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We Made It to the Merge! is the eighth episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols.

Story

Night 19

S39 dean t
Dean

After tribal, I kind of had to play the card like I saved myself. No hard feelings, it's a game, but everyone was absolutely in shock. The godmother was upset her son went home, Jamal was upset his sidekick went home, and he wasted his idol, but Kellee saved my life when she gave me her idol, and I do feel like I owe a lot to her.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

Noura immediately fesses up. It just made me so mad, but all of what Noura is saying is true, so I'm lying to what's supposed to be my two closest allies in this game, Janet and Jamal. Like, I am in a pickle.

S39 jamal t
Jamal

It's really convoluted, and I think there's still some truth to come out about this. Kellee looks like she's, like, you know, overwhelmed with emotion, and, and the moment and the stressing out, but something about it doesn't add up. [...] I think Kellee, savvy Survivor player that she is, was trying to play an underground game that came to the surface because she tried to do it with Noura. Hahaha. You never try to play an underground game with Noura.


Day 20

S39 kellee t
Kellee

Two idols were played at tribal last night, so the assumption is there is at least one idol somewhere on the island. [...] and there is an idol frenzy! Everyone last night saw what an idol can do, and that's why everyone's up at freaking crack of dawn to look for these idols. [...] Before I came into the game, my sister was like, "When an idol is played, get up at dawn and don't stop looking", and I'm not going to stop until I find this thing.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

You want more tools in your toolbox that you can use and really, really create a wave to help you get a little further in this game, so that's what this is.

S39 karishma t
Karishma

I'm a Survivor fan! I know what the words "Gather your..." means! [...] The merge to me meant a new beginning in this game. [...] I had a really difficult time the first half of this game. I mean, I haven't had a food reward for the first twenty days of the game. I never had that one pick-me-up to get you through the next five days, so I was just thinking, "Feast, feast, feast! I need food!"

S39 aaron t
Aaron

The merge signifies the next stage of the game of Survivor. Now it's game on! Now all the bonds and the relationships you've solidified at this point, you're now going to see if it means anything, or was it all just smoke and mirrors?

S39 dan t
Dan

Going into this merge, the people I want to reconnect with and look in their eyes are Janet and Kellee because I was close with both of them on the original Vokai.

S39 dan t
Dan

Why would I possibly want to work with Jamal? You kidding me?! It's like... he now wants to work with me?

S39 tommy t
Tommy

Right now, I'm sitting in the middle seat. Do I go with the old Vokai? We have seven to six in the numbers, so it's the easy-route and we all know each other; or do I change this game up and go with my new friends Vokai 2.0? [...] I have two options, and this game is going to be crazy! You just have to smile and say, "Let the games begin."

S39 elizabeth t
Elizabeth

Coming back to camp with thirteen people is very overwhelming. There's so many different scenarios that could be running through people's head. The Vokai 2.0 plan was to stay seven-strong and bring in Janet and Kellee because we know as Lairo alone, we're down on the numbers, so for us to have a backup alliance where we have the numbers, that's absolutely what I want to move forward with.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

Tommy explained this Vokai 2.0 plus Kellee and Janet creating a nine-strong group. It's so dumb because why would I take these great relationships and switch over this alliance of nine that literally only helps the four old Lairo?

S39 tommy t
Tommy

I don't like the way this is looking! Every idea I pitch gets shut down! They were so adamant! They were telling me what to do, but my alliance isn't going to be straight up Vokai; my alliance isn't going to be straight up Lairo. My alliance is going to best serve me.

Day 21

S39 kellee t
Kellee

Before the merge I hadn't met Aaron, Elizabeth, Missy, and Elaine; so when Missy and I started talking, we basically bonded over the fact that Dan has been extremely inappropriate.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

It's super upsetting because it's like, you can't do anything about it. There are always consequences for standing up. This happens in real life and work settings and school. Like, you can't say anything because it's going to affect your upward trajectory; it's going to affect how people look at you.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

The fact that it makes me, Lauren, Elizabeth, Missy, like all uncom- Molly! Like, it made all of us uncomfortable! Like, this isn't just one person! It's a f****** pattern! Like, it's a pattern, and it's like, yeah! Like, it takes five people to be like, "Man, like the way I'm feeling about this is like actually real! Like, it's not in my head! I'm not overreacting to it!" Like, no. He's literally done these things to five different women in the game! Like, that sucks! That totally, totally sucks!

PRODUCER: You know, if there are issues...

KELLEE: Yeah.

PRODUCER: ...to the point where things seem to happen...

KELLEE: Yeah.

PRODUCER: ...come to me, and I'll make sure that stops.

KELLEE: Okay.

PRODUCER: Because that's... I don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable, so like I said...

KELLEE: I think it will stop because Janet is here.

PRODUCER: Okay.

KELLEE: Yeah.

PRODUCER: I understand. I just want to make sure this is not like, it's not okay.

KELLEE: Yeah.

S39 tommy t
Tommy

Kellee is dangerous. When Missy is supposed to go home, they sat on the beach over two hours. What's going on there? Look, I love her, but she is so smart. She went to Harvard, and she's downplayed that so much that no one views her as a threat.

S39 lauren t
Lauren

My biggest thing with Tommy saying Kellee is I've always felt like her and I are on the same page, but she's proving to be a very dangerous player in this game, so can I trust her as much as I thought I could?

S39 janet t
Janet

Initially, my take on Dan was he was just an old school guy that never really thought about what he was doing. You know, being physical, arm around a shoulder, you know, stuff I would do with my lifeguards. You know, I'm just a very physical person, but at the same time, I cannot ignore these girls. [...] On the off chance that Dan is totally innocent, he is going to be devastated. It's a tricky thing to have one hundred percent proof. You're never gonna get it.

S39 elizabeth t
Elizabeth

The merge is about numbers, and so right now, my job is to do whatever it takes to get on the right side of the numbers. The original Vokai are not the biggest fans of Dan; so if I can play up that card in whatever way possible, I'll do it.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

As much as I feel disrespected by him and feel disgusted by him, I'm not going to make a game decision based off of those feelings. Look, I'm upset with the way he's been behaving, and that is the fair thing to do, but this game is not fair. I'm not playing this game to be fair. I'm playing this game to win, so Dan makes sense as a decoy vote, but Missy is really the person that we really want to get out.

S39 missy t
Missy

Lauren just said, "Hey, Kellee and her motley crew are coming for you," but do I trust Lauren and Tommy to save me? I don't know. [...] If Kellee thinks that she's going to get me out the very first merge vote, I feel as though that warrants me to try to make a move. I can't go out like a punk.


Day 22

The following morning, producers met with all the castaways, both individually and as a group, where they were cautioned about personal boundaries. Furthermore, producers met privately with Dan Spilo, where he was issued a warning for his behavior.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

Out of everyone in this game, Missy is the biggest threat to win. This girl is smart; like, she is thinking the way that I am thinking. I a thousand percent want to work with her. It's just a little bit too late in the game to do that. Unfortunately, this is the nail in her coffin.

S39 missy t
Missy

Damn, I need to win that one because I know that Kellee is coming for me. So going into the challenge knowing that I need to wear the necklace and losing, it sucks.

S39 missy t
Missy

Tonight, we're going after Kellee, but the plan doesn't work unless Tommy and Lauren are telling the truth.

S39 dean t
Dean

Tommy and Lauren, they want to get out Kellee, and I think to myself, "Damn, that puts me in a tough spot." Here's a girl that just saved my life, gave me a Hidden Immunity Idol, and now you want me to vote her out. To be honest, I don't know if I can do it.

S39 noura t
Noura

Tonight, I'm voting for D-A-N Dan! What really made it simple for me is he's made a lot of women feel uncomfortable. He's kind of pushed the boundaries of, you know, snuggling at night, and, you know, being flirtatious. This is not okay. We're not going to wait to get to the end and then have some talk about his behavior. We're going to do this now!

S39 janet t
Janet

When Jamal told me that we were going to vote Dan out tonight, I felt a great deal of relief because some of the girls have come to me upset about being in his presence, and Jamal coming to me like that, it just confirmed in my heart that it was the right thing to do, but it's really hard for me because I really, really do like Dan. However, this is a moral decision that I'm making. I just have a personal, emotional need to have these girls feel okay, so I'm going to do what's best for them.

S39 elizabeth t
Elizabeth

Janet approached me about voting Dan out, and I know for a fact that she's lying to my face. We know that they are going to vote for Missy, so this Dan talk is smoke and mirrors. That's Janet's plan to pull the wool over my eyes, and I'm like, "Yeah, Janet! You got it girl!" [...] I know that people are uncomfortable saying, "Oh, he likes to cuddle. He's touchy-feely." But honestly, I've felt safe this entire time, and if I had felt uncomfortable, I would have said, "Please stop." So I am writing down Kellee's name, and I am hoping seven other people do as well.

S39 dan t
Dan

I can't fathom why Janet would target me? I've never been after Janet. She was someone I thought I could go deep with, I thought I could protect. So what she is doing right now is, is both stupid and reprehensible to me.

S39 kellee t
Kellee

I thought we had the vote locked, but now Jamal wants to vote out Dan, and I'm worried. I was just sitting there. Everyone's, like, in a group laughing, and I'm like, "Something is off."

S39 kellee t
Kellee

We've switched the vote from Missy to Dan, but now I'm just like getting more and more nervous. Fortunately, I found an idol on the old Lairo beach, so I should be fine. However, going into the merge historically in Survivor, there's always been another idol; and if there is an idol on this beach, I want it.

S39 tommy t
Tommy

Jamal's now trying to gather up the troops to get out Dan. I knew merge was going to be nuts, but damn. [...] This changes everything. At this point, half the people are like, "Let's vote out Dan", and the other half of these people are like, "Let's get rid of Kellee." So no matter what happens tonight, I'm going to make a lot of people mad, but damn, it's nice to have a little power!

S39 kellee t
Kellee

There's a bunch of rocks with little crevices and as I'm climbing up, I see a glint of blue, and I'm like, "Oh my god. I just found it!" [...] It feels really good to have two idols in my pocket, but there's a lot of pressure to use this idol correctly, to play it right, to not get voted out with two idols in my pocket and be like the biggest Survivor sucker ever. I definitely did not expect to think about even playing it for myself tonight, but the way this is going, I might very well have to.


Night 22

S39 janet t
Janet

When I saw the votes coming down at Tribal Council for Kellee, I was like, "Holy crap! What happened?"--and my mind was just racing because this was a vote not based on the game so much as based on standing up for what was right. [...] By information that I was given from all the young girls, they said they felt very uncomfortable in Dan's presence, so I felt very betrayed on a moral level because I was willing to jeopardize my game because these girls were in such a panic from what I understood.

S39 lauren t
Lauren

Voting Dan out for the reasons that people want to vote him out, I'm not comfortable with, and I am not going to say one way or another who is comfortable with what or what happened to whom? All I know is my story, and, and what Dan and I experienced and for me it wasn't an issue. This is a game at the end of the day, and I hope Kellee doesn't take it personal, so that's what it is for me.

S39 dan t
Dan

I've been in business, had clients, had authority for twenty, twenty something years and never have had even the faintest hint of it ever in my life. Uhm, so it's depressing that anybody, it's depressing that someone would feel it even authentically for a moment.

S39 dan t
Dan

It's not who I am, but I can't ever be in someone else's heart, and if you, if you they don't express it to you enough, you behave the way you think you're behaving because it seems right to you.

S39 elizabeth t
Elizabeth

My viewpoint is that I have never felt uncomfortable, and I know what people are talking about, but it's more in a joking way, and maybe that's where we're on the wrong part of it, because maybe we shouldn't be joking about it, but nobody is coming to me with legitimate life-concerns. It was, it was little bitty snippets here or there that snowballed into something way bigger than it ever should have been.

S39 elizabeth t
Elizabeth

I appreciate what Janet did because she was being the motherly figure that she is, but for me personally, I never felt unsafe, and it was never serious to me. It was always game play to me, and my vote was based on the game of Survivor and the fact that I was going with the numbers and that name happened to be Kellee.

S39 dan t
Dan

So on a tribe with thirteen people, you know, eight of which were women, now seven of which are women, who luckily have never experienced anything with me but comfort, and you know, strength and honesty and loyalty and decency, and that vote proved they want to keep playing this game with me.

S39 janet t
Janet

I feel anything related to sexual uncomfortability has nowhere, no place in a joking environment, in a game environment, and anything, It's, it's its own entity. It's a very, powerful, powerful thing. Lives can be destroyed; lives can be destroyed if you're abused; lives can be destroyed if you're falsely accused. Lives are going to be destroyed, and it's too powerful to play with, and the defensiveness of all the other girls disgusts me. They're either lying to themselves, and I can have compassion for that, or the girls let it fly that Dan was a problem, and I'm upset about that because he wasn't my initial vote, and I changed it to support them, so they can feel better at camp. That's a damn shame!

Day 23

S39 janet t
Janet

I guess most of the tribe did not know where I spent the night because along comes Missy and Aaron with a shovel and a stick. They're idol-hunting, and I need the idol, so I follow them. They walk down the beach, they cut into the woods, and I lost them, but I wasn't just going to give up. Everybody's touring this jungle apart, but I feel like I need the idol because I'm the next vote at the next tribal.

S39 janet t
Janet

I can't believe that I found it! It's an Immunity Idol, and I couldn't believe it! [...] There it is; this will save me. [...] I got this by not giving up. I said you need to pick yourself up, and you need to just keep it one foot in front of the order because if you do, you can find an idol. Haha.

S39 karishma t
Karishma

So me and Jamal were left out the vote, and now we've suddenly found ourselves in the minority, so we are discussing how we can get ourselves out of this position.

S39 karishma t
Karishma

Suddenly, I see something hanging from a tree in front of me, and I want to grab it myself, but Jamal goes and grabs it before me, and it's a note.

S39 jamal t
Jamal

I'm thinking, "Why would there just be a hanging note?" That's never a thing, so I'm one hundred percent floored. [...] I'm just curious; I'm just wanting to know what's in store for me. [...] This is awesome! I could not be more excited to be here! [...] I was like jumping out of my pants to get on to the Island of the Idols!

S39 jamal t
Jamal

I didn't believe it! Boston Rob and Sandra, they created a blueprint for how to play this game, [...] which makes us all have to evolve the game even more because they, they were the trendsetters.

S39 jamal t
Jamal

I was given this opportunity to use this art of sabotage in a way to get someone else, [...] so I wrote this fake Legacy Advantage, but this note has no power, so this is not going to work unless I sell this.

S39 dean t
Dean

My man Jamal so eloquently extends me an olive branch... in front of everyone!

S39 dean t
Dean

Where did he get a pen? Where did he get a marker to write it? He certainly found a big old paintbrush and put a big old target on my back by doing that.

S39 aaron t
Aaron

Whether it's true or not, we don't know, but now every single person on this tribe knows that Dean has got an advantage. By Jamal doing that, that wasn't an olive branch. That was a death sentence! So Jamal is clearly playing this game. This guy is a threat, which is why he's got to go!

Day 24

S39 missy t
Missy

As of now, Jamal, Janet, and Karishma are targets, and each name benefits someone else's game differently. The question is, who do you get out when, where, how, what time?

S39 jamal t
Jamal

I'm very nervous about Tribal Council tonight because me, Karishma and Janet are on the bottom, and if the tribe is suspicious of me coming back from the Island of the Idols and thinking I may have lied about what I have received, they may just play the safe route, and I go home tonight. [...] This is the first tribal where I really feel like I'm in danger of going home.

S39 tommy t
Tommy

We started talking about who is the next vote. Is it going to be Karishma, Janet, or Jamal? And we decided let's split the votes between Karishma because this whole time she's been on the bottom and Jamal because he went to the Island of the Idols and might have an idol.

S39 janet t
Janet

I'm having doubts about playing my idol because Tommy's telling me I'm okay and to vote for Jamal. I have to put my trust in people that were angry with me. I mean, I have now gone from this wonderful loved person to the scourge of the earth, so I'm bringing my idol. It's in my pocket, but I don't know anymore. I've been surprised in every Tribal Council.


Challenges

Challenge: Pegs Over Easy
Castaways must balance three balls on an inclined table. Every time they lower the table, a device will lock the table into a new position, making it more difficult to balance the ball. The last person with at least one ball still on their table wins.
Winner: Aaron Meredith

Challenge: I Hold On
Castaways will stand on a log, placed at the end of the platform with their arms behind them grabbing onto a handle. At certain times, host Jeff Probst will turn a crank, which uncoils the rope, which lowers the castaways and sends them closer to the water. When a castaway falls into the water, they are out of the challenge. The last male and the last female standing both win.
Winner: Aaron Meredith and Missy Byrd

Tribal Council

Day 22

Tribal Council 8:
Lumuwaku
Voted
Against
Voter
S39 kellee t
Kellee (8 votes)
S39 aaron tS39 dan tS39 dean tS39 elaine t
S39 elizabeth tS39 lauren tS39 missy tS39 tommy t
Aaron, Dan, Dean, Elaine, Elizabeth, Lauren, Missy, Tommy
S39 dan t
Dan (5 votes)
S39 jamal tS39 janet t
S39 karishma tS39 kellee tS39 noura t
Jamal, Janet, Karishma, Kellee, Noura
VOTED OUT:
S39 kellee bw
Kellee Kim

Voting Confessionals

S39 kellee t
Kellee

(voting against Dan) Can't wait to not be living with you.

S39 dan t
Dan

(voting against Kellee) Only two ways to spell blindside tonight and the other way is D-A-N. I don't think that's the case.


Final Words

S39 kellee bw
Kellee

(laughs) I think I'm honestly kind of in shock. Ugh. I am my worst enemy in this game. Finding two idols is great. But if you find two idols and you don't know how to use them, you might as well not have found two idols. It's kinda crazy I let the people that I did trust around me sort of lull me into security. I should've obviously played the idol. (giggles)


Day 24

Tribal Council 9:
Lumuwaku
Voted
Against
Voter
(Jamal ineligible to vote)
S39 jamal t
Jamal (6 votes)
S39 aaron tS39 dan tS39 dean t
S39 janet tS39 noura tS39 tommy t
Aaron, Dan, Dean, Janet, Noura, Tommy
S39 karishma t
Karishma (3 votes)
S39 elaine tS39 elizabeth tS39 lauren t
Elaine, Elizabeth, Lauren
S39 janet t
Janet
(used Hidden Immunity Idol)
S39 karishma tS39 missy t
Karishma, Missy
(votes not counted)
VOTED OUT:
S39 jamal bw
Jamal Shipman

Voting Confessionals

No voting confessionals were aired. Jamal was seen writing down that he had no vote.

Final Words

S39 jamal bw
Jamal

This would have all been a waste of time if anybody comes out here and doesn't look for ways to grow as a person. And as much as you put into the game, the game is willing to reflect that back to you and give you an opportunity to be a better version of yourself. So I think I accomplished some important steps in my own personal growth out here.


Still in the Running

 Ronnie
20th
S39 ronnie bw
 Molly
19th
S39 molly bw
 Vince
18th
S39 vince bw
 Chelsea
17th
S39 chelsea bw
 Tom
16th
S39 tom bw
 Jason
15th
S39 jason bw
 Jack
14th
S39 jack bw
 Kellee
13th
S39 kellee bw
 Jamal
12th
S39 jamal bw
 Aaron
Lumuwaku
S39 aaron t
 Dan
Lumuwaku
S39 dan t
 Dean
Lumuwaku
S39 dean t
 Elaine
Lumuwaku
S39 elaine t
 Elizabeth
Lumuwaku
S39 elizabeth t
 Janet
Lumuwaku
S39 janet t
 Karishma
Lumuwaku
S39 karishma t
 Lauren
Lumuwaku
S39 lauren t
 Missy
Lumuwaku
S39 missy t
 Noura
Lumuwaku
S39 noura t
 Tommy
Lumuwaku
S39 tommy t

Trivia

Life at Ponderosa

  • Kellee's Ponderosa[1]
  • Jamal's Ponderosa[2]

Other

  • This episode was introduced with a parental advisory warning because of the mature themes that were discussed involving Dan Spilo's perceived inappropriate behavior towards several female contestants.
  • The episode's title is said by Jamal Shipman when the Lairo tribe started celebrating after receiving Tree Mail which revealed that they must pack their bags for the merge.
  • This episode marks the first time a producer has spoken during a confessional, when Kellee Kim talked about being uncomfortable with Dan's behavior. The producer told Kellee that she could always talk to a producer if it got out of hand.
  • Jamal's elimination marks the first time this season where the original Lairo have outnumbered the original Vokai.

References

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