Survivor Island of the Idols episode 5: Immunity and Reward Challenges

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 first time in Survivor: Island of the Idols, there were two challenges in an episode, really testing the physical limits of these 16 castaways.

Yesterday’s episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols presented two new tribes with the first separate Reward Challenge of the season, along with a simple Immunity Challenge. This is one of the few cases where the Reward Challenge was far more brutal than the battle for immunity, so let’s get right into it.

Reward Challenge

The two reshuffled tribes were tested immediately. Each tribe had to send out pairs of castaways to wiggle through a sandy course while having their legs and arms tied up. After each pair finishes their stretch of ground to cover, the next pair is off.

Once the final duo reaches the finish line, the two remaining castaways will work to assemble the classic fire-shaped puzzle. The winning tribe gets to enjoy an all-out Applebee’s feast that offered a variety of mouth-watering food and beverages. You can rewatch this challenge below.

Vokai, the more physically stacked tribe, was able to fly through the crawling through the sand phase, while Karishma and others on Lairo couldn’t keep up the pace. By the time Lairo finally made it to the puzzle section, Aaron and Jason were putting together their final two pieces to win a yummy reward for Vokai.

Both parts of this challenge aren’t anything new by any means, but as a Reward Challenge, it served its purpose. It was still fun to watch even with Vokai dominating most of the way.

Reward Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 1/5

Difficulty: 3/5

Entertainment Value: 2/5

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Immunity Challenge

We’re back to the water for this battle for immunity. Four members from each tribe will swim out to an extremely high ladder and one by one, each castaway will climb it and jump off. Then they will have to release three buoys underwater and bring them to a platform.

Two castaways are tasked with balancing the three buoys while simultaneously crossing a three-tiered balance beam. If they drop any of the buoys they will have to restart at the beginning of the beam. Once across, one player will attempt to sink all three buoys in baskets to win tribal immunity. You can have another look below.

Most of the castaways moved fairly quickly up the ladder… except for Karishma! Elizabeth was able to quickly release the buoys, giving Vokai a lead into the next phase. Dan and Elizabeth flew through the balance beam portion, while Noura and Kim for Lairo had a tougher time.

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Then it came down to the showdown of the ballers. Missy nailed her first basket for Vokai, but struggled after that, opening the door for Dean, a former collegiate basketball player who played with future NBA players including Kyrie Irving! Dean drained two baskets to tie Vokai, but Tommy was able to ice the victory, sending Lairo to their fourth Tribal Council of the season.

Immunity Challenge takeaways

It feels like almost every challenge has a cool new segment mixed in with elements from older challenges. The balance beam portion is a truly unique concept that added a fun spin to the challenge. That said, the rest of the set up was rather bland for an Immunity Challenge.

As the game progresses, Karishma has become a greater hindrance to her tribe, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from wanting to keep her in the game as an ally. There are the obvious strong athletes that continue to contribute like Missy, Tommy, Elizabeth, and Jack, but I was surprised by the grit and strength of Dan and Elaine in these two challenges.

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Immunity Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 2/5

Difficulty: 2/5

Entertainment Value: 2/5