Survivor: Island of the Idols – “You Don’t Know Where You’re From?”

Sneaky, sneaky. This week’s visitor to the Island of the Idols gained seemingly valuable advice from the mentors, and a personal injury saw one tribe member sit on the outs of their alliance. Survivor didn’t fail to deliver.

SPOILER ALERT! This recap and review will contain spoilers about the latest episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols.

EPISODE 3 RECAP

Missy and Chelsea talk on the beach at the Lairo camp.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

After Molly’s blindside, Jason’s ecstatic he managed to stay secure within the tribe. Jack on the other hand uses the blindside as an eye opener to his game, and asks Tommy where he’s sitting right now. Tommy tells him it’s got nothing to do with being a threat, and tells the viewers he wants to work hard to rebuild trust with Jamal and Jack because he believes they can be worthy allies. Jamal is just frustrated he wasn’t included in the vote, and notes that while he’ll forgive their actions and understand why they did it, he certainly won’t forget.

Chelsea, Elizabeth, Elaine and Missy stand above the fire at the Lairo camp.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

Day 7 rises on Lairo, and the women are jumping around and bonding in the water, a testament to the all-female alliance. But Karishma reveals it’s not quite the happy family it seems, and believes she’s on the outside of the group. The four guys talk at camp about the women’s alliance, and form their own alliance to potentially overthrow the girls if they can. Aaron, Dean and Tom try to assert Vince’s loyalty, but it falls on deaf ears for Vince who can’t trust Aaron because he voted him out. He is firmly on the other side, giving the girls + Vince a six-person majority.

On Vokai, Dan talks about Jack and Jamal being naive players, but focuses on targeting Noura for the next vote because of her annoyance to the tribe. He wants to lead everyone to the best decision for him, and what he believes is everyone else. He tells Jack and Jamal the likely unanimous vote for Noura, and of course they’re cool with what they’re hearing. Jamal on the other hand, is a little reserved, and doesn’t want to stick with the status quo and wants to take back some control. For this, he’s targeting Dan because of his turn of phrase and expresses a potential blindside with Janet, who’s not opposed to taking the talent manager out. Janet talks to Tommy about this plan, but Tommy’s a little worried that it’s a power move for Jamal and not for him or the core majority. Janet and Tommy then consider targeting Jamal instead, because he’s too eager to become the new leader of the tribe.

Back at Lairo, Karishma accidentally cuts her hand, and it’s pretty deep. She tells the tribe she can see her bone, as the blood just pours out of her hand. She’s getting light headed and tells the tribe she’s not feeling well at all, but no one on the tribe cares to her or provides any aid whatsoever. She’s crying. And Karishma thinks it’s a sign no one cares about her and that it proves she’s the real outsider of the tribe. She notes that it isn’t a big deal, but the lack of humanity from the tribe to help her is a big red flag, and she tells us the entire tribe is dead to her.

When a mystery boat man arrives on the Lairo beach and hands the tribe a note, which informs them that Vince is the next one to head to the Island of the Idols, the admissions counsellor is left asking, “why me?”. As Vince departs from the beach, everyone is still gathered at his send off. Immediately, the tribe discusses the possibility and likelihood Vince returns with a hidden immunity idol. Dean (in his very first (not literally) appearance in the game) suggests splitting the vote between Vince and another tribe member to flush the idol out. Except… Everyone’s already there. In order to split the vote, a majority must vote between two people, and you don’t see no volunteers to Dean’s idea that in his words everyone was already thinking yet didn’t need to be vocalised. Karishma however assumes she would be the split option, and adds insult to injury (lol) about being on the outs of her tribe.

Sandra and Rob show Vince a map of the Vokai camp so he can be successful in his lesson.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

When Vince lands on to the Island of the Idols and greets Rob and Sandra, it’s extremely overwhelming for the longtime fan. In an underrated moment, Rob and Sandra sit Vince down and the former asks Vince where he’s from. Vince responds with, “um”, and then proceeds to cry. Just as he starts crying, Boston Rob unintentionally yet HILARIOUSLY asks, “you don’t know where you’re from?”. Yeah, insignificant to the episode but I was laughing my ass off at Rob’s mistake in thinking Vince’s pause and crying was about him not knowing where he’s from, instead of him being a massive fan of Rob and Sandra and becoming overwhelmed with emotion.

ANYWAY. Rob and Sandra tell Vince his lesson’s about staying calm under pressure. And to do that, he has to sneak into the Vokai camp in the middle of the night, and steal some of their fire. If he’s successful, an idol worth two Tribal Councils is up for grabs. Vince is down for the play, and we proceed to watch Sandra teach him how to crawl and hide (picked up from her army days), much to Rob’s amusement. Vince is then sent off to Vokai, and mission steal the fire is a go. Except for the fact, that upon arriving, Vokai’s fire isn’t protected by the rain and thus is burnt out. Vince decides to compromise, and aims to collect some ash to bring back to the mentors. Meanwhile, Tommy of Vokai has a terrible and vivid nightmare which startles the entire tribe. Of all nights to have a bad dream. Despite the difficulties, Vince manages to grab some ash and upon returning to Rob and Sandra, they gift him his idol given the lack of fire circumstances and his ability to adapt.

The Immunity Challenge is next, where each portion of the Challenge proves just as difficult as the next. Starting with a representative to swim from one platform to tying a buoy, and then a massive balancing act on a teeter-totter to retrieve two bags of puzzle pieces, two tribe members must then assemble a large fish puzzle to claim Immunity. Elizabeth takes on Janet in the first portion, both arguably the best swimmers on their tribes after careers in swimming. Lairo gains a lead after this portion, including through the second part, although Vokai seems to catch up a little. Lairo continues to have a lead through to the puzzle, where Dean and Karishma are attempting to solve it. They make little progress as Vokai reach the puzzle, where Lauren and Jamal manage to run away with it until they catch a victory, sending Lairo to Tribal Council.

Lauren and Jamal work to complete the puzzle while the rest of Vokai stand behind them hoping they can pull out the victory at the Immunity Challenge.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

Upon returning from the loss, Tom, Aaron and Dean agree the split vote should be between Vince and Karishma to flush out the idol and eliminate both outsiders. Dean tells Missy the four boys are voting Karishma, and the girls are voting Vince. Missy’s questioning the decision, because it doesn’t benefit the girls in anyway since both Vince and Karishma are loyal to the women. She wants to keep Vince, and after talking with him, they agree Tom should be targeted as the weaker of the three remaining men. She then tells this plan to Elizabeth, who isn’t ready to chop Tom and does wanna vote Vince with the guys.

Karishma tells Vince she’s not confident about her position and that she expects to go home. He asks her to give him a name for the vote, but she can’t, and it frustrates Vince who’s just trying to play the game with her. But he remains calm thanks to Rob and Sandra’s lesson, and doesn’t push to get her to say anything. Chelsea and Elizabeth talk about either voting out Tom or splitting between Vince and Karishma. There are pros and cons to either side, but it’s a question of keeping everyone satisfied versus sticking with a solid core of six.

Lairo sits at Tribal Council, waiting to see who will become the third person voted out of Survivor: Island of the Idols.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

At Tribal Council, Jeff quizzes the tribe about the puzzle and how they continue to fail in them. Aaron and Tom plead for puzzle solvers to only be people that can actually solve them. Karishma wants to tell the tribe that her physical capabilities are higher than they’ve seen, and that what she can bring as an asset are in several aspects of the Survivor game. She explains she feels on the outs of the girls, but Elizabeth tells her it was never intentional and that she is a part of the girls faction. Tom consistently sticks to the mantra of winning and taking out those that help the tribe lose, but it’s all about trust and sticking with the various plans that have floated around camp right now. Just as they go to vote, Karishma has a whisper game with each woman on the tribe, with Tom saying, “this is all an act”. He assumes she’s scrambling, but she eventually sits down and Lairo goes to vote.

When Jeff returns with the votes, he asks the tribe if anyone wants to play an idol. And Vince DOESN’T! He gives a big ‘x’ to the play and as Jeff reads the votes, it’s a blindside with an idol in his pocket, as the women vote together against the men in a 5-3-1 vote, with Vince voting Tom and the other guys voting Karishma.

Vince has his torch snuffed by Jeff, and is officially blindsided out of the game with an idol in his possession.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

REVIEW

I really enjoyed episode three. It’s always great television when we know an idol may or may not be played, and although I’m left shaking my head as to why Vince didn’t play his idol, it’s a great talking point. Plus, watching Rob and Sandra drop their jaws to seeing Vince go with the idol in his pocket was hilarious. And Twitter is already ensuring they don’t forget it, by telling them they should teach castaways how to actually play idols instead of getting one. Hilarious.

The Island of the Idols is still pretty good. I enjoy the twist still and it doesn’t take too much away from the main game at hand. Sure, we don’t see a lot of the tribes when a whole segment is divided to Rob, Sandra and the random castaway, but that’s understandable. The lessons are okay. I guess they’ve got some element of necessity there. It’s a fun little twist that doesn’t really impact the game dramatically.

We had another strong run for Tommy, who appears to be a front runner for becoming the ultimate winner because of his consistent appearance in an episode and being made out to be a decision maker. I wouldn’t call it completely just yet, after all, Rick Devens had a major winner’s edit only to fall in 4th place. There’s no doubt though that Tommy’s a big player.

Unlike Aaron, Jamal and Jack returned to camp after a blindside at Tribal accepting and understanding of the decision made by others. As Jamal put it, he’ll forgive but he won’t forget. And that’s exactly what you need to do. These people he knows he can’t trust, but for now he’s gotta keep a spot in the majority if he can. Lauren, Janet and Kellee seem to be pretty central to the Vokai tribe, along with Tommy, but Dan, who probably thinks he’s in the core group, might just be on the way out soon too. Maybe Noura and Jason hold a lifeline for another Tribal or two.

Missy and Chelsea probably have a similar edit to Tommy on the Lairo tribe, remaining as consistent players that we continue to see dominating their tribe. I’m loving what they’re bringing, and both show excessive strategic prowess that’ll probably see them make a deep run or a shocking blindside in a blaze of glory.

I’m not sure what to make of Karishma and her position. The whole injury story really got me worried for her and the edit hasn’t entirely explained why she’s suddenly on the outside of the women’s alliance when she was firmly in it during the first episode. Whispers at Tribal? Love that! But did it save her? I’m not sure. I actually really like Karishma but she’s probably still not in the most favourable position. I hope next week sees a turn of events for her, ideally sticking with the original alliance before it tanks.

Aaron, Dean and Tom are in trouble, and it makes sense for them to stick with the Karishma blindside if they want to gain the trust of the four women. But next week teases a love affair between Dean and Chelsea, and considering they’re arguably the most attractive people on the tribe, who’s surprised. But could this see the guys turning on each other to take out Dean, or might Chelsea be in trouble sooner than expected?

MATTHEW’S TOP FIVE

This season, I will put together a personal top five based on the episode that aired each week. I aim to consider all factors, like physicality, strategy, social game, likeability, and visibility. They are not ranked in order, and encompass all information gathered, from pre-season press, to previous episodes and the most recent episode.

IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

TOMMY SHEEHAN, is just a legend. He’s really something refreshing to Survivor and I truly enjoy watching him play. We’ve had so many great players, and usually the greatest are a little cocky, a little confident, and a little too much at times. Tommy’s not. And I hope it stays that way. He’s a big player but he’s still humble. He still wants to connect with people and gain loyalty and trust where he can. He hasn’t got an ego and that’s evident in his confessionals and his lifestyle. I’m so glad he’s on this season, and I would be ecstatic for a Tommy win if I could call it this early in the season.

IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

JASON LINDEN is still an integral part to the game. Despite having those Day 1 troubles, he’s not really on the radar right now with his ally Noura above him and Dan and Jamal being tossed around while they’re at it too. Sure, he’s not in a core, but he’s proven that he’s able to talk well, think strategically, and act accordingly. There’s much more to see from the pre-season favourite, and I’m both excited and ready for the future of Jason.

IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

KELLEE KIM with more of a flow on effect from the last episode. Kellee’s strong showing at the Island of the Idols last week keeps her up here, even if her edit this week was minimal. I’m still enjoying what she has to offer and I do get a great vibe from her edit that’ll send her well past the merge I think. She’s shown to have a connection with Tommy, and with her girls Janet and Lauren, she’s probably sitting decently for the next few Tribals. This means she’ll likely not need her idol, so if she can save it, I see a power play extending in the future.

IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

CHELSEA WALKER is awesome. There’s nothing I can fault about Chelsea, every time she’s popped up on my screen she’s delivered great content. I hope to god it doesn’t come unravelled next week in a ‘showmance’, but I think Chelsea’ smart enough to manage it wisely. She’s always got the idol if necessary anyway, although saving it for longevity’s sake is favourable. Her consistent edit helps develop her character and how strategic and masterful she will be. And she’s got the charm too, so why can’t she be a legendary player at this point?

IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

KARISHMA PATEL finally I got some content that pushed Karishma into the top five. Yes, she’s not in a great position, but I still enjoyed what Karishma was telling us viewers in confessionals and how she attempted to navigate out of becoming the main target. I am extremely worried about her future, and not giving up a name to go home may hurt her down the road if she revisits the prospect of going home. If she lasts longer, finds some comfortability within the game, I see Karishma managing to be a pivotal alliance member. Here’s hoping she survives next week.

Just missing out (again) is Missy. I’m so sorry! She’s awesome, but I’m just not completely sold as I am with the other five. Janet and Elaine are still up there, but the little they’ve had since the premiere keeps them close but not high enough. Lauren and now Dean are another couple of favs but with little screen time overall, it’s hard to pinpoint why they can sit higher on the totem poll for me. Jack and Jamal are awesome, and I like them as a duo. I also think they’ll able to climb out of the bottom sooner rather than later. Noura was pretty invisible this week, but she’s still middle of the road for me. As are Aaron, Tom and Elizabeth. Dan, still at the bottom for me…

That’s it for this week’s review! I’ll see you next week!

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Survivor: Island of the Idols continues in Australia on 9Go! at 7:30pm. Outside of Australia, check your local TV guides!


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