SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know who got voted off of last night’s Survivor, do not read on.
James “J.T.” Thomas can complain all he wants about those gosh-durn distrustful women, but it’s not like he could take Russell’s pinky swear all the way to bank. After the jump, the good ol’ boy from Alabama talks about his decision to give the immunity idol to Russell, and whether he thinks it will go down as one of the stupidest moves in Survivor history. (Editor’s note: the boy has a doggone thick accent, so we can’t take responsibility for anything that doesn’t make sense. He’s a little hard to understand.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m a woman. Will you be able to trust me?
J.T. THOMAS: I trust you, I really do.
I’ll give you credit – you took it well at tribal council. You didn’t look angry at all.
No ma’am, there wasn’t any anger. It’s been a game where the best strategy ever has been played by the best players. I never once thought that someone was coming after me. There were no hard feelings. I knew Russell played me and I knew he did well right after tribal. So I had to give him credit where credit was due.
Why did you say you didn’t trust women? Russell was just as distrustful.
At the time I wasn’t sure whether Candice or Amanda or both … had changed our plan of who we are voting for. We tried to confuse everybody to vote for someone no one suspected. And they still ended up guessing right with Jerri. So I wasn’t sure the girls on my tribe had betrayed me. I didn’t know. There was a lot going on when I said that.
Defend that love letter you wrote to Russell — especially since there are a great many Survivor fans out there who thought giving him the idol was a boneheaded move.
I’m sure, I know there probably will be. We never get a chance to talk to those people at all and we never knew that we’d have the opportunity to tell him what was going on or what we wanted him to do with the idol. So we pretty well better tell him. And just in case, we didn’t know what was going on, we put up this letter. We never once figured this was all going to not go smooth and that Russell was never really going to be part of our alliance. We just wanted to get Parvati out of the way. We figured he’d do at least that much to make us believe that he was with us. So we thought Parvati would definitely be gone and then we just vote Russell off next. We didn’t know nothing about it, we feared Parvati more than anyone else. Yes ma’am, at the time, it was something we shouldn’t have done. Parvati was in charge of things and she made some great moves. Russell was fooled by everyone at tribal council last night. He thought we were voting off Sandra. And he had no idea that Parvati had the idol. He wasn’t up to par and I didn’t know that until I watched that last night. My hat was off to Parvati last night.
Dalton Ross considers that to be the fourth most idiotic move in Survivor history, which he says and I quote: “slightly more moronic than Colby’s misguided attempt to be a good guy, yet not quite as asinine as Tyson essentially voting himself out of the game.”
It turned out to be dumb move on my part but it could have very well been an excellent one. You have to make big moves to win. I knew that going into this game. I felt like I was a big target.
How did it feel watching Parvati read that letter out loud?
Oh it was tough, it was very hard. It was miserable. I think it was definitely a tribe decision. I have to include Rupert, he stood up for the letter also. I’ll take the fall for it because it was what I had done on the show, and I feel like I kinda built that up. But you’ve got to take the bad with the good. I felt like I did something that would either put me in the finals or send me home. It turned out to be the bad end of the deal.
Nobody swears on their children. Why didn’t you question Russell?
Well we actually talked about it a bit, I did question him. I knew he was up to no good. Then when Rupert brought in the other news from Sandra … we figured she was just manipulating Rupert. Had we ever had a chance to talk with Sandra, we would have done something different. We knew that Russell was not on board when we went to tribal council. We even tipped them off that we were voting off Sandra, but it was a little too late.
Parvati told Amanda that she had one of the immunity idols. Did Amanda report that back to you and the other heroes?
Amanda told me that she was pretty sure that Parvati had one by the way Parvati was talking, but she didn’t say for sure. We didn’t know. Amanda kept her options open. She was trying to decide which way she was going, if she was going to go with Parvati or stay with us. It looked like Amanda’s bad actions didn’t help us any either.
Parvati willingly got off that pole. Why didn’t you see that as a sign?
That was when we knew for sure that they were way too comfortable. When I was falling off at one point, they both jumped, they were so excited, they thought I fell off the poll. I knew for sure they were just waiting for me to get off the pole.
Can you respect Parvati’s game play now?
She did really well and I’m actually surprised at some of the game play. Russell used her a lot. They were a good team. I like someone in my tribe to bounce ideas off of. But I was impressed with Parvati not allowing Russell to know about the idol and pull one over him at tribal council. If Russell goes against anybody who knows what kind of player he is, he doesn’t have a chance. Parvati knew what kind of player he was and read him like a book.
Russell is so taken with Parvati. At least you never flirted like him.
When we merged, he never talked to the girls much at all. He stayed with us, that was part of his plan. It was too odd that no one would talk to anyone about strategy, and Sandra was scared that Russell would vote her out next. If he caught her talking to us — none of us got a chance to talk to her other than Rupert.
So that comment you made about not trusting women — do you really think that’s going to help you score chicks in the future?
I don’t know. I hope it does.