Establishing her worth as a castaway early and late in Island of the Idols, Janet Carbin defied the odds and won over many. Should she return to Survivor?
Women with a considerable age difference over most of their tribe tend not to do well in Survivor. Well, at least in the US version of Survivor, as the last time a woman over the age of 50 made it past the merge was Mamma C back in Worlds Apart. Janet Carbin decided she wouldn’t become a statistic early, establishing her worth on Vokai right out the gate.
Janet became one of the few Survivor players to make fire without flint, building herself into that guardian role early on. This allowed her to form strong bonds with many players, including the leaders of Vokai such as Lauren, Tommy, and Kellee. They were instrumental in usurping power from Molly at the tribe’s first vote, as Janet quickly became the trusted voice of the tribe.
This leadership role came from a personable side, as well, not just a strategic side, as she was there to comfort and guide those like Kellee and Karishma in survival and personal issues. She also got the opportunity to shape the direction of the merge tribe by pushing to vote out Tom, who would have stayed loyal to Lairo at the merge.
Once the merge arrived, she was set up for longevity with a dominant Vokai group and Vokai’s leaders still in the game. However, when fellow tribemate Kellee came to Janet expressing legitimate concern about Dan Spilo’s inappropriate behavior (as well as trumped-up concerns from Missy and Elizabeth), as well as Noura and Jamal’s completely separate attempt to take Dan out, Janet stepped up on behalf of the women to protect them and vote Dan out.
Unfortunately, Kellee was the real target, and those women who came to Janet with concerns lied to Dan, saying Janet was making up lies. Her truth would shine through in the edit and, in great cosmic justice, found a Hidden Immunity Idol the next day. She then used it at the next Tribal Council thinking she was on the outs, but another ally of womanhood, Jamal, was taken out instead.
A double-elimination Tribal Council saw a common threat in Aaron able to be voted out, so Janet worked with her group to take him out while the other group took out Missy. This catapulted Janet back near the top of the game’s numbers, as Vokai would outnumber Lairo for the rest of the game. She did tie 1-1 with Elizabeth on Day 30 after Karishma blocked seven votes with an idol, but everyone re-voted to get the Olympian out.
After an attempt to blindside Tommy at the Loved Ones vote was foiled, Karishma and Elaine went out in quick succession but not before Janet found a Hidden Immunity Idol and Dan Spilo was removed from the game for inappropriate touching. This had set Janet up for a Final Five where she could use the idol and be guaranteed safety.
Unfortunately, she found the idol and shared the information of having it with Tommy, which Dean saw and used his Island of the Idols visit to gamble for an Idol Nullifier. This saw everyone vote for Janet at the Final Five, sending the heroic fire-making legend home on Day 37, shy of becoming the oldest woman winner by close to two decades.
Janet played both a morally strong and socially flexible game, proving that age is nothing but a number to those who give their all and find the right footing. Vote here in our straw poll to let us know if you want to see Janet Carbin return in a future Survivor season.