Survivor: Island of the Idols episode 12 Immunity and Reward Challenges

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Yesterday’s episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols featured two exciting challenges that greatly impacted the events leading up to Tribal Council.

The article discusses the events from episode 12 of Survivor: Island of the Idols.

Last night’s Tribal Council was certainly a unique one. Like most live Tribals, there was plenty of whispering and chaos, but the final result of the vote wasn’t an epic blindside by any means. That said, it still left a huge impact on Survivor: Island of the Idols moving forward, and you can thank the challenges for that. Let’s start with the family visit.

Reward Challenge

After the emotional reunions, the castaways were paired up. The loved ones took their seats excluding Noura’s sister in a caring act by Jeff Probst considering her impaired vision. Each pair was attached to a rope and had to maneuver through an obstacle course to reach the final stage of the challenge.

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The first stretch was simply chugging through the shallows to reach the shore. Then came a series of bamboo poles that the castaways had to maneuver under, up and around to move on. In order to reach the final stage, both players have to burrow their way through the sand to get underneath a wooden post. Once they are both free, the first pair to land their sandbag on a flat, circular disk wins Reward. You can watch this challenge again below.

Dean and Elaine were the first ones through the bamboo segment, with Tommy and Janet as well as Noura and Dan not too far behind. The digging phase looked a lot more difficult! Eventually, Elaine and Dean retained their lead by squeezing through the tight hole they dug up. Tommy and Janet were able to make it through soon after.

Despite bringing up the rear for the entire challenge, Karishma and Lauren received a burst of energy and made it to the sandbag phase. Soon enough, everyone was in on it, trying to land that one sandbag. Following several attempts, Tommy landed his sandbag on the outermost edge, but that was enough to give Janet and Tommy the victory. They decided on bringing Dan and Lauren along with them.

The challenge itself isn’t anything out of the ordinary. What I do like about it is the fact it’s a very balanced challenge that anyone can win, and it’s nice to see them compete in pairs as we saw in David vs. Goliath. It also gave Karishma, Elaine, Dean, and Noura a perfect opportunity to through the game on its head.

Reward Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 1/5

Difficulty: 2/5

Entertainment Value: 2/5

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Immunity Challenge

This challenge also features a concept we’ve seen before, but with higher stakes at play, it turned out to be the more exciting one of the night. Each castaway has to balance on top of a small block of wood while stabilizing a ball against a structure above. The last player to keep their ball on the structure without dipping below an indicated mark will win Individual Immunity. The clip of this challenge is below.

It didn’t take long for Dean to drop out, followed by Tommy and Noura. Suddenly, Janet lost her balance and took a hard fall onto the wooden floor, leaving a nasty looking gash on her foot. Karishma’s ball popped out taking her out of the running, shortly followed by Dan after he lost concentration.

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That set up a fierce battle between Lauren and Elaine, who at that time were both shaping up to receive votes at Tribal Council. Lauren was determined to fight through the pain, while Elaine looked fairly comfortable. Elaine dropped out of nowhere, leaving a shocked and excited Lauren, earning her a crucial Immunity Necklace.

Challenge Takeaways

In spite of his size and physique, Tommy hasn’t performed that well in challenges this season, which might actually be a good thing for him. The less attention he gets, the better it is for his game, so if he’s the second person eliminated from an Immunity Challenge, it isn’t the end of the world. Winning the loved ones visit was probably the best one he could win since it was a team effort with Janet and the duo didn’t make any serious mistakes with who they wanted to take along.

Hopefully Janet’s banged up foot won’t hinder her performance moving forward, but that will definitely be something to watch out for in next week’s episode. Lauren’s win might feel like a fluke, but it showed her strong will and determination. Dean continues to disappoint.

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Immunity Challenge Rankings:

Creativity: 1/5

Difficulty: 4/5

Entertainment Value: 3/5