Survivor: Tocantins Winner

After having humored Coach for this long, I would have expected them to be smart enough to keep him around a few more days, but the others finally decided to vote him out in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 13. That brings us down to a final four of: Erinn Lobdell, James “JT” Thomas Jr, Stephen Fishbach, and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George. By the end of the night, one of them will be the Survivor: Tocantins winner.

Stephen’s concerned that he looks like a backstabber, whereas JT backed Coach up and remained loyal. Is Stephen finally realizing that his plan of going to the final two with JT is a stupid one? Taj also realizes that JT’s a threat, but they don’t appear overly enthused about doing anything about it.

The immunity challenge is to race through a tarantula-shaped obstacle course and retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces from three stations. They will use those puzzle pieces to solve a web-shaped puzzle. Stephen and Erinn go their own way. Taj follows JT up the same leg. JT’s off to an early lead and gets his first bag. After being the first to bring back his first bag, he’s also the first one with his second bag. Taj, Stephen, and JT are returning wth their first bag, as JT returns with his second bag. Stephen returns with his second bag, followed by Erinn and Taj. JT is through with his final bag. The good news for the others is that it’s a puzzle, which is not going to be JT’s strong suit. Stephen is back with his final bag. Taj and Erinn have finished with their bags, so now everybody’s working on the puzzle. Despite being the last one back, Erinn’s still in this challenge, although Taj has fallen out of it. In a close finish, JT wins immunity.

Now Erinn needs to try to figure out how to get them to vote out Taj. She says that Taj played a good social game, and she’s got a lot of friends on the jury.

As with last time when they should have kept Coach, this time they should be keeping Erinn because she’s unlikely to win jury votes. None of her tribe members were fond of her, whether they were with her from the beginning or not, although she may earn respect for surviving against the odds.


With three votes, Taj has been voted out. She had plenty of chances to turn this thing around, but she kept throwing it away for her alliance to the guys who just voted her out.

When they return from tribal council, JT says he’s already suffering. Erinn is the most annoying person he knows, and she will not shut up.

Erinn promises that she’ll be taking Stephen with her if she wins immunity. She realizes that, even if she doesn’t win, the other two don’t want to go up against each other. They already proved with Taj they’d act on that, but would they really cut each other?

The final immunity challenge will be to catch dropping balls as they get to the bottom of the chute. This will require concentration and coordination. They will have to prevent a ball from touching the ground with one hand behind their back. Based on their pitiful performances on previous endurance competitions, Stephen and Erinn can color themselves lucky this is not one like it typically is. After a couple practice runs, they add a second ball. Then a third. Erinn is the first one out. After Stephen bobbles a couple balls, nearly breaking the rules by touching one with his other hand in the process, they add a fourth ball. Stephen continues with his close saves before finally letting one drop, and JT wins the final immunity.

Stephen’s happy to have lost immunity. Now it’s up to JT to make the decision. I don’t know that it matters much either way. Both Erinn and Stephen will have difficulty getting jury votes against JT, which they should have realized a few votes back.

Erinn says that she’ll probably get Taj’s vote, but other than that, her tribe wanted her gone weeks ago. They were just too disorganized to pull it off. She also tells JT that Stephen questioned whether he could beat him in the end.

Stephen’s pitch is that JT will win no matter what, so he might as well do it while keeping his word.

At the final tribal council, Stephen tries to say that if JT doesn’t bring him, their friendship will be damaged and they will not be the same type of friends afterward. The jury finds this humorous since Stephen’s done enough lying of his own in this game.


Erinn has been eliminated. On the sheer stupidity of that vote alone, JT should lose this game, but it’s going to be hard for Stephen to convince the jury to vote for him. Granted, Stephen kept JT along with him this whole time, knowing just how hard he would be to beat in the end.

Stephen says that he and JT basically shared a brain during this experience. With that said, he wants to focus on what he’s brought out of it. His road has been harder because this is not his element. For real? That’s why he wants them to vote for him?

JT talks a bit more in circles but focuses on how he provided for the tribe and stuck to his word (at least as far as Stephen goes).

Brendan asks Stephen about his opening speech, and if he can think of any game where the person who works hardest or grows the most wins. Stephen’s response: maybe Survivor falls under that category. JT responds that growth is irrelevant, and he outplayed Stephen, who hid in the shadows. Stephen responds that hiding in the shadows is a legitimate strategy.

Erinn asks Stephen about his alliances: the Jalapao three, the Exile alliance, and the warrior alliance. Why is everyone in those alliances on the jury? He feels he used those alliances as best he could as an aggressive game player.

Her question for JT is why Stephen is the best as far as the talk about taking strong to the end. I’m not real clear what his answer is.

Deb says she hasn’t decided yet. She asks JT about honesty. Is he really honest, or is he a liar? She does realize that’s part of the game, correct? JT says that he had to lie to get there, using her trying to get rid of Coach as an example.

Her question for Stephen is who he would have picked to be in the finals. She wants an honest answer. He doesn’t know. Nope, that’s not good enough. It’s fair to say that’s an honest answer, but it’s not a good enough honest answer. If you don’t lie and/or tell her what she wants to hear, she will keep going on all night. He thinks it would be Erinn, though he hopes he would have taken JT.

Coach talks about honesty and integrity. As if he weren’t a big fat liar. JT’s example of honesty is that he kept his promise to Coach to not vote against him, even if he knew he was going home. He also just realized that he was dumb enough to keep his word to Stephen, who just acknowledged he might have broken his word given the chance. For Stephen, his response is that he didn’t just vote a certain way to keep his word, knowing full well that the person he was voting along with was going to go home anyway.

Sierra doesn’t have a question for Stephen because she probably had the same question Debbie had. Her question for JT is why he took Stephen when he’s standing next to one of the weakest players ever. JT’s response is that Stephen is the strongest next to him. Memo to Sierra, who’s sitting there calling Stephen and Erinn the two weakest players in the game: they’re in the final three, and they did not eliminate themselves on day one.

Tyson asks JT if Stephen was an asset getting him to the final. JT says that he thinks he could have gotten there if Stephen were not there with him, and he’s right. Everybody was tripping over themselves to bring JT (and by extension Stephen) to the end, and they were all fools to do so. Stephen does not like that response and believes they needed each other to get to the end, although Erinn and Taj would have taken Stephen to the end if they won the final immunity.

Taj asks JT why it was so hard to put Coach’s name down, but he was okay with putting her name down. He says that that was actually the hardest vote of the game. She’s also bitter toward Stephen. He blames JT. This ends up with JT and Stephen arguing with each other, until Taj decides to just sit down and let them keep fighting because she’s heard enough. JT feels like a fool for not bringing Erinn.

Whatever small chance Stephen may have had coming into this, he certainly didn’t do himself any favors with his answers to the questions.


By a unanimous vote, the Survivor: Tocantins winner is JT. He made a potentially stupid move at the end, though even that didn’t put him in any real danger and allowed him to keep his word. He was in a great position throughout the game, with none of his fellow competitors being smart enough to want to eliminate him.

JT and Stephen thank Coach for his big mouth, telling JT all of the other side’s plans.

Erinn says that she jumped over to the other side so easily because she was still at the bottom, but the bottom was higher over there than it was on her own dysfunctional tribe.

Did anyone talk about taking out JT earlier? Taj says no, it never came up. Idiots.

Probst has kept JT’s tooth, and he’s apparently been holding on to it in his pocket the whole time. JT has no use for it, but maybe his mom would like it back.

Coach is still full of himself, and he still believes he’s speaking the truth. Yeah, this from the guy who began lying before he even got to the show, which caused him to get fired from his job because he wasn’t up front with them how long he was going to be gone. He has declined Probst’s request for a lie detector test. He brought one with him instead. The audience believes this has been rigged. Sierra already proved him to be lying about question one (playing Survivor with integrity and honesty), but the test supposedly proves him to be telling the truth about how he got captured by a native tribe that wanted to eat his ass. Coach’s “lady friend” says we only saw Coach and not the other of his multiple personalities that’s more normal.

Viewers have voted for the Sprint player of the season. It’s pretty obvious JT will win this, too.

JT, Taj, and Sierra are the three top vote getters. JT is the winner, so he gets an extra $100,000.

Joe’s leg is back to normal. Jerry’s buddies ask him what happened out there. Jeff apparently just saw Candace, who’s listed as an attorney, in a commercial. She’s evidentally having more luck with her modelling career that the /models there.

JT says that he hopes he to use some of the money to get into a business partnership with Stephen.

Still among the top 20 shows on television after 9 years, Survivor will of course be back next season. Season 19 will be dubbed Survivor: Samoa.

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