Survivor: Island of the Idols is getting down to the nitty-gritty. With only two episodes left, there are seven castaways still in the running to be crowned “sole survivor.” On Wednesday’s (Dec. 11) episode, titled “Just Go For It,” the previews make it look as though Noura Salman is on everyone’s radar because she’s been acting so erratically lately.
But then Tommy Sheehan says in a talking-head interview right after assuring Lauren Beck that she’s safe that he “needs her out of this game because she’s gonna win.” Lauren definitely has a good shot at winning, but is that who he was really talking about?
We’ll have to watch to find out. Follow along below for our live recap and elimination post, but be warned of spoilers for season 39, episode 13.
All times Eastern.
8:04 — Tommy is grateful to Dean Kowalski for spilling the beans about how his name was going to be written down at Tribal, and he’s super mad at Noura for potentially blowing up their entire game. Noura, meanwhile, apologizes for how everything went down and she says Dean is “sick in the head” and then she hides his shoes. So… who’s sick in the head? Noura’s game might be toast after all of this.
8:06 — Elaine Stott, meanwhile, goes looking for an idol because she just played hers and she’s worried about going home. Janet Carbin and Tommy are also looking for the idol, though… and it’s Janet who finds the lucky package. The interesting part is that Elaine and Dean spot Janet and Tommy whispering and they’re pretty sure Tommy and Janet just found an Idol. As Dean says, knowledge is power in this game, so that’s at least somewhat of an advantage for them if they can use that information the right way.
8:12 — In the morning, Noura does twirls down by the shore while Elaine tells everyone that Noura ate her rice last night, which they don’t love. But Elaine knows that pointing out Noura’s craziness doesn’t really help her. Everybody knows they can easily beat Noura in the finals, but they cannot easily beat Elaine. Elaine makes a good move by going to Lauren because Lauren is someone else no one wants to sit next to at the end. Elaine puts a bug in her ear about Lauren being the odd woman out with the rest of the men, which, it turns out, is exactly what is happening. In fact, Tommy admits in a talking-head that Lauren is going to win and he can’t keep her around until the end, then Dan Spilo admits that he, Tommy and Dean have a final three deal. Ughhhh, get rid of them, ladies!
8:15 — Dean is randomly drawn to go to the Island of the Idols and he’s psyched about getting a potential advantage to go along with the one Jamal Shipman gave him — though remember, that “legacy advantage” is a fake. When he pulls it out in front of Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob Mariano, they manage not to laugh because they know it’s a fake. It gets especially funny when he says maybe he’ll have everyone vote for him so that the jury thinks he’s all impressive by escaping elimination with his advantage. Ooooh, that would be hilarious.
8:20 — The risk/advantage that Sandra and Rob offer Dean is a chance to wager his vote for one of three advantages: an extra vote, an idol nullifier, or an idol for the next Tribal that cannot be played for himself. It’s a coin flip. If he loses, he loses his vote next Tribal. He decides to risk it and ends up earning himself an idol nullifier.
8:25 — Dean goes back to the tribe and tells them some half-truths, saying that he played for an extra vote but he lost the coin flip, so they all think he doesn’t get a vote for next Tribal. Of course, he immediately tells Dan, Lauren, and Tommy the real story. But there is a caveat to the nullifier: He has the play it during the vote and he has to specify who it nullifies. So if he picks wrong, it’s worthless. Plus, Tommy is starting to wonder if Dean is too dangerous with his idol nullifier and his “legacy advantage” and maybe Dean has to go.
8:34 — The immunity challenge involves spinning down a lane to unravel yourself from a rope, then doing a balance beam, which is as hilarious as it sounds. Everybody looks drunk! Dean and Noura get to the puzzle first, but they are followed quickly by everyone else, so it’s neck-and-neck at the puzzle portion. Ultimately, Dean pulls it out and Elaine is pretty heartbroken because she solved the puzzle but couldn’t get the pieces in place fast enough.
8:40 — Tommy, Lauren, Janet, Dean, and Dan decide that Elaine is the one going home, but they’re going to put enough votes on Noura to cover themselves if Elaine has an idol. Dan is the one vote going for Noura. But Lauren decides it’s time to get Tommy and Dan before they turn on her, so she goes to Elaine and they decide to vote for Noura. If they can get Janet on board, Noura will go home because Dan won’t know and he’ll vote for Noura too.
8:46 — Jeff focuses on Elaine, who is obviously on the outs with the alliance. Elaine makes a strong case, however, to keep her and let Noura go home. She says you should keep her (Elaine) around because she’s always the scapegoat, whereas Noura is a wild card. Though keeping the “scapegoat” around so that you always have one is a good way for the scapegoat to sneak into the finals.
8:49 — Elaine then makes everybody cry talking about how her mom died recently and how she’s really been working through some stuff being on the show. It’s lovely, but also it’s the epitome of why you can’t keep Elaine around because she will win in a landslide. I want Elaine to win, but as a player, I would totally get why they would vote her out.
8:55 — No one plays an idol and Elaine is voted out by a vote of 5 to 2. Bummer. But that’s not the end of the episode. The next morning, Jeff comes to the tribe to tell them that Dan has been removed from the game. He won’t be coming back to camp, he won’t be on the jury, he’s gone. A card at the end tells us that Dan “was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.” Whoa.
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