Survivor Island of the Idols finale: Can Janet Carbin win the game?

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

Will Survivor: Island of the Idols feature the oldest winner in history? Janet has been a hard-nosed, rootable castaway, but does she have enough to win it all?

It has been fourteen seasons since someone over 40 years old has won Survivor! Production seems to be casting younger and younger players until Island of the Idols revealed a surprisingly mature group of contestants. Coming into season 39, Janet Carbin was one of the eldest castaways in a quite a while. However, it’s an understatement to say that Janet didn’t allow age to define her. In spite of her difficult journey, Janet has made it to the Final Five, but can she actually win it all?

Janet’s chances of making Final Tribal

Janet doesn’t have a clear path to get to the end, but she basically only has to survive one vote. From the very first episode, we learned that Janet is a beast at making fire. So if she makes it to the Final Four, you can almost guarantee that she’ll be addressing the jury the next night.

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The biggest concern revolves around Janet’s ability to survive the Final Five Tribal Council. It’s true that she does have another Hidden Immunity Idol, but there’s also an Idol Nullifier in the mix. Dean is aware of Janet’s idol, so since it will be the last time for him to play his Nullifier, there’s a very high likelihood that he’ll try to void her idol.

The best-case scenario for Janet is for Tommy and Lauren to go after each other. That would draw the votes away from Janet, moving the target onto the powerful duo who have been controlling this game since the early merge. However, if Dean pushes to vote out Janet, plus if Tommy and Lauren decide to stick together, then Janet is in trouble.

Janet’s chances of receiving votes at Final Tribal

Since Tommy and Lauren have been in control for most of the post-merge game, it’s hard for me to see Janet receiving more jury votes than them. It’s not like Janet has been a goat, much like Noura or Dean have been. That said, Janet doesn’t have the same resume of big moves that Tommy and Lauren have accumulated.

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The one thing that Janet might have going for her is the likability aspect and the fact that she has earned the respect of her castaways, especially with the way she stood up for Kellee. Considering the fact that Dan has now been removed from the game, I’m sure the jury has gained more appreciation for Janet’s merge plan to take Dan out.

If Dean, Noura, and Janet can somehow manage to turn on the dangerous duo and get both of them out before Final Tribal, I think Janet would be the clear winner. But that’s no easy task. The way it’s shaping up, at least Tommy or Lauren will make the Final Three. Janet could benefit from a bitter jury, but I think savvy jurors like Missy, Kellee, and Aaron will look beyond emotion to focus on who actually played the best game.

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Janet is a dark horse pick to become the next Sole Survivor. Tommy and Lauren definitely have the leg up on here in terms of developing a winnable resume, but Janet does have that likeability factor going for her. Her exceptional fire-making ability means that Janet only has to survive one more Tribal Council to make the end. In order for Janet to win though, she either has to somehow manage to get both Tommy or Lauren out before Final Tribal, or she has to hope for a bitter jury.