Survivor Island of the Idols: Missy Byrd is episode 4’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. /

The head of the Lairo female alliance showcased her ability to take control of a vote in episode 4 of Survivor: Island of the Idols.

A key sign of a strong Survivor player is someone who can influence the majority of people to vote the way they want. This can be especially tricky early on in a season when simply suggesting someone’s name could be enough to put yourself on the chopping block. Missy proved to be up to the task this week by changing the vote a couple of times to finally secure the move that she wanted.

From the first few days, one thing we learned about Missy was her determination in forming a successful all-female alliance. With that said, she’s not afraid to make close bonds outside of that group of women. Early on in episode 4 of Island of the Idols, Missy linked up with Aaron and they strategically analyzed their tribe.

One element that I always look for in new contestants is their ability to separate the strategic side of the game from the emotional side. Both Aaron and Missy showed that high level of gameplay in this episode. They were able to get over the fact that Karishma was panicking and not fitting in, realizing that she actually doesn’t pose a threat to them in her current position.

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Instead of wanting to see Karishma’s torch snuffed out like several other Lairo members, Missy and Aaron knew that they could use her as a number. As a result, they decided to take out one of the threats on their tribe, and the budding showmance between Chelsea and Dean made for the perfect target.

When you consider Dean’s bond with Chelsea and his poor performances in the challenges, he is a realistic target for a blindside. However, the rest of the tribe didn’t feel that way. Elizabeth wasn’t a big fan of the idea and neither was Elaine, but what made Missy’s performance so effective is how she adapted to the situation.

While both Missy and Aaron were understandably frustrated with their tribe’s unwillingness to make a move, it was Missy who did something about it. Instead of going back to the easy option of voting for Karishma, Missy suggested Chelsea, which was a great option since Dean was the only one who appeared to be tight with her.

With everyone on board, Dean and Chelsea had no clue this blindside was coming. What makes Missy’s big move even more amazing was that they sent Chelsea packing with a Hidden Immunity Idol in her pocket! It’s clear that Missy knows how to play this game in a way that she can win it, but there’s definitely a downside to that.

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Making big moves early in the game, even pre-merge can be detrimental. Elaine was a little shocked at Missy’s ability to throw out another name just like that. Making a big move pre-swap leaves a player vulnerable, as their ability to control a vote is made pretty clear. Aaron being a partner in crime definitely lessens the blow, but as good as Missy’s performance was, it could lead her to a surprising exit down the road.