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Survivor has given us some heartwarming friendships, alliances, and even marriages (hey Boston Rob and Amber), but most of these relationships start on the show. But there’s one Survivor it-couple that might have flown under radar: Joe Anglim and Sierra Dawn Thomas.
The two have documented their love story through a TON of Instagram posts, but there’s a lot you may not know about the couple. Here’s what to know about Joe and Sierra, the Survivor alums turned boyfriend and girlfriend.
Joe and Sierra met on Survivor’s 30th season—Survivor: Worlds Apart.
The season was filmed in Nicaragua in 2014, and it aired in early 2015. Joe and Sierra were initially on different tribes, but after a tribe swap, Joe joined Escameca, Sierra’s tribe. The two voted the same way when their tribe went to tribal council, but after the merge, their votes differed, as they were on two different alliances. In episode 9 (day 24), Sierra ended up voting Joe out.
Survivor-related events and conventions eventually brought the two together.
As Joe told The Salt Lake Tribune, he and Sierra “didn’t even have that great of a relationship, even within the game.”
However, spending time together after their season led to their eventual romance. “Neither of us was looking to have a relationship or or find love on an island. You always say, ‘Oh, what if?’ But in reality, you know that’s not going to happen. And you shouldn’t couple up because it’s bad for your games,” he explained. “But, again, all this happened after the fact. We realized we had way more in common than we’d really gotten to know out there on the show.”
They officially started dating around 2017.
According to Hollywood Life, the couple made things official after Sierra competed on Survivor: Game Changers, which was filmed in mid-2016 and aired in March 2017. That same month, Joe posted a picture on Instagram congratulating “his favorite human” on her second season of Survivor. “Whose ready to see this girl in action tonight!!! So excited and so incredibly proud of one of my favorite humans!”
Joe moved to Utah in 2018 to live with Sierra.
The Arizona native moved to Roy, Utah to be with his girlfriend, and the move was a bit of an adjustment initially, with Joe saying that he was “thrown into a whole new world” in Utah. “I’ve just been learning a lot about horses and doing a lot of equine massage and training,” he laughed. “I knew nothing about horses coming up here. So Sierra had to be patient with me. She had to teach me. She’s still teaching me.”
Joe and Sierra are still close with their Survivor cast mates.
Affectionately calling themselves the “dirty 30” crew, Joe and Sierra regularly hang out with their Survivor: Worlds Apart cast mates like Mike Holloway and Max Dawson.
Sierra convinced Joe to compete on Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
In 2015, Joe came back to compete on Survivor: Cambodia, less than a year after he first competed on Survivor: Worlds Apart. And while he was a fan favorite on both seasons, he admitted that he had later turned down requests from the Survivor producers to return for more seasons.
“I did decline in the past,” Joe told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019. “It’s so hard. It really took a lot out of my sails. It’s hard to explain, especially because I had so little time in between my first and second season.”
He credits Sierra with giving him the push to come back into the game once again—and she also shared some useful tips about surviving in Fiji. “I picked her brain over the last couple weeks,” he said. “She said it’s hard [out here]. It’s cold and rainy, but it’s not as bad as Cambodia. There’s only so much you can prepare for in the game.”