The first person voted out of Survivor Micronesia was Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton, who may or may not have quit the show after working hard over the first three days to remake his image.
At the beginning, he was introduced last by Jeff Probst, who called him the “the most infamous of all Survivors,” and wearing a hat emblazoned with “Will Lie 4 Food,” Fairplay told us, “I consider myself the greatest player in the history of the game.” He said he played a “perfect game,” although he came in third and, you know, lost.
One of the fans instantly became my friend for life when she said, “he’s a pig, he’s a loser pig,” and said she wanted “just one moment to kick him hard in the shin.” Then Yau-Man basically did that for her, racing Fairplay to one of two not-so-hidden immunity idols hanging from the tribes’ two boats. They both lunged for it, and Fairplay ended up missing it and slamming into the boat, and was pissed at Yau-Man. “Even Jonny Fairplay wouldn’t tackle somebody’s head into the side of a boat for an immunity idol,” he said.
After the favorites got trounced in the first immunity challenge, a new Jonny Fairplay emerged. In an interview segment, he told us about his pregnant girlfriend (Top Model 4‘s Michelle) and then-unborn child, and started to cry. “I’m going to win this game for them,” he said. Later, after he was approached about using himself as a pawn so the other alliance could get rid of someone else, he told Ami, “I’m just emotionally not here.” She didn’t buy it, correctly realizing that he could easily be playing both alliances. “Fairplay is a loose cannon,” she said. And he admitted to us that he could easily play both sides and wondered why anyone would trust him.
At Tribal Council, Fairplay reiterated his lack of desire to be on the show, and asked rhetorically, “Am I being a crappy dad by being here?” Jeff Probst was not convinced. “Forgive my skepticism,” he said, but Fairplay insisted both that he wasn’t faking it but also wasn’t quitting. “I don’t need to put on a little show for you,” he said. The tribe voted him off unanimously, but what we don’t know now is whether they voted for him because he was a lying threat, because he essentially quit, or because they responded to his homesickness.
In his final confessional, he revealed what was really going on, making a statement that sounded a lot more like wishful thinking than actual reality. “Last time I was the biggest bad guy ever, and this time, I’m the responsible adult that people liked, some even loved,” he said. “What’s going on in the world?”
It was a genius strategy, because either way he looks good: He’s either the biggest threat in the game, or a sympathetic father figure. Even better, he doesn’t have 36 more days to make himself look like an ass all over again, so he goes out now, with his tears about his baby as what we remember most. Well played, asshole, well played.