Jan Belknap Gentry is a contestant from Survivor: Thailand.

Remembered for picking older castaways over the younger, fitter ones for Chuay Gahn, Jan usually made kooky gestures and was thought of as a nonentity. With this, she stayed loyal to the dominant Chuay Gahn Five at the merge and was brought to Day 38 by Brian Heidik and Clay Jordan where she was voted out by the former for the easier win against the latter, falling one day short of the Final Tribal Council.


Retrieved from CBS.com, 2002

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan Gentry attended several colleges (including Texas Tech University and the University of Texas) before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Lamar University. She then attended Texas Wesleyan College, where she received an additional teaching certificate for the mentally handicapped. She currently works as a first grade teacher in Lutz, Florida. Previously, she was employed as tennis legend Martina Navratilova's secretary. She also owned her own business hand-painting custom baskets and worked at a clothing store in Orlando, Florida.

Jan describes herself as a charismatic people-person who is also a logical thinker with good problem-solving abilities. She enjoys running in triathlons, tennis, golf and fishing. On her perfect day, she would work out, then fish on her boat while drinking a beer and listening to Willie Nelson. She would cap off the day by grilling the day's catch while enjoying a few more beers and a good cigar.

Jan currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Bill. She considers her five children, Jef (26), Molly (24), Lisa (20), William (18), and Keller (18) to be her greatest accomplishments. Her pets include a fish named Jake, a guinea pig named Beethoven and a cockatiel named Fred. Her birth date is October 31, 1948.[1]


Jan Gentry, being the oldest female, was asked to step forth with the oldest male, Jake Billingsley. First, they were asked to pick buffs, and thus the camp's location. As Jake picked first, Jan was given the orange buff. Her tribe's name was Chuay Gahn. It was revealed that Jan and Jake would be the tribe selectors. Jan was nervous about being placed in the spotlight. Jan picked Ted Rogers, Jr.Helen GloverJohn RaymondGhandia JohnsonBrian Heidik, and Tanya VanceClay Jordan was placed on the tribe by default. Jan's selections were immediately criticized by both tribes in confessional, noting her tribe was much older and perceived to be weaker than the tribe Jake selected. Chuay Gahn was slower to leave the shore as they took the time to turn the boat around, however, Sook Jai decided not to turn their boat around. The tribe arrived at their beach and was amazed by the cave, eliminating the need for building a shelter. The tribe also quickly gathered food. However, Tanya started to throw up. The condition was deemed to be dehydration. Everyone set out to find its water source. John claimed he founded the water source, a pool of rust colored water. Then he revealed the true water source, a well. Ghandia was not amused by the joke. At the first challenge, Chuay Gahn was leading. However, the lead evaporated when Ghandia stalled on the puzzle. Despite Ghandia costing the tribe the challenge, John was voted out for being too bossy.

The group of seven got along rather well. The tribe decided to surprise Helen for her twentieth wedding anniversary. Jan and Helen volunteered to go on a water run. However, they were lost for a really long time and Helen was very annoyed. Chuay Gahn lost the Reward Challenge. The tribe was determined not to let the losses get to them. Unfortunately, the tribe barely missed out on a win at the Immunity Challenge. The tribe decided to reveal their party to Helen, making her very happy. At Tribal Council, Tanya was voted out for being ill. Problems emerged with Ghandia when she accused Ted of grinding against her. Chuay Gahn won the Reward Challenge and the assistance of two red berets. However, this was because various Sook Jai members were disqualified for making contact without being in the attack zone and the ensuing penalties. With the help of the beret, Chuay Ghan discovered many food sources. However, this didn't confirm harmony as Ghandia freaked out because she felt Ted was denying the grind gate incident. Despite the chaos, Chuay Gahn worked together to win immunity.

At this point, Ted and Ghandia refused to speak. Ghandia tried to form a women's alliance, which Jan joined immediately. Ghandia targeted Clay because he was the weakest of the men. Although Helen was sympathetic to Ghandia during this "Grind Gate" situation, she ultimated sided with the men and Ghandia was voted out next. Jan was deemed the next to go because of voting against Clay. Jan was the one to get Tree Mail as the others were gathering food. She was excited about the American money. This annoyed Clay, who just wanted to see the note. From what Jan said, Clay was able to deduce that is was a "food buying thing". Jan yelled "it's a gamblin' thing" and told the tribe she was betting anything, further annoying Clay. Sure enough, It was a Survivor Auction. Before it started, the castaways were given the chance to switch tribes. Jan didn't want to switch because Chuay Gahn was her tribe, claiming she was going to sink or swim with them. No one took up the offer and the Auction started normally. Unfortunately, during a night of fun, the boat floated away. Chuay Gahn won the next two Immunity Challenges, keeping Jan safe. The men tried to find the boat, but to no avail. Because the boat search, The tribe lost the Reward Challenge. However, the tribe won immunity.

The next Tree Mail had jars of paints and told the castaways to decorate themselves. Then the castaways were paired with a member of the opposing tribe. Jan was paired with Jake, which she viewed as symbolic. After the bonding session, the castaways would live on one beach. Everyone agreed that they would live at Chuay Gahn's beach. Under the pretense that this was the merge, Shii Ann Huang decided to flip to vote out Penny Ramsey. However, this was not the case and the challenge was tribal. Chuay Gahn won the challenge and Shii Ann was voted out for excessively scheming with Chuay Gahn. Brian was able to win Chuay Gahn the next Immunity Challenge, ensuring a numbers advantage.

At the next challenge, everyone saw a part of their videos from home. Jan saw three of her children on her video. It was announced that the tribes had merged and everyone was given gold buffs. For the challenge, Jan was paired with Jake. They lost in the first round to Clay and Ken. The three Sook Jai's tried to crack Chuay Gahn, but it was futile as they were the next three to go. During this time, Jan was unable to win any individual challenges. At the Final Five, Ted won reward and brought Helen with him. When they returned, Helen came to Jan to vote out Clay. Jan considered herself somewhat of a swing vote between Ted and Helen and Brian and Clay. At the Immunity Challenge, Brian won over Clay and herself. At Tribal Council, Ted was unanimously voted out.

The next Tree Mail had reefs that the Final Four were supposed to decorate. At the Immunity Challenge, Jan struggled with the balance beam portion. This cost her the win and Brian won immunity. Jan was told by the men to act like she was going home in order to fool Helen. The ploy worked and a very angry Helen was sent to the jury. After the Rites of Passage, the Final Three competed in the Final Immunity Challenge. Jan was unable to tolerate the pain and was the first one out. Brian won the Final Immunity Challenge and in a careful decision, he voted out Jan because she hasn't done anything to anger the jury. On her way out, Jan kissed Jeff on the cheek.

At the Final Tribal Council, she reminded them that she was with the finalists for 38 days. Jan asked Clay on how he worked harder than Brian. Clay said that he did his fair share but Brian said he got the workload so Clay stayed at camp. Jan then asked Brian to defend his position. Brian said that he volunteered to get water and tended to the fire. In the end, Jan voted for Brian to win, which he did in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Jan's Voting History
Episode Jan's
Voted Against
1 John -
2 Tanya -
3 Chuay Gahn Tribe Immune
4 Clay -
5 Chuay Gahn Tribe Immune
6 Chuay Gahn Tribe Immune
7 Chuay Gahn Tribe Immune
8 Chuay Gahn Tribe Immune
9 Ken -
10 Penny Jake
12 Jake Jake
13 Ted Ted
14 Helen Helen
Ineligible Brian
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor


  • On January 9, 2010, Jan attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • As of 2018, Jan has retired from her elementary school job.


  • Jan is the oldest woman to compete on Thailand and the oldest member of Chuay Gahn.
  • Jan's cover story for her time on Survivor was that she was taking care of her sick mother.[2]
  • Jan and Jake Billingsley are the first castaways to pick their own tribes.
  • During her time in Thailand, she constructed her own pet cemetery. It contained a baby bat and parts of a chicken.[3]
  • Among the five Chuay Gahn members that made it to the merge, Jan is the only one who never won an individual challenge.
  • Jan never received more than one vote at any Tribal Council.
  • Jan is the first castaway to finish in 3rd place but not win individual immunity.
  • Jan is the first contestant to hug and kiss Jeff Probst after having been voted out. She would be followed by Sarah Dawson in Philippines.
  • Jan once applied for The Amazing Race with her step-daughter.[4]


Survivor: Thailand Castaways
Chuay Gahn
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Chuay Gahn
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Sook Jai
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Chuay Gahn
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Chuay Gahn
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Sook Jai
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Chuay Gahn
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Sook Jai
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Chuay Gahn
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Sook Jai
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Sook Jai
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Sook Jai
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 Shii Ann
Sook Jai
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Sook Jai
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Chuay Gahn
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Chuay Gahn
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