JT Survivor Allstar

James “JT” Thomas went from hero to zero, all within a very short period during him time on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

The former winner of Survivor: Tocantins found himself eliminated after making a crucial mistake in his game play – trusting Russell Hantz that is. In a new interview with RealityTVWorld, JT,25, speaks out on his elimination, his decision to trust Russell and not Sandra, and the things we didn’t get to see on TV.

Excerpts from JT’s interview below -

Reality TV World: Why were you so arrogantly confident that Russell could be trusted? [Rupert Boneham] even told you during last night’s episode that he must be on the Villains tribe for a reason. Didn’t you think it was possible he was playing you?

J.T.: Oh yeah, I definitely came off way more confident than I felt like I was. (laughing) There was a couple days we contemplated the plan. When it was all packed into one episode, it looks like we were really confident.

My first thought was the women alliance when they voted [Tyson Apostol] off. When I said that, Rupert brought it up at the next three challenges. They just picked up on that and started feeding that — played it up. But we were never really sure about Russell at all. When it first started, I was excited about it. But as soon as we spent one night together at our camp [after the merge], we knew we were in trouble and that I had made the wrong move.

But in doing that move, we wanted to do a couple things. We also knew that Russell may keep the idol for himself and vote Parvati out just to try to make me think that he’s one of us. That’s what I thought he would do. That was my thoughts, that he was going to think, “Okay, I’ll vote Parvati out to keep this idol. I’d be a step ahead of the game.” But in all honesty, I would have voted him out next. That was my thinking — worst-case scenario, he keeps the idol. Who cares? We’ll play along and let him vote Parvati out and that’s all we really wanted done anyway. There’s more than one angle to it.

Reality TV World: Did you ever start to believe that there might be some truth behind what Sandra had told Rupert about Russell? Because last night’s episode was a little unclear, but you still seemed confident that Russell was on your side even after Parvati willing stepped down during the Immunity Challenge.

J.T.: No. After Parvati stepped down we knew we were at the losing end of some deal we didn’t know about. That’s actually when I act like I’m stepping down, Parvati and [Danielle DiLorenzo], that got them really excited. I was in pain. I was like, “Oh no. They’re just waiting for me to get down.” So I knew I was in trouble.

Reality TV World: At that point did you believe Parvati and Russell were working together?

J.T.: No. I did not know that. I thought Parvati might even know more than what Russell knew. I thought she may even have something over him, which she did with the idol. But I didn’t expect that.

Reality TV World: What made the Heroes’ decide to target Jerri instead of Sandra and would you have gone after Danielle instead if she had not won Immunity?

J.T.: We probably would have went after Danielle. But we knew Russell wasn’t with her and we knew that we wanted him to vote Parvati. So we let it slip that we were voting Sandra, that way he would vote Sandra and we’d have an out if he wasn’t with us. That’s why I thought Parvati got tipped off by one of the girls because Russell fell right for it. But Parvati somehow knew we were voting Jerri. Nobody ever talked about Jerri.

Reality TV World: You already said you didn’t expect Parvati to do what she did last night, but did you really think there was any chance she would give it to someone else?

J.T.: We thought she might give it away because we were so obvious that we were voting Parvati that she probably wouldn’t believe it. So we knew there was a chance, but we thought Jerri would be the last person. We knew they didn’t get along.

Reality TV World: There’s been a lot of talk about whether it was fair or not for Russell to get to play the game without anyone having gotten to seen his season first. Do you think he would have had any chance of making it this far if you guys had all seen his Samoa season before Heroes vs. Villains was filmed?

J.T.: I think there’s arguments to both sides of that. I played Tocantins and had never seen any of them play and had done really well versus seeing a lot of different players, so it can be argued either way. Everyone knew when we were going out there that there was one person when we got there that would be from a season that we were not familiar with. None of us hesitated to play it. It’s all in the game. It makes it more difficult.

Reality TV World: Even if you did completely trust Russell, giving him a Hidden Immunity Idol without ever seeing Survivor: Samoa or spending one day with him in camp is an incredibly bold and risky move. Why did you consider his joining the Heroes at the merge such an important move, were you that certain you were going to have no chance to get someone else like maybe Sandra to flip?

J.T.: It didn’t ever really cross my mind that I could get one of the girls until afterwards. Once we merged, everyone was scared to talk to each other. It made it clear that they had a plan, and we were vice-versa. It was pretty set in stone. There was never anybody really wanting to trade except Sandra. It appears that. Unfortunately I never got a chance to talk to her.


survivor-russell-hantzRussell Hantz Mug Shot

Russell Hantz of Survivors: Heroes vs. Villains was arrested this morning, reports TMZ.

According to TMZ, Russell was arrested in Louisiana early this morning for attacking someone at a street festival. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Russellwas partying at the Festival International de Louisiane, when he allegedly “shoved” somebody to the pavement.

Russell, 37, was then arrested and taken to jail, but has now been released.

On the topic of Survivor, how amazing was last night’s episode? Parvati‘s move to give both of her idols to Sandra and Jerri was not only genius and entertaining, but proved to be effective as the Heroes’ JT was sent packing.

The question now however seems to be whether or not Parvati made the best move for the long term. When you think about it, Sandra isn’t exactly on her “team” or “alliance.” So why waste an idol to save her? More importantly, why not get a deal from Sandra before you decide to use your idol on her? Plus by not telling Russell about her idol, she has now somewhat alienated her strongest ally in the game.

So it seems though while a great move at the moment, it will likely hurt Parvati in the long run, and I still can’t get over just how much JT trusted Russell. Hello? The guy’s on the villain’s team JT! It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. The show’s definitely getting good.

UPDATE – Russell’s mugshot has been released, as can be seen above.



Courtney Yate’s elimination on this week’s Survivor came as no surprise, but what did come as a surprise was JT’s move to give his opponent/villain Russell Hantz his immunity idol, on his suspicion of a villain all girl alliance. Some are calling this one of the dumbest moves ever on Survivor.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Courtney,29, discuses being eliminated, what she really thinks of Russell and shares her thoughts on JT’s big move.

Excerpts from Courtney’s interview below:

Let me start by asking, are you allergic to challenges?
I am, in fact, allergic to challenges. It’s actually in my contract that I play the least amount of any Survivor.

I hate not seeing you flounder around with limbs flying everywhere, and then last night you finally partake in a crazy challenge, yet instead of seeing you we had to watch Colby and Russell have a chat.
I know! I did a fine job during that challenge. And Amanda was proud of me and you know, you can’t catch a break. They always want to highlight me when I’m messing up, but when you do it good it’s glossed right over!

How often do you think about how different everything could have been had Tyson just not voted himself out of the game?
You can’t spend your life looking backwards, and being in this community you end up seeing these people who three years later are like, “Well, at the final 7 if this person had done this…” and you’re like, “Wow, you need to move on.” It didn’t work out. I had an amazing time. I’m lucky to be on the jury. I’m honored to have been asked to be an all-star. I think it’s insane that someone thinks of lady all-stars and thinks of me! I was more disappointed for Rob and Tyson actually than for myself, because those boys were playing really well and…well, I guess I don’t feel sorry for Tyson.

I don’t think we saw you and Russell have a single one-on-one conversation the entire time you were out there. Did you have any conversations about anything — like did he ever take you aside to tell you how awesome he is?
He did. Russell and I had a lot of conversations. A lot of them weren’t camera worthy because they were all about how much could he get for his autograph and how much money he could get for going to different places. And I was just looking at him going, “Russell, no one cares about your autograph! I think you have a different idea of what is going to happen.” Because he only had 10 days between the two seasons, so he’s like, “I’m Russell Hantz! I’m king of the world! I’m big!” And we were all like, “No one cares! The instant this show is off the air no one is going to know who you are! They’re going to see you in line at Burger King and go ‘Didn’t I used to work with you?’” Besides that we talked about Popeyes chicken and what we would eat in New York. Russell is fine. I think he figured out early on that he couldn’t Russell minf— me so I was just useless to him so we’re perfectly fine. I don’t have any hatred towards Russell. I think he’s a great player. He’s the evolution of what the game is. He’s redefining it around himself and everyone’s delighted with it. So how can you be mad at that?

Did you know that J.T. had given Russell the idol?
I did not know. I found out after. I mean, poor kid. He did what he thought was the right thing. He didn’t know. He was making a move and trying to keep his group together and I think he knew he had a big target on his back. He made a big move trying to save himself and stay ahead of the pack. I don’t think he has it in him to be a more subtle player.

Interesting that you only lost four pounds while out there.
It wasn’t very hard. There were coconuts everywhere. There were bananas for the most part. In China there was literally nothing to eat so we sat around staring at each other all day dreaming about food. Plus, once you’ve been through it you know that you can do it, so it’s not this terrifying I’m-actually-going-to-wake-up-and-be-dead-tomorrow feeling…and then they’re just going to film it.

Thoughts on last week’s Survivor – It was somewhat shocking to see JT make his “big” move by giving Russell his immunity idol. The idea behind the move itself was pretty smart but what made it stupid was the assumption made by JT. At this point in the game, JT’s an all star and has yet to see Russell’s season, therefor making him unfamiliar with Russell’s MO. He only knows Russell is a villain. For JT to completely just assume that there was an all girl alliance going on is what made the move dumb. In a game like Survivor, you can’t just make an assumption like this and run with it. You have to look at these things from all angles. He didn’t even seem to have any doubts about this move. I will say though that Russell had a big advantage going into this all star game. His season had yet to air on TV, giving him a major advantage as the other players knew nothing about his gameplay.


Coach Survivor 20

In perhaps what could be called karma for not helping save his alliance member Rob Mariano during the last elimination, Benjamin ‘Coach” Wade, 38, ended up being the next victim of Russell (all thanks to Sandra), when he was voted out during the last episode of Survivor.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, the first jury member discusses his surprise in what he calls a complete “blindside.” He also talks about Rob’s elimination (Coach takes zero blame for Rob going home by the way), his disdain for Russell and his feelings on Jerri today.

Excerpts from Coach’s interview below -

Did you have any inkling that you were in danger?
It was a total blindside. From the first frog-marching with Colby to the last mud-diving with Rupert, my performance was consistent. Add the fact that Courtney rolled her ankle and limped off the last immunity, the fact that the tribe was starving and the morale was so low, I assumed they wouldn’t make such a preposterous choice.

The Villains started out so strong. What went wrong?
Tyson was that bridge between the younger and older generations, the honorable people like myself and dishonorable people like Russell and the major egomaniacs and the sweet and humble players. When he left, it knocked us down.

Sandra seemed to play into Russell’s ego.
Courtney and Sandra knew they were going home if they didn’t do something and they even seemed surprised at the turn of events. But if you throw enough mud on the wall, something will probably stick. But there is no doubt that Russell is a ferocious player. There’s a bit of bully syndrome going on. He does not play with strong players. He picks people, and it’s usually the women, that he can dominate and manipulate. And when someone disagrees with him like Danielle, he refuses to f-ing talk to them. It will become an even stupider move if they never merge.

There is some amount of blame that can be placed on you because you didn’t pick a side in the Russell versus Rob battle.
If there is one person to blame for Rob going home beside himself and Russell, it’s Jerri. Everybody blamed me, but how did I betray him? Jerri was the one who said she wouldn’t vote for Russell and ripped my guts by selling Rob down the river yet she got a hug and I got called a ‘little man.’ Russell and Rob would not have made fire so the rest of us would have drawn rocks and I would have had a one-in-six chance of going home. I also tried for three days to get those two on the same page. I said, “Let’s talk. I will mediate. The three of us need to get on the same page or we will just keep losing.” Rob shot himself in the foot because he refused to meet. It was an impossible situation for me to thrust into and for me to bear the brunt of it is just another unjust [thing] against the Dragonslayer. It is my lot in life.

Speaking of Jerri, could she still be the future Mrs. Coach despite her betrayal? Or were the sparks all editing?
Mrs. Coach. That’s a good one. Jerri is one of a kind, awesome. She disappointed me again and again out there but what happens in the game stays in the game because there was definitely some romantic interest. We cooled it off because we knew if we continued to be together, we’d become a big target. We’re not allowed to see each other before the finale, but I can’t wait to see her there and we will see what happens after that.


Rob Mariano

It was a great but short lived rivalry, as Boston Rob aka Rob Mariano was defeated this week by Russell Hantz in Survivor Heroes Vs. Villains.

In a new interview with PopWatch, Rob speaks out on Tyson’s dumb move, Coach’s betrayal, and his thoughts on Russell as a player.

Excerpts from that below -

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Point blank: Did Russell outplay you?
ROB MARIANO: Did Russell outplay me? It seems as if Russell got the better of me. At the end of the day, he was able to convince Jerri to vote with him and Coach didn’t stand up and do what he said he was going to do, and therefore I’m sitting here talking to you. Russell — very entertaining, I give him credit. I wouldn’t want him on my team ever! I wanted him gone from the outset. But I’m the one here talking to you, so he got me.

How much of an advantage do you think he had with no one having seen him play before?
Well, it cuts both ways. He has an advantage in that people are gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. Myself, I realized that 20 seasons in, you have 10 people that are considered the most villainous to ever play the game, and here’s a guy from the most recent season, so he had to do something so outlandish to get picked over all those other contestants. So to me, it’s a no brainer. This kid, you got to keep an eye on him. And then when you look at him and he looks at you with those beady eyes and doesn’t blink, and can’t give you a straight answer — look, I played poker. I can read him. I knew he was bad for business. But at the end of the day, he got me, so I can’t give it to him too hard about it.

Coach actually appeared to take the easiest path possible in not voting for you, yet casting a vote that he knew ensured you going home. That seems like he was almost trying to not own up to his decision.
I think he’s a guy that was conflicted and he didn’t have it in him to do the right thing in this situation. So, it’s bad for me because it makes me go home, but he’s the one who has to live with it. Essentially, the turning point for me was not even that, it was the week before with Tyson switching his vote. Because here it is, Dalton: You lay out a foolproof plan, it can’t fail, there’s no way anybody in our alliance goes home, there’s no way Coach or Jerri are at risk, and you go another way for what reason? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Look, Russell took a shot. It was a gamble. It was a big gamble, it paid off and it makes him look great. It doesn’t necessarily mean that his play was correct. In poker, you can do the right thing and still lose. He did the wrong thing and ended up winning and looks like a genius, but in actuality it’s not a play I will ever make myself or applaud. But having said, that I’m the one sitting here and he’s still in the game, so I can’t take that away from him.

What’s the first thing you said to Tyson when you met up with him at Ponderosa?
I can’t say that. [Laughs.] Since then, we’re reconciled. For me, I just wanted to know why. It didn’t make any sense. It was the first time ever in the three times I played Survivor, even counting Marquesas when I went home — it was the first time I ever went to Tribal Council and things did not go the way I expected them to go, And to me, it was a total shock, because when I go to Tribal Council, I know what’s going to happen. The person going home is always the person I think is going home. So I wanted to know why, and to be honest, at the time, he didn’t really have an answer for me. He was basically like, “I screwed up.”

Rob also gave an interview with UsWeekly where he talks about Amber and his family. Excerpts from that below -

Us: Have you and Amber already blown through the $1 million winnings from Survivor: All Stars? Well, we paid our taxes, bought a house, put money away for our daughter and lost money in the stock market like everybody else. So yes!

Us: Your five-year wedding anniversary is April 16. What have you got planned?

We have a tradition of spending it at the beach. We met on a beach and got married on a beach. I just don’t know which beach we’re going to yet. But for the first time, there will be three of us.

Us: How is parenthood going?
I love it. Amber loves it. Lucia turns nine months on Sunday and she’s getting big! She’s crawling and getting ready to take her first steps. She’ll go from the coffee table to the ottman but doesn’t have the courage to let go yet.

James Clement

James Clement saw his luck run out last week, when he was voted off his ‘Heroes’ tribe on Survivor All Stars.  Jame’s alliance turned against him and saved Colby, likely out of concern for his injured knee.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, James talks about being eliminated, how his leg’s doing (he actually tore his ACL), and discusses being called a villain.

Excerpts from the interview below -

You survived your first tribal after hurting your knee, but were sent home despite beating Colby in the challenge and holding your own in the Hero Olympics.
I think they were trying to save me from myself because they knew I wasn’t going to quit and I would have really messed stuff up. They were concerned about my knee so I think they did it for me even though they didn’t want to.

How’s the leg?
I’m going through surgeries now. I tore my ACL meniscus and then I got some sort of infection from bad water and it messed up the knee more. We will find out more when they go in again in five weeks. My kneecap rubs against the bone and scatters cartilage around the area. It doesn’t really hurt but it gets hot. If I put ice on it, I can watch it melt. It’s more annoying. I want to scratch it from the inside.

You’ve played three times. In China, were voted out with two idols in your pocket. In Micronesia and Samoa, you left due to injury. Which elimination burns most?
Definitely the idols. Me not paying attention and getting voted out is the most upsetting. The other two times I was doing my best, but I got hurt and plans didn’t come to fruition. That was out of my control. It’s strange because I’ve gone 32 years without going to the hospital. I work in a graveyard. I build houses. I played football. And I go and get hurt on the beach. Way to go James! You’re supposed to relax on the beach. [The blindside] made me pay attention more and I swore that if I ever came across an idol, I would play it immediately. I wouldn’t hold on to them.

More than once, players asserted that you should have been a villain. Were you on the wrong tribe?
There’s a fine line between heroes and villains. It’s cute that everyone thinks I’m being super-aggressive and obnoxious because I wanted everyone to focus, win and play as a team. Anarchy obviously doesn’t work and I just wanted everyone to make a plan and stick to it. If you think teamwork is the work of the devil, then send me to the villain side. Trying to organize is just crazy talk. That’s absurd.

Who do you want to win?
Amanda deserves it. She plays hard. She’s sweet. She’s been to the end twice. It’d be nice if she makes it this time and actually completes the mission. Poor thing, she’s always a bridesmaid.


Tyson Apostol

Tyson Apostol‘s move of changing his vote at the last minute based on the urging of a non alliance member not only left a lot of viewers scratching their heads, but it ultimately led to his demise on Survivor.

In a new interview with PEOPLE magazine, the 30 year-old college dropout and cyclist from Utah, opens up about his poor choice to follow Russell Hantz’s scheme, why Parvati was a big threat, and why he believes Russell will never win Survivor.

Excerpts from Tyson’s interview is below -

Once again, we’re talking to you way early.
You’re telling me. And I have no one to blame but myself. Maybe the worst play in Survivor history.

Why didn’t you follow Boston Rob’s surefire plan?
It was a risky move I was willing to take because if it worked, I would have looked like the most badass dude ever to play. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have. Here’s what my thought process was: I told Russell, Danielle, Parvati that we were splitting the votes and there was nothing they could do. Russell had to vote Parvati or play the idol to save himself. I could use Russell to get farther in the game and Parvati was a bigger threat. I was going to vote Russell but switched it thinking even if she switched her vote to Russell, she’d still get the majority. I knew he had the idol but I never thought he’d play it for her. Who does that?

Why was Parvati the biggest threat?
Because she had played with the most people. Like 18 of these people played together in Micronesia. Just knowing people is a huge base to start from when trying to build alliances.

So who is better, Boston Rob or Russell?
They both have skills but I’m willing to bet my life that Russell, no matter who he’s playing against, could never win the game because he rubs people the wrong way. I have nothing against him, but there isn’t a single person more disliked by contestants. The name of the game is slitting people’s throats with finesse and he doesn’t have that. He can get to the end but there’s big difference between first and second.



The Heroes tribe lost yet one more challenge, and we all saw Tom Westman’s luck run out as he was voted off during the last episode of Survivor.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 46 year old former Suvivor Palau winner talks about being voted off before his injured Heroes tribe member James, what he would have done differently and also shares his thoughts on his other castmates. Tom had some rather choice words for his tribe member Rupert.

Excerpts from Tom’s interview is below -

How does it feel to be deemed less valuable than a dude who can’t walk?
You know what? I think if James had gotten his head cut off in that challenge they would have brought his head along in a bowling bag and had him vote against me. And that was frustrating actually having to defend myself that I was more of a physical value to the team than the guy who had been sent back into the game wearing a brace.

Did you think J.T. was with you on the vote, or were you skeptical?
It didn’t take us long to realize that J.T. was like, “which way is the wind blowing today?” I knew I had to get Rupert over, too, and I tried to appeal to him flat-out, “Is this really okay with you? Do you realize how you’re going to be portrayed? You’re just getting walked around this game by Amanda Kimmel! Is that okay with you?” And I needed him to make the move, which I think would have redeemed him in a lot of people’s eyes. You know, America loved that guy, and I think he let himself down big this time.

You and Colby were both worried before the game began about being outsiders with all these younger, newer players. Is this what got you in the end?
It is. I didn’t even think it would be as bad as it was. The fact that some of these people had played three times, and knew each other and were friends outside of the game — I think this was all preordained before we ever boarded those helicopters in Samoa. That being said, I like a good fight and it was still kind of fun to try to pick that thing apart. I think I did everything I could, but at the end of the day it was also coming to Candice and Cirie too late. If I could play this game again, instead of Cirie and I coming in with our gloves on and hitting at each other from opposite corners of the ring, we really should have just jumped into each other’s arms and said, “Okay, let’s see how far we can take this.” I should have indentified that, but knowing that Cirie had been in Micronesia and played with Amanda and these people I just lumped her in with that crowd, and she couldn’t convince me that she wasn’t part of a previous alliance. And now I believe that she wasn’t. Too many people warning me about her and too many people warning her about me, and it hurt both of us.

Rupert could have been seen as a natural alliance-mate for you and Colby in that he was also from an older season, and not as tied in with the newer, younger crowd, but it didn’t turn out that way, did it?
And we were both kind of shocked with that. I think part of Rupert’s thing is he immediately targeted Stephenie. He immediately wanted her gone with such a passion, for no apparent reason that we could see. And the only thing I believe is that Rupert wants to be the most popular person on the season and who has had that kind of popularity except Stephenie LaGrossa? I really believe that it was a selfish, get rid of anybody that might get more camera time than me situation, and that was Rupert’s motive in the beginning.


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