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Survivor: Island Of The Idols Episode 10 Recap - Back To The Game

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After the two most unique hours in Survivor history last week, we have mostly returned to normalcy. We had a double tribal council this week with a unique twist. We’re down to 9 people left, with the finale set for December 18th. Let’s get into the recap…


We rejoin the tribe after the intense tribal council about Dan, where Jamal ultimately went home. Janet was upset and unsure how to proceed in the game, feeling like an outsider after she considered quitting. But she decided to stay in the game after giving a speech about how she didn’t want to look like a quitter for her daughters and granddaughter. She definitely has the “hero edit” this season. However, it might be so over-the-top at this point that I’m not sure she’s our winner.

We then saw a brutal storm and some rat troubles. Unless we just haven’t seen it, I feel like the weather hasn’t been too harsh this season. Usually we get a handful of episodes where we see everyone just absolutely ravaged by bad storms. Not so much this year.

Anyway, this all led to some good, old-fashioned Karishma bashing by everyone else calling her lazy and just a real waste around camp. She doesn’t do anything and just sleeps. We see her falling asleep sitting up on like a log or something. Truly impressive.

Karishma realized she’s being dragged along as a goat and would need to start actually doing something if she wanted to have any chance of winning. She was crying again for some reason. So she went hunting for an idol and actually found one. I was surprised/impressed. I don’t think it will matter much, and I can’t imagine her using it to craft some masterful blindside, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have. Side note: do they just leave these things in plain sight at this point? I feel like everyone who has tried to look at all has basically found one somewhat easily.

She then rejoined the rest of her tribe, but realized that she had been gone for awhile and needed an excuse. She wisely went with a lie that she was feeling sick, knowing that was way more believable than her actually doing something productive. They almost called medical on her before she dropped the “My body. My choice” line and then instantly felt better. I thought it would’ve been funny to see a fake medical visit though.

Immunity Challenge

We head to immunity, where there’s a pretty massive twist this week. They were split into two groups – one of 6 and one of 5. Two immunity necklaces were up for grabs, and each group would go to their own tribal council. It involved keeping a ball spinning around a wheel. Classic inertia.

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The person who lasted the longest between both “tribes” would win PB&Js for their group and also have the advantage of going to tribal second and seeing the results of the first one. The groups were…

Orange: Elaine, Missy, Karishma, Elizabeth, Tommy

Purple: Noura, Janet, Aaron, Dan, Dean, Lauren

Noura outlasted purple to win immunity. But in classic Noura fashion, she somehow soured a good moment for herself by immediately celebrating and throwing the ball in the air, guaranteeing that they would go to tribal first and lose out on PB&Js. Elaine won on orange, giving her group PB&Js and the right to go to tribal second.

Purple Pre-Tribal/Tribal Council

They headed back to the old Lairo camp where they were provided basic supplies for the rest of the day. The thinking was that it should be an easy vote on Janet. She was the biggest outsider after the last tribal and a clear threat to win. But the easy vote just never ends up being the easy vote.

Janet was rebuilding old bonds, as her and Dan seemed to be putting things in the past. Aaron’s name started to get thrown out as a big threat. He had won the previous two immunities. Dean was hesitant to do this because he liked having Aaron around as a meat shield. If Aaron were to go, people would start looking at Dean as the next biggest threat and target him.

At tribal, the vote was going to come down to Aaron or Janet. Boston Rob made a funny comment about Dean rolling up his sleeves to show off his muscles. As someone who talks about going to the gym at all possible instances, I can’t knock Dean for this. I will do the same once I’m (even more) jacked.

Aaron told Jeff how this was an opportunity to test the alliances he’s formed since it was the first time he was actually able to be voted for since the merge. Well, it turns out those bonds weren’t so strong. Aaron went home with a 5-1 vote, with his vote going to Janet. I don’t think Aaron was all that surprised. Personally, I think voting Janet would have made more sense. Aaron might be a bigger threat to win immunity, but Janet is a bigger threat to win the game.

Orange Pre-Tribal/Tribal Council

The five at orange were: Elaine, Missy, Karishma, Elizabeth, Tommy. It stood to reason that Karishma could maybe be the easy vote, with them obviously not knowing she had an idol. Missy, however, had other plans. She decided to target Tommy, seeing him as a bigger threat than Karishma. She talks to Karishma about it, but she rubbed Karishma the wrong way.

Karishma has always felt like Missy is “talking down” to her in their relationship. She was tired of being talked to this way by someone who is 13 years younger than her. Missy’s social game lacked all season. This led to Karishma telling Elaine about Missy’s plans, who then told Tommy as they all decided to target Missy. So it was Missy and Elizabeth targeting Tommy, Elaine and Tommy targeting Missy, and Karishma as the swing vote.

When they arrive at tribal, there are some shocked faces to see Aaron go, as this wasn’t part of the plan. Before voting, Missy brings something up to Jeff, saying “I love you but…” and then said how she was upset that at the last tribal, Jeff didn’t mention that the two immunity necklaces were both being worn by African American players (Aaron and Missy). Jeff appreciated her bringing it up but said he would’ve never even thought to mention it because it was just a normal thing to him. Have to take Jeff’s side here. First of all, it’s extremely rare that two people are immune at any given tribal, skin color aside. And I doubt Jeff, or any viewers really, break up the players in their head as “black players” vs. “white players.” It’s another moment that will make us remember this as the social justice season of Survivor, as seemingly every week someone wants to make a stand for a big social issue. Some have been justified, some have not. Personally, I’d just be more focused on winning the million dollars.


On to the vote, Karishma wisely decided to not play her idol knowing she was the swing vote. Missy went home with a 3-2 vote. Her and Elizabeth voted for Tommy. Tommy, Elaine, and Karishma voted for Missy. Missy then put on perhaps the most unbearable tribal exit of all time. She said “Who was it?” and when Tommy said “You came at me,” Missy vehemently denied it, despite the fact the did in fact devise a plan to vote for him and wrote his name down. She then told Elizabeth to kill Elaine “slowly and methodically” during a hug. Just obnoxious all-around. I was once high on her chances to win, but at this point, I was glad to see her go.

So Aaron and Missy go home in the double-tribal episode. Here’s something interest to note from Dalton Ross, who covers Survivor for Entertainment Weekly.

Don’t want to cast too much judgement in this situation because we don’t know what’s really going on. Obviously, this season has been unique and maybe CBS is having them refrain from these interviews? Not sure, but it’s shaping up to be quite an awkward reunion show. I also don’t want to attack Aaron because he’s a Stoolie who follows me on Twitter.

Winner Rankings

This is a running list I’ll keep all season long. This is NOT who will last the longest. Don’t look at the person ranked last as the person likely to go home next. Look at them as the person with the least chance to win. That person could very easily get dragged to FTC as a goat, but won’t win. This is ranking people based on their chance to actually win the game.

Tier 1 (One of these people will win)

1. Tommy

2. Lauren

3. Elaine

4. Janet

5. Dean

Tier 2 (They won’t)

6. Elizabeth

7. Noura

8. Karishma

9. Dan

See you next week.