'Survivor: Island of the Idols' recap: Aaron Meredith and Missy Byrd voted out at separate Tribal Councils
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/21/2019
Survivor: Island of the Idols voted out Aaron Meredith and then Missy Byrd at back-to-back Tribal Councils after the merged Lumuwaku tribe was split into two random groups during the one-hour Season 39 broadcast Wednesday night on CBS.
Aaron, a 36-year-old gym owner from Uncasville, CT, who currently resides in Warwick, RI, was voted out on Night 27 in a 5-1 vote instead of Janet Carbin, a 59-year-old chief lifeguard from Neptune, NJ, who currently resides in Palm Bay, FL.
"You know, I kind of anticipated this at some point in time this was going to happen. I tried to delay it as much as I could by winning the Individual Immunity Challenges, but they had to get rid of me. And now was the right time. Kudos to them and hats off. Great move. They put my butt right on the jury!" Aaron said in his final words.
And then Missy, a 24-year-old Air Force veteran from Decatur, GA, who currently resides in Tacoma, WA, was voted out at a separate Tribal Council on that same night through a 3-2 vote instead of Tommy Sheehan, a 26-year-old 4th grade teacher from Bayville, NY, who currently resides in Long Beach, NY.
"On a scale of dopeness, getting blindsided, that's negatively dope. And I didn't even know this," Missy said following her ouster.
"I mean, that's a big enough fault in my game where I deserve to be here. But it's fine. Life goes on. It's not a brain tumor. That was one of the wildest, craziest -- what was it? 27 days? I'd go 60 more!"
That night, it didn't just rain -- it poured. Not only did Karishma Patel, a 37-year-old personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia, PA, who currently resides in Houston, TX, wake up with a rat supposedly in her mouth, but Elizabeth Beisel, a 26-year-old Olympic medalist from Saunderstown, RI, complained about being absolutely freezing.
Elizabeth felt defeated, but she admitted that's exactly what she had signed up for.
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The next morning, Noura Salman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur from London, UK and Bethesda, MD who currently resides in North Potomac, MD, vented to the cameras about how Karishma didn't deserve her spot in the game.
Noura said Karishma did nothing to help out at camp in that she never collected wood, water or coconuts. Noura added that Karishma was always the first one to go to bed and the last one to wake up. Noura believed Karishma thought she was entitled.
"Karishma obviously has more resilience than we think because she's still here, but she's shown me that she's inconsistent, unworkable, ungrateful -- and I have no interest in working with someone like that," Noura told the cameras.
Karishma knew it was obvious she was in trouble. She had anticipated being "jungle queen" on Survivor and getting along with everybody, but she was admittedly struggling and couldn't get anyone to trust her.
Karishma said she was being viewed as a goat, but at the same time, she insisted she's not a predictable person.
When Noura asked Karishma to go collect coconuts on Day 25, Karishma suddenly found a hidden Immunity Idol stuffed into the bottom of a tree. This was a breath of fresh air for Karishma, and it gave her a chance to make a name for herself in the game.
Meanwhile, Noura, Tommy, and Lauren Beck, a 28-year-old nanny from Bakersfield, CA, and Rochester Hills, MI, who currently resides in Glendale, CA, discussed taking out Karishma at the next vote.
The trio agreed Janet would go after Karishma, but Noura pointed out Janet was a hard worker and useful at camp.
Once Karishma returned to camp with only two coconuts, everyone noticed she had been gone for about an hour, which was a really long time. Since Karishma didn't have any excuse, she acted lethargic, lightheaded and sick. Noura, Lauren and Tommy pushed for Karishma to see the medic, but she refused.
It then became time for the season's next Individual Immunity Challenge on Day 27.
For the challenge, each castaway was required to stand on a narrow beam while spinning a bar inside a circular wooden track. At regular intervals, the castaways would move farther down the beam, making it more difficult to balance and keep the ball rolling.
If at any point a person fell off the beam or his or her ball dropped, that castaway would be out of the challenge.
To make things more interesting, Survivor host Jeff Probst announced the tribe would be divided into two groups and one person from each group would win immunity. Both groups would attend Tribal Council separately, and both groups would vote somebody out.
"So two winners -- two people going home," Jeff announced. "We'll draw to see which group you're on."
The orange group was comprised of Missy, Tommy, Karishma, Elizabeth, and Elaine Stott, a 41-year-old factory worker from Woodbine, KY, who currently resides in Rockholds, KY.
The purple group was made up of Aaron; Janet; Noura; Lauren; Dean Kowalski, a 28-year-old tech salesman from Westfield, NJ, who currently resides in New York, NY; and Dan Spilo, a 48-year-old talent manager from New York, NY, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Jeff also explained in the middle of the challenge that the overall winner -- the very last person standing -- would win peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his or her group.
In addition, the overall winner's group would participate in the second Tribal Council session of the night, allowing them to see which castaway got voted out at the session before them.
On the purple side, the challenge came down to Noura and Dean.
Dean dropped and so Noura won for her group; however, instead of continuing, she threw her wooden track up in the air in complete and utter joy. Noura clearly forgot that she was also playing for Reward for her group, so Dan appeared pissed.
Meanwhile, Elaine and Missy were duking it out to win for the orange group. Once Missy dropped out, Elaine was victorious, both of immunity and sandwiches for her group. Elaine's group would also attend Tribal Council second, so they would know the result of the first Tribal.
The losing group was then sent to the old Lairo camp, where they'd be stuck with basic supplies. The camp brought up bad memories for Aaron, an original Lairo member, since being a part of that tribe was the lowest of low moments for him in the game.
Since Janet and Karishma were both targets and part of different groups, Janet worried she was getting voted out. However, she planned to keep fighting.
After the challenge, Aaron hoped each group would vote out Janet and Karishma and they'd get "two for the price of one."
Noura agreed with Aaron they'd vote for Janet since she was dangerous and had just played a hidden Immunity Idol. But Noura was well aware Aaron was a huge threat -- maybe the biggest threat in the game -- as well as a two-time Immunity Challenge winner.
Noura wondered whether the group should take a shot at Aaron when they had the chance, and so she attempted to get Janet, Dean and Dan onboard. Janet was thrilled to hear this new plan, and everyone seemed excited about it.
Janet and Dan then put their issues in the past and re-established trust between them.
Dean, however, didn't like the idea of Aaron going home because Aaron had served as a shield for him in the game given they're both physical threats. Dean therefore planted seeds in Dan's mind that if they eliminated Aaron, the women would come together and take out the guys one by one.
Dean also said the jury would respect Janet's position if she made it to the end, and Dan agreed because Janet was everybody's mom out there and had a great story.
Dan figured Janet would win the game in the Final 3, but he wasn't sure whether voting her out now was the best move for his game considering he could trust Janet and continue working with her going forward as allies.
Dan assumed Karishma would be the easy vote for the other group, but boy was he wrong. Missy told Elizabeth they needed to separate Tommy from Lauren, and if Tommy went home, Lauren would be "dependent" on them.
Missy also explained Tommy was a personable guy and everyone loved him, which was even more reason to send him packing as soon as possible.
"No one is going to award Karishma a million dollars," Missy told the cameras.
Missy told Elizabeth they needed Karishma to vote for Tommy with them, so Missy pulled Karishma aside for a chat.
Karishma wasn't very receptive to listening to Missy's plan because she wanted to talk things out with other people, but Missy kept repeating, "Listen to me," and pushed her plan on Karishma.
Karishma was overwhelmed and said Missy had yelled at her at camp, so Karishma didn't want to hear it. Karishma then called Missy "a bully" and said Missy had been "talking at" her rather than "talking to" her.
Missy was desperate to finish her conversation with Karishma, but Karishma delayed things and said she wanted to wait until she felt more comfortable and Missy's emotions calmed down.
"I'm not taking that anymore -- not from a 24-year-old girl who thinks she's on top of the world," Karishma said in a confessional. "I'm sorry little girl, I'm going to need you to calm down. I'm so over that... I'll talk to you when I want to talk to you."
Karishma then confided in Elaine that she was not Missy's puppy who would go fetch a bone at her beck and call. Elaine agreed Missy was "overbearing" and she didn't like it.
Karishma told Elaine that Missy wanted Tommy out, but that wasn't going to work for Elaine. Elaine also didn't like how Missy talked to Karishma, saying that Karishma needed positive words of encouragement and reassurance.
Karishma had more power than she realized as a swing vote. Elaine told Karishma that she'd be voting for Missy that night.
"Missy is going way too hard. They came at Karishma hot; I'm coming with compassion and understanding. So I need to strike while the iron is hot. You can't hesitate in this game. You have to seize every moment, and that's what I am trying to do," Elaine told the cameras.
Elaine then warned Tommy that Missy was going after him, but she promised Tommy that her vote was going to Missy and she hoped to have Karishma on her side.
Since Missy brought up Tommy's name, Tommy decided to go after Missy as well, and he just hoped he'd have Karishma's vote. Tommy viewed Karishma as a person, not as a goat, and he insisted to the cameras he actually cared about her and wanted to work with her.
But Missy later apologized to Karishma for coming off a little too aggressive. Missy said she was just excited about the plan and the idea of the ladies having the majority and all working together.
Missy told Karishma to pretend at Tribal Council that her throat was about to be cut. Missy said she and Elizabeth would play up the idea that Karishma was going home, when in actuality, the votes were going to be put on Tommy.
Karishma realized she had a big decision to make that night, and she planned to make a logical rather than emotional choice that would benefit her game. Karishma said she "didn't trust anybody," and she wasn't even 100 percent sure she was safe.
However, Karishma had an idol to play, and she intended to whip it out if necessary at Tribal Council.
Meanwhile, Aaron was convinced Janet was going home. Aaron, however, was vulnerable, and he was about to find out how strong his alliance really was. Lauren agreed Janet was "a boss" and "a really strong woman."
But Lauren acknowledged Aaron was a beast and would be very hard to beat in challenges. Janet felt pretty safe going into Tribal Council, but she was well aware there could be another blindside.
That night, Aaron's group attended Tribal Council first, Jack Nichting, Kellee Kim, and Jamal Shipman sitting on the jury.
Dan, Janet, Aaron, Dean, Lauren, and Noura were at the Tribal, and Janet admitted she was at the bottom of the totem pole. Aaron noted this was the first time he sat at Tribal Council without a necklace around his neck, so he just hoped his allies would come through.
Janet was hoping people would make a big move, and then it became time to vote.
Jeff then read the votes aloud in the following order: Janet, Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, and Aaron.
Aaron became the tenth person voted out of Survivor and the fourth member of the jury. Aaron was the only person who voted for Janet.
The group then headed back to camp, and Jeff welcomed in the second group comprised of Karishma, Missy, Elizabeth, Elaine and Tommy.
Elizabeth was so upset to see Aaron on the jury because he had been one of her closest allies. Missy agreed that wasn't how the jury was supposed to be looking, revealing that she had a larger plan in place.
Karishma explained to Jeff that she and Missy had been butting heads in the game and there were times when Missy wanted to escalate things. Missy, however, pointed out that although she was a threat, she was absolutely not a bully. Missy denied yelling at Karishma or being overly aggressive.
"I am not that. That's not me," Missy insisted. "I know who I am... I accept myself."
Karishma noted she accepted and loved herself too and that's why she and Missy would never get along, because they'd simply didn't see eye to eye. Tommy added the pair would never be able to coincide.
But Elizabeth thought she, Missy and Karishma had a great chat before Tribal Council that "bridged the gap" and blended their personalities again.
On a different note, Missy expressed disappointment in Jeff for not calling attention to the fact two African American castaways had won Individual Immunity in a double challenge before. Missy wanted her nieces and nephews to see that, and she said representation matters.
Jeff apologized, saying that didn't even occur to him. However, Jeff admitted he'd be a little reluctant to announce such a thing for fear of implying it's something that one wouldn't expect to happen. He appreciated her speaking up.
After votes were cast and no one decided to play a hidden Immunity Idol, Jeff read the votes aloud in the following order: Missy, Tommy, Tommy, Missy, and Missy.
Missy became the eleventh person voted out and the fifth member of the jury. Missy asked, "Who did it?!" Tommy admitted he had written Missy's name down because she had been gunning for him, but she denied that.
Missy appeared totally shocked and blindsided, especially because Elaine had thrown a vote her way as well. Missy, however, hugged it out with Karishma and revealed she had planned to keep Karishma around until the end.
Elizabeth appeared devastated and had tears in her eyes. When she hugged Missy goodbye, Missy told Elizabeth to kill Elaine "slowly and methodically."
Missy left Tribal Council playfully yelling things out, and she was clearly bummed by her vote off.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Tommy, Elaine and Karishma voted for Missy, while Missy and Elizabeth both voted for Tommy.