Survivor: Island of the Idols
Episode 7: I Was Born At Night but Not Last Night
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
November 12, 2019

Just Jack.

Previously on Survivor, we were at Walt Disney World. Was the episode good?

Elaine is pretty pleased with herself after managing to eject Jason in Tribal Council. Lauren is super depressed because she thought she and Missy had developed a connection. But the honest evaluation is that Missy probably needed to hang true to her first tribe. She tries to convince Lauren that they’re trying to play a girls’ game - with only girls surviving after the merge. For his part, Aaron thinks that he’s got some measure of control. He should watch his back.

Over at Lairo, it’s raining. Karishma is miserable. Again. Jamal works hard to try to start a fire, but after several attempts, nothing works. Kellee tries to take the flint and give it a go, but he quickly tries to grab it away from her. So, she’s pissed off at him. Then, he annoys Noura. NOURA. He accuses her of taking too much rice or something.

Despite Noura’s lobbying for a Jamal vote, Janet is uneasy about this possibility. A boat pulls up with a message that Janet MUST go to the Island of the Idols. She cries. Jamal says sexist stuff. It’s not anyone’s best episode.

However, Janet’s day turns right around when she encounters Rob and Sandra. Her mood goes from depression to glee. After Janet reveals to the super idols that her game is good at the moment, Rob brings up the fact that you often need to look two to three moves ahead. Today’s lesson is about calculated risk. If Janet succeeds at today’s test, she’ll be able to use an advantage that allows her to leave before Tribal Council, allowing her to avoid being voted out.

She decides she doesn’t want to play, because she worries that if she leaves before Tribal Council, she’ll get a huge target on her back. Rob is SUPER impressed, and Sandra pegs Janet as a potential winner.

As she returns to her Lairo teammates, they ask her to show them the idol, and she instead flashes them her boobs. Everyone cheers. In particular, Kellee is pleased that Janet sticks to the same general sort of story that she and Noura told the tribe previously.

The Vokai tribe is discussing creepy Dan and the way he, uh, snuggles a little too closely to some of the women. He seems like a great candidate to be eliminated, but Lauren is hoping for Tommy instead. She’s fully aware that Dan is too touchy-feely, though, so she and Tommy scheme about their best play to stay in the game.

Tommy and Lauren then go around to the majority group and tell them that Dan is trying to get Aaron eliminated. Missy sees right through this ruse, and realizes that they’re making every effort to stay together. She reckons that they can pull in Lauren’s allies on the other tribe even if Tommy is gone.

No matter what, it’s looking good for Lauren.

Annnnnnnd… PROBST! PROBST! PROBST! It’s an Immunity Challenge, which is odd since we’re a bit early in the show. The tribes have to throw coconuts into a basket, which slowly counterbalances with a stack of puzz;e pieces that need to be knocked over.

Vokai gets their puzzle pieces first, but they’re super heavy, requiring a lot of work to move them to the official puzzle construction spot. So, they get started first, but Lairo isn’t too terribly far behind. Or maybe that’s what editing would have us believe.

“PUT THE THING IN!” yells Tommy at some point. They call for Jeff, but their puzzle is wrong. This opens the door for Lairo, and they *almost* manage to pull off the upset. But no. Vokai takes the win. Lairo takes the sad walk back to camp, and Kellee talks about letting her idol go to waste. She ought to be careful - a lot of people have left the island with idols in their pocket this season.

The majority members of Lairo intend to unanimously vote for Dean, at least according to Jamal. “This is the safest I’ve ever felt going into Tribal,” he says. Nice final words, my friend.

Dean flat out asks if he’s going home, and Jack and Jamal tell him to vote for Noura. They believe they have him convinced that it’s a guys’ alliance, which feels a little dumb conidering that the dudes are WAY outnumbered.

Remember that idol Kellee mentioned? She’s considering giving the idol to Dean, but it’s a super calculated risk. She has to be able to trust Dean to write down the proper name. While she has a great connection to Jack, she thinks he’s so good at the game that it might be a good time to send him home. On the other hand, Jamal has been… well, Jamal.

Kellee’s big plan is to try to convince Dean to vote for Jack or Jamal PLUS Noura to vote for Jack or Jamal. She discusses the plan with Dean, but it seems AWFULLY convoluted, and perhaps needless.

Then again, remember Jamal saying, “This is the safest I’ve ever felt going into Tribal”? Yeah.

Once the group meeting starts, Probst goes right at Kellee, pointing out that it would take a lot for one of the original Vokai members to break ranks and try to switch up the numbers. She agrees, but somehow masterfully moves the conversation over to Noura and her big mouth.

Love, hate, and indifference are her topics of conversation. She loves some of her tribe mates, she hates Jamal, and she’s indifferent to Dean. She basically says that “hate” is a better emotion than “indifference,” thus Jamal is in a better spot.

And finally, Jamal has done some math and figured out that the men are outnumbered. He points it out, which leads Kellee to angrily call Jamal sexist. Probst asks Noura if she’s ever considered a woman’s alliance, and she agrees that it would be super cool.

Probst then reminds us that Karishma is still a player in the game, and she talks about #MeToo and empowerment, saying that Survivor is a microcosm of America. Janet agrees with Kellee’s disingenuous sexist accusation, though at least Janet is probably sincere about it.

I guess it’s theoretically a teaching moment for Jamal, which would be something if he weren’t in danger of being eliminated. He says he’s proud that these women have just talked about issues he’s passionate about and also agrees that he’s learned some lessons.

Dean sits quietly.

During voting, Karishma gloats about voting out Dean on her first try. BUT NO. Dean plays the idol Kellee gave him. And holy cow! Jamal plays his idol for Noura, which completely turns her around on Jamal.

“That was a mistake,” says Rob.

Yes, and no. He didn’t need to play the idol for Noura, but it also brought Jamal closer to her. She’s just happy to get attention. Also, Noura is smart enough to do the math and wonder why Dean didn’t use the idol before. Still, the credits show that Kellee and Dean did pull her into the JACK vote. Yes, sweet Jack is gone, and the preview for the next episode promises a lot of craziness. See you next time, friends and neighbors.