JMU graduate student Jack Nitching was voted off and became the first member of the jury.

This week’s episode of “Survivor” will go down as a memorable and heartbreaking one for the JMU community.

Before that can be addressed, though, it’s time to look at what happened on the island this week.

When the Vokai tribe returned from Tribal Council, Lauren voiced her concerns to Missy, as she’d been left out of the plan to send Jason home. Considering Lauren thought Missy was on her side, she needed answers.

Missy told Lauren that she didn’t need to be worried, because Lauren was the only connection Missy had to the women on the original Vokai tribe. This eased Lauren’s paranoia, but she was still uneasy about her position being outside of the tribe.

Janet was randomly selected to go to the Island of the Idols and immediately told her tribe members she was worried her trip would put a target on her back. When Janet showed up at the Island of the Idols, she was stunned to see Rob and Sandra. The duo told Janet that her test would deal with calculated risk. She had the opportunity to play a game of chance that would give her the ability to leave a Tribal Council before a vote and head back to camp, saving herself. However, if she lost, she’d lose her vote at the upcoming Tribal Council.

Janet chose not to play the game, which Rob and Sandra admired. This was definitely the best move, as Janet was arguably the best position to win the game at the moment.

For the first time, Lauren, Tommy and Dan felt that they were in danger of being voted off. Lauren and Tommy wanted to preserve their friendship and alliance, so they decided to team up and plant the target on Dan, hoping that the majority alliance would send him home in the event they lost the challenge.

At the Immunity Challenge, the tribes had to piece together a large and heavy puzzle of the “Survivor” logo. Vokai pulled out the win by seconds over Lairo.

With Lairo back at camp following the immunity challenge loss, most on the tribe seemed ready to send Dean packing. However, Kellee wasn’t ready to see Dean go, so she started her plan.

Kellee had kept her hidden immunity idol quiet since coming back from the Island of the Idols. But, the idol’s life was almost over, and it was going to lose its power after the next tribal. Since Kellee had yet to feel her game threatened, she started thinking of ways she could use it to solidify her relationship with Dean while also furthering her place in the game.

While Kellee had previously worked with both Jack and Jamal, she knew they’d be two threats to her game. Jack and Kellee had more of a friendship, but she was worried he was too good at connecting with people, which could help him later in the season. With Jamal, Kellee didn’t feel as much of a connection, but she knew he was physically a threat.

As Tribal approached, Kellee went to Dean and told him her plan: She’d give Dean her idol to use to protect himself if he voted for the player she told him to. She then went and convinced Noura to vote the same way, too. With Dean playing an idol, Kellee knew two votes would send any player she wanted home, and she wouldn’t even need to write that player’s name down. 

2019 FCS Playoffs - JMU

At tribal, Jamal and Noura got into a small argument, with Jamal bringing up the fact that Noura had tried to get people to vote him out earlier. However, most of the conversation at tribal tackled the issue of how women are viewed not only in “Survivor,” but also in the outside world.

Jamal had mentioned the possibility of an all-women's alliance, which Kellee took offense to. She pointed out that no one ever fears an all-men’s alliance, and no one finds it odd if only men are sitting at the final tribal council. The conversation ended with Janet, who said she’s lived through the change in how women are viewed, saying that for any woman to be successful, they need men and women backing them and that the most important element is respect.

Following the discussion, the castaways headed to the vote. As they came back, Dean played the idol from Kellee, keeping him safe another week. Suddenly nervous about the possible outcome, Jamal used his idol and played it for Noura, thinking the votes would be headed her way.

But they weren’t.

With two idols played and only two votes against him, JMU graduate student Jack Nitching was voted off and became the first member of the jury.

Contact Connor Murphy at and Catie Harper at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.