The first Canadian-born player, Tom Laidlaw played an old-school game that produced an old-school winner. Should he be the first repeat Canadian player?
I could give you a clear-cut reason within their boot episode why most people from Island of the Idols are voted out. With the exception of a throwaway line from Janet Carbin, you can’t really make a case for Tom Laidlaw, as his straightforward demeanour brought an old school flavour to a very twist-heavy season of Survivor.
The former NHL defensemen enforcer screams everything you would expect out of the first Canadian-born Survivor player, bonding well with the workers of the tribe. The fact those workers were the goofy, lovable Elaine and the secretly sassy (at the time) Vince, both of which were members of the LGBT community with Tom being an 80s hockey player, made them an odd trio on paper.
Despite being separated as a group by Ronnie and Aaron early on, after Ronnie was blindsided, both Elaine and Tom worked to immerse themselves in the group at large. That meant Vince’s visit to the Island of the Idols and the men’s attempt to band together to take on the women were competing interests. Vince believed Tom was the target, Tom thought Karishma was going home, but it was Vince who got the boot.
It seemed like Tom was destined to float in the game for a while after the tribe swap, as he got along with most people and even made a pledge to work with new tribemate Janet and stay loyal. However, after Lairo 2.0 acted like Lairo 1.0 by losing the Immunity Challenge, we were given three different possible names in confessionals for different reasons why some players might be targeted over others.
For Janet, she suggested that while Tom was loyal to her for the time being, he is more of an old school traditionalist after being told he has a relationship with Dean and others on the original tribe. She saw the potential in him flipping over to Lairo numbers come the merge, and that perception became a reality, with Tom being voted out over his target, Karishma.
Tom was a no-nonsense guy that told you everything as it was to him, though he had a warm soul that allowed him to touch into another side of him that wasn’t as hyper-masculine as you would expect of an NHL player. He had many colours to him, so let us know in our straw poll if you think he should get the chance to become the first Canadian to return to Survivor.