Survivor: Who have played perfect games or nearly perfect games?

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Survivor Season 18 contestant James “JT” Thomas Jr (C) is joined by members of the Tocantins Government as he is named the winner of CBS’s “Survivor: Tocantins The Brazilian Highlands” (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Playing a perfect game in Survivor is really difficult, as evidenced by it only being accomplished twice in the 20 year history of the show. Let’s take a look at the show’s perfect games and those who came oh so close to doing just that.

Winning Survivor is hard, but winning while playing a perfect game is even harder and there’s a reason it’s only been done twice in the show’s 40 seasons.

What is a perfect game in Survivor?

A perfect game is when the winner makes it to the end without having a single vote cast against them throughout the course of the season and then is able to get every single jury vote. It’s a hard feat to accomplish and as good as some winners have been (I’m talking the legends), even they haven’t been able to say they played a perfect game.

Who have played the only two perfect games in Survivor?

There have been two perfect games in Survivor history. Let’s take a look at who accomplished them and how they managed to do so.

J.T. Thomas (Tocantins)

It took 18 seasons for someone to play a perfect game, as J.T. Thomas did so in Survivor: Tocantins. J.T. entered the merge down 7-4 in numbers and was soon down 7-3 when one of his fellow Jalapao members was medically evacuated from the game.

The Timbira alliance of six turned on each other immediately and that opened the door for J.T. to take charge and run things along with Fishbach, Taj, and Erinn (a former Timbira member).

J.T. was so likable that despite how how big of a threat he was, no one ever threw a vote his way. This was a guy who won challenges, was likable, and it was pretty dang obvious that he was a major threat to win the game, but no one could resist his southern charm and kept him around until it was too late.

J.T. won the final immunity challenge and got to decide who to bring to the end with him between Erinn and Fishbach. No one would have blamed him for taking Erinn to the end, as she was the easier one to beat, but he stayed true to Fishbach and chose him, as the two had formed an alliance early on and stuck together the entire way.

Despite the two playing a very similar game, J.T. put on the theatrics and played the victim card when he found out Fishbach might have turned on him and threw him under the bus in turn gaining every single jury vote. The fact that J.T. won over someone as good at the game as Fishbach is a testament to how good of a game he really played.

J.T.’s future appearances on the show didn’t go great, but the fact that he played the first perfect game in the history of show is reason enough why he’s a top tier winner.

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