Survivor Island of the Idols episode 3 Immunity/Reward Challenge: Beam Me Up

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

Swimming, balancing, teamwork, individualism, and a puzzle; the Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3 Immunity Challenge brought a bit of everything.

This post contains Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3 spoilers for the Immunity Challenge.

It seems like modern Survivor seasons are good for one or two breakout challenges that separate themselves from the pack while the rest look like an amalgamation of what’s been done for decades. However much that latter sentiment might be true for this week, what parts of challenges have been done in this order with the intricacy of each step makes this a great remix.

During last night’s episode, the Immunity Challenge brought forth immunity and comfort items for the winners. One person per tribe was required to swim out to the end platform, diving down to retrieve a set of keys attached to netting. Once retrieved, six members for each tribe would swim out to a balance beam, with the last player on the structure required to go to each end to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces.

After both bags were obtained, everyone but the two puzzle-solvers needed to swim to the end platform where once there would allow the tribe to solve a 3D fish puzzle complete with fins and gills. Olympic medalist swimmer Elizabeth faced off against chief lifeguard Janet in the swim, while Dean and Karishma tried to out-puzzle Lauren and Jamal on the fish.

Janet kept a fairly good pace for 59 against one of the top 100 swimmers in the entire planet but struggled to dive down for the keys. This gave Lairo a huge lead as Janet dove down for another attempt, with Lairo setting up Missy as the player to retrieve the keys. With Tom and Elaine on one side, Chelsea and Aaron on the other and Vince in the middle, Missy took a cool, calm approach to balance on the beam while moving over and past her teammates.

As soon as Janet grabbed the keys, Vokai took a more rushed approach to the rest of the Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3 Immunity Challenge. Though there was still a minute-plus game in the process, Vokai shortened the gap by Kellee rushing through the balance portion. Lairo did collect their bags and had a one-bag lead heading into the puzzle, but in modern Survivor, the puzzle is the great equalizer.

Turns out, Dean being on a puzzle portion is a recipe for Lairo challenge disaster. Both he and Karishma bumbled about the puzzle, failing the color recognition part of the challenge. Just like in the first challenge, Dean couldn’t get it together while escaping the blame as Lauren and Jamal powered through the puzzle to make up lost time and secure immunity and comfort for the Vokai tribe.

Immunity/Reward Challenge takeaways

Must Read. Survivor: Ranking 36 Survivor seasons of the show. light

What I liked most about this Immunity Challenge was the fact that it combined multiple aspects of the tribe where one person, here or there, could tank a team’s chances. Fail to swim or dive down well, and you can sink your tribe before they even get a chance. Be too impatient on the balance beam, and a tribe can constantly fall off, forcing many restarts.

Most importantly, volunteering to solve a puzzle for the second time in as many opportunities and fail miserably could land you in … well, Dean actually escaped criticism this time. But still, this challenge had a station where one could excel, a team of six needed to work together, and a duo needed to be in simpatico with each other to visualize the completed state.

Though we’ve seen a swimming, balance, and puzzle combination challenge before, my high marks for creativity reflect more on the design of the challenge from a gameplay level. It was like a full-body exercise but in challenge form!

Immunity/Reward Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 4/5

Difficulty: 3/5

Survivor winners: Ranking 38 Sole Survivors by season. dark. Next

Entertainment Value: 3/5