kept mentioning The Genius around here, so I just finished watching the first episode of a Korean game show. Are y’all talking about the same Genius?

          • Super duper fan

            I think we are talking about the same one.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            “an incredibly stupid premise for a show that turns out to be fascinating to watch” sounded more like Naked Attraction than the Genius. Though from what I’ve seen, the Genius is more about your social game than about any smarts.

          • Super duper fan

            Oh no, they are talking about Naked Attraction, I got confused with your question since you replied to KB which didn’t mention anything about stupid premise.

          • Did you watch The Genius?

          • Super duper fan

            The first season. I’m gonna eventually see other seasons, but I wanna spread the greatness for me cause I think it’s fantastic and I don’t wanna end my Genius experience too soon.

          • I’d love to do some Genius content in the offseason. There’s already a page for it here, it’s just mostly mothballed.

          • Super duper fan

            I think it would be great, I don’t know if I will be able to watch rest of the seasons during GC, but who knows (or maybe wait and watch blind with others who also didn’t see all the season?).

          • The Genius is great, and I highly recommend it- although it requires your full attention because of the subtitling.

            Naked Attraction requires your full attention for entirely different reasons- your attention refuses to go elsewhere.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Well now I’m down the The Genius rabbit hole. I just finished the second episode, and I might throw on the third before the sun goes down. I think it’s interesting that (if you apply Edgic), there are only a handful of people you’re supposed to be rooting for based on airtime. Gura, Kyungran, and Jimmy Cha have screen presence, Sangmin is a gamer, and I only remember Jinho and Minseo because they keep getting screwed over. But at the same time, allegiances change so rapidly that no one can ever coast. That much I like because you have to make Big Movez™ just to make it to the next round. Based on the first two episodes of season 1, I’m seeing Kyungran as Cambodia Shirin (maybe Wentworth or Ciera), Cha as Cirie, and Gura as either Penner or Russell Hantz. That’s enough for me to jump on board with both feet.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Wow, I find it impossible to binge The Genius because of 1) the length of the episodes, 2) the complexity of the games, 3) the need to focus on the subtitles. As far as edgic goes, IIRC they they taped the episodes once a week and broadcast them about a month later, so the editors don’t know how the game turned out until late in each season. The BM question isn’t so cut and dried either: the primary goal is to win the Main Match, but the secondary goal is to avoid being selected for the Death Match.

          • Alycia Swift

            Where is everyone getting these two series?

          • The Genius season 1 is on YouTube. The guy who does the subtitles has links: http://bxrme.tumblr.com/post/69603754319/the-genius-1-2-subbed

            And I believe Naked Attraction can be viewed on the website of the British channel that airs it.

          • Kemper Boyd

            yes. Like it?

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Unfortunately yes. I meant to stop after three episodes today, and that definitely did not happen.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I finished season 1 and watched an episode of season 2 before bed. I then accidentally spoiled myself on the winner by looking at wiki to find the eliminated contestant’s full name.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Max Jets and I both recently finished season 2. If you hurry up we can watch season 3 concurrently and clog up the comments sections here talking about it.

          • Kemper Boyd

            I can’t watch more than an episode at a time and I’ve only seen 1 and 2 of season 2.

        • I thought my thesis about my Cambodia dislike was for the next off-season

          • Kemper Boyd

            The off season isn’t one week long. Wait how long is this thesis?

          • Considering the fact that my actual thesis was 95 pages long, this thesis is probably a couple hundred pages.

          • Black Dynamite

            If there was a Survivor season that you were involved in during the offseason, Cambodia wouldn’t be my first choice. Maybe a well received one you haven’t watched yet.

          • Oh you mean Micronesia, Tocantins, Amazon or Pearl Islands? I am watching those during Game Changers. I can’t think of any other well received seasons that I haven’t watched yet.

          • Black Dynamite

            In all seriousness, I think that one of those would be great. Having you as the person experiencing it for the first time paired with a big fan of one of those seasons.

          • Spoiler alert: It is going to have to happen soon because I am watching Micronesia after Cook Islands and I am on Episode 4 of Cook Islands..

      • EmAndScoutInBK

        100%! I am so behind this. We’re rationing them out that this point because there are so few (also, we got home too late last night). Everyone needs to watch this show.

      • Alycia Swift

        I have to ask – what is it?

        I do know what the Genius is. Haven’t gotten around to it.

        • You can probably guess just from the title. But let’s just call it a dating show. Because…kinda!

        • Kemper Boyd

          It’s a dating show where the picker chooses between 6 people who are naked and they progressively reveal more of the person as each round goes on.

          • Alycia Swift

            Ok. I think I can skip it. I’ll listen to whatever you guys podcast about but I’ve got thinks that I actually want to see. I might try the Genius though.

          • It’s definitely TV meant more for when you’ve already consumed your higher-quality viewing fare. It’s an absurd show that I can’t believe ever got made.

          • Kemper Boyd

            No, mate you shouldn’t. It’s completely fascinating as evidenced by the fact I mentioned it in a twitter thread to Em and John and they are both kind of obsessed with it. It’s insane.

          • EmAndScoutInBK

            You Can’t. Look. Away. FASCINATING.

            I became obsessed immediately. So did my fiancee.

          • Alycia Swift

            Ok. Maybe I will look into it. But if its just because there are naked people, I can go watch pretty much any show on HBO.

      • purplerockandy

        Imagine having the bandwidth to just up and add some random British reality show to one’s TV schedule.

        Sorry dude. We’re currently taking bookings for shows four months out.

        • Kemper Boyd

          5 hour long episodes? I already watch all this crap on streams you guys can join me for once.

          • purplerockandy

            Have you seen what the TV schedule is like starting in March and April?

            Survivor, The Americans, The Leftovers, Better Call Saul, Veep, Silicon Valley, Fargo, Archer, The Handmaid’s Tale, Iron Fist

          • Kemper Boyd

            God. I’m sorry you have a family life and don’t stay in alone just watching TV!

          • purplerockandy

            It really is awful. I regret it constantly.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Summer off season dude.

          • purplerockandy

            Another issue: I lose one evening a week podcasting about one of those shows.

          • sharculese

            The Americans? Its The Americans, right?

          • purplerockandy

            Indeed. Subscribe to my podcast “Canadians on The Americans” via your preferred podcatcher.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Andy want to start a podcast on the Americans?

          • If we did that, we’d skip discussion of any and all parts related to the kids. They should have just kept the kids as background scenery.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Even Paige? I have a hunch that when the show finishes its run we’ll look back and see that she was the main character all along.

          • Especially Paige. The whole plot about the pastor seemed like it would be a good idea, but it was just horribly executed and dragged on the show.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I dunno, the lost in Africa part was kind of weird, but I liked how they kept the Pastor Tim sword dangling over the show for an entire season. For a show of The Americans’ caliber, there’s a lot to nitpick here and there that IMO isn’t true about say, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. The way you felt about the Pastor Tim storyline is the way I feel about the Young Hee storyline. Why, ultimately, did they keep Nina around as long as they did?

          • purplerockandy

            The thing to remember here is that John has really bad taste in TV and art in general. That’ll help you in this discussion.

          • sharculese

            Why would you do that to a talented young actor like Holly Taylor?

            Thats like saying Mad Men would be better without any of the Sally stuff.

          • sharculese

            Im stoked for the Handmaid’s Tale just on that cast. Thinking about rereading it, but Im currently in the middle of The Blind Assassin and I think I might need a little break from Atwood. I reread A Wrinkle In Time the other day just to get somethinv less depressing in.

          • Alkanarra

            I’m not much of an Atwood fan, but The Blind Assassin is fucking wonderful.

          • Alycia Swift

            I love the Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book about five times but not in years. I also really liked the movie. I am looking forward to it as well.

          • Alycia Swift

            Plus we are in the middle of The Expanse and Humans just started. And I’m watching The Good Fight which I like better than I ever liked The Good Wife. I’m a season behind on The Americans and Better Call Saul. And I still have to finish Preacher.

          • Purplerockmatt

            The Expanse has gotten soooooo good

          • Alycia Swift

            It is amazing. I haven’t read the books but I love this show. My hubby has the audio book of the first one but its not the same.

            Humans was good the first season. I just haven’t gotten to the second. Its on the Tivo. Plus that one I watch with the hubby and he’s constantly watching old episodes of Mythbusters, Steven Universe, Gravity Falls and Adventure Time lately.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I am really into the books and without spoiling anything, i hope this show runs long enough to get to book 5.

          • Alycia Swift

            I read the ratings are not high. The problem is – they don’t really advertise this one that much. The Magicians – plenty of advertising. I have not watched that one or read the books.

          • purplerockandy

            I’ve heard good things about The Good Fight, but I was so burned out on the show for the final couple seasons that it doesn’t seem worth the extra effort to watch it.

          • Alycia Swift

            Well normally I hate lawyer shows – Boston Legal excepted but that’s because of Shatner, Candice Bergen and Spader, not from any accuracy about what happens in the Court system. I watched the Good Wife late. But I love Christine Baranski. Its not often that a show has a lead of a woman who is in her 60s. And Delroy Lindo and the actress who plays Eli Gold’s daughter Marissa are hoots. Its weird when they do mention Alicia Florek.

            I am also enjoying seeing the same actors that played minor characters like Diane’s estranged husband, judges and other attorneys again.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            I’ve heard enough raves about Feud that I’ve added it to the queue in spite of the upcoming deluge.

            Iron Fist: The whole MCU is my pop culture blind spot. Even the highbrow stuff like Jessica Jones and Legion just doesn’t hold my interest.

          • Alycia Swift

            I tried Legion and could not get through the second episode.

            Also, Into the Badlands, which is absolutely cheesy, is coming back.

          • purplerockandy

            That’s fine. A lot of the MCU stuff, even the Netflix shows, top out at “pretty good” (I’d say Jessica Jones transcended that at times). I’m a life-long Marvel comics reader, so it offers me something more.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Mystery Science Theater’s back in April as well. We’ve gone from no tv to TOO MUCH TV.

          • Oh my gosh, I am so stoked for the renewal of MST3K.

          • Mike Hirsch

            Me too! I was a Kickstarter backer. Actually wearing my sweatshirt right now.

          • Ms_Woozah

            Jesus. I’m still behind on fall stuff. Is Westworld even worth catching up on at this point? I’ve already been spoiled.

          • purplerockandy

            I honestly can’t even answer that. It was both good and not good. So… no, probably. Right?

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            The bar a new show has to clear before I watch is incredibly high now. I just barely passed on watching Westworld and I don’t really regret it (I’m semi-spoiled as well). In fact I feel a bit of shadenfreude when I hear about a show I wanted to watch but didn’t going off the rails (like HIMYM and Sherlock).

            That said, I only heard about Naked Attraction a couple of hours ago and I’m definitely going to watch it. Same for GLOW, which I only found out about a couple of days ago.

          • Purplerockmatt

            the worst is when you find a hidden gem that is great for one season because it is insane, still kinda fun for a second season but has serious problems, then the third season kinda sucks but it maintains the good chemistry between its leads and then it just kills its co-lead in the season finale and somehow gets a renewal. you stayed with it through the bad times hoping for something and then its just like “nah we are ruining the only good thing left”

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            Yeah, I stopped watching Homeland too.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Ha I wasn’t even referring to Homeland but it totally works for that too (which I also gave up on eventually)

          • Alycia Swift

            You sound like you are describing the Walking Dead.

            I still like it though.

          • Purplerockmatt

            I could be describing a LOT of shows

          • Alycia Swift

            Yes it is.

          • Assistant Dragon Slayer

            You forgot The Amazing Race.

          • purplerockandy

            I really didn’t.

          • Hey, you know who forgot The Amazing Race? CBS.
            Who know who didn’t forget about the Amazing Race? My brother who refuses to watch Survivor

    • I got distracted. There was a woman in that gif?

  • Super duper fan

    If there will be a two-time winner coming from this season, it is most likely gonna be J.T.. He is really charming, and not many people are looking at him as a legitimate threat to beat them. At the very least he will probably get further than other winners (Tony and Sandra). And slightly related to your post-I think he has a really underrated FTC performance, it is often overlooked by the likes of Chris’s and Todd’s performances, and he was the reason why Stephen floundered at all in the FTC. Not many people remember that, so he may get to the end cause people only remember the letter J.T. and think that he won’t be able to covince others of why they would want to vote for him, when in reality he had done it before, and really well at that.

    • Purplerockmatt

      JT turning on Stephen and basically handing Stephen the shovel to dig his own grave at FTC was amazing. It was a masterful performance and the thing is you know its a performance by JT because you can see him smile or smirk when everyone picks up his line of bullshit, whether it be the jury of Stephen himself. And Stephen is the first person to give JT that credit. Of course, pretty sure JT had that vote wrapped even before that, but still that was a great performance

      • I believe Stephen has mentioned that as soon as FTC was over, JT turned to him and said something like “Wasn’t that fun?”, which is both awesome and cold as ice.

        • Alycia Swift

          Yes, I remember Stephen saying that.
          Like I said, I saw the mean streak in him – way before FTC.

          • I mean there is other evidence that JT is mean, but that would be gossip and I am not a gossip queen anymore.

          • Kemper Boyd

            No, redeeeem yourself, recapture your crown.

          • I think we all know what I am talking about when I am saying that JT is not as sweet as he can appear.

          • Super duper fan

            If it involves outside the game, I’m not aware of anything, but if you are talking in the game he definetely had some “moments”.

          • Oh my gosh, you genuinely don’t know. So, you don’t know any pre-game stories of HvV JT?

          • Maritimer

            I don’t either

          • All right, I guess I will give a condensed version.
            Before HvV, JT reportedly shacked up with Sugar. So, when they got to the island, Sugar thought she had it made but JT told her reportedly that he was through with her due to the fact that he had a girlfriend at home. Dejected by JT and being the first boot, Sugar attempted suicide at Ponderosa.

          • Super duper fan

            Oh, I heard about the part that he was presumably with Sugar and about the attempted suicide, but I thought the last part was due to her being addicted to drugs and production asked contestants to throw the callenge and vote her out cause she had a withdrawal and was so depressed cause of that, that she was drinking a lot and then tried to kill herself. I didn’t knew about the part of JT rejecting her and that being the reason of that.

          • purplerockandy

            I’m guessing the drug issues had more to do with the fallout. Getting rejected like that probably didn’t help, but still, she had her own things that were more significant.

          • I have never heard of the rumor that Production asked contestants to throw that challenge.

          • purplerockandy

            Me neither. Gotta say: if they were throwing it, sucks to be Stephanie and get a dislocated shoulder.

          • Maritimer

            Wasn’t it the reward challenge she dislocated her shoulder in? The fighting over the bags, when Rupert cripplingly broke his baby toe or whatever

          • Super duper fan

            No, I meant the Immunity Challenge.

          • Maritimer

            Yeah, I was questioning whether it was the immunity challenge Steph dislocated her shoulder in, not which one they allegedly threw

          • purplerockandy

            Apparently, yes. I guess I forgot that they used to do both in the premiere.

          • Yeah, unless we count the marooning as the first reward challenge, I think we haven’t seen a reward challenge since SJDS (the hero duel between Val and Jeremy).

          • It wouldn’t have been that challenge because that was the reward challenge. The immunity challenge was the build the boat, row out get puzzle pieces, bring it back, and complete the puzzle challenge

            But, with those particular Heroes, I can’t see many of them throwing challenges.

          • Super duper fan

            I definetely read it somewhere with all the other stuff that I mentioned, but I don’t know where, and if it’s true.

          • Super duper fan

            I’m pretty new, and I binged all the seasons one year ago from January to May, so I don’t know ALL the stories yet.

          • Alycia Swift

            I’ve seen some of the gossip but I’m sure I have not seen all of it. That did not affect my assessment.

          • purplerockandy

            It was wise to not let it affect it.

          • Maritimer

            Yeah some of the things he said about Erin and Sierra were pretty mean, if I recall correctly. He was also pretty harsh on Spencer after that immunity challenge in his boot episode

      • indescribable hat

        I love JT’s FTC so much. For me it’s very like Todd’s in that I went in rooting for Stephen/Amanda pretty hard but was so delighted by the winner’s performance that they won me over.

  • Assistant Dragon Slayer

    Nice write-up. I agree. The length of JT’s absence from the game, the embarrassing (but defensible!) way he left HvV, and the huge threats around him mean that JT will be the last of the former winners/big names left. If he’s a bit of a Superman in a fat suit now it might even keep the target off him for a while in the post-merge. Still, I have a hard time seeing him getting all the way to the end.

    Also: You guys, Matt got FFSDT!!!

    • Super duper fan

      I hope he won’t left us disapointed with a write-up of Fan Favourite, Game Changer, America’s Sweetheart, Cunning Strategist, Screen Time Hog, Fifth Place Fallen Angel, Sierra Dawn effing Thomas aka FFGCASCSSTHFPFASDFT.

      • Kemper Boyd

        You’ve missed Absurdly Tall from her list of descriptors. I call her ATFFGCSDT

        • Super duper fan

          My bad: ATFFGCASCSSTHFPFASDFT.

    • Alycia Swift

      I did have something in there about Superman in a fat suit but JT was never the most thin, ripped of male players and to shorten it, I took that out.. He had more of a burly build (like Mike Holloway to start). Strength-based challenges – he’s good to go. Also, how well he does depends on the type of challenges. I can’t remember if Tocantins had a lot of swimming challenges but that is Ozzy’s territory.

      • Maritimer

        I’m not sure JT is necessarily the challenge beast we all give him credit for anyway. After Tyson was voted off, he didn’t have much competition in Tocantins

        • Alkanarra

          How dare you slander Coach like that! Didn’t you hear him tell you that he is the greatest challenge competitor ever?

          • Maritimer

            Well, he did have all that experience throwing balls at tiles

          • Alkanarra

            Coach has experience doing everything. But yes, he is indeed a master-level profession of handling balls.

          • More than Keith Nale?

          • As Coach Wade breathed his final breath in the wilderness of the Brazilian Highlands, he let out one final, passionate scream that proved to the other Survivors just how dedicated he was in his pursuit of the Great Immunity. This man, he who rowed through the Amazon and barely escaped certain death at the hands of the natives, who recited poetry so beautiful it made the Gods themselves weep tears of ambrosia, was not willing to die without a fight. He nearly martyred himself for his cause, the Mission of the Noble Dragon Slayer, and for that, we are all in his debt.

            Coach 2.0 was kind of entertaining and Coach 3.0 was terrible, but I really did like Coach 1.0.

          • Purplerockmatt

            Coach 1.0 is hilarious and amazing. Coach 2.0 is the most deluded man in the world and seeing other Survivors react to that is incredible. Coach 3.0 sucks

          • Roswulf

            Poor Coach 2.0. The whole HvV premise is a mean (and incredibly funny) joke at his expense.

          • purplerockandy

            It’s so great.

          • Maritimer

            Can’t say I liked Coach 1.0 but he was amazing television. The other castaways mocking him was even better television. As Matt said, castaways mocking Coach 2.0 was also great. Really, Coach 3.0 just wasn’t mocked enough

          • To be fair, Coach 3.0 is basically his impression of Boston Rob.

            Spoilers: he is not good at impressions.

          • good shot green

            Coach 3.0 was just a temporary player.

      • Alycia Swift

        Well also I felt bad for going that route so I dropped it.

      • Tocantins did not have a lot of water challenges because of the production death before the season.

    • purplerockandy

      Not only did he get FFGSDT, he drew her within the first six picks. It was so beautiful. The biggest reason I didn’t commit to doing one for everyone was that I didn’t want to delay Matt’s post this long.

      • Kemper Boyd

        But the wait for Matt’s piece is part of the joy.

        • Ten bucks or pounds say that the majority of it is either a blank page or a tumbleweed.

      • Purplerockmatt

        I may have even drawn her first. Like that happened immediately.

      • EmAndScoutInBK

        Totally worth the wait. Completely.

    • Purplerockmatt

      I have been trying so hard not to spoil you guys for that. I even wrote it up weeks ago. I forget what it says honestly, so I am looking forward to reading it just like you guys are.

      • Kemper Boyd

        Can I guess?
        FFSDT is a person who was on Survivor. She might come 5th or 6th maybe 4th.

        • Alycia Swift

          That is funny.

        • sharculese

          Also one time she managed to stand next to a car without dry humping it.

        • My dad, who barely remembered Tony, remembered Tall Blonde FFGCSDT.

          • She’s a legend!

          • Purplerockmatt

            well she is Tall

          • Super duper fan

            Nobody can disagree with that.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Is she the tallest person on this season?

          • I would assume Brad is taller. She’s easily the tallest woman, though.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Brad according to google is 6′ even. I think she’s got to be 6’2″

          • So close. Sierra is 6’1.

          • Kemper Boyd

            Boom. Taller than Brad

          • Super duper fan

            She’s definetely the second tallest woman ever in Survivor (only before Crystal Cox), but I don’t know about the male side of things.

          • I mean, we have people like Scot, Cliff, and Mitchell who are all over 6’8 to play the game.

      • EmAndScoutInBK

        Oh my gd oh my gd oh my gd oh my gd oh my gd

      • sharculese

        Fun fact: whenn John showed me the original name tiers I told him I thought drawing Siera might be fun.

        • Purplerockmatt

          Oh we separated in that manner at first so that we could assure that two people got someone good and two people got someone bad. we were praying one of us got her

          • sharculese

            Yeah, John explained all that to me since I was originally toped in to make it an even 6.

          • I think the main hopes were:
            1. I’d get stuck writing about Troy.
            2. Anyone would get stuck writing about Sierra.

          • I just love that in the past month Matt has written about Nicaragua, Michele Fitzgerald, and FFSDT, which are all things that he loves about Survivor.

          • Purplerockmatt

            you get me

          • Well, you are my favorite graphic designer.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Isn’t Mark the graphic designer?

          • Roswulf

            The real gossip is that Barbara Anderson hates Mark, i guess.

          • That’s the joke.

          • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

            Whoosh.

          • I guess I am more subtle than Rainier Wolfcastle.

          • Purplerockmatt

            goddammit

      • Mike Hirsch

        I find it entirely appropriate that you’ve forgotten what you said about Sierra.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Who?

      • I was hoping you would get either Ciera or Sierra, so I’m excited.

        • purplerockandy

          I was torn on Ciera. On the one hand, I knew it would bother him. On the other hand, he doesn’t deserve her.

          • Fair point, but did you deserve Varner?

          • I deserve it all.

          • Purplerockmatt

            She doesn’t deserve me. My scorn is too good for her

  • Maritimer

    When I watched HvV, I hadn’t watched since Guatemala so had no idea who JT or Parvati were, and I remember thinking JT was an idiot. In hindsight, I can see the potential for the move.
    All that is a way of saying I generally agree that JT won’y be looked on as a threat in this season and if he gets a good alliance could charm his way to the end.

  • TheForRealDeal

    I dunno, I probably wouldn’t give a lease to a Hantz. That thing would be violated so fast.

  • SpicyMayoJaySimpson

    I’m wondering how much the disparity between his Tocantins game and his HvV game will actually affect him in GC. Because the die-hard fans will know that he won, plus Jeff was already referring to him as one of the returning winners on the ship. And most of the rest of the cast seem to have watched a handful of seasons at most out of the previous ten. I’m not sure that there are any S34 players who would have watched HvV but not Tocantins (and if there are, they’re very small in number). And even if people only remember the win but not the details, that too might be to JT’s detriment. As with Zeke and Michaela, people don’t know what they did but know it’s enough “to be a Game Changer.” And that’s enough for people to target them. So replace “Game Changer” with “Winner” in that sentiment, and JT might end up high on people’s boot list.

    • Super duper fan

      I didn’t read all of the pre-game (I’m planning soon to get into all of it), but from the ones that I’ve seen, people are saying “oh, he’s just a good ol’ country boy, he won’t do anything major to us” so he isn’t really perceived as a threat (part of it might be that seems generally down out there). He at the very least isn’t as targeted as Sandra, Tony, Ciera, MvsGX duo and Kaoh Rong four.

    • Alycia Swift

      Plus someone like Zeke would know the entire history since he’s a fan of the game, and might spill the details.

  • Mike Hirsch

    I feel like J.T. *should* be the last winner standing, but will get booted pre-merge, and maybe even be the first winner to go out.
    But I am also lousy at predictions. Nevertheless, I like the fact that he’s on the season, regardless of how he might do.

    • Alkanarra

      I have the same feeling and am equally lousy at predictions, so I think combined we’ve just guaranteed his victory.

  • I think an interesting wrinkle with JT is how often he was positvely mentioned in Cambodia. He was the golden boy that Stephen lost to. Jeremy wanted to be the next JT. I wonder how many people who don’t know him or have not seen either of his seasons will have that perception in his head.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      When it comes to players’ perceptions of JT, Stephen is a special case, obviously, and IIRC Jeremy said he wanted to be Stephen’s next JT.

  • BadPlayer91

    I’m just like real meh on J.T. Not terribly excited, not upset to see him playing again, just generally don’t care. I only have so much energy for caring, and since the majority of that is going to Michaela, when I get down to J.T., the tank is empty.

    Did I mention that Michaela is BAE?

    • By the time you get to FFSDT, you are just pushing your car up the hill.
      Did I get the car analogy right? I don’t have a driver’s license or a car.

      • BadPlayer91

        Nah, i’m putting FFGCFFSDT into the trunk and leaving the car in a parking lot. I assume that when I return to the car she will have told the inside of the trunk that i’m dead to her, but we will still go to McDonalds for shamrock shakes. She will not have died, as that is too interesting for SDT….

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          That escalated quickly.

          • Roswulf

            Thing is, Sierra still plans on bringing BadPlayer91 to the end as a goat.

            I mean, he’s a pretty Bad Player.

  • purplerockandy

    Since this is the last piece by a member of the commentariat, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated and a special thanks to @sharculese:disqus for the idea. I think it ended up being a pretty successful way of us getting to ignore our work and comment here every day instead.

    • BadPlayer91

      Agreed. Thanks to all the writers, definitely thoroughly enjoyed the series and am now TOO hyped for the season.

    • Sad Lil

      When’s my post?

      • purplerockandy

        Check your inbox.

        • Sad Lil

          What’s that

    • Violina23

      Great job everyone! I’m still waiting for @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus to give his predicted boot order 😉

      • Black Dynamite

        Just for you, Violina. Also, I would be cool to see you again this season.

        BD predicted boot order

        20. Debbie
        19. Tai
        18. Sandra
        17. Caleb
        16. Tony
        15. Brad
        14. FFSDT
        13. Ciera
        12. Michaela
        11. Ozzy
        10. Varner
        9. Cirie
        8. Troy
        7. JT
        6. Aubry
        5. Sarah
        4. Malcolm
        3. Hali
        2. Zeke
        1. Andrea

        • Violina23

          YESSS! Thank you! I’m going to come back to this and see how you do 🙂

          Hopefully I can see you guys soon, but I’m not sure it will work out this season. Grrrr. Anyone fancy a trip to New Jersey? 😉

          • Alycia Swift

            I don’t need a trip. I live there. But I’d do a meetup.

  • Roswulf

    I don’t know JT as a Survivor player. I’ve never seen Tocantins. I haven’t read his pre-season interviews, because having not seen Tocantins, I’m not invested in JT.

    But I think the laser focus on writing the letter of doom undersells exactly what a trainwreck JT was on HvV. He positioned himself as the swing vote, and then giddily backstabbed first one side and then the other to bump Stephanie, Cirie, and Tom. By that point, he had betrayed his entire tribe, for the benefit of…uh…having a Heroes tribe without his two smartest potential allies. Playing a post-merge game pre-merge, thy name is HvV JT.

    And THEN he writes the letter.

    Now writing the letter is dumb, but defensible (but DUMB). But the way that JT *locked in* to the letter was a disaster. Sandra was right there, telling the truth, offering to flip the game and JT was consumed by ego and misogyny and incapable of listening, instead spewing smug nonsense about how women are dishonest and everyone else is stupid. And because he couldn’t fathom that his gamble could have gone wrong, he failed to explore alternate strategies (the most appealing being…why not target Russel?)

    And the kicker is his final words, where we at least learn that JT has learned from being bamboozled. Specifically, he has learned to never trust women. Seriously.

    Again, I’m not saying JT will be a terrible player this season- I actually think he’ll be pretty good, and pretty successful. But JT’s downside, both for himself and his allies, is Tony-level spectacular.

    And personally? I’m hoping for spectacular buffoon JT.

    • purplerockandy

      His commitment to the Russell plan as it was falling apart around him was one of those great glimpses of reality you get from Survivor. It’s such a natural human thing to think “this will work because it HAS to work”. He just couldn’t admit failure at that moment because of what that failure would mean for him. “Did I really just throw this whole game away? No… no. That can’t be”.

    • Adam B.

      I always liked reading the letter in the same voice that Young James Ford used on LOST for his letter to “Mr. Sawyer.”

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Oof. Yeah, I forgot about his final words.

      You should watch Tocantins.

    • Alycia Swift

      I forgot a lot of that but my original draft was twice as long. I wanted to do a re-watch but work prevented that. And you described some of the reasons I did not like him. I saw a mean streak in him the first time but since he won, I’m sure the edit toned it down. Still, I am looking forward to seeing him – even if its to see him fail. And, he really is one of the few that actually meets the theme – you do not have to meet the theme positively to meet it. I just don’t buy “thinking” about making a move and not making it as meeting the theme.

      • Roswulf

        Oh yes, I’m absolutely in favor of bringing JT back for this season. And I didn’t mean to come across as criticizing your write-up, which I think is a fair treatment of JT’s Survivor history as a whole.

        I just think it’s interesting to look at JT through the eyes of a non-Tocantins viewer. If nothing else, it flags the power of the editors. In one season viewed in isolation, JT reads as a historically great player (not that I know). In the second viewed in isolation, JT reads as a historically awful player.

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        I scrapped 90% of my first draft and they ended up cutting a few paragraphs from my final version. And that was for a player who only lasted 5 1/2 episodes!

    • indescribable hat

      Oh man, Tocantins is great if you like a charming alliance to root for, wacky characters, and lively gameplay. I’d compare it to China or Panama.

  • giorgos

    JT’s challenge beast status is highly exaggerated. In Tocantins he swept the last 4 challenges against challenge titans like Fishbach, Coach, Taj and Erin.

    Of course he’s good both on team and individual, but he’s not gonna stand out that much in a cast with Ozzy, Malcolm, Brad, Michaela, Caleb, Sarah etc. I think he’s gonna charm some people without becoming the alpha pre-merge, and will survive the “let’s vote out the challenge threat” in the first few votes into the merge. If he somehow makes the final7, he’ll have to go on a streak to get to the final.

  • Alycia Swift

    By the way, the last thing that appears on the main page is the post re Michaela. I got to this by going through the tweets. Ditto for the article after this one.

    • Super duper fan

      Yeah, I always get to the new articles by tweets, cause there is always delay in the main page.

      • purplerockandy

        It’s a caching issue that John has fought long and hard to defeat. He was unsuccessful.

        Refresh and things should be fine.

        • Alycia Swift

          Ah. Not yet. I was trying to explain to my husband how to get to it just in case he wanted to see it. He’s not a Survivor fan.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          FWIW I never had the caching problem until the redesign.

          • purplerockandy

            Yeah, I don’t think it happened until then.

    • Purplerockmatt

      always refresh the home page stupid caching

      • Violina23

        Yeah, I always have to refresh this page. Every single time. I was meaning to message you guys about that…

        • Purplerockmatt

          it is a problem we (by which I mean John) is aware of and yet haven’t figured out how to fix yet

          • Violina23

            May the force be with you

  • the sky is falling

    Wait…. Ciera voted out her mom?!? Thanks for the spoiler alert in your bio.

    Oh well, at least Michelle Fitzgerald didn’t win Kaoh Rong. Missed the finale, but I’m sure Aubry won that one easily.

    • BadPlayer91

      All those BMs

  • Black Dynamite

    I think we see a Tocantins like resurgence from JT. I think he still has that southern charm in him. The blunder in HvV has cooled his threat level so much that I doubt he gets targeted early. I also think this idea that he isn’t a good strategic player and that it was only having Fishbach on his side is why he won is super overblown. JT knows the mechanics of Survivor.

    My Prediction: Post Merge Boot.

    Also, since I probably won’t be around tomorrow for the post I’ve long been waiting for, I give my prediction here.

    FFSDT as a Pre Merge Boot, I don’t actually believe this will happen but would be so hilarious to me that I hope to will it to existence. I am saddened that this would significantly lower my already shitty chances of getting something British from Kemper for getting all my predictions correct.

  • forever1267

    I had J T in the (then popular) Office Survivor Pool the season he won, so I’m sentimentally tied to him. I hope he goes far, but I would prefer someone new to experience the win.