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Tom Buchanan (more commonly referred to as Big Tom) is a contestant from Survivor: Africa and Survivor: All-Stars.

A gentle giant, Tom was well-liked and respected by his fellow tribemates in Africa. He was a part of the dominant Boran Alliance along with close allies Ethan Zohn and Lex van den Berghe, but was ultimately blindsided at the final four after their target, Kim Johnson, won immunity.

In All-Stars, he was known for his dislike towards Susan Hawk and being part of the Chapera Alliance. At the final five, Tom believed that he was in a swing vote position, but this caused his close ally Rob Mariano to distrust him and orchestrate his blindside at the subsequent Tribal Council.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Born and raised in Rich Valley, Virginia, Tom Buchanan currently works as a self-employed goat and cattle farmer on the ranch that has been in his family for three generations.

Buchanan attended Rich Valley High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He also served as student body president. He then attended East Tennessee State University as a football walk-on and later earned a full football scholarship, serving as team captain his senior year. After college, he returned home to work on the family farm. Known to his friends as "Big Tom," his hobbies include softball, fishing, bird hunting and riding his motorcycle. He is a member of the Virginia Cattleman's Association, Rich Valley Farmer's Club and Rich Valley Presbyterian Church.

Tom Buchanan has been married to Sandy Buchanan. They have one son, Bucky Bo, who is currently attending Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Tom's birth date is October 30.[1]

Since returning from SURVIVOR: AFRICA, Tom Buchanan has become very involved with elementary schools, promoting reading literacy. Prompted by events on the show that shed light on his inability to spell, Tom created a reading program for kids, "Reading is The Key to Survival," which has had an enormous impact on young readers of today. He has also donated many hours of his time to local and national fundraisers.

Born and raised in Rich Valley, Virginia, Tom currently works as a self-employed goat and cattle farmer on the farm that has been in his family for three generations.

Tom attended Rich Valley High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He then attended East Tennessee State University as a football walk-on and later earned a full football scholarship, serving as team captain his senior year. After college, Tom returned home to work on the family farm. Known to his friends as "Big Tom," his hobbies include softball, fishing, bird hunting and riding his Harley motorcycle. He is a member of the Virginia Cattleman's Association, Rich Valley Farmer's Club and Rich Valley Presbyterian Church.

Tom and his wife, Sandy, have been married for 25 years. They have one son, Bucky Bo, who is now a senior at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, where he has been an All-American football standout. Tom's birth date is October 30, 1955.[2]

Survivor

Africa

Tom was initially placed on the Boran tribe where he was well-liked for his comical fatherlike personality and distinct, albeit unintelligible, accent. Despite this, he immediately revealed his bad side after losing the first Immunity Challenge. When Clarence Black made a mistake in judgment to eat a whole can of beans together with Diane Ogden without the tribe's consensus, Tom fumed about Clarence's mishap and decided to vote for Clarence at Boran's first two visits to Tribal Council. Nonetheless, Tom's comedic demeanor returned in time for the third Immunity Challenge—an SOS signal challenge—where he decided to strip down with a feather between his butt cheeks. This oddly helped grant Boran their first immunity win. Tom and the rest of Boran would also be safe for another three days after winning another Immunity Challenge on Day 12.

On Day 13, things were shaken when Tom, together with Kelly Goldsmith and Lex van den Berghe, were asked to "go on a quest", which ended up transferring them to the opposing Samburu tribe, while being replaced by Frank Garrison, Silas Gaither, and Teresa Cooper much to Tom's chagrin, as he wanted to go back to Boran. Upon reaching the Samburu camp, he and Lex became disappointed of how murky their new tribe's water hole was. As the former cleaners of Boran's waterhole, Tom and Lex found themselves doing their old jobs. After winning the fifth Immunity Challenge, Kelly discovered that Lindsey Richter had past Tribal Council votes. While being targeted by remnants of the Younger Samburu Alliance, Tom, Kelly, and Lex targeted Lindsey, despite Brandon Quinton's efforts to get them to vote against him instead, because if there were a deadlock tie vote between the ex-Borans and the original Samburus, Lindsey's previous votes would be taken into account, thus eliminating her. This materialized after Samburu lost the sixth Immunity Challenge, giving the original Boran tribe a 6-4 voting advantage over Samburu going into the merge.

Despite Teresa's strong strategic gameplay, the former Samburus still failed to come together as a unified alliance, with the Boran Alliance successfully eliminating them one by one. Teresa was the last of the Samburus to be voted out, but not before turning Tom on Lex by telling Tom that Lex was persistent in keeping Brandon in the game beforehand. With only Borans left, Lex, Ethan Zohn, and Kim Johnson felt that Tom's goofiness was just a front to conceal his ulterior strategic motives, and he was eliminated at the final four in a 3-1 vote after Kim J. won immunity.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tom felt that Ethan's more congenial personality made him more deserving than Kim J. to win and voted for him to win the title of Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Tom's Voting History
Episode Tom's
Votes
Voted Against
Tom
1 Clarence -
2 Clarence -
3 Boran Tribe Immune
4 Boran Tribe Immune
5 Samburu Tribe Immune
6 Lindsey;
Ineligible
Brandon, Kim P., Lindsey;
Brandon, Kim P.
1
7 Clarence -
9 Kelly -
10 Brandon -
11 Frank -
12 Kim P. Individual Immunity
13 Teresa Teresa
14 Lex Ethan, Kim J., Lex
Voted Out, Day 37
Voted For
Sole Survivor
Ethan

^1 In I'd Never Do It to You, the vote ended with a 3-3 tie between Tom and Lindsey, forcing a revote. Nobody changed their vote on the revote, eliminating Lindsey due to previous votes against her.

All-Stars

Tom returned to compete in Survivor: All-Stars where he was initially placed on the Chapera tribe and aligned early on with the existing alliance of Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano. With Rob M. leading the Chapera Alliance, Tom was able to play a quiet game and avoid making enemies, save for Susan Hawk. However, after Susan quit the game on Day 17, Tom celebrated by dancing and singing "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead".

On Day 13, a tribe dissolve occurred, bringing original Saboga members Jenna Lewis and Rupert Boneham into the tribe, with Amber and Rob M. also forming an alliance with them. After the Chapera Alliance had successfully voted out all of the other competitors and made it to the final five, Rob M. worried that Tom would side with Jenna L. and Rupert, which caused him to instigate a fight between Tom and Rupert. Tom then sided with Amber and Rob M. and targeted Jenna L. at the next Tribal Council. However, Amber and Rob M. voted with Jenna L. and Rupert against Tom, who was voted out on Day 36.

At the Final Tribal Council, Tom, angry over Rob M.'s betrayal, pretended to hold out his hand and when Rob M. was about to shake it, Tom pulled his hand back and snapped "Don't be stupid, stupid" and voted for Amber to win, which she did in a 4-3 vote. However, Tom eventually forgave Rob M. at the Reunion Show.

Voting History

Tom's Voting History
Episode Tom's
Votes
Voted Against
Tom
1 Chapera Tribe Immune
2 Chapera Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Rob C. -
5 Chapera Tribe Immune
6 No Tribal Council
7 Chapera Tribe Immune
8 Chapera Tribe Immune
10 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
11 Lex -
12 Kathy -
13 Alicia -
14 Shii Ann Individual Immunity
15 Jenna L. Amber, Jenna L.,
Rob M., Rupert
Voted Out, Day 36
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Amber

Post-Survivor

Trivia

  • Tom is the first male contestant to finish in fourth place.
  • Tom is the lowest ranking contestant from Africa to return.
  • Tom is the first male contestant to win individual immunity in two separate seasons.
  • Tom lasted the longest on All-Stars without receiving a vote.
  • Tom was the highest ranking castaway on All-Stars to not improve on their previous finish.
  • Tom held the record for most days played in a Survivor career with 73, until the record was broken in Micronesia by Amanda Kimmel.
  • Tom was strongly considered for Heroes vs. Villains, but was ultimately not chosen.
  • Tom declined the offer to appear on Blood vs. Water due to the production of Family Beef.
  • As revealed on the David vs. Goliath reunion show, Tom lost 80 lbs. during his time on Africa.
    • This is currently the most weight to be lost by a contestant while on Survivor.

References

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