'Survivor: Game Changers' Nuku tribe votes off James "J.T." Thomas with his idol back at camp
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/30/2017
Survivor: Game Changers' Nuku tribe blindsided and voted off James "J.T." Thomas during Season 34's fourth episode Wednesday night on CBS.
After losing the season's fifth Immunity Challenge in which the three tribes each had to roll a massive wooden cube and then use a slingshot to knock down targets with sandbags, the new Nuku tribe -- which had just lost Malcolm Freberg a couple of days beforehand -- split down the middle and eliminated J.T. with a 3-2 vote at Tribal Council on Night 13.
"I got a little over confident in myself and I didn't bring my idol to Tribal Council because I didn't think I needed it," JT said in his final words, referencing the fact he had found a hidden Immunity Idol but was so convinced Michaela Bradshaw was going home instead of him that he left it back at camp.
"I made a very, very foolish mistake. I just let myself down basically in this whole experience. I think I'll always love the game, but I just hate how I played it. I had a chance at a million dollars but I blew it. It's as simple as that."
It appeared that going into Tribal Council, JT -- a 31-year-old from Mobile, AL, who previously won Survivor: Tocantins and also placed tenth on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains -- thought the tribe was in agreement that Michaela needed to go because she had a bad attitude and needy tendencies.
However, in attempt to seek vengeance for her buddy Malcolm's vote off -- which JT was ultimately responsible for due to the fact he had leaked Nuku's target, Sierra Dawn Thomas, to his former ally Brad Culpepper on the Mana tribe, who then played an idol to keep Sierra safe -- Sandra Diaz-Twine devised a plan to take out JT for his "dirty deed."
Sandra therefore voted for JT along with Jeff Varner and Michaela. JT and his ally Audry Bracco voted to oust Michaela from Survivor: Game Changers. When Survivor host Jeff Probst read the votes aloud, Michaela casually sipped on water out of her mug with a hilarious smug and cocky attitude.
Sandra, Varner and Michaela put on an act at Tribal to make it seem like they were fed up with Michaela, who also pretended she was well aware she was the next person to go. The elaborate ruse was seemingly executed to make JT feel safe and therefore opt out of playing an idol if he had one, which is exactly how things unfolded at Tribal Council.
Sandra even announced at Tribal Council, "We're going to keep our strongest player in the game, and with him, we're going to move forward," which led JT to believe Michaela was definitely going home. Michaela went a step further to call Sandra's announcement "an insult to my intelligence" and noted that her vote didn't even matter.
JT had it out for Michaela during the whole episode, telling his tribemates that without her around, there would allegedly be "a lot less babysitting, bitterness, bad energy, cry baby and sugar stealing."
"Sugar stealing" was a reference to the fact someone ate all of the sugar left over from a previous Reward Challenge, and only JT and Michaela took sugar in their coffee. JT, knowing he certainly didn't use all the sugar, had no one else to blame but Michaela. Little did he know, however, Sandra got rid of all the remaining sugar just to heighten tension between JT and Michaela at camp.
On JT's way out of the game, Sandra said, "Tell Malcolm you sent him home too."
"Hell no," JT replied.
Earlier in the episode, Tavua won the Reward Challenge and therefore got to feast on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies and milk. Nuku finished second and got to also eat sandwiches.
On Tavua, Sarah Lacina and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson teamed up and hoped to soon have two hidden Immunity Idols between them, and on Mana, Debbie Wanner lost her cool and fired away at Brad for being disrespectful to her and an alleged dictator in their tribe. She called Brad a "wanker" and said he crushed her heart.
As for the Immunity Challenge, Mana claimed first place thanks to Brad's ability to easily knock down targets with the slingshot. Tavua finished second after Ozzy Lusth lost by only one sandbag toss.