Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Karishma Patel Sandesara[1] is a contestant from Survivor: Island of the Idols.

Feeling outcasted by the Lairo tribe, Karishma found herself playing from the bottom for her dismal challenge performances, but constantly being saved over others whom the majority deemed as more pressing threats. Nevertheless, she trudged along until the merge, where she was relegated to the minority, even once saving herself with a Hidden Immunity Idol. After seemingly finally finding her footing in the game, her allies Dean Kowalski and Noura Salman imploded at Tribal Council, resulting in a frantic scramble that led to Karishma's elimination. Karishma currently holds the record for most votes received in a single season, with 22.


Retrieved from

Age: 37
Hometown: Philadelphia
Current residence: Houston
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer
Hobbies: Experimental cooking, hosting theme parties, and reading travel blogs.
Pet peeves: Party poopers, girls who play dumb for attention, when the tire hits the curb while parallel parking, mansplaining, passive aggressive behavior, and PDA.
Three words to describe you: Reliable, impulsive, and charismatic.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? I've taken three state bar exams—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas—and passed them all on the first try.
Who or what is your inspiration in life? My parents. They are the most devoted people I know. They have taught me that the key to happiness is to never forget to choose it for yourself. They came to America in the '70s with a dream and achieved it all with hard work and determination.
What's one thing we wouldn't know from seeing a photo of you? I am terrified of alligators. (Just saying that word gave me chills...)
Which Survivor contestant are you most like? Natalie Anderson because she wasn't afraid to speak her mind, but also made a lot of really subtle moves that kept her on top. Brown girl power!
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor? I feel like I was born to play this game. I've always craved challenges that help me learn more about myself, and I know deep down that I do have the physical, mental, and social skills to outlast, outwit, and outplay anyone. My job and my life experiences have trained me exactly how to win. I am hungry to be out in the wild, pushing myself to the edge, and doing things I never dreamed I could do. In the end, surviving this game means something more valuable than money to me.[2]


Though Karishma started the game in the majority through the women's alliance, she felt like the outsider after she got hurt and no one came to her aid. These feelings intensified when Vince Moua was sent to Island of the Idols and Dean Kowalski accidentally told the entire tribe that they should split the votes, which Karishma assumed involved her as the secondary target. These fears were realized when Vince was voted out 5-3-1 on Day 8 and Karishma received 3 votes. These feelings of exclusion coupled with some poor challenge performances made Karishma the clear next vote, but Missy Byrd saw some use for Karishma in her personal gameplan. Thanks to Missy's scheming, a chaotic afternoon of strategizing took place which helped Karishma survive another Tribal Council at the expense of Chelsea Walker. However, Missy had some harsh words for Karishma which made it clear that she was merely a pawn rather than an ally.

The tribe switch could not have come at a better time for Karishma, who immediately bonded with the original Vokai members on the new Lairo. Karishma even opened up about her marriage. However, some more poor challenge performances occurred and the Vokai majority had to consider the options of keeping the tribe strong or taking out a more established Lairo member. Karishma's integration into that core was affirmed when Tom Laidlaw, who had previously targeted Karishma before the swap, was voted out on Day 14. Karishma tried to take out Dean next, but that plan was disrupted as he used a Hidden Immunity Idol.

Karishma was part of the alliance that wanted Dan Spilo gone once the merge hit, but the members of swapped Vokai collectively voted together and blindsided Kellee Kim, leaving Karishma in the minority once again. Karishma would once again be targeted at the final 11 but once again a twist shifted the dynamics in her favor. A Double Tribal Council split Lumuwaku into two groups, and within Karishma's group, everyone would vie for her vote. Old allies Missy and Elizabeth Beisel wanted her to vote out Tommy Sheehan, while Tommy and Elaine Stott targeted Missy. Missy's attempts to strategize with Karishma that day would often be unsuccessful because of their complicated relationship stemming back to the original Lairo. Ultimately, Karishma grew tired of being a pawn for Missy and sealed Missy's elimination on Day 27.

Karishma would still have to claw her way further into the game, which was not easy due to the emotional toll of being an outsider wearing on her. However, finding the Hidden Immunity Idol revitalized her outlook on the game. She would play it successfully at the following Tribal Council but was unable to get anyone to work with her, so it only resulted in the other easy target in Elizabeth being eliminated on a revote. At the loved ones visit, Karishma was overcome with emotion when her husband appeared. She was not chosen to participate in the reward, but that only fueled her desire to topple the majority alliance of Lauren Beck, Dan, Tommy, and Janet Carbin. It seemed like Karishma, Noura Salman, Elaine, and Dean had the perfect opportunity to strike with their four votes against the rival alliance splitting their votes. Elaine even found the rehidden idol, meaning they had their fate in their own hands. However, Dean blew that plan up at the Day 32 Tribal Council and the ensuing chaos, the likes of which previously helped Karishma survive past votes, sealed Karishma's elimination in a 5-3 vote.

At Final Tribal Council, Karishma was among the jurors who called out Dean's contradiction when it turned out he made final 2 deals he didn't intend to keep despite saying he would not do that. She voted for Tommy to win the title of Sole Survivor, which he did in an 8-2-0 vote.

Voting History

Episode Karishma's
Voted Against
1 Ronnie -
2 Lairo Tribe Immune
3 Vince Aaron, Dean, Tom
4 Chelsea Chelsea, Dean
5 Tom Dean, Tom
6 Lairo Tribe Immune
7 Dean1 -
8 Dan -
Janet2 Elaine, Elizabeth, Lauren
9 Missy -
10 Janet;
Dean, Elaine, Elizabeth,
Janet, Lauren, Noura, Tommy
11 Noura Dean, Elaine, Lauren,
Noura, Tommy
Voted Out, Day 32
Voted For
Sole Survivor

^1 In "I Was Born at Night, but Not Last Night", Dean used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Karishma's vote against him.
^2 In "We Made It to the Merge!", Janet used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Karishma's vote against her.
^3 In "Bring On the Bacon", Karishma used a Hidden Immunity Idol, negating 7 votes against her. Also, the vote ended with a 1-1-0 tie between Elizabeth and Janet, forcing a revote. Karishma changed her vote to Elizabeth on the revote.


  • Karishma, along with nineteen other former Survivor contestants, competed in the first Survivor-themed mini-competition of Sequester on May 23, 2020. She was eliminated in the sixteenth and penultimate round, finishing in 3rd place.[3]
  • In 2022, Karishma gave birth to her first child Jeevan.[4]


  • Karishma is the first Indian-American castaway to compete on Survivor.[5]
  • Karishma holds the record for the most votes received in a single season with 22, breaking the previous record that was held by Laura Morett, who received 19 votes against her in Blood vs. Water.
  • Karishma lost 20 lbs. during her time on Island of the Idols.[6]


Survivor: Island of the Idols Castaways
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