The leader of Sook Jai, Jake opted to fill his tribe with young, strong players under the presumption that they would dominate in challenges, only to falter when conflicting inter-personal relationships developed. He was ultimately voted out by the Chuay Gahn Five as the last member of Sook Jai standing, placing 6th.
Retrieved from CBS.com, 2002
Born in Tyler, Texas, and raised in Texarkana, Texas, Jake Billingsley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry from Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. He began his career as Assistant County Agricultural Agent back in Tyler. While there, he accepted a job as Agricultural Consultant for a Texas-based utilities company and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President. He eventually left the utilities business to pursue real estate. He worked for various firms in capacities ranging from Associate to Senior Vice President before deciding to open his own company specializing in commercial real estate.
Jake is currently a land broker, and has been active in commercial real estate in the Dallas area for over 30 years. In 1995, he moved to Colorado and became the President and General Manager of an outdoor adventure company that provided hunting, fishing and horseback riding trips through remote regions of the San Juan Mountains (a business he took over after his son-in-law was tragically killed in a plane crash). He enjoys videography/photography, backpacking, camping, hunting and writing. His perfect day would be on a boat in the Virgin Islands with his wife, Jeni.
Jake and his wife currently reside in McKinney, Texas. He has a 37-year-old daughter, Jamie Carlson, and a 35 year-old son Jay, as well as three stepsons, Donnie (40), Mark (39) and Michael (37), and nine grandchildren (six boys and three girls). His birth date is August 21, 1941.
Being the oldest male contestant (and oldest contestant overall), Jake was asked to come up with the oldest woman, Jan Gentry. First, they were asked to pick the color of their buffs and subsequently their location. Jake picked the purple buff, with the tribe's name being Sook Jai. It was revealed that Jan and Jake would pick the tribes themselves. Jake picked Stephanie Dill, Ken Stafford, Penny Ramsey, Jed Hildebrand, Shii Ann Huang, and Robb Zbacnik. Erin Collins was also placed on the tribe due to being the last woman left. His enthusiastic tribe headed out to their beach with the boat rowing backward. Once they arrived, everyone scattered about. However, after a heavy rainstorm, the tribe fixated on a shelter. At the first challenge of the season, Sook Jai won because Ghandia Johnson botched the last puzzle. However, Jed and Stephanie didn't contribute to the shelter. Later, Jake, Erin, Ken, Penny, and Shii Ann went out to gather food. Jed questioned why it would take five people to gather food in the area the size of a kitchen. Sook Jai would continue their winning streak by winning reward and immunity.
Despite the winning streak, the tribe was not unified. Jed and Stephanie, now joined by Robb, elected to sleep on the ground. At the Reward Challenge, Jake and Erin sat out. Despite the initial lead, Ken, Robb, Stephanie, and Jed were all disqualified for knocking down various members of Chuay Gahn without being in the attack zone. The resulting penalties allowed Chuay Gahn to win their first challenge. Chuay Gahn also won a mental Immunity Challenge, sending Sook Jai to Tribal Council. Jake voted against Jed for his lack of work ethic, and he was voted out by a 5-3 vote. Sook Jai won the next two challenges, winning them chickens, bananas, and immunity.
The next time the tribes met, it was for the Survivor Auction. Before it started, the castaways were given the chance to mutiny, but no one took up the offer. Chuay Gahn won the Immunity Challenge. Before Tribal Council, Shii Ann was on the chopping block for being annoying, but Jake didn't care as she was a hard worker. Instead, the sickly Stephanie was voted out in a 5-2 vote. After the vote, Robb became paranoid about his fate in the game. After Robb lead Sook Jai to victory in the Reward Challenge, he had an epiphany about his behavior. Unfortunately, Chuay Ghan outwitted Sook Jai during the Immunity Challenge. Once again the tribe bonded before Tribal Council, electing to vote out Robb unanimously.
The next Tree Mail had jars of paint. The tribe was told to decorate themselves. When they met with the equally decorated Chuay Gahns, they were paired with members of the opposing tribe who had the same colored paint. Jake was paired with Jan which she found interesting as they were the ones to pick their tribemates. Then it was revealed that the tribes would be living together. Everyone bonded quite well. However, Shii Ann, feeling ostracized, considered flipping. Sook Jai demanded to know where her loyalty lies, which she stated that she didn't know. At the Immunity Challenge, everyone was shocked when the tribes were not officially merged. Sook Jai would lose the challenge and voted out Shii Ann for conspiring with Chuay Gahn. Life was awkward back at camp because of the fake merge. At the Immunity Challenge, it came down to Jake and Brian Heidik. Jake was unable to hold his breath and lost. He felt terrible for losing. The tribe had one last bonding moment before Tribal Council. In an emotional Tribal Council, Erin was voted out.
Jake was desperate to find a way to break Chuay Gahn. He told adventure stories of his youth, but everyone had a hard time believing in the tales and Clay Jordan grew annoyed with him. At the next challenge, everyone saw a portion of their loved one videos. Jake saw his wife, Jeni, before it was revealed that everyone would compete to see the whole video and that the tribes had officially merged. Jake was paired with Jan for the challenge but lost to Clay and Ken in the first round. Jake still tried to find a way to prevent his tribe from being eliminated. The trio decided to vote against Brian and tried lobbying to Clay. At the Immunity Challenge, Clay won over Ken. The Sook Jai changed their votes to Ted Rogers, Jr., who was viewed as alienating himself but the Chuay Gahn stayed together and Ken was voted out.
Jake explained to Ted why he, Ken, and Penny voted against him. Jake was being called "Jake the Snake" because of his efforts to sneak into the Chuay Gahn alliance. At this point, Penny felt being aligned with Jake would cause her to lose and distanced herself from him. Jake lobbied against Brian and Clay. At the Reward Challenge, Jake was the first person out due to not being without a partner. At the Immunity Challenge, Jake was knocked out fairly early. Helen won immunity and Penny was voted out in a 4-2-1 due to being a bigger threat.
Jake referred to the events of Tribal Council when Chuay Gahn said their voting out the least productive members. Jake reminded everyone that he increased his workload, something that ticked Clay off. The next Reward Challenge was the Loved Ones Challenge, much to everyone's delight. Jake was able to see his wife, Jeni. The challenge was an eating contest. However, the twist was the loved ones had to do the eating. Although Jeni came close, Helen Glover's husband, Jim won the challenge. Jim was welcomed into the tribe with open arms during his 24-hour stay. Jeni's attempt to win gave Jake the inspiration to go through the challenge. Jake was reunited with Jeni for the Immunity Challenge. Despite coming close to winning again, Ted and his brother won immunity. Without immunity and being the last Sook Jai left, Jake was unanimously voted out.
At the Final Tribal Council, Jake claimed that the finalists were in the hot seat and he was glad to be on the jury. Jake reminded everyone about the Tribal Council on how they got Penny to turn on him. He asked what was the vote based on and how Clay blasted him after said Tribal Council. Jake asked Clay why he lashed out for saying the same thing Brian said. Clay bluntly told him that he was making multiple alliances with everyone. He did ask Brian how he felt at that point. Brian claimed he didn't feel the same way. Satisfied, Jake voted for Brian to win.
|Jake's Voting History|
| Voted Against|
|1||Sook Jai Tribe Immune|
|2||Sook Jai Tribe Immune|
|4||Sook Jai Tribe Immune|
|12||Jan|| Brian, Clay,|
Helen, Jan, Ted
|Voted Out, Day 33|
| Voted for|
- Jake wrote an auto-biography, Shaping My Hat, that was published in June 2005.
- Jake starred as Sheriff Jimmy in the 2006 movie, After Sundown.
- On January 9, 2010, Jake attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
- Jake suffered a heart attack in 2010 while hiking and has since got quintuple bypass surgery.
- Jake's luxury item was a journal and pen.
- Jake was the oldest contestant in Thailand.
- Jake is the oldest castaway that did not compete in Borneo.
- Jake is currently the oldest living male contestant.
- Jake is the first male castaway to pick his entire tribe in a Schoolyard Pick.
- Jake was the last Sook Jai member standing in Thailand.
- Jake become the first man to become the highest-ranking member of their original tribe by virtue of every other member being eliminated from the competition. Both Richard Hatch and Ethan Zohn became the highest-ranking members of their starting tribes by winning the game against an original member of their tribe.
- Jake is the only member of Sook Jai to vote for Brian Heidik to win.
- Jake won a people's choice award for being the most popular contestant on Thailand.
|Survivor: Thailand Castaways|