Survivor: Island of the Idols
October 5, 2019 7:20 PM - Season 39 (Full Season) - Subscribe

"Boston" Rob Mariana and Sandra Diaz-Twine come back to mentor a cast of 20 all-new players on Island of the Idols.
posted by likeatoaster (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We're 2 episodes in, and I'm loving it so far! Best twist in ages, especially with the VIP Sandra and Rob tribal counsel reaction shots.

Also super happy with what looks like an extremely racially and physically diverse cast. Feels like they actually looked for folks interested in playing the game, instead of casting influencers and models from instagram. Excited to see how the rest of the season goes.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:22 PM on October 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yes I thought the island of the idols would be gimmicky and shit, but we're actually enjoying it quite a lot.

I like that they seem to have realised now that the best survivors are people who know the game, love the game, and are there to play. Also it's IMMENSELY satisfying watching douchebros who play too hard getting blindsided at the first council.

It's so funny to me, to see these guys who are (or think they are) King Shit in real life suddenly get confronted by their utter impotence and hopelessness.

How cool was the lifeguard who did the fire from scratch in like 5 minutes? Amazing.
posted by smoke at 11:06 PM on October 5, 2019

First two episodes have been really great, especially considering this season seemed rather unhyped, with so much attention wrapped around next season’s All-Winner’s edition. I was unsure of how I felt about the Rob and Sandra aspect going in, but it is worth it if only for the Statler and Waldorf element as they comment on Tribal Council. In particular, as the current contestants were getting teary eyed at the prospect of having to vote someone out last week, I loved the bit where Boston Rob asked Sandra if she had this much of an issue voting someone out and she responded, “Fuck no, I’ll vote you out and that’s it”.
posted by The Gooch at 8:45 PM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't wait to see what happens when it's out in the open that the first visitors to the island lied about what goes on there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:48 AM on October 7, 2019

Also super happy with what looks like an extremely racially and physically diverse cast. Feels like they actually looked for folks interested in playing the game, instead of casting influencers and models from instagram.

They need to do this with Big Brother, too; this last season of mostly influencers was terrible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:49 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

So far I've enjoyed this season but knocking off Molly so early might mean another season where everyone likable or interesting gets systematically voted off and we end up with another final group of people you don't think deserve to win except by virtue of the fact they're the only ones allowed to win (barring production side madness like extinction island). Then again, they did first vote off the creepo who was hanging dong in people's face while trying to be manipulative so it's way too early to say one way or the other... which to me hits to a good season.

I love that both islanders have kept the secret, with essentially the same ghost-island style lie. Rob and Sandra as the idols seemed like a dumb gimmick but in practice it's been good! Them in their spyshack during tribals cracks me the hell up and I hope at some point they react so loud that the castaways notice.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:06 PM on October 7, 2019

I really liked Chelsea, so I'm sad she got the showmance/too confident edit. Also wow 2 ppl in a row leaving with idols in their pocket, especially when one was temporary!

I think it's rad that none of the older people have been voted off yet, and only 1 POC. Normally, they're the ones picked off first. Excited to see the new tribe dynamics next week.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:17 AM on October 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Chelsea left too soon, but it's always so entertaining when a fan of blindsides gets blindsided themselves. And I like it when an idol gets flushed out so it can go back into play.

Happily, Sandra and Boston Rob's real-time Statler-ing and Walforf-ing through tribal council continues to be one of the best and most entertaining new ideas Survivor has had in a long time. And I like the idol island visits and the devils' wager idea as well, although I think everyone's so starstruck that no one thinks to try to finagle a better deal for the bet, like Kellee was able to get.

I'm getting the feeling that the contestant picked for the island isn't always entirely random, right?
posted by mochapickle at 12:16 PM on October 19, 2019

I am disappointed somewhat that Karishma wasn't voted out - she seems to be a terrible player on every level. Also that was clearly coconut, not "bone".
posted by smoke at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2019

I think the players have very quickly pinned Karishma as the safe extra vote and potentially a non-threatening goat they might haul through the rest of the game and into a final three.
posted by mochapickle at 5:24 PM on October 19, 2019

Lauren: “Elaine doesn’t really seem smart or strategic enough to have an idol”

Elaine: “Hold my block a vote”
posted by The Gooch at 10:15 AM on November 2, 2019

wow, that 2 part episode was brutal, i feel like i have whiplash and also now all my faves are either dead to me or gone. is there anyone salvagable on this season?
posted by likeatoaster at 7:01 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought that was some stone cold bullshit, frankly - Janet was the only one who came out of that whole shebang with a skerrick of freaking integrity, and I include the producers in that, who were content to let sexual harrassment continue for entertainment.

They should have stepped up the second they observed Dan's unambiguously, inappropriate touching, not waited for Kellee et al to say something.

I had pegged Missy has someone overplaying (and Aaron too) from day dot, but imho she and Liz crossed a line misrepresenting their experiences and feelings like that. As Janet said, it's outside of a game, at that point - her mistake was in trying to address it through the game.

And fucking Dan was way, way over the line. Of course his inability to assess his own behaviour meant that he jumped feet first into the excuses the girls offered him re: Janet. His apology was okay, though I notice he didn't minimise Kellee's experience, he did try to minimise his actions. Kellee must have been chewing through her tongue in that tribal.

I was so hot and cold on Jamal. On the one hand the way he articulated racial stereotypes and issues of sexism so well. On the other he seemed quite arrogant at times.

Ugh. I found that a really demoralising duo of episodes.
posted by smoke at 2:29 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

I, too, felt like I had been through the wringer after last night's episodes. Kellee whyyyyyyy didn't you play one of those idols, why why why.

Is it just me or is the whole Rob/Sandra premise totally a dud? I think producers imagined it was going to really cause intrigue and mostly it seems like they have to jam it into the episode.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:10 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

OK, listen to me everyone:

If any of you are ever on Survivor: if you find more than one immunity idol, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLAY YOUR FIRST IMMUNITY IDOL FOR YOURSELF AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY. You can’t save it for later if you’re on the jury. Apparently, two idols is the most dangerous number of idols. Worry about that second one later. Play one of them now.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2019

they've all apologized, saying they lacked necessary information (except Dan, lol), but honestly i don't buy that at all. And some apologies were pretty bad on top of that. Seems like they are just trying to do damage control bc production had the actual receipts and fans are mad.

i'm of two minds on how this was handled by production - on the one hand, the editing showed actual clips of the touching and Kellee's tearful confessional, which they could have chosen not to do and instead painted Kellee as an overreactor or frankly edited much of it out, focusing instead on the initial targetting of Missy. I think they were trying to do the right thing w/r/t metoo. On the other hand, they should have removed Dan right then and there. It's the same wack shit they did for bachelor in paradise of shifting the burden onto the participants to decide whether things are still good, failing to understand the enormous pressure they must be under to both continue the status quo (anticipating being on the show for months in advance, not wanting to be a quitter, not trying to be dramatic, etc) and not be a killjoy. Kellee herself even anticipated as much in interviews! They should have axed him, no matter what the feedback was from the players.
posted by likeatoaster at 3:03 PM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

This fabulous essay a professor in communications at the AV Club, of all places, really nails my feelings about this incident and how pissed off I am at the producers.
posted by smoke at 1:28 AM on November 16, 2019

Round up of responses here.

As disgusted as I was with Aaron's behaviour (and I wasn't crazy about him to start with), to his credit, that is a decent apology. Dan and CBS could learn a thing or too.
posted by smoke at 1:38 AM on November 16, 2019

Karishma playing that idol last week, I am still dying at all of their faces. The only people who didn't vote Karishma were herself and ?? I'm dying to know who voted for Janet.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 AM on December 2, 2019

And right after Elaine gets voted out to leave 6 players remaining, at the end of the episode, we find out Dan just got kicked out of the game for “another incident which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:23 PM on December 11, 2019

CBS really messed up with the handling of the whole situation.
posted by dominik at 11:26 PM on December 11, 2019

They’re pre-taping the finale instead of doing it live. They know they messed up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:37 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Desperately hoping they chose to bring back next week Elaine to fill Dan's spot! I know it makes her an easy target but I just love her.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:16 AM on December 12, 2019

Dean did surprisingly well with a late run and good performance for the jury, but Tommy was a worthy winner.
posted by jjderooy at 2:49 AM on December 19, 2019

Blah. Tommy was an inoffensive but boring winner. Once it got down to the final 3, my heart sank a little because at that point I no longer had any rooting interest. I would be excited for the upcoming all-winners season but knowing they are bringing back the Extinction Island gimmick tempers that enthusiasm quite a bit.
posted by The Gooch at 11:34 AM on December 19, 2019

The way I see it, either they’ve fixed extinction island, or at least the rando who comes back into the game will be someone who we know who it is.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:20 PM on December 19, 2019

I didn't realize how much I wanted Janet to win until she got cut. One coin flip goes the other way and she would have been the winner!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

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