Elaine not only saved her own skin with her big move, but she also changed the entire course of Survivor: Island of the Idols, giving her original tribe a chance.
One of the most exciting situations to watch in Survivor comes when a swap forces an even amount of players from each original tribe. In this case, four Vokai and four Lairo members made up the new Vokai tribe and had to battle it out after losing immunity. It’s that paranoia of a tie vote, and possibly drawing rocks that brings an exhilarating element to these Tribal Councils. However, Elaine wasn’t ready to let fate control her place in the game.
Since she was selected to sit out of the Reward Challenge, Jeff sent Elaine to the Island of the Idols. When she got there and learned what it was all about, she was all in. Her enthusiasm for this opportunity led Elaine to commit to her test without even knowing the details! It might not be the smartest attitude to have in Survivor, but Boston Rob and Sandra can have that effect on eager players.
A big help for Elaine was spending time with Elizabeth once she got back to the Vokai beach. The two women were able to share their experiences together, and that enabled Elizabeth to help with Elaine’s test of finding a secret advantage during their next challenge.
Despite accidentally dropping the advantage and almost losing it, Elaine was able to keep her cool in an incredibly stressful situation to successfully retrieve her Block a Vote advantage. Elizabeth positioned her body over the table to shield Elaine’s actions from the rest of the tribe. It worked out, giving the four Lairo members a huge advantage heading into a deadlocked Tribal Council.
The effect Elaine’s advantage has on this game is massive. Being able to block someone’s vote prevented the scenario of a tie vote. It also gave her tribe a four to three majority over the original Vokai members. Although Jason confirmed in his exit interview on RHAP that Elaine wasn’t the target coming into Tribal Council, losing a fellow Lairo tribe member would have just hurt her position in the game.
It started to feel like Vokai was going to run away with this season. After having a five to two majority on one tribe, their dominance made Tommy and Lauren confident in the idea that another Lairo player would go home. Elaine’s thrilling Block a Vote reveal shattered the pride of the Vokai members, establishing the first Lairo majority this season.
Instead of turning into a Pagonging, Elaine gave her original tribe hope. With the Vokai members feeling deflated, the playing field is becoming more balanced, hopefully giving rise to more strategical gameplay as opposed to a keep the tribe strong mentality. Either way, Elaine’s big move has changed this game more than any other blindside so far.