“Survivor: Island of the Idols” Episode 12 Recap: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Noura Salman

“Survivor: Island of the Idols” (CBS)
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Last Week: Bacon was downed, idols were found, and the swimmer drowned (metaphorically). 39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog Alright, let’s check out the tribe as it currently stands. The Lumuwaku Tribe
  • Dan, 48 – Talent Manager
  • Dean, 28 – Tech Sales
  • Elaine, 41 – Factory Worker
  • Janet, 59 – Chief Lifeguard
  • Karishma, 37 – Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Lauren, 28 – Nanny
  • Noura, 36 – Entrepreneur
  • Tommy, 26 – 4th-Grade Teacher
Post-Tribal Shenanigans Oh wait…no post-Tribal fun for us. Nobody had anything interesting to say after two idols were played and there was a tie vote?! Family Matters Alright, we’ve got eight remaining contestants. I’m going to put the over/under at 5.5 visits before I start to tear up. Let’s do this. Lauren’s husband is out first. They share a big emotional hug. Then we get Tommy’s girlfriend and Karishma’s husband. Noura’s sister Lana nearly bowls her over with a running hug. Adorable. From there we meet Janet’s husband who is wearing a pink shirt which is a code for the gender of their grandchild. Damnit, Janet…I’m close…but the tears are being kept at bay. Dean alludes to a tough childhood when his mom comes out, but he doesn’t elaborate. Huh. Dan’s thirteen-year-old son comes running out and they share a nice moment. I guess. He’s gonna have some explaining to do when this season airs. Blah… Finally, Elaine’s girlfriend comes out and that does it for me. It’s officially dusty in the Holmes family living room. So, that was the eighth visit. If you took the over, you win! Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will be divided into four teams. They’ll be tethered to a rope and need to climb through an obstacle course. From there, the first team to throw a bag onto a small platform will win a meal with their loved ones. Teams: Dan and Noura, Tommy and Janet, Lauren and Karishma, and Elaine and Dean. Quick Aside: Noura’s sister has some type of visual impairment, so Probst invites her to stand with him so she can see better. Aww… Actually, he should have let her do color commentary on the challenge. Result: Tommy and Janet pick up the win. They invite Lauren and Dan and their loved ones to join them. A Tribe Divided At the reward meal, Janet apologizes to the loved ones for having to talk a little bit of strategy. Are you kidding me? If I was the loved one, that’s all I’d want to hear. They decide that they should split the vote between Karishma and Elaine because Elaine can win challenges and they’re worried about Karishma and her nine lives. A cat? No, she seems more like the baby from “Animaniacs” who would randomly be saved by outside forces. Back at camp, Noura is freaking right out. It’s amazing. The editors literally fade in and out of her rant while Dean is clearly questioning his life decisions. Anywho, Noura is fed up with the other four and how they don’t appreciate her. Eventually they come up with the plan to target Lauren because she’s a jury threat. They also decide to go on a team idol hunt to combat a potential tie vote. Sure enough, Elaine manages to find one and put it in her “redneck pocket.*” *A brassiere Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on a post and hold a ball against a plank with a weird paddle. The last person standing with their ball in place will win immunity. Result: Lauren outlasted Elaine to pick up the victory. Pre-Tribal Politicking So, as it was discussed at the dinner, the early call is a split vote between Karishma and Elaine. However, Noura spills the beans (Spills the tea? Is that right?) to the others. They decide to target Tommy because he’s Lauren’s right-hand man. Elaine, however, is concerned that Noura is a “Froot Loop” and won’t stick to the plan. CUT TO: Noura not sticking to the plan. Noura tries to implement some kind of split vote to counter the other split vote in case Tommy has an idol. But, then there goes any numbers advantage. Dean tries to explain this to her, but he’s not having a lot of luck. Sure enough, we even get to see Noura trying to do the math using leaves on the ground.   Quick Aside: I’m making fun of Noura a little, but I’d absolutely need to do things like that. Tribal Time Remember last week when nothing really happened? This is the opposite of that. Probst tries to get everyone to talk about the loved ones visit, but Dean immediately tells Tommy that he’s on the outs. This starts a whirlwind of whispering. Hilariously, Probst is totally ignored. It’s tough to follow, but eventually Noura decides to let everyone know what’s up. She claims that Dean has been after her the whole game and there’s no way she’s going to vote against her alliance. Oh…and Elaine has an idol. Meanwhile, Missy is miming eating popcorn in the jury box. Hilarious. It’s a blur as to who’s going home, but Janet tells Karishma to vote for Noura. Voting Time: No votes are shown. JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Elaine does. Can’t say I blame her. We’ve got one vote for Karishma, three votes for Noura, three votes for Karishma, and the thirteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Island of the Idols” and the seventh member of the jury is…Karishma. Verdict: That…was actually a perfectly good episode of “Survivor.” I wish there was a way to separate the greatness of this season from the ugliness of the double episode disaster.
  • Dean: Making his move at Tribal was a stroke of genius. Tommy has already seemed prone to fits of paranoia, and telling him before Tribal would have given them a chance to come up with a plan that could’ve targeted you. And, now Tommy is in your corner.
  • Elaine: Yeah, she wasted an idol, but you can’t blame her when Tribal goes sideways.
  • Tommy and Lauren: The plot to boot Tommy would have worked if Dean hadn’t spoken up. That should set off big alarm bells for you two.
  • Dan: Even with the Kellee horribleness aside, it feels like you’re playing a third-place game.
  • Noura: I’m trying to imagine how that could have gone worse for you. Maybe if you set the shelter on fire?
  • Janet: I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes