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'Survivor' Exit Interview: Risky Business Doesn't Pay

by Audrey Fine, posted Apr 23rd 2010 4:00PM
Bold moves. This 20th all-star season of 'Survivor' has been chock full of them and last night's episode of 'Heroes vs. Villains' was no exception. Fans witnessed one of the gutsiest plays of all time.

Last week, humble Hero John "J.T." Thomas handed off of his immunity idol to consummate Villain Russell Hantz, and the move backfired. Big time. And it led to the 'Survivor: Tocantins' winner being sent to join Courtney Yates and Benjamin "Coach" Wade on the jury.

JT Thomas SurvivorDuring tribal council, Parvati Shallow's last-minute distribution of two immunity idols to Jerri Manthey and Sandra Diaz-Twine to ensure the villains' strength in numbers was inspired and not only positioned her pack for victory in the weeks to come, but to cement her as queen bee -- much to Russell's tremendous chagrin.

Oh yeah, and there was a merge. Not that it really mattered since the new tribe, "Yin Yang," has no intention of forging new alliances. As Russell told host Jeff Probst at Tribal Council, "I think that nothing's gonna change. There's two separate tribes, the game is on. Let's play."



How that play will unfold now that the Villains have the numbers, the momentum and the swagger will be revealed in the coming weeks, but here's how J.T., the stand-up guy from Mobile, Ala. is stomaching the cringe-inducing faux pas that set it all in motion.

Momentary lapse in strategic planning aside, your Mama must be proud of you, J.T.! You proved yourself to be one helluva gentleman last night when, in the heat of the humiliation, you shook Russell's hand and said, "Well done." Can you describe what you were feeling?
I just hated that I'd made it so easy for him. I'd never seen him play before [and didn't realize he'd be like that.] But, I'd probably have done the same thing if the tables had been turned. I knew that what I was risking was going to make me a hero or a zero. When Parvati handed Jerri the idol, I knew it was over.

You've said that Jon Dalton, aka Jonny Fairplay, ] is the player you least respect. With Russell swearing on his kids that he was "on board with y'all" -- when he was everything but -- has that changed?
Probably so. I hate to say that, but also with his attitude after the finale of season 19, I lost all respect for him. [Editor's note: Russell said he'd give winner Natalie White $10,000 to let him have the title of "Sole Survivor" -- she declined.]

Did watching Russell get played by Parvati last night ease your pain at all?
It was really good to see that Parvati had been running the show, and that she may be still running it. Parvati's got Russell running out and getting idols and bringing them to her. That's great.

James Clement made no bones about calling out Colby Donaldson as a disappointment, saying, "My Superman sucks." Do you feel the same way and why do you think he hasn't risen to expectations?
I don't feel the same way. I know he was trying a 100 percent in all the challenges. Sometime I questioned his emotions; I think he had some highs and lows in the time I was there. I don't think you can always expect people to be the same as they were before. It's been 10 years since people saw the "great Colby," and expectations were just pretty high.

Who was cooler than they seem to be on TV?
I think Colby was a super nice guy, I didn't think he'd be quite as nice as he was. James too, he was way cooler. Rupert [Boneham] I expected to be cooler than he was. It's "Rupert's World" when you're on 'Survivor' with him, and it's hard to play the game and live in that world at the same time.

And, finally, if you were driving cross country, who'd get to be shotgun, who'd be in the backseat, and, who'd be in the trunk?
I wouldn't take many people from the Villains tribe on a trip with me. But, I'd have Colby at shotgun, Amanda, Tom [Westman] and James in the backseat, Rupert in the first trunk and Candace [Woodcock] in the second.

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JOANNA

LOVE YA J.T.BUT, "DON'T TRUST A WOMAN".A MAN DID YOU IN!AND THAT MAN WAS YOU.

April 26 2010 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brooklyn Babe

JT got just what he deserved. He turned on Tom, who is THE MAN; he refused to listen to Rupert the one time his feeble brain actually functioned; and he hooks up with one of the slimiest Survivor players ever, Russell! Just goes to show you that the wrong person won the Tocantins season.

April 26 2010 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

A hand shake from Russell means absolutely nothing. To prove it to you. The filmimg of the show is over and he actually owns a bar in Lafayette LA. The bars name is "BOOTLEGGERS". But, somehow he managed to get himself arrested for battery on a woman. Does that surprise anyone. He has a smartass mouth. And, has said that he does not trust women. Hummm... Maybe can we say "closet case". Check out the web sight on his arrest. http://www.katc.com/news/star-of-survivor-samoa-arrested-in-lafayette/

April 26 2010 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda

I am not a big fan of Russell's, but he is a master manipulator.............but I have to give Parvati her props. She pulled a good one over on Russell - can't wait to see what happens next. The show is becoming interesting!

April 26 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kya

Here's a thought! Don't go online until you watch the show. MORONS!

April 26 2010 at 7:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margie

FYI..........Russell Hantz was arrested in Lafayette, LA yesterday, Sunday, April 26, for assault. He attacked a woman knocking her to ground.......still sits in the Lafayette Prison as of this morning.

Couldn't happen to a "nicer" guy!

Report coming to you from "WHO DAT NATION!"

April 26 2010 at 6:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick

Sandra wins, then comes Parvati, Russell, Jerri, and then Colby. Remember this post!!!

April 26 2010 at 6:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

Sandra looks so cute & funny when she does that little dance there

April 25 2010 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh

JT definitely screwed himself, though I'm surprised they voted for him. The smarter play would have been to vote off Colby or one of the hero girls and then tell JT that since he'd screwed over his tribe his only choice was to give the villains his loyalty. I can't believe they didn't think about Sandra flipping, it's obvious that it's on the way. She's about to make a big power play. Filp to vote with the heroes and take out Russell and then play to whichever side is to her advantage afterward.

April 24 2010 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I just love that look on Russell's face when he realized he did NOT have the control he foolishly thought he had.

JT's blaming the women. He needs only to look into a mirror to see who brought on his downfall.

April 24 2010 at 1:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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