Survivor Island of the Idols: Why was _____ voted out in 19th place?

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

For the second week in a row, the 19th-place finisher in Survivor: Island of the Idols was voted out because they were playing the game too hard too early.

This post will discuss the events of Survivor: Island of the Idols through episode 2.

Though first boots in Survivor are typically players on the outside, who may be older than the rest of the tribe, or because they’re a general nuisance, there are plenty of second boots voted out because they’re seen as playing too hard or being too well positioned. Mari Takahashi, Tony Vlachos, Jessica Peet, Shirin Oskooi, Garrett Adelstein, Jacob Derwin; the squeaky wheel got the grease.

Molly Byman is another byproduct of being too good or playing too hard early in Survivor, as she was perceived as the queen of a royal trio dominating the Vokai tribe. Alongside the king (Jamal) and the Jack (Jack), the three were reasonably comfortable in their position early, as they saw Noura and Jason as the overwhelmingly obvious choices to go home first on Vokai.

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The problem with being comfortable in Survivor? Turnabout is fair play. Just as easily as a consensus can be made about a player’s status in groupthink, the opposite can happen just as quickly. With Noura being a general nuisance on her tribe and Jason having the idol-hunting essence lingering on him almost a week after his 40-minute expedition, it just had to be one of them, correct?

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Though neither of them had the power nor equity on the tribe to pull off a blindside, Lauren, Kelley, and Janet did. They each saw the power Molly held in the trio, pointing to her as the glue holding them together. They saw how easily she could sway the men to her beck and call. Everything that made Noura manic and agitated by Day 4 was realized in a calm and efficient manner.

Instead of going the safe route early, the trio saw this as an opportunity to wrest power back from a group they saw had the potential to run the table. They only needed to get Tommy onboard, with Janet explaining how there might not be another opportunity to take the shot. With Noura and Jason ready to enact the blindside (with the latter even giving Molly the Parvati 2.0 monicker), it all came down to Tommy’s willingness to pull the trigger.

Despite Molly having the perception of power, it truly came down to Tommy’s intuition. Kellee didn’t seem to want to go against him, yet Tommy was willing to be on rough terms with Jack and Jamal in the short term to make a long-term move. It wasn’t so much a story of the freaks and geeks getting revenge on the prom queen; it was one showing overconfidence being a slow, insidious killer.

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Molly Byman was voted out of Survivor: Island of the Idols in 19th place because she played too hard, too early. Though that snippet is a tale almost as old as the game itself, very few have been part of a core group where one member was napping in the middle of pre-tribal deliberations. Comfort is poison, with a blindside being the only cure.