Matt Liguori analyzes the Survivor: Island of the Idols cast each week to pick out which players make up his top three and bottom two, as well as identifying one player we should keep an eye on.
Survivor: Island of the Idols Week 5
Previously on… Sur54
Tom Laidlaw never made it into the 3-2-1 in the few short weeks before he became victim of the first Tribal Council post-swap. I went into the season feeling somewhat okay about Tom’s chances to go far, but certainly not expecting him to win. Seeing how things played out, I’m relatively pleased with his early exit given not a lot was brought to the game from the former NHLer. When the options are Detective Dean, Karishma, or Tom… sorry Tom, but it’s time for you to go. And no, that has nothing to do with you being a former NY Ranger. Nothing at all. Promise.
The outgoing top 3 from last week consisted of Jamal, Elizabeth, and Lauren. Both Jamal and Lauren seem pretty comfortable on their new tribes. Jamal is in the majority on new-Lairo and has an idol in his pocket. Lauren likely isn’t as comfortable considering the 4-4 split, but she’s probably got nothing to worry about unless Lairo bands back together and forces a rock-draw… which seems unlikely.
Last week’s bottom two both had decent weeks! Dan’s situation is similar to Lauren’s (both should be safe for now). In a surprise turn of events, Noura was looking great this week! She was speaking rationally in confessional, strategizing with Kellee and Janet about the vote, and kept everyone laughing at Tribal. I said last week that Noura was likely to be a pre-merge boot, but with every vote that passes and she stays in the game, I’m growing more hopeful she’ll get brought deep as a non-threat.
And of course Missy (our most recent one to watch) was as active in the gameplay this week as always. Missy lucked out and swapped with her closest ally in the game and together the two of them decided that they’re moving on from Lairo. On one hand, Elaine and Elizabeth do seem loyal and isolating/blindsiding them may not be the best move… but the overall picture of Lairo involved a pretty broken group with pieces flying off the board and that wasn’t something that could really be counted on. Fireworks are certainly on the way if new-Vokai loses this week.
As always, check me out on Twitter @mattliguori and let me know your thoughts!
Aaron has been penciled into my top 3 twice this season.. and both times he was removed in a last minute decision. I’ve kept an eye on Aaron in recent weeks because he feels like an entirely new player after being blindsided on the first vote. Having controlled the votes along with Missy to take out Vince and Chelsea, Aaron seems to have more influence than I would’ve expected after episode 1.
With this new tribe split 4-4, Aaron’s elevated his game even further by connecting with Tommy and working on his social game (shoutout to the socks). If new-Vokai goes to Tribal, Aaron and Missy are one step ahead having already declared old-Lairo dead. The group they had going before the swap had been falling apart, so jumping off that sinking ship and making new connections is a pretty defensible move.
The five who moved to Lairo from Vokai seem pretty tight, even with Noura in the mix. Without knowing the full dynamic of the group, it feels like Kellee’s in control. Add in her connection to Dean through a mutual friend back home, Kellee couldn’t ask for a better spot to be in. How she moves forward with this new potential ally could make or break her game. Dean is a safety net and a shield; cutting him next wouldn’t make any sense from where I’m sitting. If Kellee is able to keep him in her back pocket and build on their unique connection, she’ll be set up quite nicely come merge time.
Tommy’s swap luck didn’t pull through as well as it did for some of his former tribemates, but 4-4 is nothing impossible to get through. His closest allies for the first two weeks of the game were Jack and Janet (both ended up on the other tribe) but there’s no signs from anyone on old-Vokai of wanting to turn on each other. A 4-4 split would be dangerous if both sides were tight and willing to go to rocks, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
With four strong on his side and two of the old-Lairo’s ready to jump right into his arms, Tommy again finds himself set up nicely. He and his friends likely get to decide the outcome of any upcoming votes, and once the merge arrives he’ll get right back in with people he’s even closer to.
It’s hard to argue a case for Karishma not being in the bottom two at this point. After successfully avoiding elimination at three Tribals, she’s running out of places to hide. She’s been perceived as the weakest link on her tribe and it’s tough to see how she would make it out of another vote now that Tom’s gone.
It was pretty clear that Karishma was on the outs of her first tribe as well, so the decision to jump ship and reassure old-Vokai that she’s with them made all the sense in the world. Unfortunately, with no signs of dissension within that group, they may find it easier to cut Karishma now rather than bringing a wildcard into the merge.
This might seem surprising as Elizabeth hasn’t done much to put herself in a bottom two position, but for me it was between her and Elaine for this spot. It’s pretty rare for me to take someone from the top 3 one week and bump them down to the bottom 2 next week, but I don’t control these tribe swaps! With Aaron and Missy declaring old-Lairo dead, Elaine and Elizabeth by default are in a bad spot if the former-Vokai’s stick with the duo that got to them first.
We know how Aaron feels about Elaine: he thinks she’s got a killer social game and could win at the end because of it. But what incentive does old-Vokai have to give Aaron the vote he wants? If they notice there’s tension between Aaron and Elaine, that’s far better to keep around than bringing a strong challenge competitor like Elizabeth into the merge who is relatively well liked by everyone.
Detective Dean finally showed up to play! Just like Jamal a few weeks back, Dean was blindsided and returned to camp re-evaluating his game with the goal being to take back control and figure out where things went wrong. Also just like his new tribemate Jamal… Dean seems pretty clear that he has no loyalty to anybody who blindsided him. This week could’ve been Dean’s time to go once he got swapped and was down in the numbers, but his connection to Kellee gave him room to maneuver.
Going forward, Dean’s challenge strength compared to Karishma’s should be enough to keep him alive at least one more week (if not more). He isn’t in a position to control the game, but he is in a position to use the connection with Kellee to get in good with some of her allies and take advantage of his status as a free-agent.