'Survivor: Island of the Idols' recap: Chelsea Walker voted out with an idol after Lairo tribe loses again
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/17/2019
Survivor: Island of the Idols featured the Lairo tribe voting out Chelsea Walker with a hidden Immunity Idol in her pocket during Wednesday night's Season 39 episode on CBS.
Chelsea, a 26-year-old digital content creator from Marlton, NJ, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, was voted out by her Lairo tribe on Night 11 of the game in a 6-2 vote instead of Karishma Patel, a 37-year-old personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia, PA, who currently resides in Houston, TX.
"I'm completely and utterly blindsided. I'm a huge Super Fan. I've dreamed of playingSurvivor since I was eight years old, and I really thought I could win this game," Chelsea said following her ouster.
"I have an idol in my pocket and could've saved myself, so honestly, I'm just embarrassed. To not even make the merge, ugh!"
The Survivorbroadcast began on Night 8 with the Lairo tribe trying to comfort Karishma after her name had been written down at Tribal Council. She said "fortunately" she was Plan B, but she realized she was expendable to this tribe.
The Lairo tribe was comprised of Chelsea; Karishma; Elizabeth Beisel, a 26-year-old Olympic medalist from Saunderstown, RI; Missy Byrd, a 24-year-old Air Force veteran from Decatur, GA, who currently resides in Tacoma, WA; Dean Kowalski, a 28-year-old tech salesman from Westfield, NJ, who currently resides in New York, NY; Aaron Meredith, a 36-year-old gym owner from Uncasville, CT, who currently resides in Warwick, RI; Elaine Stott, a 41-year-old factory worker from Woodbine, KY, who currently resides in Rockholds, KY; and Tom Laidlaw, a 60-year-old former NHL hockey player from Ontario, Canada, who currently resides in Greenwich, CT.
Karishma knew her name was on the chopping block and she'd probably be an easy next vote for her tribe.
Aaron had been in her shoes before in terms of being blindsided by a vote, but he noted it's possible to turn things around and end up in control.
Aaron felt he was in a power position, and so he told the cameras he wanted to separate Dean and Chelsea because they were "too damn close." Dean and Chelsea were sleeping on top of each other, and Aaron thought their "power couple" potential needed to be squashed.
Dean called Chelsea "a cutie" and liked how she could hang with the boys and was witty. He admitted he was "super drawn" to Chelsea, but she insisted she wasn't on Survivor for a showmance because those "always mess up" people's games.
Aaron spoke to Missy about making a big move and breaking up the power couple, and Missy thought it would be a great idea to eliminate Dean in order to protect the all-female alliance. Miss and Elizabeth apparently wanted to get "the sorority sisters" back together.
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At Vokai's camp on Day 9, Jamal Shipman couldn't shake the feeling of having been left out of the Molly Byman vote.
In addition to Jamal, a 33-year-old college administrator from Jersey City, NJ, who currently resides in Providence, RI, the Vokai tribe was also made up of Jason Linden, a 32-year-old personal injury lawyer from New York, NY; Noura Salman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur from London, UK and Bethesda, MD who currently resides in North Potomac, MD; Kellee Kim, a 29-year-old MBA student from Costa Mesa, CA, who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA; Lauren Beck, a 28-year-old nanny from Bakersfield, CA, and Rochester Hills, MI, who currently resides in Glendale, CA; Janet Carbin, a 59-year-old chief lifeguard from Neptune, NJ, who currently resides in Palm Bay, FL; Jack Nichting, a 23-year-old graduate student from Newport News, VA, who currently resides in Harrisonburg, VA; Tommy Sheehan, a 26-year-old 4th grade teacher from Bayville, NY, who currently resides in Long Beach, NY; and Dan Spilo, a 48-year-old talent manager from New York, NY, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
While the tribe went into the ocean to swim and fish, Jamal decided to hang back and just be in tune with his surroundings and be present and connected. He therefore searched for a hidden Immunity Idol and ended up finding one in a tree trunk.
Jamal was thrilled and said in a confessional, "It is really awesome to find an idol, especially in a tribe who's starting to get lulled into a sense of complacency that they're in control of me. Wrong!"
Island of the Idols
A man then dropped off a bag and a scroll for the Vokai tribe, and a player had to be sent to the Island of the Idols through a unanimous decision.
If the tribe couldn't decide on one person, they'd have to draw a name out of a bag.
Kellee knew when someone returned from the Island of the Idols, he or she would either blow up her game or they could bond as players over their experiences.
Everyone hesitated to volunteer to go because they didn't want a target on their backs, but then suddenly, Noura volunteered and said she'd love to go. Noura admitted she's a risk-taker and was ready to have some fun.
"Persuading people in this game is a very important skill that every player needs to have," Rob explained to Noura.
"In order to persuade effectively, you have to understand that person's motivation. It has to line up with something that they want. If you can figure out what it is that this person wants, persuading them should be easy!"
Rob told Noura that people can be persuaded in different ways. He said maybe someone would want an ego boost or would be persuaded through fear. Sandra also pointed out one could make up a rumor to get what he or she wants.
Rob gave Noura some insight into the next Immunity Challenge, saying each tribe would be blindfolded and have one caller.
Rob told Noura she needed to persuade her tribe to let her be the caller, and if she succeeded, she would receiving an advantage allowing her to block the vote of another player. However, if she failed to end up in the caller role, she would lose her vote at the next Tribal Council.
Noura didn't hesitate and automatically accepted the challenge.
Sandra said Noura's decision to jump on an offer would probably hurt her later in the game, and Rob didn't have much faith in Noura as a caller because he didn't think she was able to effectively communicate anything.
"She's living in Noura World. This is Survivor, you've got to live in Survivor World!" Rob told the cameras.
When Noura returned to her tribemates, she had some anxiety because she had to tell her story. Noura said she was told what the next Immunity Challenge would be in detail, serving as an advantage for her entire tribe.
But Noura explained there was a twist in that the tribe needed to unanimously agree what role she would play in that challenge. Noura said if they agreed to do that, she could share all of the details with them.
Once the tribe agreed to let Noura pick her role -- and she opted for the "caller" position -- she said everyone would be blindfolded and led through a course where they must retrieve items and bring them back.
The tribe was confused over why Noura needed to be the caller and whether she was the best person for that job, but Noura ultimately got her way.
Noura was trying to secure that caller position or else she'd lose her vote at the next Tribal Council.
Kellee wasn't impressed by Noura's lie, but she was at least happy the pressure was off her since she had previously visited the Island of the Idols as well.
Noura then practiced as the caller, but her tribemates quickly realized she wasn't great at communicating despite her loud voice. Her tribemates walked into trees and she really struggled with giving proper directions and instruction.
Lauren noted that if Noura screwed up the Immunity Challenge for them after insisting she should be the caller, they'd have her head and send her packing.
On Day 11, the two tribes met Survivor host Jeff Probst for the season's next Immunity Challenge.
Each tribe was required to choose a caller, who would then lead blindfolded members through a course, where they must retrieve three keys along the way.
Those three keys would then unlock puzzle pieces, and the caller must direct a still-blindfolded tribe member on how to solve the slide puzzle.
Vokai chose to sit out Noura to even up the numbers, and that totally shocked her. Noura therefore lost her vote at the next Tribal, and she feared that would screw up her game.
Elizabeth served as the caller for Lairo, while Jason served as the caller for Vokai.
Vokai retrieved all three keys first and started the puzzle in first place. Jason and Kellee worked on the puzzle for Vokai, and then Elizabeth and Aaron attempted to solve the puzzle for Lairo.
Lairo ended up coming back and thought they solved the puzzle first, but one piece was wrong. This mistake allowed Vokai a few more seconds to work on the puzzle and then Kellee and Jason solved it for their tribe and won immunity.
Missy on Lairo acknowledged Karishma was a dead fish in the water but she wanted to keep the girl in her back pocket and prevent her from getting voted out.
After the challenge, Elizabeth apologized to Lairo for letting them down as the caller. Karishma expected there to be a unanimous vote against her, but she knew there were much bigger threats left on the tribe than her.
Dean said Karishma hadn't done much around camp, nor had she contributed to the physical aspect of challenges or the puzzles. Karishma, however, planned to go out swinging.
Chelsea thought her relationship with Dean would take her far into the game, but Aaron wanted Dean gone because he was allegedly underperforming in challenges and had Chelsea in his back pocket. Aaron also thought Dean was trying to fly under the radar and so he needed to go.
Elizabeth, however, was shocked by the potential Dean vote because he helped to gather firewood and cook for their tribe. She also said Dean worked on building their shelter while Karishma napped.
Elizabeth verbally went along with Aaron's plan, but she was not actually onboard with it. She didn't think getting Dean out would be good for her game.
Elaine was surprised by Aaron's plan as well, and she called Aaron "shady" and "a sneaky bastard." Elizabeth pointed out Karishma would jump ship come a swap or the merge at her first opportunity.
"If Aaron is willing to cut the throat of his best friend, then what's he going to be willing to do to me later on?" Elaine asked the cameras.
"I don't want to vote out Dean, and if they don't have me and Elizabeth, they can't pull that off."
Elizabeth told Aaron that Elaine was not onboard, and he was frustrated because he didn't think anyone was playing or making big moves. His tribe was down two players, but no one could agree on a vote.
Since people were split between voting for Dean and Karishma, Missy suggested to Elaine they just vote out Chelsea since the Dean move this early was "too scary."
Missy said getting rid of Chelsea would allow them to keep the majority and have three big guys around as protection and shields for them. Missy said this plan would also keep Karishma around as an easy vote for later.
Elaine pointed out Missy's ability to "drop names like that on a dime" scared her.
Side conversations broke out and it seemed the tribe didn't have a solid plan. Elaine noted the vote would draw a line in the sand and reveal where everybody stood.
At Tribal Council, Karishma told Jeff that no one wanted to talk to her or strategize with her since she had been the contingency plan at the previous Tribal Council. Elaine admitted she didn't even know what was going on.
The tribe discussed how all it took was "a tiny seed of doubt" planted in someone's mind to flip a vote or change a course of action.
Missy told Jeff it was possible anyone could get hit with a stray bullet, but just as Karishma was starting to feel safe, Missy announced Karishma was "getting lapped" in the game and needed to step up.
But Karishma was glad to see things were chaotic because chaos gave her a chance to climb out of her ditch and survive.
Missy said if anyone got blindsided and voted out, he or she shouldn't be shocked at this point.
After everyone cast their votes, Jeff read them aloud in the following order: Karishma, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, and Chelsea.
On her way out, Chelsea wished everyone "good luck," and Jeff declared that must have been the tribe's "Plan Z."