'Survivor: Island of the Idols' recap: Jason Linden voted out of new Vokai tribe after Elaine Stott blocks his vote at epic Tribal Council
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/31/2019
Survivor: Island of the Idols featured the new Vokai tribe voting out Jason Linden after Elaine Stott played her advantage from the Island of the Idols during Wednesday night's Season 39 episode on CBS.
Jason Linden, a 32-year-old personal injury lawyer from New York, NY, was voted out by his Vokai tribe on Night 16 of the game in a 4-3 vote instead of Elaine, a 41-year-old factory worker from Woodbine, KY, who currently resides in Rockholds, KY. (Jason had lost his vote due to being blocked by Elaine).
"As a fan, it's a crazy way to go out. It's not your typical vote out; it's not your typical blindside. But in the end, it still sucks," Jason said following his ouster.
"This was my dream. Despite my horrible start to this game, I really feel like I had my finger on the pulse. And I probably got voted out because I was too big of a threat, which I'm going to wear like a badge of honor. That's life, man! You can't win them all!"
TheSurvivor broadcast began over at the new Lairo tribe on Day 15.
The new Lairo tribe was made up of Jamal Shipman, a 33-year-old college administrator from Jersey City, NJ, who currently resides in Providence, RI; 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; 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; Dean Kowalski, a 28-year-old tech salesman from Westfield, NJ, who currently resides in New York, NY; and Karishma Patel, a 37-year-old personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia, PA, who currently resides in Houston, TX.
Noura said Tribal Council went according to plan, with Tom Laidlaw getting voted out, and they were sitting pretty with five former Vokai members against the two former Lairo, Dean and Karishma.
Noura said she'd love to take out Karishma or Dean next, but she didn't trust Jamal and Jack since they were the two guys who had been gunning for her on her old tribe. She said she needed to kill the two guys before they killed her.
Noura therefore pitched the idea to Dean of breaking up Jamal and Jack. Dean, however, called Noura "crazy" and "a little bit delusional."
Dean admitted to cameras he'd be "absolutely crazy" to work with Noura, but at the same time, he discovered a crack. Noura told Dean that she had the girls and could make something happen, but then Dean warned Jamal about her plans.
Jamal said Noura was "batsh-t crazy" and told Dean tying himself to her would not be a smart move. Jamal determined getting Noura out was of the highest priority.
Meanwhile, at Vokai's camp, Elaine said if her tribe was going to lose the next Immunity Challenge, things were about to get serious.
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In addition to Jason and Elaine, the new Vokai tribe was also comprised of Dan Spilo, a 48-year-old talent manager from New York, NY, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA; Tommy Sheehan, a 26-year-old 4th grade teacher from Bayville, NY, who currently resides in Long Beach, NY; Lauren Beck, a 28-year-old nanny from Bakersfield, CA, and Rochester Hills, MI, who currently resides in Glendale, CA; 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; and Aaron Meredith, a 36-year-old gym owner from Uncasville, CT, who currently resides in Warwick, RI.
Aaron, Elizabeth, Missy and Elaine were in an alliance since they were original Lairo members, while the other four castaways in the tribe were working together because they were original Vokai members.
Elaine, Aaron, Missy and Elizabeth therefore discussed how their tribe was four against four and no one wanted to draw rocks and leave their fate in the game up to chance.
As a result, Aaron pledged his loyalty to Jason, saying that if Jason wanted to cut one of his girls out of the tribe, he'd be fine with that as long as he wouldn't have to draw rocks and potentially get voted out.
Aaron, however, said he'd prefer Jason and his alliance not vote out Missy or Elizabeth since they were loyal to him. Aaron suggested Elaine might be a good target, and Jason said it was "all good in the hood."
The challenge required the castaways to transport a sled loaded with handbags and one tribe member ontop through a series of obstacles. After retrieving a key, the key would unlock a slingshot. The players then had to use the slingshot to knock down three targets.
The person carried on the sled must be responsible for knocking down the targets.
Reward was offered in the form of chickens, and Vokai sat out Elaine since they had one extra person. Elaine was then sent to the Island of the Idols.
Jack and Aaron were chosen to have a showdown at the end of the challenge, and the guys were neck and neck when it became time to use the slingshot. Vokai ended up winning the chickens, so Lairo got nothing.
Dan admitted if Elaine came back from Island of the Idols with a hidden Immunity Idol, it could really complicate the situation and make things scary.
Elaine then arrived on the Island of the Idols, where Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano was building the shelter of a lifetime with Sandra Diaz-Twine's help. Elaine told the cameras people underestimated her because of her size right before she was introduced to Elaine and Rob.
Rob explained to Elaine everybody that comes to the island receives a lesson and her lesson was going to be having the courage to be daring.
Sandra started a sand timer and Rob said split-second decisions must often be made in Survivor, without hesitation and sometimes without any information.
"That's the situation today. You have until the sand runs out of that bottle to decide whether or not you're going to accept your task. If your sand runs out of that bottle before you give me a decision..." Rob began.
"Let's do it!" Elaine interjected. "I'm ready."
Rob was surprised Elaine accepted the challenge without even knowing what her task would be. Rob said being so impulsive can be a double-edged sword in Survivor-- sometimes it works out, but other times, you want to put your feet in the water before you jump in.
Elaine came on the show for both $1 million and adventure, so she wasn't holding herself back. Sandra loved how Elaine was "balls to the wall," saying that's how you play Survivor.
Rob explained to Elaine that at the next Immunity Challenge, a block-a-vote advantage would be waiting for her, tied underneath a table that would be one of her tribe's stops in an obstacle course.
"You must secretly grab it while surrounded by your tribemates," Rob noted, adding that it wasn't going to be easy because she'd have to grab the advantage in plain sight. "If you miss your opportunity, there's no going back."
If Elaine failed to grab the advantage, she would face the consequence of losing her vote at the next Tribal Council. Elaine knew she was playing with big stakes because her tribe's numbers were 4-4.
Elaine then selected a person from the opposite tribe to come visit Rob and Sandra on the Island of the Idols at random.
"Elaine, she won me over. She has... the complete package and she's daring!" Sandra told the cameras. "She came to play, and if her tribemates don't watch out, she'll be right there at the end and she could easily take this money."
Meanwhile, back at camp, Jack gushed about how he loved Jamal's African dancing and music that he was bringing to the tribe. However, Jack called Jamal's buff a "do-rag," and it upset Jamal.
"Do-rag? Wow. Deep-seated. That was subconscious. White people, I'm always, like, do you welcome the race conversation?" Jamal said.
Jack awkwardly walked away from the conversation. He said he was embarrassed to have made a bad joke, and Jack said he felt really bad because Jamal had been conversing with him in a mature way.
Jamal said it would take him a little bit of time to move forward from that because he was insulted, mainly because of the perception or caricature mainstream white Americans have about those who wear "do-rags."
Jamal knew Jack was well-intentioned but said he had a long way to go when it comes to self-awareness.
Jack ended up sharing a very human moment with his strongest ally over his stupid comment that night, and he said he was grateful for that experience with Jamal.
Jamal really appreciated Jack's apology and said it made up for a lot of hurt that had been caused in the past and he'd remember it for the rest of his life.
On Day 16, Elaine talked to Elizabeth, who had also been to the Island of the Idols, about how the block-a-vote advantage was waiting for her at the challenge.
Elizabeth said if she managed to grab the idol, they'd win over the majority in numbers -- and so this move was going to be a huge one.
It then became time for the two tribes to compete in their next Immunity Challenge.
Jeff instructed each tribe to dig under a large bamboo cage, pick up the cage, and make their way across the forest while collecting five balls along the way. Upon the finish, the players must attempt to land those balls into five targets high up on a wall, similar to shoot basketballs.
The winning tribe would win immunity and be safe from the next vote, while the losing tribe would have to vote out the sixth castaway from Survivor this season.
Before the challenge commenced, Vokai chose to sat out Lauren.
Once Elaine got her hands on the advantage that awaited her under the table, she tried to stuff the package into the back of her shorts. However, her T-shirt prevented the package from staying inside her shorts, and so it fell out.
In an unbelievable turn of events, Elaine dropped the advantage but was able to pick it up again and put it into her shorts without anybody noticing. Elaine therefore succeeded and accomplished her Island of the Idols task.
The challenge was a close one, and Aaron did a great job shooting balls for Vokai. However, in the end, Dean sealed the deal for Lairo and won the challenge for them.
Elaine knew her block-a-vote advantage couldn't come at a better time. She was ready to "ride in on a stallion" and "save the day" for her "peeps."
Later that day, Tommy was hoping Elaine would be going home as the tribe enjoyed one of their chickens.
Elaine read her advantage aloud to Elizabeth, as Missy, Lauren and Tommy discussed how Elizabeth and Aaron were going to work with them to take out Elaine.
But Elizabeth called Elaine's advantage "a glimmer of hope" for the four original Lairo members. Elaine and Elizabeth shared their great news with Aaron, and he promised he was with them. Missy was also excited to learn about Elaine's advantage.
Missy had been willing to put up Elaine as a sacrifice, but then she called Elaine her alliance's "hero."
Although Aaron told his former Lairo allies he was good with them, he was conspiring behind the scenes with the original Vokai members. Aaron was still considering voting out Elaine because he was trying to think about the game long-term and what would be best for him.
Lauren also didn't think Elaine was strategically smart or savvy enough to have a hidden Immunity Idol and be able to play the original Vokai members.
Elizabeth said Tribal Council was going to be a war between Lairo and Vokai and Vokai didn't even know it. Elizabeth was hoping to take out Lauren because she didn't do much for her game.
But Missy thought Dan was "sketchy," and Elaine figured Tommy was "the biggest threat."
"But then again, you've got Jason. He's strategic and I think he's really smart," Elaine said in a confessional. "So I've got my moves. I've got the moves I'm wanting to make!"
Aaron thought he was in control of the game and could choose which player goes home.
Aaron knew he was about to break a promise to one group, but he insisted "that's the game of Survivor."
"There's a sure vote. Tonight, it would be Elaine to get them all onboard and show them my trust, or, I could stay Lairo strong and maybe end up on the right side of the numbers... This Tribal is going to be very alive," Aaron said.
At Tribal Council that night, Elaine said a line was going to be drawn in the sand and she wasn't afraid of a fight or showdown. Everyone seemed to understand the magnitude of what was about to happen that night.
Tommy said it made no sense for his four to flip but an original Lairo member could join their side and they could enter the merge seven strong.
Elaine, however, pointed out it was easy for Dan to say since his allies were on the top of the tribe.
Jason admitted his group was more willing to draw rocks, and Tommy agreed he was ready to do that, but then Elaine announced, "I don't like rocks," and stood up to make an announcement.
Elaine apologized before reading her block-a-vote advantage out loud. Elaine said she'd like to play the advantage and block Jason's vote.
Tommy appeared completely shocked, and then Jason asked Elaine why she had decided to do that. Jason said he thought they could have been great friends, but Elaine pointed out they could still be great friends.
Aaron then whispered something in Missy's ear, and Tom whispered in Dan's ear. Tom and Dan agreed to vote out Elaine, and Lauren seemed onboard with that plan as well. Tommy then told Aaron to "stick with Elaine."
Missy and Lauren looked at each other and noted they needed to vote for Elaine, but things got crazy quickly.
Lauren got emotional and started to cry because she had dreamed of playing Survivor since she was 11-years-old. "It sucks," she said. "It sucks."
Tommy told Jeff that Elaine's advantage was awful and he'd be replaying this night in his mind for the rest of his life. Jason also began to wonder whether these were his last moments playing Survivor.
The castaways then voted for whom they'd like to send packing from the game, and Tommy wrote Elaine's name down, saying he had "never been so scared before."
Jeff subsequently read the votes aloud in the following order after no one had an idol to play: Elaine, Elaine, Elaine, Jason, Jason, Jason and Jason.
Lauren's mouth dropped open in complete shock and Dan shook his head.
On Jason's way out of the game, he yelled out, "Hey, don't trust Aaron!" Jason was thankful Lauren, Dan and Tommy did not turn on him -- but Tommy seemed incredibly angry.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Tommy, Dan, and Lauren voted for Elaine, while Missy, Elizabeth, Elaine, and Aaron voted for Jason. (Jason's vote had been blocked).