Survivor Island of the Idols: Should Elizabeth Beisel return?

An Olympic medalist, Elizabeth Beisel’s Island of the Idols game went swimmingly until she was finally faced with adversity. Should she return to Survivor?

Sometimes, having a close ally is enough to have a fairly substantive Survivor run. Elizabeth Beisel lasted 30 days in Island of the Idols, playing 27 of them with her closest ally, Missy Byrd. Her run in the game set up the in-game parameters for the season’s theme while her actions may have helped define the season’s legacy for years to come.

Elizabeth was never driving the bus when it came to Lairo players’ strategy, but she wasn’t without influence. She was the first to visit the Island of the Idols, establishing the expectations that would follow throughout the season; competing against Boston Rob in a fire-making contest for an idol at risk of losing her vote. It was a test she couldn’t help but take (and lose), as it established that sometimes, the winning move is not to play.

It was thanks to her ability to swim to her Olympic capabilities that helped her tribes take advantage of aquatic-based challenges, and she had a major say in keeping both Tom safe at her second vote, and it was working around her objections that made Chelsea vulnerable at her third vote.

She stuck on Missy’s guidance like glue, though that bond weakened once she and Elaine figured how much influence Missy had. It was her relationship with Elaine and their visits to the Island of the Idols that allowed Elizabeth to help Elaine receive her Block-a-Vote advantage at the next Immunity Challenge, which led to the four original Lairo players on Vokai 2.0 to stick together and take out Jason.

Elizabeth was able to bond with more of her Vokai members in sharing stories of Dan’s inappropriate behavior with Missy, Lauren, and Tommy in the pre-merge, but it seemed as though it would become what she thought was a good, honest, viable strategy at the merge to throw Dan’s name under the bus. Despite her personally never feeling like Dan stood out of line, she shared played it up with Janet and Kellee as a means of throwing the target off her ally Missy.

It worked, as Kellee was blindsided into not playing one of her two idols. However, when Janet came to Dan after the merge vote to let him know it was Elizabeth’s concerns, among other women, that galvanized her to vote for Dan, Elizabeth doubled down, gaslighting Janet and isolating her from the tribe. She then later admitted to sharing transgressions about Dan to Janet, but it was pretty clear that Elizabeth had planned to cross the line between real life and gameplay.

From after the merge episode onwards, Elizabeth’s grasp on the game would collapse. A double-elimination series of Tribal Councils would split the tribe into two, as she lost a close ally in Aaron before losing Missy at her own Tribal Council thanks to Missy’s unfavorable behavior towards Karishma, as she, Tommy, and Elaine had worked to take back power over Lumuwaku.

She might have been able to skate on by even without allies, were it not for one of the most boss moves ever, as Karishma would find a Hidden Immunity Idol and use it to block seven votes against her. Karishma had voted for Janet, but the ally she lied about concerning sexually suggestive misconduct, then later lied in saying she had an issue with, would also vote for Elizabeth, forcing a 1-1 tie that saw all seven others vote Elizabeth out unanimously.

Next: Vote here: Should Elizabeth Beisel return in a future Survivor season?

Elizabeth represented the United States on the Olympic stage before epitomizing what Island of the Idols would be remembered for in years to come. Vote here in our straw poll to let us know if you’d like to see Elizabeth return in a future Survivor season.

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