Survivor Island of the Idols episode 2 recap: Out of first gear

Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

In Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 2, a member of Vokai is tested, Lairo tries to rally back and Noura steals the show for all the wrong reasons.

As we saw in the Survivor: Island of the Idols premiere, playing like you’re on Day 30 when the reality of Day 3 is upon you can put you in a hole early. Ronnie Bardah was one of the more capable first boots out there, yet everyone except for himself and Aaron Meredith knew where the vote lay.

Aaron felt betrayed that nobody let him in on the vote, although Missy tried to comfort him. Secretly, she knew that the seeds of the women’s alliance were starting to grow into a beautiful tree, and is essentially trying to keep Aaron going as the tribe’s strength until she doesn’t need him anymore. Aaron referred to everyone’s day of reckoning in a confessional despite having no sway in the tribe’s voting dynamics.

Over at the Vokai tribe, Noura immediately started her Day 4 breakdown by immediately, complaining about others’ work effort and focusing her ire at Molly. Everybody felt like it made no sense that they should be considered lazy when they’re asleep at six o’clock in the morning. Noura then posited that Molly, Jamal, and Jack are the power trio of the tribe, and the geeks on the outside have to get rid of the cream that has risen to the top.

Even with a flint, the Lairo tribe had trouble starting a fire. Elizabeth seemingly didn’t want to show her cards and make the fire she has proven to know how to make, but Chelsea stepped up and had the fire going in minutes. To illustrate just how well the women of Lairo have been doing, she even found a Hidden Immunity Idol while collecting wood, showing that the women of the tribe have been getting things done where the men could not.

As Noura brought the tribe together on Day 5, a boat whisked up to the beach to take Kellee to the Island of the Idols. There, she met Boston Rob and Sandra as they asked her about her life while sharing a ton of information about their own. Clearly, she saw that she would be tested while on the island, but couldn’t predict she would get a memory test from the mentors!

Boston Rob’s first offer saw Kellee having to answer four of five questions correctly in order to win an idol good for the next two Tribal Councils. However, Kellee wasn’t paying that great attention, so she really waffled on the idea of risking her vote at the next tribal. That’s when the “negotiation” aspect of the island began, with Boston Rob negotiating that she only had to get three questions correctly.

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That kicked Kellee’s “YOLO” gear into full launch, as she was ready to play. The branch of the military Sandra’s husband served in was the army, Sandra had two daughters, and Kellee had only to name one of Sandra’s dogs. Kellee’s incredibly easy test showcased her pedigree as a student Harvard and Wharton, and her ability to hide her idol in her hair and offering to strip down to show she didn’t have an idol was a stroke of genius.

This led immediately into the Immunity Challenge, which saw tribes swim out to collect a ladder from the bottom of the Fijian ocean, carry it onto the shore to hold one player up as they collect a bag of balls, then carry the ladder onshore to a station to build a bridge towards a ball-throwing station.

Lairo utilized team work efficiently to grab the ladder, push Chelsea up into the air and get their ladder on the shore. Vokai, however, was a complete catastrophe, as Jeff Probst put it, as they couldn’t quickly grab the ladder and Molly fell off the ladder twice while attempting to grab the balls. However, with Missy starting slow on the ball-throwing station, Vokai had the chance to catch up, with Jamal knocking two targets to tie the tribes up.

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Unfortunately for them, their early stumbles held them back. Though Missy and Elaine switched off back, then forward, then back on throwing balls (with Missy even missing the structure), they managed to utilize their lead to knock the third target, winning their first challenge of the season. They even received spices as a reward bonus, too.

With the voting decision split between Jason and Noura, the latter started to show their erratic behavior in wanting to target Jason if push came to shove. Jamal (the King), Molly (the Queen), and Jack (the Jack) all came to the “agreement” that they should just split the vote between the two and essentially called it a day.

While Jamal was out partying, Lauren was studying the blade, sharpening it for the right time to backstab Molly and create a blindside. She posited that of the King + Queen + Jack trio had too much power, with Molly having a stranglehold on the boys of the tribe. They were all swayed by her, so perhaps this was the time to strike.

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Once Janet had time to talk to Tommy, he started to weigh his options. He has a tight relationship with Jack a bit more than Jamal, but blindsiding both of them would have a harsh negative impact on his long-term game. However, sticking his neck out for them when the tribe wanted to blindside Molly might put him at risk early on. He had a lot to think about, but it does show how strongly positioned he is on Vokai.

As Tribal Council began, Jason took it upon himself to open up about how he had been in purgatory since searching for the Hidden Immunity Idol. As Noura joined in about being an outsider looking in, we saw the trio in charge trying to dance around the fact that they were in perceived control and were playing too easy too early on. Lauren’s reminder that the game starts in fourth gear once you arrived paired with Jason remarking that Jamal didn’t even have his bags packed should have clued them in to what was about to happen.

The first vote of the Vokai tribe was an exciting one, as a Survivor: Island of the Idols power player was taken out fairly early. Two votes went to Jason, one vote went to Noura, while the rest headed Molly’s way, showing that Jack and Jamal might not be as well-positioned as they once thought. The tribe is officially out of first gear now!

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While Lairo started out Survivor by taking out one of the men on the outs, the Vokai tribe balanced things out by taking out one of their more socially and strategically powerful players. Both are bold strategies, and we cannot wait to see how those moves play out!