**Contains spoilers about Episode 5 and the preview for Episode 6, but no spoilers or rumors about who wins future challenges, gets voted out or lasts long in the game**


I have 3 favorite episodes of Survivor every season – the premiere, the tribe swap and the family visit. I was SOOO excited for this episode and it didn’t disappoint! Who’s getting tired of blindsides? Not me! 😊 Though I will be cheering if and when Dean ends up on the right side of another blindside!

I get chills of excitement when Jeff says “Drop. Your. Buffs.” (Probably the exact opposite reaction the castaways get!). Janet, Jack, Jamal, Kellee and Noura were lucky to end up in the majority on Lairo with Dean, Karishma and Tom. The new Vokai (Tommy, Lauren, Jason, Dan, Elaine, Aaron, Missy and Elizabeth) were lucky not to end up on Lairo and to have a really strong tribe!

reward-2.pngWe didn’t get an Island of the Idols (IOI) visit this episode (I missed you, Rob!), but we did get an Applebee’s sponsored reward challenge. I saw some tweets giving them grief for how excited they were for Applebee’s. Doesn’t anyone remember Heidi Strobel and Jenna Morasca strip for peanut butter in the Amazon? At least this time they got alcohol AND brownies! 🍹 I would be more excited than Missy was!

tom.pngThe reward challenge was BRUTAL! I’m sure they all had chaffing in new and interesting places. Can you imagine how hot and rough that sand was as they scraped their faces and bodies across it? Whoever thought it was a good idea to have Karishma do the worm crawl while tied up was not a very good strategist. I know she hasn’t excelled at puzzles, but she has to be better at puzzles than she is at a very physical challenge! Even if she just stood there and handed Jamal pieces of the puzzle! Jason and Aaron did a great job with the puzzle (and getting out of having sand in their eyes, mouths, noses, etc.). Vokai won (of course!).

It was fun to see the new Vokai bond at the reward. I’m not sure if it was alcohol, ego or both, but Missy said "Why would we lose? Our names not Lairo." Production showed Aaron shaking his head at that point. (I’m not sure if he was trying to signal her to be quiet?) I was surprised that there was no clue to an advantage or anything there. I guess they think there are enough idols in play and Vokai didn’t really need an advantage since Lairo has a handicap (aka, Karishma).

ic.pngIt was a nice, yet simple, setup for the immunity challenge. After taking a high dive and releasing some balls (way to go Elizabeth, again! It’s so cool to watch an Olympian compete!), the tribe had to all dive off and swim to a platform, then carry the balls across a beam. Vokai did a great job the entire way. Most of Lairo also did a great job! Jeff called Karishma out for being slow in the challenge. She struggled a LOT - at the ladder, climbing up on the platforms (twice) and the beam. Despite the handicap, it came down to Tommy vs. Dean and Tommy sunk the third ball before Dean could. It was really close, but Vokai won (again).

The most interesting part of tribal council for me was Sandra’s and Rob’s observations. Sandra has made her support of Noura and Kellee known (on the show and on social media now). Rob thought Dean was a goner (wrong) and he said Lairo is going to keep losing (probably right!).



When I saw the vote, I was really confused because of what Janet said at the beginning. She said that her vote would be based on keeping the tribe strong so that they could win… ummm??? 🤔 Janet called Dean out for not talking to her, but talking to the other old Vokai tribemates. He was probably sweating a bit after that! Jamal explained their true plan – to get rid of someone with good connections on the other tribe. Dean responded by pointing out that he was left out of the vote to get rid of Chelsea and that Karishma was included and had a close connection on the other tribe. I do think that thought sunk in, but it was too late. I appreciated how Jeff asked Kellee "How do you know, when someone's on the bottom, what their real truth is?".


Tom and Dean voted for Karishma. Noura had no vote because she failed her IOI challenge. Everyone else voted for Tom. I was sad to see him go. Tom played with class and left with class. What a great representative from Canada! I hope we see more Canadians in the future (maybe I can compete with them if I ever make it on!!! 😊)



Next Time on Survivor – The episode is called “Suck It Up Buttercup”. The official description is “Rival alliances go head to head over a powerful player, and one castaway must decide if they are daring enough to take on a risky task after visiting the Island of the Idols, on Survivor: Island of the Idols”. I assume the rival alliances are on Vokai. Who do you think the powerful player is? Aaron? Noura is talking to Dean about wanting one of "those two gone". It seems she's talking about Jack and Jamal? Aaron says to Jason "if you want one of my girls out, then it's time to cut one of them".


Lairo Tribe

lairo.pngThe episode started on Old Lairo the morning after Chelsea was voted out. Dean was upset about being left out and was trying to "detect" who “ordered the hit” on Chelsea. He didn’t think it was Tom or Karishma and suspected Elizabeth, Elaine, Missy and/or Aaron. Elaine told Dean that it wasn’t her idea, but she was ok with anyone going who wasn’t her. Aaron threw Elaine under the bus to Dean and said he was told to vote Chelsea out by Elaine. Dean thought it was Missy and Elizabeth. He told Missy he doesn't think he could work with her.

When New Lairo came to camp after losing the reward challenge, Karishma quickly talked to Kellee about being on the outs and wanting to work with them against Tom and Dean. Tom talked to Janet about wanting to get rid of Karishma. Janet told Tom that they couldn’t believe Karishma was still there (hmmm, Janet? Why is she still there?). Kellee and Dean talked and realized that Dean’s ex-girlfriend was a friend of Kellee’s from college.

Karishma opened up to Janet and Jack about how she married to please her family and how she needs to make changes in her marriage. It was a very touching segment and really showed how kind Jack and Janet are!

After the immunity challenge loss, Dean and Tom talked to Jamal about getting Karishma out because of her performance in challenges. Jamal agreed with them. However, Karishma talked to Jack, Jamal and Janet and let them know she is 100% with them. Tom also talked to Janet and told her he wanted to go to the merge with them. But, Janet thinks they would lose Tom post merge to his old tribe mates. It made me laugh when Kellee told Dean that she wants to work with him, but doesn’t want to become the next Chelsea. 🤣 Ultimately, Tom went home because they think he has close ties on Vokai and didn’t trust him post merge. 😢

1. Janet Carbin (Original Vokai) - 59 years old ❤️❤️❤️


Janet is pretty incredible! She is great at comps, has great social skills and is a good listener. In a clip on the CBS website, we see that she’s also a provider and caught fish for Lairo. She seems very close with Jack, Jamal, Kellee and Noura. I don’t think Janet will be a target anytime soon. It’s my impression that she is running the show in a quiet way behind the scenes. I just hope she targets Karishma next and not Dean!



dean.png2. Dean Kowalski (Original Lairo) - 28 years old ❤️❤️

I really like Dean and hope he doesn’t go the next time Lairo loses! He does well at the physical parts of challenges. I think he could have won the reward challenge for them if Karishma hadn’t held them back. He quickly tied it up and it stinks for him that he didn’t make the third basket before Tommy. He has a funny self-deprecating humor and gets along well with everyone. I hope his quick connection with Kellee helps to keep him safe! Unfortunately, he could be in trouble if Janet and Company don’t realize they still need to win challenges!

3. Jack Nichting (Original Vokai) - 23 years old ❤️❤️

jack.pngJack has a really genuine personality. They don’t show us enough of Jack each episode, but, Jack was really empathetic and kind during the segment about Karishma’s marriage. He is great in challenges, gets along with everyone and is hopefully safe for a while. I know the preview shows Noura talking to Dean about wanting to target Jack and Jamal, but I think Janet is pulling the strings and I don’t think Janet is that stupid!


kellee.png4. Kellee Kim (Original Vokai) - 29 years old ❤️

Kellee is very close with Janet (and now possibly Dean). She is in a really good place (AND has an idol that nobody knows about!). She is really savvy, smart, social and competitive in challenges – an all-around huge threat that nobody seems to realize! Yay! She should be safe for a while.


5. Noura Salman (Original Vokai) - 36 years old 👍

noura.pngNoura is growing on me and it’s not because Sandra likes her! Not only is she REALLY entertaining, she also kicked butt in the reward challenge! She was literally dragging Karishma up the sand hill! She is unpredictable and kind of kooky, but she makes me laugh. I think Janet will keep her around for a while. The only way she would get a target now is if she plays too hard trying to turn on the old Vokai.



jamal.png6. Jamal Shipman (Original Vokai) - 33 years old

Jamal seems to have untwisted his panties and is over not being included on the Molly vote. Jamal has a very expressive face and sometimes his expressions crack me up! He is close with Janet, Jack and Kellee and I think he is safe for a while (despite Noura’s comment in the scenes for next week).


7. Karishma Patel (Original Lairo) - 37 years old 👎👎

karishma.pngKarishma is my least favorite kind of Survivor player. I want to be on Survivor more than anything and people who go on and whine and complain and don’t put 100% into everything really bug me. I thought her story about her marriage was very open and interesting and she clearly did a good job getting into the good graces of the old Vokai. However, if they lose again (which is likely), I hope she goes.




Vokai Tribe

vokai.pngWhen we got to the New Vokai, Missy and Elizabeth were wresting with an audience and Aaron was narrating about how Elaine is getting people to like her and how he needs to do the same. Aaron and Tommy bonded over Aaron's socks with his son's face (awesome idea!). They agreed to have each other’s back. However, they also agree that they both want to stay with their original tribe mates. Aaron and Missy discussed agreeing to get rid of one of their own if they lost because they didn't want to draw rocks. Missy said she's ready to flip.

1. Tommy Sheehan (Original Vokai) - 26 years old ❤️❤️❤️

tommy.pngI love Tommy and I loved him even more when he hugged the Applebee’s guy at the reward! He did a great job in both challenges and is close with Jason, Lauren and Dan. I don’t see the old Vokai being willing to turn on their own. On the other hand, none of them will want to go to rocks either! Hopefully they will keep winning and it won’t matter. If they do lose, I think Tommy is safe unless they draw rocks.




elaine.png2. Elaine Stott (Original Lairo) - 41 years old ❤️❤️❤️ 

Elaine is so wonderfully genuine. But, the same reason I love her is the reason they see her as a threat. If they do lose, I could see Aaron and Missy being willing to throw Elaine to the wolves. I hope this doesn’t happen, but I think she’s in the worst place on Vokai.


3. Lauren Beck (Original Vokai) - 29 years old ❤️❤️

lauren.pngWe just don’t get enough of Lauren! She has such a great personality and they have been giving us small snippets each week at best. I can’t wait for a Lauren episode! I think she’s in a good spot unless they draw rocks.




elizabeth.png4. Elizabeth Beisel (Original Lairo) - 26 years old ❤️

Elizabeth is awesome in challenges! I absolutely love watching her compete – and not just with swimming! I think she’s in a better position than any of the other old Lairo. Elaine would be cut first by Missy and Aaron and Missy and Aaron are bigger threats than Elizabeth.


5. Jason Linden (Original Vokai) - 32 years old 👍👍👍

jason.pngJason is an extremely smart person and shows it in his puzzle challenge success, in his confessionals and in his game play (with the exception of day 1). He is close with Dan, Lauren and Tommy and I don’t see them splitting up. I think he is in a good spot unless they draw rocks.




dan.png6. Dan Spilo (Original Vokai) - 48 years old 👍👍

Dan is the King of Confessionals! He cracks me up every week. This week he said, “it would have to be a multiple choice or essay test for us not to win”. Yes, that’s a bit arrogant. However, he’s not wrong! 🤣 Like the rest of old Vokai, I think Dan is safe unless they draw rocks.


7. Missy Byrd (Original Lairo) - 24 years old 👍


I like Missy… I just think she’s playing WAY too hard when she doesn’t need to. She was also pretty harsh (again) with Dean. I’m concerned that she’s making herself a target with her cocky comments and willingness to flip.





aaarons-socks.png8. Aaron Meredith (Original Lairo) - 36 years old 👎

I know it’s all in the editing, but it was nice to see Aaron bond with Tommy over his son (and his cool socks!). That being said, I think Aaron, like Missy, is playing way too hard. I realize they are in a tough spot, but I think he could paint a target on his back if he comes on too strong.



Thank you for reading my thoughts and rankings. If you got this far, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!