“Survivor: Island of the Idols” Episode 7 Recap – Lairo, Lairo, Pants on Fire-o

“Survivor: Island of the Idols” (CBS)

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Watch Full Episodes of “Survivor: Island of the Idols”

Last Week: Friendship prevailed over fury, Elaine’s advantage made classic Vokai worry, and the lawyer missed the jury.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Alright, let’s check out the tribes as they currently stand.

The Lairo Tribe (wearing orange)

  • Dean, 28 – Tech Sales
  • Jack, 23 – Graduate Student
  • Jamal, 33 – College Administrator
  • Janet, 59 – Chief Lifeguard
  • Karishma, 37 – Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Kellee, 29 – MBA Student
  • Noura, 36 – Entrepreneur

The Vokai Tribe (wearing purple)

  • Aaron, 36 – Gym Owner
  • Dan, 48 – Talent Manager
  • Elaine, 41 – Factory Worker
  • Elizabeth, 26 – Olympic Medalist
  • Lauren, 28 – Nanny
  • Missy, 24 – Air Force Veteran
  • Tommy, 26 – 4th-Grade Teacher

Post Tribal Shenanigans

Lauren is rightfully freaked out after last week’s blindside. However, Missy is able to talk her down by telling her that she’s the only connection to the women on the other side. She also mentions that no women have gone home since the merge.


He Didn’t Start to Fire

Over at Lairo, there’s a bit of a disagreement over who should be working the flint after a harsh rain. Jamal gives it a shot, but he isn’t having very much luck. And, when Kellee offers to take a turn, he kind of brushes her aside.

Sometimes little sparks can start big blazes.

Later on, there’s a debate between Jamal and Noura over the rice portion size. From there, Noura plays the “woman card” in front of Janet and Karishma and pitches sending Jamal home.

Janet isn’t on board with this plan because she doesn’t trust Dean.

Island of the Idols

Janet gets the invite this time around, and she is not happy about it. However, her attitude changes when she comes face to face with “Boston” Rob and Sandra.

Rob tells Janet that her lesson is about calculated risks. He says she can gamble her vote for a “safety without power” advantage that lets her straight up leave Tribal Council before the vote. She would be safe, but she wouldn’t be able to cast a vote. This advantage would expire at final seven.

Quick Aside: Why is Rob the one who always gets to make the pitches?

Janet thinks about it, but decides not to risk it. Her rationale was that leaving Tribal would put a bigger target on her back at the next vote if she doesn’t help her alliance get out their target.

Rob and Sandra are very impressed with her logic. I’m impressed that she stopped to think about it unlike most of the other players.

Fun Fact: Sandra thinks a woman will win this season. I’m beginning to agree with her.

Another Quick Aside: I think we’re finally hitting the right balance of Rob and Sandra being a condiment instead of the meal. That might be a weird analogy.

On the way back to camp, Janet flashes the entire tribe to prove that she didn’t have an idol. However, to show that she doesn’t reveal everything, she doesn’t tell her tribemates about Rob and Sandra. It’s amazing that this secret has lasted this long. Or…why it’s even a secret in the first place. What’s the advantage to knowing that they’re out there?

Dan’s Hands

The talk around Vokai beach the next morning is all about how…cuddly…Dan is getting at night. Oof…you shouldn’t have to learn that lesson twice.

Tommy and Lauren, who apparently are besties, decide to use this, along with a made-up story that Dan is gunning for Aaron, to throw the target on Dan’s back. Bad move. Missy immediately realizes that Lauren and Tommy are making these moves to keep each other safe.

Quick Aside: I wonder if a better move would have been for Tommy and Lauren to pretend to work against each other, then relent when someone inevitably brings up Dan’s name as a possibility?

Immunity Challenge Time: The teams will shoot coconuts into a basket. When the basket is heavy enough, it’ll release a stack of giant puzzle pieces. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win immunity.

Result: Vokai pulled off the victory by the slimmest of margins. Amazing.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

It looks like we’re finally going to get around to that Dean vote everyone has been talking about for so long. Buuuut…Kellee has an idol burning a hole in her pocket and tonight is the last night she can use it.

She decides to give Dean the idol before Tribal and tell him to vote for Jack or Jamal. The reason she doesn’t just play it for him on the spot is that she doesn’t want anyone to know she was lying about the Island of the Idols.

So, to safeguard against Dean voting her out, Kellee wants to convince Noura to vote for Jack or Jamal.

This is all tres convoluted. Also, she wants to keep Dean around, but doesn’t trust him enough to not stab her in the back after she just saved his buns?

Tribal Time

Noura uses Dean as an example of not trusting someone because she hasn’t played with them as long as she’d played with the others. Also, he won’t make eye contact with her. Dean counters by saying that Noura has been throwing Jamal’s name around.


Jamal asks if she has brought up his name and she doesn’t deny it.

Later, Jamal raises concerns about an all-female alliance. Kellee counters with a fascinating point as to whether or not it’s sexist to be afraid of a women’s alliance.

The discussion continues with Janet finding it very negative that women would bond based solely on their gender. They should focus on who they are rather than one aspect of their being.

Wow…this season!

Voting Time: Karishma tells Dean that he’s missed her three times and she’s about to take him out with her first shot. No other votes are shown.

Quick Aside: OK, I think I know what bugs me about Karishma; it feels like there’s an unearned arrogance with her. Based on what we’ve seen, she isn’t helpful in challenges or around camp. The only reason she’s around is because nobody is worried about her. Make some real moves, then give a testimonial like that.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Dean does. Oh man, it’s on.

Jamal immediately stands and plays his idol for Noura. Noura? Huh…does he think Dean is going to target her?

Anywho, Rob thinks this is a mistake. I’m pretty sure I agree.

Alright, we’ve got five votes for Dean which don’t count. One vote for Jack, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Island of the Idols” and the first member of the jury is…Jack.

How did Probst resist saying, “Hit the road, Jack?” I’ll tell you how; cause he’s a professional.

Verdict: What is this show I’m watching where people have insightful conversations about their differences and similarities and how we can better understand one another? Sign me up for more.

I touched on this in my Jamal interview, but I think one of the reasons “Survivor” was popular in the first place was because people were intrigued by this retired Navy SEAL who became “friends with a queer.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my strong strategies and bold moves, but part of the appeal of this jawn has always been, “What happens when we take people from varying backgrounds and have them create a society.”

Well done, “Survivor.”

  • Janet: Oh my goodness, you sat and thought about Rob’s proposal before jumping on it? Good for you. Sometimes common sense isn’t so common.
  • Missy: OK, it’s a little funny that before the Tribal discussion on it being negative that people would work together solely based only on gender, that you were talking to Lauren about doing just that. But as usual, you’re working all the angles.
  • Kellee: You kept Dean around and have plausible deniability about the move. Those are the positives. The negative is you stuck your neck out for someone you don’t trust at all.
  • Lauren and Tommy: Missy saw right through what you guys were up to. 
  • Dean: Yeah, you’re still in the game, but you didn’t know that it was going to be you into Kellee clued you in and handed you an idol. 
  • Jamal: You read it all wrong. Luckily, you’ll get a second life at the merge.
  • Dan: Seriously, Dan? Again with the touching?
  • Elaine, Elizabeth, Aaron, Karishma, Noura: I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Reem Daly and Aubry Bracco had Jack in spot fourteen, while I had him in spot two. So, the current score is Team EOE: 52, Team Holmes 47.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes