'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains:' JT tries to defend his boneheaded move
After he was voted off of "Survivor" Thursday night, James "JT" Thomas shared this piece of wisdom with the camera: "Never trust women!" Well, maybe he really doesn't, because we just finished our phone interview with JT and he wasn't all that open with us. Sure, he's likely been barraged by a slew of reporters Friday morning calling him an idiot for giving his hidden immunity idol to villain Russell. But we were hoping to talk to an authentic "good ol' country boy." Instead, we only got to talk to JT for a couple of minutes before he was pulled off to do more interviews -- and he was none-too-pleased when we asked him about his rumored relationship with Sugar. Also note that our call with him kept breaking up -- maybe he was calling from his cattle ranch? -- so we made as much sense of what he was saying as we could.
OK, so here comes the obvious question: What were you thinking?
I had no idea that Russell was such a villain. There was a lot of things that went into the decision. It was clear that Candice was after me, and I thought Amanda might be. Not knowing anything about Russell, I just hoped he was on the outs. It didn't matter if he went along with our plan or not. If he voted Parvati out just to make me think he was loyal, that would have been enough. I was just hoping it would bring our tribe back together and give us a shot.
You called Russell a "good ol' country boy." What about him gave you that sense?
I don’t know really know what it was. It was the fact that I was so worried about Parvati and people I didn’t know anything about. I made a decision a little too early.
Why were you so worried about Parvati? Because she's a flirt?
Yeah, I knew she's done well and she had her strong thing in the game. When Tyson left, I just thought there would be a girls' alliance. It just gave us something to feed off of. We knew Russell wasn’t with us when we were in tribal council. It was clear after spending a night together, and we tried to let him believe we were voting Sandra, and he did.
How did you know Russell wasn't with you after the first night together?
Well after the first night, it was odd that Russell and Parvati were sleeping next to each other so close.
Ew, they were?
Yeah, they were cuddling. It was ridiculous, really. And then Parvati stepping down from the pole, I was like, 'I'm dead.' She was really excited to get down, and I knew the pain I had trying to get off and I still would have tried to find another way to stay on.
I’ve been getting a lot of flack. People calling and asking me if I’m crazy. But I knew when I went out there that I was taking a big chance trying to win the game and move forward. And everyone out there is a big player. I wanted to make a move, and I may have rushed it and pushed it and it just didn't work out. I think it could have been potentially a very good plan.
Was it hard to watch Parvati reading your letter and making fun of it?
Oh yeah, that was kind of difficult. Especially when she made it look like it was personalized and I was reaching out to someone, when it was everyone's input on the letter. They all had their part they wanted to include. It didn't even really matter if we included the letter or not. We were planning on having to throw it or leave it or sneak it, we never knew Colby was going to get the chance to explain things.
Yeah, that worked out pretty amazingly, with you putting the idol right in Russell's pocket without anyone noticing.
It just worked out that way, where we really didn’t need the letter but at that point, but we had made it up .
What do you think of Russell, as a person and a player, now that you've seen him on TV?
I don’t know him as a person, or as a player, really. But just from what I’ve seen, I don’t see Russell being anyone I could hang out with.
When you got voted out you said "well done" and you weren't mad -- why was that?
I would have done the same thing to someone else, and really, he played it up well and he changed it out.
On her Twitter account, Sugar (who was voted out first) said you two slept together pregame and you told her you'd stick together with her on Samoa. Is that true?
I don’t know anything about that. I just want to talk about the game.
--Amy Kaufman (follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA)
Photo: James "JT" Thomas was voted out Thursday night on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains." Credit: CBS.