Survivor Island of the Idols episode 3 recap: What a thrill

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

In Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3, we saw a sneaking mission take place, a men’s alliance try to form, as well as the Vokai blindside fallout.

Much like the “Previously On Survivor” intro in the episodes, we got straight into the action of Island of the Idols episode 3 without much of a recap, just like last week. LOST-style flash-forward aside, we heard an eerie silence haunting the Vokai tribe. Jack seemed more receptive to Tommy’s damage control, but Jamal seemed to be on the Aaron path of “I’ll get my revenge one day!”

The women’s alliance of Lairo is not as strong across the board, with Karishma concerned about being out in the sea in her underwear due to her conservative Indian heritage. As the women bonded over sweet wrestling moves, Aaron and Tom tried to rally the men together to counter their numbers. Vince made the right move in saying yes to anything but thinking to stay with the women and the power.

Nourasplaining seems to be a general annoyance of the Vokai tribe, making it seem to be an easy 8-1 vote the next time they go to tribal. However, with Jamal noting Janet’s apprehension with Dan as a used car salesman type, he pitched it would be smarter to get rid of a big player. Janet brought this to Tommy, who saw through Jamal’s gameplay as a means of getting the target off of him. The Vokai tribe still seems to have their game talks go through him, which is interesting to note.

If the men of Lairo are going to get rid of one of the women, it might be thanks to Karishma. She cut open her hand pretty badly to the point where her thumb bone was sticking out, yet nobody seemed too rushed to come to her aid. Obviously, she received medical help, and it looked like they cut around that, but it’s clear that she feels as if she’s on the outs. That might be enough to flip on the women, if not the entirety of the Lairo tribe.

Vince was picked to go to the Island of the Idols and, as opposed to Elizabeth, the immediate talk about the Lairo tribe saw Dean suggesting “splitting the votes” with everyone around, effectively stating that there was someone in mind that everybody could vote for. Way to buy Karishma’s trust!

As his test, he needed to go to the Vokai tribe camp and steal a piece of their fire to bring back to Sandra and Boston Rob. It just goes to show the level of challenge disparity where Kellee had an idol good for three tribals based on memorizing three easy questions while Vince had to go full Solid Snake. He had to settle for ashes, but he did pull off the feat, earning an idol good for two tribals. It didn’t even seem like Rob and Sandra were ready for them not to have a fire!

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The Immunity Challenge combined stations of individual, large group, and small group actions to provide a fresh take on pre-merge challenges. One member per tribe swam out to collect a set of keys while the rest of the tribe swims to a balance beam holding two bags of puzzle pieces (one player per tribe has to grab the pieces). Once collected and the key swimmer unlocked the third set, two tribe members would solve a dangling 3D fish puzzle to win immunity and a comfort reward.

Janet kept pace with Elizabeth swimming out to collect the key for her tribe but was a bit slower in actually grabbing the key. That gave Lairo a huge advantage heading into the balance portion where Missy’s cautious leaps and moves seemed to give Vokai an opportunity to make up lost ground.

However, Kellee’s attempts to pick up the speed couldn’t overcome Lairo’s lead heading into the puzzle. What could, however, was Dean and Karishma’s complete lack of skills on the puzzle. This gave Vokai, led by Jamal, to stay calm, cool, and collected under pressure to know that the pieces fit and know where to place them, securing Vokai’s victory. So far, it’s been trading off immunities between tribes.

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Despite Dean and Karishma being the people who held back Lairo, it was the uncertainty of Vince’s Island of the Idol visit that had people worried. The men of Lairo just tried to bring Vince into their group to fend off against the women, yet they immediately turned on him the second he was perceived to have power in the game.

While the men tried to pitch the idea of the men voting for Vince and the women voting for Karishma, Missy wondered if it was worth voting out a guy that could be loyal to the women going forward. As a counter suggestion among the women, Vince suggested taking out Tom due to the huffery and puffery he showcased swimming up and down the Fijian waters.

Elizabeth, Elaine and Chelsea didn’t want to go down that path, with Elizabeth suggesting that Vince was the easier option. All while the majority of the Lairo women were deliberating their options, Vince tried to get Karishma to go with the perceived plan of voting out Tom, with Vince getting frustrated at Karishma’s non-answers. However, he made a point to remind us that he learned from the Island of the Idols about facing adversity head-on, knowing to bring an idol to tribal.

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As we arrived at Tribal Council, it became clear right away that a lot of the blame for their performance was shifted to Karishma and her lack of ability to perform in the challenge. She actually took a lot of time to monologue about her perceived difference amongst the Lairo women, painting herself as an outsider of the sorority of younger women on the tribe.

With Tom being a possible option to go home, he often talked about keeping the tribe strong and coming back next time to win out. Aaron echoed some of those sentiments, but it was Elaine who suggested that keeping someone loyal like that is good for the dynamic game where players like Elizabeth see Survivor as Final Sevens, Final Fives, Final Threes and more.

Though we got a lot of Vince content in Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3, I was actually surprised to see where the votes lied. Vince’s vote went toward Tom; the other men voted for Karishma while the women voted for Vince, effectively sending him home with an idol in his pocket good for only one other Tribal Council.

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I both do and don’t understand this elimination for a number of reasons. I felt like the women would be more suited with Vince in the game at a tribe swap, but it seems as though he was voted out to assuage the concerns of the remaining men in the tribe. Still, there are three left in that group; it’s seemingly impossible for any of them to escape their hole going forward!