Although the ratings have slowly declined over the years, one thing has always remained constant. The show's ability to bring together people from different backgrounds and overcome their own preconceived notions and biases is the life blood of the show and Island of the Idols has brought it back in full force.
If you thought Survivor was dying, well Island of the Idols is the necessary shock to the system to keep it alive.
Island of the Idols
Janet is sent to meet Boston Rob and Sandra and she is verklempt going there and arriving.
But once she gets over the emotions of it all, she is the first person to weigh the benefit and disadvantage of the advantage offered to her.
She would be immune from a vote but she would have to leave tribal council in order to be immune. It's a dangerous advantage that only works if you are comfortable with your alliance or you have an immunity necklace (hidden or won).
It's a smart play for Janet and now she's the oldest woman ever to make it to the merge. She's breaking all molds and we love it.
We get a lot of time at both camps, but what becomes apparent is that Dan is a weirdo when it comes to touching women.
There's a scene where he is cuddling up to Elizabeth in the shelter and he moves his arm to a very uncomfortable position for the audience and Elizabeth. The women end up making fun of him and throwing him out as a potential vote out, but there's got to be larger implications this season.
Especially on a season where we've have discussions on privilege and sexism.
The new Lairo ends up losing again in a close, close challenge. But before we get to tribal we get one of the greatest confessionals in Survivor history.
Kellee is debating the merits of keeping Dean as a strategic ally when she has a galaxy brain moment. She still has her immunity idol that is only good for this tribal and she concocts a plan to keep Dean and mitigate the damage her in-game persona will take.
And it works! Dean plays his idol and Jack is sent home.
But during tribal the discussion of an all-women's alliance is brought up by Jamal.
In the context of the season, it is a real fear because many of the women have brought up the idea. But in the context of Survivor, the idea of a women's alliance is larger than the amount of times it happens.
It's the same thing that happens to "power couples." Whereas Boston Rob and Amber made power couples dangerous, the Black Widow Brigade did the same for all-women alliances. They were so powerful as a group that now it is feared. In one respect, that should be seen as a positive, but on Survivor men bring it up negatively whether intentional or unintentional.
Kellee and Janet expertly mention the inherit sexism of the idea of fearing an all-women's alliance and how women are more than just an alliance, same as the men would be if there was an all-men's alliance.
A great discussion is had, but Noura being Noura scares Jamal enough to where he wastes his hidden idol on her and his closest ally Jack is voted out.
It's a very good tribal that shows that Kellee is perhaps the strongest player out there and Jamal just keeps getting burned in the worst possible ways. The merge is going to be exciting!
And we can't end this article without saying Rest in Peace Rudy Boesch.