‘Survivor’: Why Isn’t J. T. Thomas on ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War?’

The current season of Survivor is a massive one for the producer, Jeff Probst. He’s bringing back 20 previous winners of the series for the 20th anniversary of the show. 

Many fan favorites are involved, including Rob and Amber Mariano, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Tyson Apostol, and Parvati Shallow, to name a few. However, many winners are missing. Let’s take a look at why Survivor winner J. T. Thomas was overlooked for this massive anniversary season of the show.

J. T. Thomas
J. T. Thomas | Timothy Kuratek/CBS via Getty Images)

How many times has J. T. Thomas competed in ‘Survivor?’

When J.T. won the eighteenth season, Survivor: Tocantins, he was the sixth player to win without having any votes cast against him at a tribal council. He was also the second person to win both the million-dollar prize and the $100,000 Sprint Player of the Season award. J.T. was only the second person to win based on a unanimous vote from the jury.

Thomas went on to participate in the 20th season of Survivor, Heroes Vs. Villains. He played a solid game up until the merge. At the first tribal council following the merge, the Villains all stuck together despite Thomas giving Russell Hantz a hidden immunity idol. Thomas’ actions went down as the dumbest move in Survivor history, and he was voted out 11th on the season.

The 35-year-old competed one more time during Survivor: Game Changers. He ended up blindsided in 16th place, although he had a hidden immunity idol. Thomas felt that he was safe and didn’t need to use the idol. Ultimately he played the game three times but only won one time.

Here’s why J.T. Thomas isn’t competing in ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’

Although Probst did not come out and say precisely why each player was turned down for this season’s winners at war, fans have some serious speculation. 

“JT is a fantastic player and someone who always played hard and delivered,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “I think with J.T. it just kind of came down to, have we already seen everything he has to offer? And plus, we have Nick, who fills the charming southern boy role pretty well already. So for those reasons, we decided not to include J.T. this time.”

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When reading over the three seasons that J.T. competed on, it is evident that he played best in the first season and was increasingly worse for every subsequent season. We can see where fans are coming from with this hypothesis.

Here are the fan reactions to J. T.’s snub for ‘Survivor: Winners at War’

Generally speaking, fans are reasonably upset that J.T. is not on the winners season of Survivor.

“My king,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “Not gonna rank it because it’s quite clear what the order is gonna be, just wanna say that his gameplay has always been about being dynamic, every season he appeared, he played differently and trying something new and creative, which is something you can’t say for most other players.”

Fans agree that J.T. played a fantastic game of Survivor, and they would love to see him return.

“I could watch him play survivor every season and never get tired of the guy,” added another Redditor.

Other fans agree that he played the perfect game the first time around, and he deserves another chance. 

Read more: ‘Survivor’: Why Isn’t Russell Hantz on ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War?’