Last week, Jack Nichting became the first jury member on Survivor: Island of the Idols during a rather shocking Tribal Council where hardly anyone’s votes counted because there were not one, but two hidden immunity idols played.
This week, the tribes are merged into the self-titled “Lumuwaku” tribe where things are fairly peaceful… for as long as the merge feast lasts, anyway. As Probst teases in the preview clips, “All hell breaks loose.”
The previews also make it sound like Kellee Kim is rallying the old Vokai members to oust the old Lairos, and they might have Dean Kowalski on their side because Kellee saved him with her idol at the last Tribal. Let’s find out how it all goes down, shall we?
SPOILER WARNING: Do not keep reading if you are not caught up on Survivor season 39 and do not want to be spoiled on episode eight, “We Made It to the Merge!” All times Eastern.
8:04 — Tonight there are back to back episodes, so strap in, everybody. After Tribal, Noura Salman apologizes to Jamal Shipman for him wasting his idol on her and that his sidekick is gone. He asks her who told her to vote for Jack and she barely hesitates before outing Kellee. Kellee is obviously livid. She tells Jamal and Janet Carbin that she didn’t tell Noura to vote for Jack and Jamal isn’t sure what to believe.
8:06 — The next morning, everyone is scrambling to find the next hidden idol because they’re assuming since two came out the night before, a new one is hidden at camp. Kellee manages to find it and is ecstatic. Yeah, she’s definitely one of the people who needs it after Noura threw her under the bus.
8:10 — It’s merge time! Everyone is super excited about the food, but the castaways also start whispering amongst themselves almost immediately trying to figure out who to align with. Tommy Sheehan wants Vokai 2.0 to bring in Kellee and Janet for a nine-person alliance, but Kellee thinks they should just keep the old Vokai together so that they aren’t protecting the four Lairo people who switched tribes (Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Byrd, Aaron Meredith, and Elaine Stott). She’s not wrong. A nine-person alliance is a little unwieldy.
8:15 — At the new tribe, Kellee bonds with Missy over the fact that Dan Spilo really creeps them out with all of his unwanted touching. They talk about how there are always consequences of speaking up about stuff like this and they’re worried about ruining their games by saying anything. It’s really depressing because they’re absolutely right. A producer tells Kellee that they need to say something to the producers if they need the producers to step in.
8:18 — Kellee talks to Janet about how uncomfortable she is, while Tommy wonders if Kellee should be the one to go home because she’s being so buddy-buddy with Missy. Little does he know that they’re not really talking about the game. Elizabeth also talks to Kellee about how inappropriate Dan has been and how he would probably be a good choice to vote out.
8:20 — But Kellee is not going to have her game derailed. She says in a talking head interview that Dan is a decoy vote, but really the old Vokai are gunning for Missy. Lauren Beck then runs to Missy to tell her what Kellee is up to and Missy is pretty upset that Kellee just bonded with her for two hours and is still aiming to get her out.
8:22 — The show then put up some information on the screen, plain white text on a black background, informing viewers that after all of this, producers met with everyone both as a group and individually and talked to them about personal boundaries. They also met privately with Dan to issue him a warning about his behavior.
8:28 — It’s the Immunity Challenge. Everyone must hold on to a tilted platform with three balls on it. When their tables move, pegs push up on the balls sitting on top. When all three balls are gone, you’re out. Noura, Kellee, and Dean are out almost immediately.
8:33 — A bunch more people then drop in quick succession, leaving Aaron, Missy, Elizabeth, and Jamal. Missy is the first to drop out of them, then Elizabeth. Man, Aaron looks cool as a cucumber, while Jamal looks like he’s gritting it out a little more. And then Jamal drops and basically falls over, while Aaron pops up like it’s nothing.
8:40 — Tommy and Lauren approach Dean about voting out Kellee. It’ll be the original Lairo plus Tommy and Lauren. That’s eight out of 13, so that would be enough. But Kellee has an idol, remember. Meanwhile, Jamal and Elizabeth plot to vote out Dan, getting Janet, Kellee, and Noura on board. Janet tells Elizabeth about what’s going on, but Elizabeth thinks it’s total BS. She thinks Dan is the decoy and Missy is the target.
8:44 — So Elizabeth runs to Elaine and tells her what’s going on and Elaine tells Dan. The plan now is that all the women are going to pretend that they’re voting out Dan but really they’re voting out Kellee. So when Jamal tells Kellee that they should switch from Missy to Dan, she starts to think something is up because Dan is way too calm going into Tribal. Jamal then asks Tommy to vote out Dan and Tommy agrees, but that’s only to his face. Tommy and Lauren then aren’t sure what to do. They’re the swing votes.
8:46 — Kellee already has an idol, but she is nervous about somebody finding the idol that is traditionally hidden during the merge, so she goes hunting for it and finds it. Whoa. Now Kellee has two idols. “Holy crap,” she says. “This is huuuuuge.” Yeah, it is.
8:53 — The main topic at first is trust and how spending time with people, even if it’s totally innocuous, makes people distrustful of what you’re up to. Interestingly, the inappropriate touching does not come up. The show must have decided they put that to bed with the private meetings that happened off-camera.
9:02 — Before the vote, Kellee decides not to play her Idol. WHOA. The votes are only for Dan and Kellee and by a vote of 8 to 5, Kellee is voted out. Holy crap. She got voted out with two idols. Oh, sweetie. You should have played one just to be safe.
9:05 — Back at camp, Janet is pretty steamed that the women lied about voting out handsy Dan and blindsided Janet, who didn’t even want to vote out Dan. She also talks to Dan about how the women came to her with their feelings about his behavior and he wonders if it was all a game. He has every excuse and denial in the book, while Janet feels like she got played. Ugh, this sucks all the way around.
9:07 — So Dan goes to talk to Elizabeth and Missy about his behavior, where he doesn’t acknowledge anything he did, he just basically says “if I did this,” “I can’t fathom it,” and so on, but he does say he’s sorry. Then Missy and Elizabeth have the audacity to say that if they felt uncomfortable about Dan, they had the power to vote him out. Elizabeth then says in a talking-head interview that she thought the complaints about Dan were in a joking manner and maybe they shouldn’t have joked about it. Dan also says Janet is “reprehensible” for the way she used this as a tool in the game. Whoa. This entire thing is pretty gross.
9:11 — So now Dan confronts Janet about all the stuff she said that Missy and Elizabeth denied and Janet can’t believe they would throw her under the bus like that, so she goes off to confront them. Janet is very matter of fact about it and Elizabeth knows she’s caught red-handed, so she doesn’t even bother to lie. She then tells Dan that they’re fine and it was just something she told Janet because it “needed to be said.”
9:15 — The next morning, Janet goes idol hunting because she knows there’s a target on her now. Lo and behold, she finds one! Funny how that works. Also, good for you, Janet.
9:24 — Meanwhile, Jamal and Karishma Patel are walking on the paths and they find a note hanging from a tree. Jamal grabs it and it tells him not to open it but to head to the Island of the Idols. Karishma is a little annoyed she didn’t get it first, but it’s actually quite lucky that she didn’t. Because once there, Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob Mariano greet Jamal and he reads the note to discover that he doesn’t get a vote at the next Tribal. But he gets a chance to sabotage someone else. They give him a pencil and a blank piece of parchment, telling him he can do with it whatever he wants. Ooooh.
9:26 — Back at camp, he tells everyone he risked his vote to play a 50-50 chance game. But his prize was an advantage he has to give someone else. He tells them that because it’s Dean’s birthday, Dean gets the advantage as an olive branch. Dean is a little suspicious because the advantage is handwritten, plus there are too many details involved, which makes it feel like a lie.
9:35 — The immunity challenge involves holding onto a rope where they will be periodically lowered closer to the water, putting more and more strain on their arms. The last man and the last woman left standing win immunity. Lauren, Dan, Jamal, and Elaine drop pretty quickly, then Karishma, Janet, and Dean drop after the next time Jeff lowers the ropes.
9:40 — Noura and Tommy are the next to go, though they lasted 20 minutes. This hands Aaron his second individual immunity in a row. Uh, dude — you might wanna slow your roll before people decide you’re too dangerous to keep around. Though I suppose if you just keep winning immunity, you’ll never have to go home. Anyway, then Elizabeth drops and Missy wins immunity as well. Missy says Jamal, Janet, and Karishma are the targets right now.
9:43 — The alliance that voted out Kellee decides they need to split the votes between Karishma and Jamal. They do tell Janet that she’s safe and that she should vote for Jamal. She’s nervous about trusting these people, but she doesn’t have much choice at this point. It really does seem like this is going to be a very bland Tribal Council.
9:47 — Well, it shows what I know because there are some fireworks about what happened between Janet, Dan and the women at the last Tribal. Jamal rightly points out that the guys cannot say that if Dan was doing something, they would have known about it and the women would have spoken up. Aaron is acting like he would have known and Jamal points out how wrong of an assumption that is. Jeff then asks Dan about it and Dan says, “So the bottom line is we’re not gonna let this go?” Whoa.
9:50 — Jamal then says far be it from him to speak for women, but he says that as a man, he can take a step back and look at his own behavior and imagine that you had no idea that what you were doing is inappropriate and you believe women if they choose to bring that up because it’s difficult enough to do that. “We have a responsibility to listen to women and believe women when they’re ready to tell their stories.” Wow. Jamal is being kind of amazing right now.
9:52 — Then Dan again says since it won’t be let go, he’ll talk about it. He then cites his job and the reason he works with women as evidence he can’t be like this. He then kind of makes fun of Kellee by belittling situations where he might have touched her inappropriately. He THEN says he’s sorry if anything he did made Kellee uncomfortable. He’s a real piece of work.
9:53 — This has all made Janet so uncomfortable that she’s thinking about quitting. She feels so hated and so alone. Everyone assures her that she’s not hated or alone, so she decides to stay.
9:58 — Janet then plays her idol for herself, which it turns out was a good decision because there were some votes cast for her. But there weren’t enough to get rid of her. Instead, Jamal is voted out with five votes.
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