A new episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols airs tonight on CBS. Read a live recap and join the discussion here.
On the morning of Day 12, Dean is feeling ostracized from the tribe. He was the only one excluded from the plan to vote out Chelsea. He wants to know who orchestrated the move against her. He’s calling himself Detective Kowalski, and he wants to get to the bottom of this case. We see Dean ask Karishma, Elaine, Aaron, and Elizabeth who planned Chelsea’s demise. They all deny instigating the plan to vote out Chelsea. Dean then asks Missy, and she denies being the one to lead the move against her. She then brings up the showmance between Dean and Chelsea, but Dean interrupts her. He says she’s talking nonsense and she isn’t giving him a straight answer. In her confessional, we see Missy admitting she was the one to lead the move against Chelsea. She also says in her confessional that Dean shouldn’t bite that hands that feed him. She claims she’s the reason Dean is still in the game since he was on the chopping block, too.
Next the tribes greet Jeff, and he gives them the news that it’s time for a tribe swap. They all randomly draw buffs to determine the new tribes.
Vokai – Aaron, Dan, Elaine, Elizabeth, Jason, Lauren, Missy, and Tommy
Lairo – Dean, Jack, Jamal, Janet, Karishma, Kellee, Noura, and Tom
The new Vokai tribe has an even split of four former original Vokai members and four original Lairo members. New Lairo has five original Vokai members and three original Lairo members. Afterwards, Jeff tells the new tribes they will compete in a Reward Challenge. They must crawl through the sand with their arms and feet tied up in a relay race while in pairs. Once at the end of the track, two tribe members can work on the puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win reward. The winning tribe will win an Applebee’s feast. The challenge begins, and Vokai takes an early lead. Lairo falls behind due to Karishma struggling in the sand, but Noura tries to drag and pull Karishma with her. Jamal and Kellee can finally work on the puzzle, but Aaron and Jason have already solved the puzzle. Vokai wins reward!
We next see Vokai enjoy their Applebee’s reward. Tommy is grateful for the reward, and he says it’s something he will not forget. In his confessional, Jason discusses the even split in their tribe. He’s worried about a possible tie vote if they were to go to tribal council. Elaine says in her confessional that she doesn’t like seeing her original tribe members bond with the original Vokai members.
Back at Lairo, Karishma says she plans to flip on her former Lairo tribe members immediately. She spills all the original Lairo information to Kellee. Meanwhile, Tom tells Janet that they planned to vote out Karishma at the previous tribal council, but they changed their minds. They just thought Karishma would an easy vote for later. Elsewhere, Dean and Kellee bond due to having a mutual friend (who happens to be Dean’s ex-girlfriend). After their conversation, Kellee realizes Dean is someone she can work with. However, she already knows Karishma wants to work with her, too. Back at the camp, Karishma opens up to her new tribe members about her marriage. She’s appreciative of the meaningful conversations. She believes she has a better chance in the game with these new people than with her old tribe members.
Back at the Vokai tribe, Aaron is noting how strong Elaine’s social game is. He had the same concerns about Elaine in the premiere episode. Aaron also wants to bond with the new tribe members, so he tells Tommy about his son. Aaron also happens to have his son’s face printed on his socks. Eventually, the conversation turns to the game. Both Tommy and Aaron agree to have each other’s backs in the game. Later, Aaron talks to Missy about the game. They both are on the same page about flipping against their former Lairo members to avoid a rock draw if they were to go to tribal council.
It’s time for the immunity challenge. Both tribes must swim and dive down to collect buoys while going through floating platforms with obstacles. They must then shoot the buoys into baskets. The first tribe to get all their buoys into their baskets will win immunity. The challenge begins, and Vokai takes an early lead. Lairo is struggling at the obstacle that requires them to carry the buoys across balance beams. Vokai starts shooting baskets before Lairo, but Lairo eventually catches up. Tommy and Dean are shooting baskets for their respective tribes, and it eventually becomes a showdown with both tribes needing one more basket. Tommy lands the last basket for Vokai. Vokai wins immunity!
Lairo returns to camp. The former Lairo tribe members Dean, Karishma, and Tom know they are on the chopping block tonight. They all campaign to the others. They promise to work with all of them going forward. Jack and Jamal want Karishma gone due to being a liability in the challenges. Janet is weary of Tom, and he’s someone she does not want to go to the merge with. She notes the way he talks to people. Kellee, however, doesn’t want Dean making it to the merge. Kellee, Janet, and Noura discuss the vote. They compare notes and wonder which of the three should be voted out first. In her confessional, Noura says she lost her vote due to the gamble she agreed to at the Island of the Idols (unbeknownst to the other tribe members) in the previous episode. Since she was unable to sway her tribe to let her be the caller at the previous immunity challenge, she cannot vote at this upcoming vote. However, the original Vokai members still have the numbers, so she isn’t too worried.
It’s time for tribal council. Rob and Sandra are once again spying from their secret shack. Jeff asks if the former Lairo members found a crack in the original Vokai group, but Tom admits that there doesn’t seem to be a crack. Jeff asks them the criteria for the vote, and Janet says they need to win challenges. Noura adds that among the three former Lairo tribe members, one is young and good at challenges and one is older but works hard at camp. Karishma points out that Noura is talking about Dean and Tom, and she adds that she may have already been swept aside by the others. Dean says he has to pitch himself to the other tribe members to stay, but Janet tells Dean that he didn’t make time with her. She says Dean only pulled the other guys aside to talk game. “Dean is gone,” Rob whispers to Sandra. Jamal says the relationships are about loyalty, and Dean brings up what happened at the last tribal council. Dean says he was left out of the vote when Chelsea was voted out. He says Karishma was the target, but she was pulled in and now owes someone on the other tribe. Karishma says she doesn’t know whom she owes, but Tom calls her out and says that is false. Jeff notes a shift in tension among everyone with this information. Kellee says at the end of the day, they just have to take a leap of faith with the people they believe they can trust. Afterwards, it’s time for the vote.
Jeff reads the vote. The first vote is for…
Tom is the fifth person voted out of Survivor: Island of the Idols.
And that wraps up tonight’s episode of Survivor. Thanks for reading, post your thoughts in the comment section below, and come back next week for another live recap.