Following last week’s controversial episode of “Survivor,” episode 10 rebounded.
Janet opened the episode by reflecting on the fact that she almost quit the game at the previous Tribal Council. She told the audience that her desire to set a good example for her daughters inspired her to keep going.
The rain was relentless at the beginning of the episode, leading the castaways to describe it as the worst night they’d had since arriving in Fiji. Elizabeth discussed how difficult camp life while she was trying to sleep in the midst of the pouring rain. However, she acknowledged that she signed up for what she called “the worst night of her life.”
Watching such a diverse group of castaways battle the elements made the episode compelling. As most people probably can’t imagine themselves living with such meager materials, “Survivor” choosing to take a break from the strategic aspect of the show is often a refreshing change.
At camp, Noura expressed her frustrations with Karishma for not doing her part to sustain the food supply. Noura repeatedly asked Karishma to go collect coconuts and materials for camp, to which she eventually agreed. In a stroke of luck, Karishma found a hidden immunity idol ledged between tree roots — a potential saving grace for a player in her position.
After finding her idol, Karishma returned to camp holding only two coconuts. Noura asked Karishma why she was gone for over an hour and returned with almost nothing. Karishma instinctively acted sick and confused to throw off suspicion, which was a comedic highlight of the episode. The irony regarding a castaway who’s seemingly the least likely to be searching for items at camp was the one to stumble across an idol was almost certainly not lost on the viewers.
At the challenge, Jeff informed the remaining 11 castaways that they’d be split into two groups to compete for immunity. One castaway would win from each group, and the groups would attend Tribal Council separately. Each group would then vote someone out.
The castaways had to keep a ball spinning inside of a circular wooden frame and hold it as long as they could. The last castaway in each group would win immunity, and the last person standing would win a food reward for their group, along with the privilege of going to Tribal Council second. Noura and Elaine won the challenge, but once Noura was the last person standing for her group, she forgot she was playing for the food reward and voluntarily dropped out of the challenge. This was yet another comedic highlight in the episode.
Noura brought up the idea of voting out Aaron at the coming Tribal Council, citing the fact that he was the biggest physical threat since he’d already won two individual immunities. Janet, knowing she was at the bottom of the group, jumped at the idea.
Following the previous dark episode, Janet’s one of the few individuals left who’s easy to root for. The fact that plans were unfolding that were, for once, in her favor was exciting.
At the other group, Missy led the charge to try and vote Tommy out. As she was in the group with only five members, she knew she’d need Karishma to join her and Elizabeth as a third vote to secure the majority. Despite their rocky relationship, Missy approached Karishma and laid out her plan to spare her and blindside Tommy. Surprisingly, Karishma didn’t want to talk to Missy despite knowing what her agenda was. Perhaps this can be attributed to hunger, lack of sleep or dehydration, but it was definitely a terrible move.
Karishma spilled Missy’s plan to Elaine, who told Tommy that he was being targeted. Once he caught wind of the plan, Karishma rose from being on the outs of her group to becoming the swing vote once Elaine and Tommy crafted a plan to blindside Missy.
At the first group’s Tribal Council, attended by Aaron, Dan, Dean, Janet, Lauren and Noura, the vote was up in the air between Aaron and Janet. When the castaways approached the voting table, they couldn’t help but eliminate the season’s biggest physical threat, and Aaron was eliminated by a 5-1 vote.
At the other group’s Tribal Council, Missy and Karishma bickered — a common theme this season. Missy also highlighted the fact that the previous episode was the first time two people of color won individual immunity in the same episode.
When the votes were read, Karishma couldn’t help but eliminate the player she felt disrespected her. Missy was eliminated by a vote of 3-2 over Tommy, leaving Elizabeth without her two closest allies in the game.
After an unsatisfying and ugly previous episode, seeing Aaron and Missy have their torches snuffed proves that sometimes, if rarely on “Survivor,” the good guys win.
Contact Connor Murphy at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.