Survivor Island of the Idols: Tommy Sheehan is episode 3’s MVP

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

With the Lairo camp situation being a bit messy, Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3’s MVP is Tommy simply for keeping calm, collected and in control.

So far this season, individual best efforts have been found on the Vokai tribe. Leading off with the underdog becoming the top dog with Janet followed by the middle-road player usurping power in Lauren, Vokai has many great players on their tribe playing individual games. Tommy Sheehan might surpass them all, as he’s an early favorite to win Survivor: Island of the Idols.

He is our episode 3 MVP for a number of reasons, and the great gameplay comes right off the bat. While Jamal and Jack were hesitant to speak out about their blindside, Tommy was shown approaching both at separate times, bringing in Kellee to talk with Jack and reel him back into the fold. While he spoke with Jamal and tried to assuage his concerns, Jamal was able to forgive (although he wouldn’t forget the tribe’s transgressions).

Most of the Vokai strategic talk runs through Tommy in some way, and that was very true in the little we saw of Vokai on Day 7. He thought Dan’s suggestion to target Noura to get a consensus vote and get everyone back on the same page was pertinent to keeping the boat as steady as possible. More importantly, he brought Jamal and Jack into the conversation, with Jack even contributing reasons why.

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However, Jamal saw the complacency as an opportunity to turn the tables on Dan, calling him shady to Janet, who previously shared such concerns. What makes Tommy our MVP is not how actively he’s playing the game, but because of the relationships he’s built, with Janet going to Tommy to deliberate what to do next.

Instead of shutting Janet’s suggestion of voting out Dan, Tommy made the brilliant move of highlighting who benefits most from that move; Jamal. By making that suggestion, he takes both himself and Janet out of the equation, allowing Janet to come to Tommy in suggesting maybe Jamal would be the better bet for both of them.

In effect, Tommy was creating a perfect implementation strategy so far, making a play that’s best for both the tribe and his long-term game. He was able to make Janet be the one to suggest taking out Jamal in a way that prevents him from both being the one to make the suggestion and to override her initial possibility of targeting Dan.

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Each and every interaction Tommy has with fellow castaways on Survivor: Island of the Idols is played perfectly, with many miniature spots nailed precisely with deft social precision. The game is running through him at Vokai, which is why he is more than deserving of our Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 3 MVP.