Survivor: Island of the Idols
Episode 10: Bring on the Bacon
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
December 3, 2019

Karma keeps on having its day.

Previously on Survivor, two of the three vilest people were suddenly eliminated in a hilarious reversal of fortune. The turn of events happened so quickly and so unexpectedly that Elizabeth openly sobbed. This seems like a good time to mention that Elizabeth is the person from that trio who was NOT voted out.

Karma wasn’t messing around last episode.

Frustratingly, Dan aka the creeper who started all this, is still in the game. Even worse, odds are pretty good that he’ll get dragged to the end. Even Noura and Karishma have a better chance of winning than Dan.

Well, we say that, but if all of his allies get voted out over this, we could be looking at Survivor’s equivalent of Harvey Weinstein winning the season. We need a shower just typing that. No, Dan. You can’t join us.

Back at camp, Lauren, a former ally of bootees Aaron and Missy, is mildly freaked out that the other women might have joined together to eliminate Tommy, one of her remaining buds. “Tommy is my number one,” she says. This whole “number one” business is new terminology we’re seeing on both Survivor and The Challenge this year. (By the way, The Challenge is the MUCH better show, warts and all.)

Elaine explains to the group that Missy told Karishma exactly what to say, which obviously sat poorly with the latter woman. “Don’t tell me what to do.” Missy didn’t recognize her own bullying, but it was absolutely there. We acknowledge that Karishma isn’t always pleasant to be around, but that doesn’t mean you dictate to her.

For her part, Karishma is thrilled to have eliminated both Aaron and Missy, her top two targets. Even better, she still has an idol, so she’s guaranteed at least one more round. (We feel pretty confident that Karishma will use her idol when she needs to.)

Elizabeth says she feels “stranded” because Aaron and Missy offered her a lot of protection (sort of true in that the three of them together were terrible human beings). She’s feeling vulnerable, but will do whatever she must to stay in the game.

In a strategic discussion, Dean, Tommy, and Lauren talk about next targets. The guys mention Karishma, but Lauren feels like she can’t beat Elizabeth in a final vote. (Spoilers: We think she could.) We think people are really underselling Karishma’s ability to talk to the jury. She’s a personal injury lawyer. This is the kind of thing she DOES.

Still, Dean feels like Karishma is the easy and logical vote. He claims that “the goat army is assembling,” which is a pretty stupid thing to say considering that he’s the kind of guy who would have considered Sandra a goat if he’d played with her. Anyway, it seems that he considers himself, Tommy, and Elizabeth the only ones worthy of winning Survivor, and tells Elizabeth that they won’t let anything happen to her.

Tommy claims to subscribe to Dean’s “goat” theory, but also notes that Elizabeth is an Olympic swimmer AND she wrote his name down.

A boat arrives, which means it’s time for someone to go to the Island of the Idols. This time, they must unanimously choose someone to go, and if they can’t agree, a random draw will occur. Lauren immediately pipes up and says she wants to go, and the tribe agrees.

(Karishma bitches about it in confessional, saying she would have liked it to be her. We guarantee that would never have been agreed to in a unanimous vote.)

Over at their island, Rob and Sandra are enjoying some fruit. A chicken walks up and starts pestering Sandra, eventually pecking her finger and enjoying the papaya spoils that fall on the ground.

Lauren is delighted to see Rob and Sandra, hugging each of them. “You guys are the reason people play this game!”

When the two of them quiz her on her gameplay, Lauren tells them that she’s doing “okay.” Even though she’s not athletic, Lauren claims to be strategic.

Boston Rob explains the Island of the Idol rules. Everyone who arrives, gets a lesson. Lauren’s lesson will be about situational awareness. She has the opportunity to predict who will win the next Immunity Challenge. If she is correct, she’ll get her own Immunity Idol good for the next two Tribal Councils. However, if she is wrong, she loses her vote.

Considering her options, Lauren believes that she knows everyone well enough to potentially make such a prediction. However, one in nine odds are not in her favor. She DOES have the benefit of knowing exactly what the challenge is, which is a ball balancing challenge that we’ve seen in a previous season. Rob tells Lauren that “strength and focus” are the required traits for this one.

This challenge will also have an “eat or play” component, further muddying the waters. Lauren must decide who might sit it out for the chance at breakfast, including pancakes, bacon, orange juice, and the works.

Lauren believes that Dean, Dan, and Janet will sit out and eat. Because Noura is a Yogi, her focus could lead her to win. Additionally, since Noura is a vegan, she wouldn’t have interest in the breakfast. Lauren also thinks Elizabeth could win.

When Rob presses Lauren for an answer, she pauses to think for a bit. He makes a new offer.

“What if I let you choose two people?”

With the better odds, Lauren jumps in and chooses Noura and Elizabeth. Rob is impressed that she never really wavers from these two potential winners.

Back at camp, Dean holds up the “Legacy Advantage” (snicker) that Jamal gave to him. Unsure whether it is fake or real, he just intends to use it at the next Tribal Council. He’s tired of having it hanging over him, especially since everyone else knows about it.

Or that’s what he tells Janet and Dan, anyway. In reality, Dean crafts a duplicate “Legacy Advantage” that he’ll play at the next Tribal Council. So now he has TWO fake advantages. Dufus. He thinks the Jamal advantage is real, and that this is his opportunity to get “shifty” with it.

Back from Island of the Idols, Lauren needs to convince everyone not named Elizabeth or Noura to eat at the challenge. She tells her tribe mates exactly what the challenge is, and also tells them that she got to decide whether it would be an “eat or play” game. She tells them exactly what the meal will be.

The only person Lauren plans to be honest with is Tommy, though her story has enough truth in it that the other competitors will have confidence in her. She explains that she’ll receive an idol if either Elizabeth or Noura win, and he says that they should keep it solely between themselves. He will do whatever it takes to ensure that Lauren gets that idol. They will talk about the food ALL day with the intent of convincing people to eat.

Their scam seems to work. “Bring on the bacon and bring on the Immunity Challenge! Let’s do this,” Lauren says in confessional.

And with that, it’s Probst time! His face is looking super plastic. When he reveals the breakfast bounty, no one reacts, which makes Probst suspicious. Lauren owns up to the reveal.

When the players choose, Lauren looks to be in good shape. The only potential fly in the ointment is Karishma, with the other two contestants in this challenge being Elizabeth and Noura. Since Karishma frankly doesn’t seem to have the endurance or stamina for this type of challenge, we feel pretty certain that Lauren will have her own Immunity Idol to use at one of the next two Tribal Councils.

Almost immediately, Karishma drops out, so Lauren’s plan has worked perfectly.

Right after Jeff makes a comment about losing focus, Elizabeth drops her ball. Noura tries to hold on longer so her tribe mates can eat, but Probst tells her it doesn’t work that way. It’s a pretty short breakfast, but at least they all got a bit of food in them.

After the challenge, Lauren and Tommy run to the spot where her Idol is hiding. After she picks it up and they have a brief celebratory dance, they discuss the next vote. Both of them tend to agree that Elizabeth should be the target, but say that perhaps a vote split makes the most sense.

Tommy correctly surmises that they can vote out Karishma whenever. It’s not like she can win Immunity Challenges.

As for Elizabeth, she’s praying to the Survivor Gods that Karishma does not have an idol. Gods can be whimsical and have plans of their own. Elizabeth is in some trouble unless she can stir things up somewhere else in the tribe.

With Karishma once again complaining about illness, Noura insists that she drink some water. It’s a ruse, though, and she uses the opportunity to grab Noura’s bag and take it to the beach so she and Elizabeth can look through it. Trouble is, Karishma is storing that Idol in her armpit area. Say what you will about Karishma. She’s no dummy.

When Karishma voices some concern that Elizabeth might have an idol, Dan tells her they plan to split the vote and that she should write down Janet’s name. The real plan is to split the vote between Elizabeth and Karishma, but they figure Karishma doesn’t need to know that.

“Oh, okay,” says Karishma, and gets up and leaves. She sits on a hammock with Elizabeth, which Dan finds a bit suspicious. Meanwhile, Lauren sits down with Dan to watch Karishma. She figures that Karishma is a free agent, which makes her dangerous.

Karishma has an idea that she wants to go over with Elizabeth. Dan is calling the shots, according to Karishma. She’s hoping to rally Elizabeth, Janet, and Elaine to vote for Dan.

Brilliant plan, right? No. Lauren can read lips, and she sees that Karishma says Dan’s name. She tells him so, and he says he wants to go over and say he heard his name. Lauren tells him to absolutely do it.

He’s paranoid as he confronts them, and the two women lie terribly. (Honestly, we’re not sure how ANYONE bought a word Elizabeth was saying throughout this game.)

Unfortunately for Karishma and her idol, talking to Elizabeth within hearing distance means Dan now wants to vote out Karishma and not Elizabeth. Dean is on board, believing that Karishma and the goat army gotta go.

(By the way, one of the people Dean puts in this army is Noura, who has won two Immunity Challenges in a row. She’s annoying and you can probably beat her in a vote amongst your peers, but goat probably isn’t a fair description.)

Incidentally, Karishma is super pissed off that Dan is bossing her around. She’s also fully aware that she needs to play her idol wisely and make it count.

At Tribal Council, Rob and Sandra immediately notice the Immunity Idol on Noura’s neck, and they smile. Lauren got the idol.

Probst makes sure to tell the jury that six of the nine contestants sat out the challenge, choosing instead to eat. He asks the three of them why they competed, and while Elizabeth and Karishma both express some discomfort, Noura says that she believes her footing in the game is strong, but she was in it for her tribe. (Also, she’s vegan, so that food probably didn’t do much for her.)

When it’s time to tally the votes, Jeff asks for hidden Immunity Idols. Dean plays his presumably *fake* fake Legacy Advantage, which is obviously not real. Jeff is about to read the votes when Karishma plays her idol. Elizabeth buries her face in her hands. Lauren then tells Jeff she has one more idol to play, and puts it in for herself, probably needlessly.

Jeff reads out the votes, and Karishma totally figured it right. Six people voted for her. The remaining two votes are for Janet and Elizabeth. That means Janet and Elizabeth cannot vote, and the other tribe members must vote for one of the two of them.

“Yo!” says Missy. Yo indeed.

All of the votes other than Elizabeth’s go to Elizabeth. “It’s all well and good until someone plays an idol,” says Rob. Note that Karishma is one of the few to play it accurately this season.

Next week brings the family visit, which means that the truly icky notion of Dan’s wife coming to visit is likely to pass. Way to go, Probst.