**Contains spoilers about Episodes 8 and the preview for Episode 9, but no spoilers or rumors about who wins future challenges, gets voted out or lasts long in the game**


I’m not even sure how to start this article. This was definitely my least favorite Survivor episode ever (and that includes every time Boston Rob was voted out). I guess I should have known it was going to be bad when the episode started with a warning! 😔

When the episode began, Noura quickly proved me correct and threw Kellee under the bus by letting everyone know that Kellee told her to vote for Jack. Kellee scrambled to clean up the mess with Janet and Jamal. Janet seemed to believe her, but Jamal wasn’t buying it. Also as I predicted, the idol play at tribal council sent everyone scrambling to find one on the beach. Kellee found one – Yay! 😄

merge.jpgThe merge happened next and the tribes were transported by boat to a feast. We saw very little feasting because everyone was quickly in game mode! Janet, Jamal, Noura and Kellee wanted to keep Old Vokai together and go after Old Lairo. However, Tommy, Lauren and Dan wanted to create a Vokai 2.0 that included the 3 of them, plus Elizabeth, Elaine, Missy, Aaron, Janet and Kellee. Tommy felt as if Janet and Kellee weren’t valuing his opinion. Janet and Kellee didn’t see how it would benefit them to be on the bottom of a 9-person alliance.

kellee-confessional.jpgMissy and Kellee walked on the beach and confided to each other that Dan touched them inappropriately and made them feel uncomfortable.  This conversation seemed sincere on both parts - even Missy doesn't seem to be strategic during this conversation. In a confessional, Kellee explained that Dan had made her, Molly, Lauren, Missy and Elizabeth all uncomfortable. During the confessional, Kellee became emotional and you could hear the producer say “you know if there are issues, to the point where things need to happen, come to me and I will make sure that stops.”

Kellee confided to Janet why she was upset. Janet explained to us her initial read on Dan was that he was just old fashioned and wasn't doing anything wrong. But, now she was concerned by how he was making the girls feel. Missy and Elizabeth then discussed Dan, but they were joking and laughing about his behavior. Missy warned Elizabeth that Janet might ask her about it and told Elizabeth to play it up to Janet. Elizabeth then talked to Kellee and reinforced what Missy had said. Kellee told Elizabeth that she wanted to vote Dan out and Elizabeth agreed. However, Kellee confessed to us that she didn’t want to make a game decision based on Dan's behavior and she still wanted to target Missy. 






After these discussions, we are shown the messages above explaining how production handled the situation. Based on the statements of some of the players, CBS statements and Jeff Probst’s Entertainment Weekly interview, it is clear that production did not tell everyone what was going on. According to Jeff, “The decision was made to meet with all players, both as a group and individually, to remind them of personal boundaries and hear of any concerns.” Dan, however, was given an official warning and told that he was making some of the women feel uncomfortable. A lot of fans think that Dan should have been removed from the game. They think production shouldn’t have asked Kellee about how it should be handled. I think they were walking a fine line between wanting to maintain the safety of the players, while also maintaining the integrity of the game. Should Dan have been removed? I don’t know. I think that’s a question for lawyers to answer.

Unfortunately for Kellee, Tommy and Lauren don’t like how much time Kellee spent talking to Missy and Elizabeth after saying she wanted Missy voted out. They don’t trust Kellee. Based on this, Lauren told Missy that Kellee wanted Missy to go.



The first immunity challenge looked pretty difficult! They had to crouch while holding up a table with 3 balls on it. Noura was out first, followed by Kellee, Dean, Janet, Lauren, Elaine, Dan, Karishma, Tommy, Missy, Elizabeth and then Jamal. Aaron won.



After the immunity challenge, we got the usual scrambling, confusion and production misdirection. Kellee confessed that she would have liked to work with Missy, but it’s too late and Missy is too big a threat. Vokai 2.0 was formed, but it now included Tommy, Lauren, Dan, Elaine, Elizabeth, Missy, Aaron and Dean – and their target was Kellee because Tommy and Lauren thought she was a threat and they all believed Kellee was going after Missy.

On the flip side, Noura and Jamal wanted Dan to go. Jamal was concerned that Dan had thrown his name around and Noura didn’t like how Dan had made some of the women feel uncomfortable. (I would have really loved to see Noura and Jamal work together longer). Though Janet personally liked Dan, she agreed with Jamal and Noura and believed it was the morally right decision to vote out Dan. Janet talked to Elizabeth about the plan to vote out Dan. Elizabeth agreed with Janet, but confessed to us that she thought Janet was lying.

With all the talking and scrambling, Kellee didn’t feel safe and decided to go idol hunting again… and found her 2nd idol in one episode! 😄

tc-1.jpgAt tribal council, Dan said that trust is more important than deception in the game. Karishma agreed with him and said you can’t have deception without first having trust. Jeff asked if they would vote on original tribal lines. Janet responded the lines can be blurred as the game progresses and they get to know more people. During voting, Kellee was nervous and turned to Lauren and asked "Are we good? Are we ok?" and Lauren nodded. Kellee did not play an idol and was voted out. 😭

7-Kellee (Tommy, Dan, Lauren, Dean, Aaron, Elizabeth, Missy)

5-Dan (Janet, Kellee, Jamal, Noura, Karishma)


After tribal council, Janet asked if anyone wanted to talk about what happened. Tommy and Lauren admitted to her that they voted Kellee out. Janet was very upset with them and said it wasn’t just about a vote, it was about Dan’s treatment of the girls. Lauren confessed she wasn’t comfortable voting Dan out for the reasons people wanted him out.

Janet then talked to Dan and told him that Missy, Elizabeth and Lauren came to her crying about Dan making them feel uncomfortable. Janet said “the talk today” (production) was about him. Dan told Janet it was all part of the game and not serious. He said he and the girls are “tight” and that Janet got played. Dan told Missy and Elizabeth what Janet had said and they denied it. They said, if they really felt that way, they would have voted him out. Dan really threw Janet to the wolves in this discussion. 😠 He told Elizabeth and Missy that Janet was “disgusted” with them for playing her that way. When Janet and Dan talked again, Dan implied that Janet was lying about what happened. Janet confronted Elizabeth, who admitted she had told Janet Dan made her feel uncomfortable. However, Elizabeth told Dan they are “ok” and, as soon as Janet left, Elizabeth said she confirmed what Janet said to get her off her back. The next morning, Janet say Aaron and Missy idol hunting and decided to look for one herself – and she found one! Yay! 😁

ioi.jpgI love Boston Rob and I have loved the Island of Idols (IOI) visits all season, just to see Rob. I did NOT like the IOI visit this week. Jamal and Karishma found a note with instructions to not open it and to go directly to IOI. I did love Jamal’s reaction when he saw Rob and Sandra! It was really cute! He said, "How did you pop out of my tv screen?" "Wow, you guys have just been here for years?" Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there. Once Jamal opened the note, he found out he had lost his vote. Rob told him the lesson was in the art of sabotage. Yes, Jamal was sabotaged, but advantage.jpgwhere was the lesson?!?! He was then given a blank parchment and a pencil and told it was the “opportunity” to sabotage someone else. Jamal created a fake legacy advantage and “gifted” it to Birthday Boy Dean. Unfortunately for Jamal, it came across as shady and Dean felt targeted. It was an awful “lesson” and even worse “opportunity”. If they are going to stick with IOI, I really hope they go back to the format of (1) lesson, (2) offer, (3) test, and (4) penalty if failed and reward if succeeded.

ic2.jpgI liked the 2nd immunity challenge. It reminded me of old school Survivor challenges. The last woman or man standing would win immunity and they had to hold onto a handle and lean forward over the water as Jeff periodically let the rope out. Lauren dropped early, followed by Dan, Jamal, Elaine (with a flip!), Karishma, Janet, Dean, Noura and Tommy. Aaron was the last man standing and won immunity. It came down to Elizabeth and Missy, but Elizabeth dropped and Missy won.

During the post immunity challenge scramble, Vokai 2.0 agreed to split the votes between Jamal and Karishma. Tommy talked to Janet and let her know she wasn’t going home. When Janet asked who she should vote for, Tommy told her to vote for Jamal. I really hope Tommy intends to work with Janet moving forward!

tribal-council.jpgThe 2nd tribal council was tough. I know the whole episode was tough, but this really brought tears to my eyes and is the reason I am writing this article so late. I always watch the episode twice before I write this and then watch some parts a 3rd time as I’m writing it. I just needed a couple of days to process it before I could watch this again. The way Dan and Aaron talked about Janet and Kellee was really upsetting. Watching Kellee sit there and listen without being allowed to talk was really upsetting. And, watching Janet break down and consider leaving the game because of the way people were making her feel over her moral decision was awful. It really made me sick that Missy and Elizabeth never spoke up. I know there is so much we don’t see. Janet has spoken up and said that Tommy defended her during the tribal council. We saw Karishma, tc2-janet.jpgNoura and Lauren comfort her. We heard Jamal’s extremely eloquent and succinct speech. But, Missy’s and Elizabeth’s silence spoke volumes as well. One thing I noticed when I watched this through again, is that Jeff does speak for Kellee a little bit. He summarized for the jury what had happened. He said that Kellee told Janet her feelings and Janet felt like she needed to take action. He said you can’t brush over a story like that. But, he pointed out that it segued into game play without Janet knowing about it. I REALLY hope this isn’t the last we hear of this. As much as it is difficult to hear and see, it will be worse if it is now brushed under the carpet and not mentioned on the show again after that tribal council.


Jeff asked if they could separate this issue from the vote and Lauren said yes. Lauren apologizes for coming at Janet and said she was hurt. I was SOOO happy when Janet played her immunity idol on herself. I know she didn’t get votes and Tommy told her she was safe, but better safe than sorry! I was really sad to see Jamal go. He has a way with words and has been the voice of reason at several emotional tribal councils.

 jamal.jpg2- Janet (Missy, Karishma)

3- Karishma (Lauren, Elizabeth, Elaine)

6- Jamal (Tommy, Aaron, Dean, Noura, Dan, Janet)




bonus.jpgFYI – CBS has a bunch of extra clips this week on All Access. It’s everything that I wanted to see from a merge episode – Elizabeth and Janet connecting over swimming, Noura being Noura, Tommy and Dean connecting over basketball, etc. I highly recommend watching them. (Plus, there’s a bonus of Rob and Sandra!) There are also great Ponderosa videos of Kellee and Jamal.


Next Time on Survivor – Two people are going to be voted out instead of one! Dean is targeting Karishma and Janet. However, Elaine tells Tommy that “she” wants him out (Missy?).

Ranking – My ranking is based on who I enjoy the most. This could be because of personality, game play, pure entertainment value or some combination of the those. Those at the top are the ones that I want to stick around. Those at the bottom are those who I wouldn’t mind leaving. The emojis indicate how much I like them (some are tied). However, I do explain for each how safe I think they are in the game and how I think they are playing overall.

This was REALLY hard this week. I know some of my opinions will be unpopular, but I gave this a LOT of thought and watched the episode twice through fully and almost all the way through a third time.

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

janet.jpgI have an incredible amount of respect for Janet as a human, a woman and a Survivor player. Though she was friends with and in an alliance with Dan and thought it wasn’t best for her game, she wanted to do what she believed was morally right (I agree) and vote out her ally. I am so happy she found an idol and is safe. I really want to see Janet’s thoughtfulness, intelligence and kindness right up to the end of this season. I do think Janet will be safe. Tommy and Lauren still trust her and she’s no longer a threat to them or Vokai 2.0. This could be wishful thinking, but I think she’ll be around for a bit.

tommy.jpg2. Tommy Sheehan (Original Vokai, New Vokai) - 26 years old ❤️❤️

Yes, Tommy voted out Kellee and Jamal. However, I don’t think Tommy was aware of what Missy and Elizabeth were doing (lying to Janet about their feelings regarding Dan) and I think Tommy’s decisions were purely strategic with no malice or moral dilemma. Kellee didn’t confide in Tommy and any knowledge he had of the situation was people telling him that it was being blown out of proportion. Janet herself has come forward on Twitter and said Tommy had her back at tribal council. I think Tommy is a good guy who is playing a tough game. I believe him in his apology on social media when he says he was unaware of all the circumstances. I do think Tommy is in trouble if Vokai 2.0 turn on him, which the preview suggests, since they have the numbers if Dan sticks with them (Elaine, Elizabeth, Missy, Aaron, Dean and Dan).

3. Noura Salman (Original Vokai, New Lairo) - 36 years old ❤️❤️

noura.jpgNoura is such an interesting character! I really loved the interactions between her and Jamal in the episode and am really sad we won’t get to see more of that. In an interview, she said she was closest to Lauren and Kellee at swap time. It will be interesting to see if she works with Vokai 2.0 or if she sticks with Janet (as I hope) and they pull some allies to their side. I think Noura is safe for now. It seems silly to target her when there are bigger targets strategically and physically.

elaine.jpg4. Elaine Stott (Original Lairo, New Vokai) - 41 years old ❤️❤️

I know some people think Elaine was wrong for voting with her alliance against Kellee and Jamal. However, Elaine didn’t know either of them and was in an alliance with New Vokai. Kellee never confided in Elaine. Like Tommy, I believe Elaine voted purely strategically with her alliance and didn’t realize the extent of Kellee’s discomfort and Dan’s behavior. I still really like Elaine as a person and Survivor player. I would love to see Elaine working with Tommy and Janet, but she is very loyal and will probably stick with Elizabeth. Luckily, Elaine’s loyalty should keep her safe for a while.

5. Lauren Beck (Original Vokai, New Vokai) - 29 years old ❤️❤️

lauren.jpgEven more than Elaine and Tommy, Lauren is getting lumped in with Missy and Elizabeth regarding misleading Janet about Dan. I know Janet named Lauren when she mentioned girls coming to her crying, but we never saw Lauren lie about her feelings regarding Dan. We actually saw the opposite. Lauren wasn’t bothered by Dan and told Janet and us this. It’s not wrong for her not to be bothered by him! Yes, Lauren suspected Kellee of exaggerating and using her discomfort with Dan as game play. Sure, given the seriousness of harassment, Lauren should have tried to get a better understanding of the situation instead of assuming. However, Lauren’s decision to vote out Kellee was strategic and not malicious. Her decision to not vote out Dan was strategic and not malicious. What Janet did to throw away game and go with her morals was amazing! But, it wouldn’t have been amazing if it was what everyone would do. It was amazing because it was special! Lauren did what most people would do – she was in game mode and played Survivor. I loved Kellee and Jamal and wanted them to stay. But, I’m not going to hate on Lauren because she got rid of two strong players and kept an ally. I still like Lauren and look forward to seeing her play. She should be safe for a while. She has allies on both sides and isn’t a threat.

karishma.jpg6. Karishma Patel (Original Lairo, New Lairo) - 37 years old 👍

Karishma impressed me in this episode – not just because of how she voted and what she had to say, but also because she did better than a lot of others in both challenges and they were very physical challenges! 👏 Karishma is well spoken and intelligent. Unfortunately, she’s also on the wrong side of the votes and her name is still being mentioned as an easy target. I think Karishma could continue to be hidden behind bigger targets, but it would just take a well-played idol for her to go.

7. Dean Kowalski (Original Lairo, New Lairo) - 28 years old 👍

dean.jpgDean did exactly what I said he was going to do – he turned on Kellee. Did that suck for Kellee? 100%. However, it was the smart move on Dean’s part! Kellee brought him nothing! She didn’t bring him into her alliance. She actually did the opposite – she kept him out and secret. When given the choice between Vokai 2.0 or being secretly allied with one person, it would be stupid for him to do anything else! He didn’t throw her to the wolves and tell anyone about the idol. I know Kellee fans all wish he had whispered in her ear before tribal council. However, Dean didn’t know who would go instead. All we saw was Vokai 2.0 thinking that Kellee, Janet and Co. were going to go after Missy. They thought the Dan vote was a misdirect. So, if Dean gave Kellee a heads up and she played an idol, Dean would lose an ally. Do I wish he told her? Sure! I love Kellee and Dan would have gone. However, I think he did the smart move for his game. I think Dean is starting to play a little more strategically. I’m not sure if he is throwing challenges or just bad at them, though. He sure didn’t do well! I think he is safe for now. There are too many other options right now to worry about him.

aaron2.jpg8. Aaron Meredith (Original Lairo, New Vokai) - 36 years old 👎

If you’ve read my articles before, you know that I’m not an Aaron fan. I think he’s too cocky and playing too hard. Additionally, I REALLY hate how he talked to Janet at tribal council. That being said, his video apologies really impressed me. He showed a sincere and emotional side that we haven’t seen at all on the show. I believe that he didn’t have all the facts before and that he sincerely regrets his behavior. Also, it was clear he truly believed it was all strategic against Dan. Was that ignorant? Yep. Should he have tried to find out the truth or questioned it more based on production intervention? Definitely. But, his perception was that it was game play and he made a strategic decision in return. To go from the bottom on New Vokai, to the majority and now to one of the ringleaders of Vokai 2.0 is impressive. Unfortunately for Aaron, he is painting a huge target on his back by winning two individual immunity challenges in a row. They could decide to vote him out as soon as he loses in case they don’t get another chance! Though he appears to be safe with Vokai 2.0, I could see Aaron going sooner rather than later.

9. Elizabeth Beisel (Original Lairo, New Vokai) - 26 years old 👎 👎

10. Missy Byrd (Original Lairo, New Vokai) - 24 years old 👎 👎

missy-and-elizabeth.jpgI’m at a loss for words regarding Elizabeth and Missy, so I am putting them here together with my thoughts. Missy was at a military academy – an institution where women have historically been alienated and ostracized for speaking out about harassment. Elizabeth is a female Olympian – an organization that has been in the news in recent years due to a doctor sexually assaulting female Olympians. I truly can’t comprehend why they thought using this as strategy was a moral, ethical, or even intelligent decision. They devalued Kellee’s feelings with their words and actions and they manipulated Janet through her morals and beliefs in a truly horrific way. I don’t hate them. I believe they regret their actions. However, I don’t want either of them to win Survivor. I do think Elizabeth will be safe for a while, simply because Missy and Aaron are her closest allies and are bigger threats. If Vokai 2.0 breaks up, as the preview indicates, it’s possible Missy is in danger.

11. Dan Spilo (Original Vokai, New Vokai) - 48 years old 👎 👎 👎

dan.jpgI really don’t understand how (or believe?) Dan has reached 48 years old and hasn’t been told he is making someone feel uncomfortable with how invasive he is of women’s personal space. I know that I would feel the same as Kelly. She told him how she felt and it seemed as if it improved somewhat on Old Vokai (at least to the point where they both concerned the other an ally). But, Dan continued to do it. I know the other women didn’t complain, which led him to believe it was ok (though I am surprised his wife would be ok with it!). The bottom line is, Kellee asked him to stop and he didn’t. He also didn’t apologize for what he did when he was confronted with it at tribal council. Instead, he said he would be sorry if it ever happened – continuing to imply it hadn’t happened. He also didn’t give Janet’s word any credence. I wish he was voted out. He can’t leave soon enough for me. I don’t think he’s on anyone’s radar now, but I hope I’m wrong and that he goes next.

Final Thoughts – Even when my favorite players in a season have gone, I have never felt as sad as I did after watching this episode. I love Survivor. I will always love Survivor. I have wanted to be on the show since I watched the very first episode and still hope to some day play. But, so much was wrong with this episode. I hope CBS, Jeff Probst, the whole production team, and future players all learned something from this and that changes are made in the future to prevent it. I also hope fans listen to Janet, Kellee and Jamal. The hate and threats need to end. We need a little less judgment and a little more kindness on the show and in the community.

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