Survivor Island of the Idols episode 4 recap: Bad romance
Vokai has to pick who is tested, and a showmance began to blossom on Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 4. Here is our recap of what unfolded.
Last week, for the very first time, we saw what happens when somebody takes up a lot of time at the Island of the Idols, gains power, and immediately squanders it. We got a little bit more of that in this week's Survivor, albeit for different reasons altogether.
Being the Plan B is never a comfortable feeling, so Karishma understandably did not comfortable in her position within the Lairo tribe. However, Aaron started to notice just how close Chelsea and Dean were to one another, cuddling up. Though Chelsea told Elaine that she's not interested in a showmance, Missy leveraged her relationship and commonalities with Aaron to vote out Dean and further cement the women's stranglehold.
Jamal still couldn't shake the feeling about being on the outs of Vokai, using the time alone at camp to search for an idol. This game is a journey of transition for Jamal, who has recently left a long-time relationship and is trying to find a better him. That "him" now has a Hidden Immunity Idols, as it seems like idols are only at camp if they're in a hollowed-out tree this season.
Everyone had to agree to the Island of the Idols visitor for the Vokai tribe, and if just one person didn't agree, they had to draw randomly. While we saw everyone's internalized thoughts about not going (including Jason's impersonation of his lovely mom), Noura YOLO'd her way into the power position, immediately boating away from her tribe.
Once Noura arrived on the Island of the Idols (and received a Big Brother winner's share of watermelon), Boston Rob and Sandra Diaz-Twine prepared Noura for the next Survivor test; the art of persuasion. We even saw an assortment of former winners pulling off major moves, including Yul Kwon and Parvati Shallow! It led to a test Noura bit on immediately, convincing her tribe to be the caller at the upcoming Immunity Challenge.
Noura told a horrendous lie when she arrived back from the Island of the Idols, saying that she could only reveal the benefit of her visit if they agree to let her decide what her role is in the next Immunity Challenge. After they agreed, she let them in on the layout, and immediately everybody questioned why she would make herself the caller, especially since she couldn't play it up well in practice.
The Immunity Challenge for Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 4 was just as described, with a caller guiding players through an obstacle course to collect three keys, have them come back, then guide them all to a final puzzle station where they provide directions to a blindfolded player to solve a circle slide puzzle.
Immediately, the Vokai tribe knew that Noura being the caller would result in imminent failure, so she sat out the challenge and lost her vote at the next Tribal Council all in the same swoop. It's a just end to a test that seemed to serve more as a highlight real than a real test, as even if she failed, she could have taken that knowledge and applied it to the Immunity Challenge.
Jason was a brilliant leader and caller in this challenge, having everyone run a chain gang in precision by having all the key-retrievers go out as a group. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's pairs strategy could not go more poorly, as while Vokai worked on the puzzle, the Lairo tribe was bumbling and just starting to get their final keys.
This gave Jason a lot of time to guide Kellee through the puzzle portion while Elizabeth ran the tribe and Aaron to the puzzle station, rushing through to remarkable success. In fact, Jason found himself in a hitch during the puzzle portion allowing Lairo to come back and ... not win the challenge because their puzzle was also incorrect. Jason remained calm under pressure, guiding Kellee and the tribe to victory. What a comeback from a guy previously on the outs!
As the Lairo tribe arrived back at camp, Karishma continued to have her pity party, separating herself from the tribe and putting the target on her. It felt like a done deal for Tom and Elaine, but Aaron and Missy continued to push their idea of breaking up the showmance to Elizabeth, who started to play like an athlete instead of a Survivor castaway.
Elizabeth approached Elaine with targeting Dean, with both of them having concerns about getting rid of the guy and letting a player like Karishma stay in the game. As word got back to Missy, she really flexed her muscle on the tribe and went to Plan C: targeting Chelsea, not Dean. She sold it as keeping three strong men on the tribe while maintaining the women in control of Lairo, but man did it make Elaine concerned for Missy's status on the tribe.
At Tribal Council, Karishma continued to talk about just how on the outs she was while everyone else seemed to dance around the idea of playing Russian Roulette while running through plans A through Z. She thrived in the positivity (for her) that comes with the chaos, as it seemed like everybody but herself was the realistic option.
We even returned to the blindside talk, with Chelsea being a lovely young woman who told Jeff that she appreciated a good blindside. It seemed as though Survivor history repeated itself, as the showmance of Dean and Chelsea voted for Karishma while everybody else voted out Chelsea in 17th place, sending her home with an idol in her pocket.
The first four boots of Survivor: Island of the Idols have been nothing but capable game-players or those with an idol in their pocket. This sets up a brilliant time for a tribe swap, as it seems like people came ready to play hard, and early!
Stephen Fishbach has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. He is the host of the podcast Paraphrase, where he interviews writers about the openings to their novels. Follow him on
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