Warning! The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols. Read at your own risk!
Another elimination has come and gone on Survivor: Island of the Idols, and somehow, Karishma Patel survived yet another tribal elimination. For the third time in a row, the person eliminated was completely blindsided and led to believe that Karishma would be on her way out, and not them. This recent episode revealed it was former NHL pro (and "dad" of Lairo) Tom Laidlaw that had his torch extinguished.
This time around, Karishma being on the outs from her former tribe played to her advantage, as the new Lairo (which is comprised of a majority of Vokai contestants) decided Tom would be dangerous late game considering his strong connection to a majority of the former Lairo Tribe members. Karishma convinced everyone she was bullied by the old Lairo Tribe and thus had no allegiance to them, but is that true? Tom Laidlaw doesn't think so, and thinks her bullying allegations are more gameplay than anything.
No, I don’t at all. We voted Vince out when we were pretty sure he had the idol in his pocket, but we intentionally went after Karishma to make Vince believe that that’s who we are going to vote out. He believed they were going to vote me out. I did not know that at the time, but we wanted to convince him that it wasn’t going to be him and that worked. So we had to kind of be tough on Karishma at that point. But you know, I think, Karishma — and I don’t blame her for this at all — I think her play was that she wanted to have that perception that she was kinda on the outs. It was poor Karishma all the time, even when she cut her hand.
Tom Laidlaw is a straight shooter, though it's worth noting he's been a strong advocate of voting out Karishma in all three tribal councils where she's gotten votes. In his defense, Tom only ever really pointed out that Karishma is the weak link in Lairo's competitions, and isn't a strong competitor physically or mentally.
Tom thought her elimination was an easy way to trim the fat and win competitions, but the new Lairo Tribe members thought differently. Karishma ended up getting two votes in the Tribal Council, he got the rest.
It wouldn't be a blindside if the person voted off saw it coming! Survivor: Island of the Idols may have even fooled the audience, as there was little to no talk of Tom being eliminated ahead of the vote. Instead, it was a lot of pushing the idea that Karishma is on the outs in the new tribe composition, just like she supposedly was in the old Lairo.
Tom Laidlaw told EW that a lot of what ostracized Karishma Patel from the old Lairo tribe was that she was a weak team player out of competitions. Tom insists (outside of the Vince blindside) that Lairo never bullied or excluded Karishma, but she definitely excluded herself by never helping out with any of the various island chores.
She played the way she wanted to play, but she would sit at camp and just not participate in anything we were doing. And then she complained that she wasn’t part of the group. So that was her game strategy. I’m assuming that that’s the way she wanted to be perceived so I don’t think she was bullied at all. I think everybody in our tribe, we really got along fine. I mean, obviously, there’s the gameplay, there’s stuff going on behind the scenes. But I really thought that everybody pulled together around camp trying to build camp and even challenges, although we didn’t do well. I think everybody was really trying to pull together.
It may sound crazy for Tom Laidlaw to suggest Karishma Patel's poor competition performance and playing the victim was gameplay, but Karishma does appear to be presenting herself as the ultimate "goat." For those unaware, a goat in survivor is a contestant another stronger contestant carries to the finals for an extra vote and for less competition in the end game. It seems multiple players are attempting to make Karishma their goat, which has resulted in some surprising eliminations.
With Tom gone, the old Lairo Tribe members are down to 2 in the newly formed Lairo Tribe. The majority have already shown their preference for Karishma, so Dean Kowalski better make some serious connections ahead of the next elimination to help put a target on someone else's back. Of course, no team likes continuously losing challenges thanks to a weak link, and perhaps one more loss will be all it takes for the new Lairo to send Karishma off the island.
Survivor: Island of the Idols airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more updates on television during the fall season, and for a look at what's happening in the world of movies as well.