In winning “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X,” Adam Klein became only the fifth of 33 champions to win unanimously. (See the complete list of “Survivor” winners in our photo gallery above.) One of those other unanimous winners was J.T. Thomas who bested his closest ally Stephen Fishbach in a 7-0 win on Season 18, “Survivor: Tocantins.” Both J.T. and Stephen have played the game again, and while neither matched the success of their original season they are considered two of the greatest players in “Survivor” history. Many would probably agree that Stephen was a good enough player to have deserved at least a couple votes in the “Tocantins” finals, but would you go as far to say he actually deserved to win instead of J.T.? Vote in our poll below.
J.T. and Stephen began their “Survivor: Tocantins” journey as part of a Jalapao tribe that saw four of its members eliminated before the merge and a fifth, Joe Dowdle, medically evacuated before the jury. That left the two of them and their early ally Taj Johnson-George in the minority against six original Timbira members. Due in large part to the connections Taj and Stephen made with members of Timbira in an “Exile Alliance,” the three of them were able to play against that group’s divisions and last until the Final 4.
In the end it was J.T. and Stephen in front of a jury composed mostly of those Timbira members, some of whom were at one point in a secret alliance with Stephen before he voted them out. Due to a notoriously bad performance at the final tribal council where he was incapable of justifying the strategy in his betrayals and hurt by J.T.’s overwhelming charm, Stephen failed to earn a single vote to win. Yet at the time and still today, some fans believe Stephen was the better player and more deserving of the win.
In this “Survivor” winners flashback we want to hear from you: Did Stephen deserve to beat J.T. for the “Tocantins” win? After voting in our poll, be sure to join the “Survivor” discussion in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.