Six castaways have gone home from Survivor: Island of the Idols, with Jason Linden being eliminated most recently in a terrific blindside spearheaded by Elaine Stott and Elizabeth Beisel. It was just the second time Vokai had to go to Tribal Council; can the Lairo members keep their winning streak going on the latest episode? Let’s find out.
SPOILER WARNING: Do not keep reading if you are not caught up on Survivor season 39 and do not want to know what happens during episode seven, “I Was Born at Night, But Not Last Night,” airing Wednesday (Nov. 6). This article will be updated live as the episode airs, so keep checking back for more information. All times Eastern.
8:00 — Just as an FYI, prior to the start of tonight’s episode, we predicted that Dean Kowalski would be the castaway sent home tonight. Guess we’ll see if we’re right.
8:03 — At Vokai, the castaways debrief on Tribal Council. Lauren Beck feels “so betrayed” by Missy Byrd because she wasn’t in on the plan. Well, would you have blown up the plan? It’s hard to say. Missy reassures her that she’s not in danger if they lose immunity, but Lauren’s not sure what to believe. Meanwhile, Aaron Meredith and Elizabeth Beisel congratulate Elaine on gaining control of the tribe.
8:06 — At Lairo, a rainstorm knocks out their fire, which is a problem. Jamal Shipman tries to use the flint to get the fire restarted, but he is unsuccessful. Kellee Kim wants to try, but Jamal won’t let her do it. He basically takes the flint away from her, then Jack Nichting has to step in to tell Jamal to let Kellee try and sure enough, she gets the fire going. Then after they start eating rice, Jamal tells Noura Salman that she took too much and that’s why there’s not enough left. He’s definitely not endearing himself to the women and Noura, Karishma Patel and Janet Carbin talk about a women’s alliance, but Janet says it’s too early to get rid of Jamal. She wants to target Dean.
8:08 — Janet then gets summoned to the Island of the Idols. She cries because she’s scared, which is kind of weird. It’s not a torture chamber, lady. But she then says in a talking-head that she’s worried about being targeted because she went to the Island. Of course, the minute she sees Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob Mariano, she totally freaks out, just like everyone else. Watching people get surprised by them never gets old.
8:12 — Janet’s lesson is about weighing advantage over risk. She can choose to play a game where if she wins, she gets an advantage where she can choose to leave Tribal Council at any point up until there are seven players left. So she wouldn’t get to vote, but she would be immune from being voted out. But if she loses her game, she can’t vote at the next Tribal. She decides not to play the game because she’s worried that if she wins and uses that advantage, she would have a huge target on her back at the following Tribal. She’s not wrong, though it’s kind of a bummer not to get to see how that advantage plays out.
8:16 — When Janet returns to camp, they yell at her to show them her Idol, so instead she flashes her boobs, which is hilarious. You go, lady. But anyway, she relays her game of chance proposition to the others and tells them she chose not to play. Meanwhile, over at Vokai, Missy, Elizabeth, and Lauren talk about how uncomfortable Dan Spilo makes them. He cuddles up to the women in the shelter and they are not cool with it. But that may work to Lauren and Tommy Sheehan’s advantage because they need someone other than the two of them to be the target if they lose immunity, so they try to plant the seeds that Dan is gunning for Aaron.
8:20 — But Missy is way too smart for that. She realizes that Tommy and Lauren are tight and need to be split up, while Dan is irrelevant because he doesn’t have anyone in the game. She says if they cut Tommy, Lauren will have no choice but to align with them. Elizabeth says that’s a brilliant plan.
8:30 — Immunity Challenge. The game is shooting coconuts into a basket, which will become heavier and eventually drop some giant puzzle pieces, which will form a very large Survivor logo puzzle. The tribes are neck and neck, with tensions running really high. Vokai thinks they have it, but they don’t, opening the door for Lairo… but then Vokai pulls it out anyway. It was suuuuuper close.
8:35 — The plan is everyone is going to vote out Dean at Tribal, but there is a lot of time left in the episode at this point, so it seems like Dean is probably the last person who is going to go home this week. In fact, Jamal then does a talking-head where he says he brings his Idol with him to every Tribal, but he feels the safest this time than he has at any other time in the game. Which means Jamal just signed his Survivor death warrant.
8:40 — Lo and behold, Kellee decides that she likes Dean and she should secretly save him with her Idol. She straight-up tells him that everyone is voting for him and talks about giving him her Idol, though we don’t actually know if she does that. She probably did, though.
8:50 — At Tribal Council, Noura does not mince words about not trusting Dean. She’s also pretty open about how she and Jamal don’t really get along, but she says she trusts him. Jamal, however, is suspicious of a women’s alliance, which Kellee calls sexist. Hmm. She’s not wrong in that people are quicker to get suspicious of women working together, but in this case, I don’t think Jamal is being sexist. I think he can see which way the wind is blowing at his tribe and knows there’s a chance the four women will vote him out.
8:54 — There’s a weird tangent here about the #MeToo movement and strong women that doesn’t seem… super germane to what’s going on at Tribal. It seems more like the producers decided to stage “A Very Special Tribal Council.”
8:56 — During Tribal, we see Karishma vote for Dean and that’s it. Then before the votes are read, Dean plays the Idol Kellee gave him. But wait! There’s more! Jamal then plays his Idol for Noura. WHAT?! As Rob says in his hidey hole, “This is a mistake.”
9:00 — The votes go Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Jack and Jack. Whoa. That was unexpected. What’s confusing is why Jamal thought he should protect Noura and not his buddy? The credits reveal that it was Dean and Noura (not Kellee) who voted for Jack. Wait, what?! The episode was also dedicated to Rudy Boesch, an OG Survivor contestant who passed away last Friday.