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This is Survivor: Island of the Idols. And like all seasons of Survivor, spoilers are going to be unmarked. Proceed with caution.

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The Idols

     Sandra Diaz-Twine and Boston Rob Mariano 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_idols.jpg

This season's twist involves the Island of the Idols, where two legends from Survivor's past reside: Sandra and Boston Rob. They have no vote, and have no chance to win the million dollars.

  • The Ace: The whole reason they were selected in the first place. Sandra is the only two-time winner in the game's history while Boston Rob has played through it four times. They know what they're talking about.
  • Audience Surrogate: Strangely enough, despite being respected veterans of the game. They become observers during the tribal councils, are clueless about the events that happen and respond the way viewers at home would.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Since they're not playing the game, they come across as the weird aunt and uncle of the season, giving their students lessons that range from practical to frivolous. Both are also revered figures in the Survivor Pantheon.
  • But Now I Must Go: They leave on Day 36, but not before giving the final five new buffs and the camp they were living in for the duration of the game.
  • Call-Back: Both Rob and Sandra wear buffs from the Seasons they were the Solo Survivors. Rob wears his Murlonio buff from Redemption Island, while Sandra wears both her Balboa and Ying Yang buffs from Pearl Islands and Heroes Vs. Villains.
    • Sandra and Rob bring up events that happened during past seasons as examples for their lessons.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: People immediately become targets simply by being sent to the island, but the opportunity to win an advantage is their attempt to make up for it. However, said challenges range from simple, to difficult, to straight up unfair as Jamal learned on his boot episode. He immediately lost his vote by just going to the eponymous island.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Sandra and Boston Rob, respectively. Best exemplified during the fire making challenge where Boston Rob shows no mercy and gets a kick out of making a fool of Elizabeth while Sandra provides unflinching support, despite Elizabeth having pretty much no shot in hell of winning.
  • Greek Chorus: When not performing as mentors, they are seated in a secret shack during tribal councils so that they could listen in. They also provide commentary.
  • Happily Married: During Kellee's test, they bring up their families and how much they love them. Rob has been married to his Survivor sweetheart Amber for nearly 15 years while Sandra has been married for around 20 years.
  • The Mentor: The entire twist involves the duo mentoring anybody who gets sent to the island.
    • Eccentric Mentor: The two are given free reign to muck around, under the guise of imparting their knowledge.
    • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Rob follows this philosophy. He doesn't even give Elizabeth a chance before destroying her.
  • Older and Wiser: It's been almost a decade since the last time Sandra won and the last time Rob played, and they are now passing off their wisdom to the new blood.
  • Serial Escalation: Kellee's challenge was to answer three out of five questions for a memory challenge. The very next challenge for Vince was to infiltrate the other team's camp and steal fire.
  • Quest Giver: Pretty much. They give challenges to their students and reward them with idols.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Their lesson for Vince was to stay calm under pressure. However, he was so calm during the tribal council that he didn't even consider using his idol the night he was voted off.
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The Tribes

     Lairo 
  • Achilles' Heel: Lairo is strong in challenges when it comes to the physical portion, but when it comes to puzzles, they freeze up and lose whatever lead they had. This resulted in all but two immunity losses against Vokai. Coincidentally, the two wins they had didn't have a puzzle.
  • Butt-Monkey: They lost all but two challenges in both incarnations. Reminds you of another ill fated orange tribe. However, unlike Malolo, they managed to make it to a 6-7 position come the merge thanks to some lucky breaks.
  • Dwindling Party: Around the final 11, the six remaining Lairo members began to be targeted due to multiple reasons (Aaron, Missy, and Elizabeth being seen as viable threats, while nobody wanted Karishma in the final three). By the time the final seven arrives, only Dean and Elanie are left, and by the final five, only Dean remains.
  • Evil All Along: The Tribe as a whole spent the pre-merge being built up as the plucky underdogs against the dominant Vokai. Then, come the Merge, their leadership is so desperate to claim the majority that they use Dan's sexual harassment to take over the game. The only ones who escape this are Karishma, who wants nothing to do with her tribe, and Elaine, who isn't even aware of Dan's behavior in the first place.
    • Foreshadowing: Episode 3 shows a scene where Lairo ignores Karishma as she injured herself and carried on as though nothing was happening, especially as the other women displaying a shocking Lack of Empathy despite her supposedly being in their girls alliance. Hinting just how callous the Lairo tribe can be.
  • Redeeming Replacement: After the swap, NuLairo becomes this as the tribe became filled with players who hold strong moral convictions, which carries on into the merge.

     Vokai 
  • Break the Haughty: Due to having a 9-7 advantage come the tribal swap, the Vokai members felt they would steamroll over the Lairo members before the merge. Come the final two team based Tribal Councils, they lose Jason and Jack due to Lairo having advantages (Elaine used her vote block to block Jason's vote giving her Lairo alliance a 4-3 advantage, while Dean had an idol thanks to Kellee). Vokai was shocked by those results, probably realizing that this was not as easy as they once thought.
  • Face–Heel Turn: As NuVokai, which ends up apparent at the merge when the NuVokai alliance ends up using Dan's sexual harassment to further themselves in the game with little regard for the people he's hurt.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Molly, Jamal, and Jack have been referred to as the Queen, King, and Jack, respectively.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Across both the original and swapped tribes, Vokai lost a grand total of two challenges.

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Sole Survivor

     Tommy Sheehan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_tommy_sheehan.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 26
From: Long Island, New York
Occupation: 4th Grade Teacher

  • Ascended Fan
  • Bad Dreams: During Vince's escapade, Tommy wakes up screaming because of a nightmare, alerting the rest of the tribe.
  • Badass Teacher: One of the more physically adept members of the cast, also teaches for the fourth grade.
  • Boring, but Practical: Tommy is relying on the most tried and true strategies in Survivor history, even though they are a bit boring. The first having a strong enough social game that everyone lets him in on their plans, and the second is overseeing the pagonging of a rival tribe. Not the best television in the world, but devastatingly effective enough to make him the most powerful player of the season. It was that strategy that won him the title of sole survivor.
  • Death Glare: Delivers an intense one towards Aaron for betraying them during the Jason boot.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Episode 10 shows that he is disgusted by the way Missy treats Karishma, likening her to a bully.
  • The Generic Guy: Out of all the contestants with their varied personalities and complexities, Tommy is probably the most underdeveloped and average. We know very little of his personality or his quirks, only really getting anything when he's talking strategy or about being a teacher.
  • Groin Attack: Suffers a hit in the crotch at the 4th immunity challenge.
  • Irony: The very fact that the winner of Island of the Idols was never actually sent to the titular island.
  • The Leader: While it's not clear if he actually intends on being one, he has the tribe's respect and they defer to him whenever they want to make an important decision. Even during the swap, Elaine notes that he's definitely the one calling the shots.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Amusingly, he's the only player in the Final Five with no knowledge of the Idols twist.
  • Magnetic Hero: Tommy is liked by pretty much everyone in the game, and everybody wants to work with him and protect him.
  • Mr. Fanservice
    • Standardized Leader: Of all the people in his tribe, he's presented as a strategist rather than a personality. This means we don't get a lot of characterization and development from him.
  • Only Sane Man: In a cast full of nutcases, gamebots, and Noura, Tommy just comes across as a normal dude.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: According to Janet, Tommy was one of the people defending her during the tribal of Jamal's boot, but it was left on the cutting room floor.
  • Sole Survivor: Of Island of the Idols.
  • The Strategist: Whenever he gets the spotlight shone on him, it will always be about his position in the game and how he could make it further. This is worth mentioning because this is the only characterization he gets. Even his confessional following Dan's ejection is purely gameplay focused.

Runner-Ups

     Dean Kowalski 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_dean_kowalski.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 28
From: New York City, New York
Occupation: Tech Sales

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Dean plays a fake legacy advantage to hide his fake legacy advantage. This seems dumb to us viewers, but it makes so much sense given the information he has. If it was real, it drops his target because Jamal was very public about giving it to him and everybody else was unsure if it was real or not.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Branded himself as a detective the morning after episode 5, where he tries to solve who took out Chelsea. He doesn't have the background and affiliation with law enforcement, so it should come as no surprise that he was yet to solve it.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Dean may be a huge goofball, but he's also dangerously unpredictable and managed to get his hands on the most advantages of the season, being Tommy's greatest threat come final tribal.
  • Blatant Lies: Dean claimed that he did not have any three deals with anyone he didn't plan on taking to the end, even though two people he had a final three deal with (Elizabeth and Elaine) were on the jury. They rightfully called him out on it.
  • Captain Obvious: As Detective Dean Kowalski, he attempts to deduce who pulled the trigger on Chelsea. His first observations are that it wasn't him and it wasn't Chelsea.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: First he betrays Kellee at the merge after she risked her game to save him. And then he proceeds to betray Noura, Karishma and Elaine after the four made a pact to vote together by blowing up the plan to vote out Tommy - and then immediately pins the blame on Noura for being untrustworthy.
  • Ditzy Genius: Downplayed on both aspects. His background and occupation suggest that he's a smart man, which is why they insist putting him on puzzles, so he comes across as the island doofus. The latter part becomes much more pronounced as he reaches the endgame
  • Dramatic Irony: Jamal (and most likely the rest of the jury) knows his legacy advantage is fake, and the audience knows it's fake, but Dean himself has no idea he's carrying around a fake Legacy Advantage.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In Episode 10 he questioned the logic of keeping Karishma around so long because she was an easy vote for later acknowledging that if they keep doing that she'll end up in the final 3.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After being invisible the first two episodes, our introduction to Dean is him tripping over himself. His next few scenes are coming up with a dumb plan and mocking himself for coming up with a dumb plan. Needless to say, this guy is our season's goofball.
  • Foil: While he and Tommy both played under the radar games, their approaches to the game were vastly different.
    • Tommy was the generic straight man while Dean was a bombastic goofball.
    • Tommy had a great social circle and was almost everyone's ride or die, while Dean's interactions were based on who was willing to interact with him.
    • Tommy was in the solid majority every time, while Dean was constantly under threat of elimination pre-merge.
    • Tommy played very consistently throughout his stay, while Dean played very subdued before a very aggressive endgame.
    • Tommy's game was much more reflective of old school Survivor, where he got by solely on his social strength. Dean's play style is reflective on new school Survivor, where idols, advantages and twists play a central role in his strategy and jury defense.
  • Hero Killer: Dean played a big role in Karishma, Elaine, and Janet's eliminations.
  • Informed Ability: He is repeatedly said to be great at puzzles, but has failed every puzzle he's ever participated in. Not only that, but he genuinely believes that people see him as a challenge threat and wants to keep Tommy around as a shield, but Lauren specifically notes that he sucks.
    • Subverted, as he was specifically lowering his threat level.
  • Irony: He rags on Karishma and Noura because he viewed them as goats. However, Tommy sees him as a goat for having very little strategic agency and playing the subtle game.
  • Last of His Kind: After Elaine's elimination, Dean remains the sole Lairo member in the final five.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Around the final 7, Dean decides that flying under the radar isn't going to get him anywhere and practically flips a switch to become Tommy's greatest adversary. He ends up winning two immunity idols, intercepts Tommy's hidden immunity idol find, wins and idol nullifier and utilizes Jamal's fake Legacy advantage in the smartest way possible, given the circumstances.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • My Greatest Failure: As a former D1 basketball player, Dean takes losing the episode 5 immunity challenge, which came down to a basketball-style shootout, pretty badly.
  • Paper Tiger: People in Dean's archetype tend to be great at challenges. Dean himself is strong and athletic. However, he sucks at challenges, despite him thinking the opposite.
    • Although, it is later revealed that Dean had deliberately been lowering his challenge threat level and won two immunity challenges in a row.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Despite being real life, the weather somehow managed to reflect Dean's chances of winning at FTC. Dean had the jury practically eating out of his hands, and could have taken the win, until he got caught in a bad lie and lost his momentum. At that exact moment, it starts to rain on the contestants, as if Survivor itself was raining on Dean's parade.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: His very first speaking line (aside from tripping over himself) was discussing splitting the vote to flush out Vince's potential idol. While the entire remaining group was still present.
  • One Degree of Separation: He and Kellee immediately hit it off because one of Dean's exes was one of her friends in business school.
  • The Quisling: Dean chose to sell out the rest of Lairo to the Vokais in order to get in good with Tommy, knowing that Tommy would take him to the end.
  • Ship Tease: With Chelsea. It lasts all of one episode.
  • Sit Com Arch Nemesis: He has animosity towards Karishma because she outlasted Tom and Chelsea, his two greatest allies despite her being the obvious weak link.
  • Spanner in the Works: He's this for Elaine's plan to blindside Tommy. Deciding that Noura is too erratic and untrustworthy to work with, he decides to blow the whole plan to Tommy and set off a live tribal council leaving Noura on the outs, Karishma voted out, and Elaine with no allies.
  • The Quiet One: Almost invisible during the premiere episode, which was ninety minutes long and more than enough time to give content for everyone. This is corroborated by exit interviews stating that talking to him was akin to pulling out your teeth.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Kellee concocts a complicated plan to save Dean. Dean turns on her the very next tribal.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite Tommy thinking Dean was a goat, he recognizes that Dean has actually become a threat.

     Noura Salman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_noura_salman.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 36
From: North Potomac, Maryland
Occupation: Entrepreneur

  • Action Girl: She's the best player when it comes to physical challenges, and won multiple individual immunity.
  • Bad Liar: An extremely bad liar. Her challenge at the Island of the Idols is to convince the tribe to make her the caller. She attempts this via exchanging her information for the position, but her lie was so convoluted that everyone immediately distrusted her. They end up sitting her out.
    • Ends up being surprisingly subverted in episode seven. Noura ends up deceiving both Jack and Jamal with her feud towards Dean, which makes them believe she's voting with them and thus not playing an idol on themselves, resulting in Jack's elimination.
  • Batman Gambit: According to some interviews, she ended up telling Lauren that she is making fire in order to act-up and have less time to focus on making fire.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Noura may be a nutty goofball, but she is genuinely cunning and perceptive.
  • Chekhov's Skill: She loves yoga and is a vegan. The latter means her body is used to the lack of meat while the former means she is very centered, which proves useful for challenges.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: She's setting herself up to be the Debbie or the Coach of the season.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being a fruit loop, everyone knows that Noura is very good at challenges that require focus and endurance.
  • Ditzy Genius: She's very much a Cloud Cuckoolander and a Bad Liar who can come across as very out there, but she's also very perceptive of which players are the most dangerous and should be taken out, and has successfully done so with Molly and Jack. And she made the astute observation at the end of episode seven, wondering why Dean didn't play his idol before.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: During the latter part of the game, Noura constantly talks about how beautiful Dean is.
  • Epic Fail: Her attempts to try to be the caller of the 4th immunity challenge lead her tribe-mates to sit her out of the challenge.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She thinks Dan is a creep and was more than happy to try voting him out because his actions bothered her on a human level.
  • Fatal Flaw: This woman cannot shut up to save her life. Not only do other players find it annoying, but when she wrongs someone, she then proceeds to keep talking and only aggravate them further. Pulling this on Lauren was the final nail in her game's coffin.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Jamal. Initially Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to Friendly Enemy pre-merge, after he played his idol on her and she starts being honest with him, the two actually pair up and work together come the merge, with both of them wanting to take out Dan and getting upset by the whole situation. She's also heartbroken he doesn't say goodbye after his eviction, showing she did come to care about him.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Everybody finds her behavior erratic, but they recognize that as an asset because she is a loyal number. She ends up receiving zero votes.
  • Genki Girl: Is incredibly hyperactive and will shriek at a moment's notice out of excitement. At one point, Jason has to tell her to stop happy dancing.
  • Her Own Worst Enemy: Nobody has done more damage to Noura's game than Noura herself, and her erraticness, paranoia, and total lack of filter have put her squarely at the bottom of the pecking order.
  • I Am What I Am: She knows she's crazy, brutally honest, and everything else that people would use to describe her, but she doesn't care. She's Noura and she's proud of that. Deconstructed later on as, despite being proud of who she is and how she played the game, the other players didn't like or respect her enough to grant her any votes.
  • Innocently Insensitive: She doesn't note that what she says or does may offend people, such as insulting Karishma to her face or threatening an upset Lauren.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Motor Mouth: She has a tendency to go on and on, much to the chagrin of her tribemates.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Reaching out and befriending Jason when he literally had no one was pretty nice of her.
    • Apologizing and comforting Jamal after he wasted an idol on her, which she was genuinely touched by.
    • Being willing to vote out Dan because his behavior was going on for far too long.
    • Willing to continue an immunity challenge to let the other players eat, even though she won.
    • A secret scene shows her cleaning the tribes water supply, as a lizard and some slugs had made their way in it.
  • Plucky Girl: She was on the outs ever since the second episode for being an erratic weirdo, but she has a can-do attitude and nothing brings her down.
  • Poke the Poodle: Dean betrayed the goat army, resulting in Karishma's vote off. Noura took her revenge by hiding his shoes up where he can't reach them.
  • Psychological Projection: Noura because of deliberately putting herself on the bottom and generally being a nuisance. Since she's on the outs and Molly isn't she decides that Molly is the mean queen bitch and decides to take her down. None of this corroborated by anything we can see, so Noura comes off as the actual mean girl.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: She is the Energetic Girl to Jason's savvy guy. Best exemplified when she couldn't stop herself from dancing, despite Jason's warnings not to be too suspicious.
  • Ship Tease: She seems to have developed a liking for Jason, calling him cute. Later on, she develops a crush on Dean and has no compunctions noting how handsome he is.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Developed one with both Molly and Jamal, the former being resolved after her boot and the latter after he gave her an idol and they buried the hatchet.
  • You Remind Me of X: She chose to align with Jason because he reminded her of an ex of hers.

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Jury

     Lauren Beck 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_lauren_beck.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 28
From: Glendale, California
Occupation: Nanny

  • A Day in the Limelight: After ten episodes of being a background character, Lauren asks to get sent to the Island of the Idols. Her next few scenes are her formulating and executing her plan.
  • Ascended Fan: Had been watching Survivor ever since she was seven years old.
  • Batman Gambit: She needs one of two people to win the immunity challenge so that she herself could get an immunity idol. She believed that Noura and Liz were the most likely to win, and spent the rest of her time convincing everyone else to sit out it. The only hiccup was that Karishma wasn't dissuaded from trying her luck, but that was a non-issue because she lost after a few seconds.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Despite being a super fan and having been made very aware of the F4 firemaking challenge, she doesn't even consider the possibility of being forced to make fire and is very upset when she has to.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her Sore Loser tendencies where she breaks into tears whenever she is given a relatively minor setback can be viewed as this as Noura took advantage of this flaw when Lauren was told that she'll be making fire at the final in which she was too busy having a Villainous Breakdown to fully practice on her fire-making skills then.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Has a tendency to do this during her confessionals.
  • It's All About Me: States that she doesn't care about Dan's behavior with the women since it didn't happen to her.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • The Man Behind the Man: Lauren was behind the Molly vote off and is implied to be the real brains in her partnership with Tommy, but she gets so little content that it's hard to determine how much strategic agency she actually has.
  • Satellite Character: Lauren is essentially always seen around either Tommy or Missy, and is one of their closest allies.
  • Smug Snake: Lauren tends to be very arrogant and treats players that are lower on the totem pole than her with disdain.
  • Sore Loser / Entitled Bastard: Like you wouldn't believe. This woman breaks into tears even when she's given relatively minor setbacks, and usually needs a moment to cry when even the slightest part of her plan goes wrong. She's practically inconsolable after Noura decides to force her to make fire.
  • Underestimating Badassery: She claims that Elaine isn't smart enough to be a threat. She's proven wrong during Jason's vote out.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Broke into tears after Noura put her on in the fire making challenge, as she had no proper practice in the game.

     Janet Carbin 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_janet_carbin.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 59
From: Palm Bay, Florida
Occupation: Chief Lifeguard

  • The Ace: Despite her age, they rely on her during challenges and was even capable of keeping up with Elizabeth, who's an Olympic level swimmer.
  • Agony of the Feet: She splinters her big toe after falling off the pedestal.
  • Batman Gambit: Made an attempt to have everybody put the votes on her so she could use her idol to negate them, and get Lauren voted off. Unfortunately, Dean played his idol nullifier on her, and she was voted out.
  • Being Good Sucks: The only person left on the season that refuses to cross moral boundaries gets stabbed repeatedly by the people who do.
  • Big Good: Janet is easily the most unambiguously good person left on the island. She stands for what she believes is right, has lines she will never cross, and genuinely cares about the feelings of other people and doesn't hesitate to help them.
  • Birds of a Feather: Immediately takes a liking to Tom, because he's the oldest man on the cast and he's a straight shooter. Doesn't stop her from being incredibly wary of him on a strategic level.
  • Break the Badass: The constant gaslighting and betrayal took a toll on her and she ends up wanting to quit because of it. She doesn't thankfully, wanting to stay for her family and lifeguard crew.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Defied. After being the first person to start a fire on her tribe, she became the premier fire maker. Everyone did everything in their power to keep her from the fire making challenge.
  • Commonality Connection: She and Elizabeth are both strong swimmers on account of their occupation, and they bond because of that.
  • Cool Old Lady: The first thing she establishes is how she wants to break the mold of the older woman going out early in order to keep the tribe strong. She immediately establishes her value by starting a fire within minutes of entering camp and manages to land her grappling hook after a single try. She's also the only one on the Vokai tribe with a shot at catching up to Elizabeth in a swimming showdown.
    • She's tied with Scout as the oldest woman to make the merge and the oldest person to find a hidden immunity idol, at the age of 59.
  • The Dreaded: Absolutely no one wanted her to even reach the final four because they all knew she'd smoke them in the fire making challenge and would easily take the million.
  • Due to the Dead: The tribe's name was Lumuwaku, which they named in dedication to Jack, who was eliminated the night before. Lumuwaku was something that his father would say before he left deployment and it stands for "Love you, miss you, really wanna kiss you." She was the one who brought up the suggestion.
  • The Fettered: Janet strongly believes that some issues transcend the game, and there are some things that simply should not be tolerated.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Janet was sitting comfortably in the game. She was well-respected among everyone, wasn't seen as a liability because of her age, yet wasn't threatening enough strategically or physically that she had to be taken out. When the girls come to her to vote off Dan, this puts her in the position to support her surrogate children at the expense of her game or to let things slide and hang on a little longer. She chooses the former and suffers for it.
  • Mama Bear: A tragic example. Despite being allied with Dan, when all the young women came to her about his inappropriate behavior, she was willing to vote him out just to make sure the remaining women felt comfortable in the game. This ended up backfiring on her hard, as Missy, Lauren, and Elizabeth all ended up flipping on her and voting out Kellee, then allied themselves with Dan.
  • The Paragon: She stands for what she believes is right and she takes a stand against Dan, Elizabeth, and Missy even though it places a greater knife in her back.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: She jeopardized her game because she wanted to all the younger girls, especially Kellee, to feel safer. Kellee ends up going home and Janet finds herself on the bottom.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: She wants to buck the trend of the older woman by proving herself capable in both camp life and challenges.
  • Team Mom: She naturally falls into this role, being the oldest member of the tribe and they've even taking to calling her mom.
    • The younger members of the tribe go to her for advice as well, such as when Kellee and Molly came to talk about her issues with Dan.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: After Kellee's vote off, she doesn't sleep, staring at the horizon until daybreak.

     Elaine Stott 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_elaine_stott.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 41
From: Rockholds, Kentucky
Occupation: Factory Worker

  • Big Fun: An exuberant woman whose girth is matched only by her charisma.
  • Born Unlucky: Elaine believes herself to be this when Jeff asks why she's so apprehensive. This isn't without precedent because she's a candidate for first boot on account of being super likable when historically, it's for the opposite reason and she's stuck on the losing tribe for most of the premerge. She does get swapped into a 4-4 tie, but that includes Missy and Aaron, who are both treat their tribemates as expendable.
  • Cassandra Truth: She tells Lauren that Noura will take her spot at the final three because she was who everyone wanted sit next to. Lauren doesn't listen and ends up going fourth.
  • The Charmer: Her greatest strength and her most dangerous asset. The idols had moderate disdain for her for being clueless but, after spending time with them on IoI, they also grew to love her.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A downplayed example. While not actively malicious, Elaine has turned on all of Lairo as well as her other alliances and seems to flip back and fourth.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Elaine gives off the impression that the only reason she has stuck around so long is because people like her, but underneath that exterior is somebody very perceptive and is capable of strategizing.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Never outright stated, but hints are dropped that her early life wasn't particularly good to her. She developed her charm as a defense mechanism, but still sees the world half empty. She outright says her life wasn't good bar her girlfriend and involvement in Survivor.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: The plucky heroine of the season, she is probably the nicest lady on the cast and people underestimate her because of it (and also because of her background). However, she definitely has strategic chops.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: She tends to use less painful words such as "dangit" and "son of a buck."
  • Heel–Face Turn: She turned on the Lairo Alliance in Episode 10 by voting out Missy as she realizes how mean she is.
  • Last of Her Kind: With Karishma gone, she is the last remaining original Lairo woman.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died a few months prior to the season, and Elaine cites it as one of her reasons for pursuing this adventure.
  • Nice Girl: Karishma is in a vulnerable position because she's the obvious vote off, but she wants to fight to stay alive. Elaine knows she can use her as another number and wants to take out Missy. Does she pull a Missy and start controlling and dictating Karishma? No. She uses basic decency and compassion when talking to Karishma. Like an equal.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sandra comments on how Elaine seems to be entirely clueless about everything, but her confessionals indicate that she is incredibly aware about Lairo's current situation. She's one of the better social players and secured a rather safe spot, so she's trying to lower her threat level by appearing clueless.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Tom's initial assessment of her character was this trait.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite using Karishma for a vote, rather than do what Missy did, she talked to Karishma as an equal and listened to her problems.
  • Shipper on Deck: She floated the idea of Chelsea and Dean hooking up.
  • The Social Expert: Unexpectedly for a factory worker from Kentucky, Elaine quickly proved to be this becoming by far the most liked player on Lairo. This has actually been her own undoing because, she became a target earlier on specifically for being too damn likable.
  • Stepford Smiler: Describes herself as a glass-half empty kind of a gal, much to the surprise of Jeff and her fellow tribemates. It was hinted early on that she was bullied and her cheerfulness was a front for that, but only in her boot episode does she outright admit it.
  • Straight Gay: Though with her tomboyish looks and attitude, she could also lean to Butch Lesbian.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the Lairo Alliance, by sheer virtue of the fact that she genuinely doesn't know about Dan's behavior, is not actively malicious, and is loyal to her tribemates. Eventually, she realizes how mean Missy treats Karishma, and the two agree to blindside the former.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Episode 6 sees her as being the intended target yet again, with two of her allies even being willing to vote her out, and she is later sent onto the Island of Idols after sitting out, which puts an even bigger target on her back. However, she does manage to get a Block-A-Vote, which ends up turning the 4-4 situation into a 4-3 in her favor, and she manages to turn the tides and stay while Jason ended up leaving instead.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: She has wrestling matches against the other Lairo girls, suplexing Chelsea on the beach and pinning Missy a bunch of times.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: From Janet during her boot Tribal Council, who, despite voting her out, gives her a good pep talk making Elaine leave in good spirits.

     Karishma Patel 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_karishma_patel.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 37
From: Houston, Texas
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Feels this way towards old Lairo as she felt her conservative Indian background alienates her from the tribe. This is especially noticeable when nobody checks on her when she cuts herself. With new Lairo, she felt more comfortable and bonded with them during the trip swap.
  • Arranged Marriage: It's a result of her Indian heritage. Her marriage isn't arranged but she feels she got married earlier than she felt she was ready for as a result of this traditionalist mentality. She likens her relationship with her husband to be much more similar to roommates than love.
    • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Episode 10 does show her having a realization of how much she does love her husband, and talks about how much she misses him after being isolated and feeling lonely.
  • Badass Boast: Does one to Dean when voting for him.
    You took three shots at me and you missed, and I'm nailing you on my first try. Stay dry, sweetheart.
    • Subverted, since Dean plays an idol.
  • Character Development: She starts off feeling isolated and powerless, but she gains confidence and and agency as the season continues.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of goats. Like most goats, Karishma is inept in the physical and social aspects of the game, and is only kept in by other players because she is easily beatable at Final Three. However, we see exactly how much damage it does to Karishma's self-esteem to be seen by everyone else as nothing more than a tool to be taken to the end and beaten, and it's an incredibly painful experience for her. Not only that, but players like Dean and Noura resent her for making it farther in the game than their allies despite being seen as less "deserving."
  • Determinator: She was on the outs since episode 3 for her poor challenge performance and behaviour. She constantly feels isolated and condescended towards, as everyone makes it clear they don't like her and consider her expendable. She does not give up, and even plays an idol on herself when they wised up and thought to unanimously get rid of her.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Episode 10 shows she finally has enough of Missy's treatment of her. Not only does she shut down her attempts to talk to her, but she calls her out on how belittling she is, and votes her out with Elaine and Tommy.
  • Family of Choice: She is unequivocally loyal to the members of NuLairo than she ever was for old Lairo.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After the tribal swap, Karishma turned on Lairo for Vokai.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: She accidentally cuts herself deep enough to see bone and calmly says she's heading off to medical. Subverted when she goes face down in the ground because she was starting to get lightheaded from blood loss.
    • Subverted and Inverted because, though she cut herself really bad and was suffering from lightheadedness, she ends up being fine after having her hand bandaged. She then declares her tribe is dead to her because no one checked up on her.
    • Double Subverted post-game, however, as she stated that she no longer has any feeling in her index finger.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Everybody finds her annoying and mopey. The only reason she has stayed this long was because they were using the opportunity to get rid of perceived threats. She moves past this when she moves on to NuLairo.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: She expected herself to be the Jungle Queen, where she would rock the social, strategic and physical game. She sucks at all three and laments that she is seen as nothing but a goat.
  • The Load: Treated as such because she, apparently, does little around camp aside from moping around.
    • The Millstone: Is so poor in challenges that even Jeff calls her out on it. At one point, Noura had to drag her to the finish line. Having her on your team is almost begging to be sent to tribal.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After eliminating Chelsea to save her, Missy assumed Karishma would be forever grateful. Karishma, however, disliked how Missy condescended her and treated her as though she weren't her equal. Thus, she chooses to betray her.
  • Playing Sick: Karishma goes on an idol hunt and is back after an hour carrying only two coconuts, raising suspicion. She then decides to play up her perceived patheticness to convince her tribe mates she was in a daze. Lauren even asked if they should call medical.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: She dislikes Dean for bringing her up as the split vote sacrifice and targeting her almost every tribal since.
  • Smart Girl: Passed the bar in three different states, all on the first try. Sandra notes during the premiere that she's smart.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Karishma has been targeted since Episode 3, yet has managed to hang on up until episode 12.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She got married earlier than she wanted to because she didn't want to feel like a burden on her psrents.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Has a very strong fear of alligators. She wrote in her bio that just writing the word down gave her chills.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: She receives a rather subdued one from Jeff, of all people.
    Jeff: Why are you feeling like a failure? You're one of the three people who stood up to the test!
    Karishma: I promised myself I would always, always try to do my best. My mind is stronger than anything, but why is my body not cooperating?
    Jeff: Could be thirty days playing Survivor. It could do it to the strongest.

     Elizabeth Beisel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_elizabeth_beisel_5.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 28
From: Saunderstown, Rhode Island
Occupation: Olympic Medalist

  • The Ace: Elizabeth has competed in three different Olympics, winning silver and bronze medals at the 2012 London Games. Unlike Crystal Cox, her Olympic skill blows everyone out of the water.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Platonic version, but she tells Aaron she loves him when she sees him on the jury.
  • Birds of a Feather: Her closest allies are Missy and Aaron, both of which are in super game mode.
  • Break the Haughty: She was in a very powerful position as her alliance pretty much controlled the votes. In one fell swoop, her two closest allies are voted off and she has to now strategize alone.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Was not at the reunion due to fear of backlash after the Dan incident.
  • Commonality Connection: She likes having Tom around because of their shared experience of being athletes.
    • Same with Janet, since they're both strong swimmers. Elizabeth uses this to her advantage in order to trick Janet.
  • Demoted to Extra: Was one of the prominent players in the premiere by virtue of being sent to Island of the Idols, but her content quickly drops off after that, where she usually narrates the current situation.
  • The Dragon: She's Missy's closest ally.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Even though she was Missy's closest ally, she got voted out after her.
  • Gaslighting: She came to Janet in order to talk about how terrible and uncomfortable Dan made her feel, which causes Janet to take action, she downplays it when confronted after the vote.
  • Face Palm: Had one after Karishma played her idol, realizing that her fate was immediately sealed.
  • Hidden Depths: Elizabeth is also a trained violinist.
  • Idiot Ball: Tries to go up against Boston Rob in a fire-making challenge to win an idol even though Boston Rob is an expert at making fire and she learned five minutes ago. Then later chooses to lie to the rest of her tribe about what the Island of the Idols is even though another of her tribemates will get to go there soon enough (although that one is played with as Elanie was not upset when she found out herself).
  • It's All My Fault: Her competitive nature meant she wanted to take the fall for losing the 4th immunity challenge in which she was the caller. It was actually the closest that Lairo had to winning a challenge over Vokai.
  • Jaw Drop: By the end of Episode 9, she lost her two closest allies Aaron and Missy, leaving her jaw on the ground after the latter's elimination.
  • Keet: She is a very excitable lady.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After the episode where she weaponizes Dan's behavior, she ended up losing both of her biggest allies in the game; leaving her all alone. And then she's eliminated the very next episode due to Karishma having an idol, despite the fact Karishma was willing to work with her to get out Dan.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The excitable and energetic red to Missy's much more reserved blue.
  • Romance on the Set: After the season ended, Jack and Elizabeth revealed that they had started dating.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Decides to weaponize Dan's behaviour in order to vote Kellee off and spends the next episode gaslighting Janet.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: While presented as Missy's Dragon in their reign of tyranny, everybody loves her, trusts her, and sees her as a great social threat.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Exaggerated Dan's inappropriate behavior towards herself in order to get close to Janet.
  • You Are Already Dead: She lost her two biggest allies the tribal prior, is a physical threat, she didn't win immunity and Karishma had an idol. The only way she was safe was if Karishma wasn't smart enough to play it, which she did.
  • Younger Than They Look: She is actually 25 and the only person on the season younger than her is Jack, but you'd be forgiven for thinking she's in her early thirties. Having Olympic-level training will do that to a person.

     Missy Byrd 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_missy_byrd.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 24
From: Tacoma, Washington
Occupation: Air Force Veteran

  • Amazonian Beauty
  • Big Bad Wannabe: As the leader of the Lairo Alliance, and the one who took advantage of Dan's inappropriate behavior to take control of the game, Missy has definitely built herself up as the season's main villain. Then she gets voted out immediately after pulling this due to Karishma and Elaine having enough of her attitude.
  • The Bully: To Karishma. She'll insult her at every opportunity and treats her with no dignity, that it's gotten so bad that Tommy and Elaine are both disgusted by it and Karishma calls her out.
  • Compulsive Liar: Her main character trait, aside from focusing too much on the game at the expense of everyone else, is how much she lies and betrays people despite it not working out later on. Hell, when she's voted off, she lies to Tommy's face that she didn't target him, even though there was no benefit at all to that!
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: She is one towards gamebots (aka players whose entire focus is on winning the game and maximizing their success at winning the game at the expense of everything else; forgetting that this is meant to be a social game). She made unnecessary "big moves" (such as keeping Karishima to vote out Chelsea in Episode 4 came back to bite her in the butt when she was voted out), and came across a huge Jerkass come the merge as she ended up Gaslighting on the show to advance her strategic game, and acts like a bully towards Karishma when trying to get her to vote-out Tommy.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Missy took advantage of the Dan situation to get out Kellee, setting her up as one of the most ruthless, cold villains in the history of Survivor. She's taken out in the very next episode.
  • Determinator: And how. Missy revealed in her preseason interviews that she had lived with a brain tumor for over a year while she was in the Air Force Academy before finally having it discovered and treated before her graduation.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Gee, Missy. Voting Chelsea off despite being loyal in favor of the wishy washy Karishma is such a good game move. What could possibly go wrong? Hell, bully and condescend Karishma every time you speak to her because she'll totally stay by your side.
  • Gaslighting: Constantly tries to make Janet question herself by saying that every complaint she received was blown out of proportion.
  • Graceful Loser: She walks around with a huge smile on her face, hugging and Elaine and Karishma for successfully voting her off. Subverted because she told Elizabeth on her way out to kill Elaine slowly and methodically.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Missy wanted to keep Karishma as an ally mostly so the latter could do whatever she wanted. That proved to be her undoing when Karishma stood up against her, and she and Elanie blindsided her.
  • Hypocrite: She was the biggest proponent of the women's alliance, yet decides to side with a sexual harasser than support the woman facing harassment. Her actions are in diametric opposition to everything the women's movement stands for.
  • It's All About Me: She votes Chelsea off so that she could have Karishma in her back pocket, despite Karishma being the obvious vote off and the one that would rock the boat the least.
    • She decides to keep Dan, who is a creep and makes everyone uncomfortable, in order to further her game.
    • She decides to make a big deal about how representation for minority matters... despite voting off two people of color, one of which was a victim of sexual harassment and the other was a supporter of the victim. It makes it clear that it's all about optics for her.
  • Jerkass Ball: She decides to vote Chelsea out on the assumption that she and Dean would become a power couple, even though Karishma was a liability and will definitely flip, thus causing Lairo to fracture and the women's alliance to implode.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: She gets even worse in the merge episodes, using her bond with Kellee over their shared bad experiences with Dan to blindside her, and then blames Janet for causing a stir despite the women having gone to her about what happened.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Eliminated just one episode after manipulating the Dan situation to her advantage.
  • The Leader: By episode 4, it was clear she had the tightest grip on what remained on Lairo.
  • Living Lie Detector: She's paranoid to a fault and she says she sees everything going on in camp. Case in point, she sees right through Tommy and Lauren's attempts to fix a target on Dan.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: She's almost exaggeratedly cutthroat, stoic and unsympathetic towards others, but outside of the game she's almost an entirely different person.
  • Near-Death Experience: She almost died prior to the season because of the aforementioned brain tumor. She couldn't walk, she couldn't talk, it was a nightmare. She survived and received a new lease on life, which is why she decided to show up on Survivor.
  • The Stoic: Her entire approach to Survivor could be summarized as "cold." She barely emotes whenever the confession cam checks up on her.
    • Not So Stoic: When she finally gets voted off, she wears the dopiest smile on her face and goes around congratulating and hugging the contestants. Subverted however, when she gets to hug Elizabeth. She returns to her cold demeanor and tells Liz to kill Elaine.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's the blue to both Aaron and Elizabeth's red.
  • Straight Gay
  • The Unfettered: When she voted off Chelsea, we learn that she sees her tribe mates as little more than chess pieces. When she voted off Kellee instead of Dan and paints Janet to be a liar, we learn that she has no compunctions about crossing moral boundaries.
  • Verbal Tic: "Dope."

     Aaron Meredith 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_aaron_meredith.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 36
From: Warwick, Rhode Island
Occupation: Gym Owner

  • The Brute: Standing at 6'4" and is physically imposing. He provides a lot of manpower during challenges. After winning the first two individual immunity challenges, he was eliminated when people realized they had a chance to get rid of a physical threat when he didn't have the necklace on his neck.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: It seems that he switches alliances after every single episode. Jason calls him out on this when he's eliminated.
  • Commonality Connection: Missy gives him an olive branch after Ronnie's blindside and the two form a bond because they're both African-American and both came from military schools.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The double tribal council and the separation of the two groups bit him hard as most of his strongest allies, Elizabeth and Missy, were in the other group and he had no immunity. It didn't take too long for the others to seize the opportunity and get rid of him at the first moment.
  • The Dragon: After episode 1, Aaron would only place his trust in Missy and he became one of her staunchest supporters and co-conspirators.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only time he received content that doesn't paint him as an opportunistic dick was when he was talking to Tommy about how much he loves his son. He even printed out socks with his kid's face on them.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's the biggest guy wherever he goes, but he's also good at puzzles.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: For given values of face and heel, he actively switches alliances whenever he thinks it would suit him best. In the span of six episodes he's switched alliances from shifty Ronnie, to steady Tom, to cutthroat Missy, to proud Vokai, and back to sweet Elaine.
  • Heel Realization: According to his exit interviews, he genuinely believed Janet was just salty that she was blindsided and that she was the one making something out of nothing. When Jamal steps in and shuts him down, he realizes that there might truly be something bigger at play and stops talking until Jeff prompts him. Not that it stops him from voting off the minority alliance.
  • Innocent Bigot: During Jamal's boot episode, Aaron perpetuates the stereotype that women would inform the big, strong men if anything serious actually happened. Jamal calls him out on this.
  • Jerk Jock: While not outwardly malicious, he comes across as very self-centered, whose only goal is to further himself in the game regardless of other people's feelings. Completely averted after his elimination, where he's a pretty chill dude in real life.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Older Than They Look: It's hard to imagine he's near his 40s considering how young he looks.
  • Playing Both Sides: Ever since Ronnie was blindsided, he felt that he needed to make connections with everyone to save himself.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The outwardly aggressive and hot-headed red to Missy's stoic blue.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Falls pray to this, as everyone realizes keeping him in the game only means he'll win most immunities.
  • Too Clever by Half: He plays way too hard, burning every bridge he's made in an attempt to move three steps forward and people think he's an untrustworthy snake. In fact, the old Vokai were looking to put him out had Elaine not brought her advantage. However, it's not his untrustworthiness that cost him the game. It's his inability to lower his challenge threat level.

     Jamal Shipman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_jamal_shipman.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 33
From: Providence, Rhode Island
Occupation: College Administrator

  • Ascended Fan
  • Break the Haughty: He is likened to the king of the tribe by episode 2, and he was so confident he wouldn't be going home that he didn't even bring his bags. He even told everyone that he was still playing in first gear while Jason was forced to play in fifth. Molly's vote really threw a wrench in his plans.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nothing went well for him during his stay. He lost two of his closest allies from blindsides, he wasted an idol on Noura when he feared she would be sent home, and in the episode where he was voted off, he lost his vote by coming onto Island of the Idols.
  • Byronic Hero: Perhaps the best way to describe his overall stay in the game. While Jamal can be arrogant, condescending, and manipulative, he is also deeply passionate about important social issues, cares deeply about his friends, and is fully committed to his moral viewpoints.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: He and Karishma find a note hanging conspicuously from a tree, which would take them to Island of the Idols... which causes him to lose his vote because "There are no free lunches." It might as well have said "Fuck you."
  • Forgiveness: Towards Jack, who made an unintentional remark towards Jamal, which lead to the latter calmly explaining why the remark carries negative connotations towards black men, and forgiving Jack due to his innocence on the matter and apology.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: His ideology regarding Molly's vote. He will work with them as he sees fit, but will not hesitate to betray them if the need arises.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a very big guy, having been an athlete prior and being one of Vokai's greatest physical assets, but he also excels at solving puzzles and is the tribe's go-to guy for them
  • Gentle Giant: Jamal is physically imposing and is the tribe's challenge beast, but he's very eloquent, kind, and open to learning experiences. Best exemplified by his interactions with Jack and Janet.
  • Hidden Depths: Apart from being a tri-varsity athlete in his junior year, he also was in the school a cappella group, played the trumpet in the orchestra, and acted in the spring play.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has some shades of cockiness and condescending behavior, but deep down Jamal is good guy. He may sometimes offend his allies like Kellee and Noura, but he does truly care for them and even willing make sacrifices for them. Even when it became his undoing later on, he doesn't regret it at all.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite the two not getting along and the fact his move ended up not panning out, Jamal willingly played his idol on Noura when he thought Dean's sole vote would get her out. Even Noura was touched by his gesture, apologizing to him afterwards for his idol being wasted on her.
  • Redemption Equals Death: We're led to see him as someone arrogant, condescending and dismissive. At one point, the women of his tribe call him out for perpetuating sexist (by the game's standards) notions and he congratulates the women who spoke up. His final actions are protecting Janet and calling Aaron out for perpetuating sexist (by real world standards) notions that shame women who do speak up. He leaves tribal with more grace and integrity than most people remaining in the game.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Jamal has basically been screwed over, so his goal is to screw someone else over by making a fake advantage. This is ludicrous because every single note prior was printed, while he had but a pencil. So he very publicly bequeaths it to Dean. While skeptical, people were considering if it was real or not and Dean ends up playing it.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He was definitely presented as someone to root against, especially because of his condescending and dismissive comments towards the women, but his last episode has him standing up for Janet and pointing out the problems with the way society treats victims of abuse.

     Kellee Kim 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_kellee_kim.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Lairo —> Lumuwaku
Age: 29
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation: MBA Student

  • Asian and Nerdy: Considered one of the season's greatest strategic threats and sneaks in a Harry Potter reference during Molly's vote off as a bonus.
  • Batman Gambit: Episode Seven has her pull off an incredible blindside. Due to the bond she made with Dean, as well as feeling Jamal and Jack are a dangerous pair, Kellee decides to make a move to curb their power. She hands Dean her idol pre-tribal and tells him to vote for Jack, and to make sure that Dean's vote doesn't stray to her, she also gets Noura to vote Jack as a safety net - and then proceeds to vote for Dean anyway and fake a shocked reaction to Jack's blindside, just to cover her tracks. Eliminating a threat and protecting her ally, all without drawing attention to herself.
    • Subverted next episode as Noura told the tribe that Kellee told her to vote for Jack, raising suspicion from Jamal.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Her cries for help were ignored and actively punished by the people she put her trust in, leading to her elimination. At the reunion show, Jeff takes the time to individually speak to her to apologize for not doing enough to protect her and to thank her for speaking up so that they can handle this issue better in the future. She was incredibly touched by this gesture.
  • Broken Tears: Dan's behaviour was too much for her to handle. He repeatedly disrespected her boundaries and that of other women. She was so frustrated by his refusal to respect them, and how she feels so powerless because it might negatively impact her societal standing (as is in real life) that she breaks down on camera.
  • Crocodile Tears: Pretty much fakes an anxiety attack so that her tribe wouldn't be suspicious of her after coming back from the Island of the Idols. It works.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Looked to be a powerful player based on what was shown from the pre-merge but was imminently targeted at the first tribal council, specifically because she would be too hard to beat later on.
  • Epic Fail: Like James Clement, she managed to get eliminated with 2 idols in her pocket. Especially shocking as she was shown to be very smart and perceptive all season. However, the circumstances of her elimination are much more different, so she tends not to be lumped in with him.
  • Eureka Moment: In a confessional she was detailing wanting to work with Dean and not wanting her idol to go to waste, she pauses for a few seconds, you can see the wheels in her head turning, and comes up with her plan.
  • Hammerspace Hair: She manages to hide an idol in her hair, completely deflecting any suspicion on her.
  • Hates Being Touched: Dan inappropriately touching her is a definite sore point, but she also mentions that she generally doesn't like being touched since she has a fear of germs.
    • This becomes a major point in the merge episode when she admits she intentionally gave everyone this perception so that Dan would stop touching her without making a fuss.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: She votes off Jack because she assumed Dean would be truly loyal to her. Since Jamal wanted Dan gone, and Jack was super tight with him, there was a good chance the votes wouldn't have ended up coming her way.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Ultimately a crucial flaw in her gameplay. He blunt way to shut down Tommy and Lauren's offer of an alliance between them and the old Lairo angered them enough that it turned them off from working with her, and for Tommy wanting to send her home. When they became the power vote in the tribal council she was voted off, it was the final nail on the coffin to her game sending her to jury.
  • Metaphorically True: She told her tribe that the Island of the Idols had two statues of a man and a woman. However, she left out the part that those statues were statues of Boston Rob and Sandra.
  • Nice Hat: She has a nice, little bucket hat that pops up from time to time.
  • Not So Different: From Missy. Like Missy, she was planning on using Dan's inappropriate behavior in an attempt to trick Missy into thinking everyone was voting Dan out. The difference is that Kellee was genuinely forcing herself to continue working with Dan, and only went along with the attempt to vote him out because Jamal and Janet convinced her everyone was on board. And Kellee did not exaggerate, nor did she tell other girls, to exaggerate their own experiences with him and weaponize his behavior.
  • One Degree of Separation: She and Dean have a mutual friend. This relationship is so strong that Kellee goes beyond tribal lines to rescue him.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Definitely marketed as the smart girl of her season, and uses said bun to hide her idol.
  • Smart Girl: One of the things that the idols immediately peg about her is her intelligence. Case in point, she wins a memory challenge to get her first idol and is one of the season's premiere strategists.
  • The Strategist: She's the first person in Survivor history to use someone else as a conduit for her vote. See Batman Gambit above. According to Jack's interviews, his first thought after getting voted off was "Kellee got me."
  • Tears of Joy: After she wins the memory challenge, she breaks down in front of the idols because of sheer happiness.
  • Terrified of Germs: Supposedly is a germaphobe, which begs the question as to why she would want to be stranded in an island.
    • This actually turns out to be a smokescreen to hide that she was really just uncomfortable with Dan's touchiness because men like him tend not to listen when told their behaviour is inappropriate.
  • Too Clever by Half: Her plan to eliminate Jack was brilliant and relatively well executed, but it fell apart because she relied on two people. Noura was unreliable and Dean wasn't as grateful as she thought he'd be. If she kept Jack in, instead, there's a good chance she'd still be around.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kellee was the ringleader of the Vokai camp, which is why Missee specifically targeted her.

     Jack Nichting 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_jack_nichting.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Lairo
Age: 23
From: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Occupation: Graduate Student

  • Ascended Extra: According to Jeff, Jack was an on-location alternate for the 2018 cycle of filming in case of emergency.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Was not in the reunion as he had started dating Elizabeth and wanted to support her decision to not be present.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father died when he was sixteen, leaving him and his sister, Claire, alone with their mom.
  • Expy: Has a not-insignificant resemblance to a young Joe Anglim. Though, his strategy of wanting to be liked by everyone while also being the surfer dude archetype gives him more than a passing resemblance to Fabio.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When he was voted out, he bore no ill-will towards his companions. He's just FREAKIN' PUMPED to be a part of the jury.
  • Fauxshadow: His very first confessional puts a lot of focus on how close he and Tommy have become, making one think the two would become major power players by the end game, but this was dropped after two episodes.
  • The Heart: The man doesn't have a mean bone in his body, which is why everyone was sad when he was idoled out. When he becomes the Mayor of Ponderosa, he says he's glad he gets the be the first person to greet everyone else voted off. That way, he can assuage their heartbreak and comfort them at their lowest point.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a baker, which he showcases in Ponderosa as he bakes things for his friends when they get sent to the jury.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jokingly calling Jamal's buff a "durag/do-rag", though he doesn't realize at first that the term has unfortunate implications towards black males. Once Jamal patiently sets him straight, he is understandably shocked and apologizes, having not meant it to come across as insensitive.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He fills out this archetype.
  • Nice Guy: Compared to Aaron and Jamal, who got very mad over having been blindsided, Jack accepts it graciously and instead opts to try and rebuild his bonds.
    • When accidentally made a racist joke that upset Jamal, rather than insist that Jamal was being too sensitive or make excuses for himself, he fully owns up to his mistake and does his best to make things right.
    • Ultimately, it's what gets him voted out, as Jack's good nature and ability to get along with anyone made him a threat in Kellee's eyes, resulting in his blindside.
  • Romance on the Set: After the season ended, Jack and Elizabeth revealed that they had started dating.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: After his blindside, the season took a very dark turn.
  • Touché: His reaction to being left after the loop after Molly's blindside is to concede that it was an amazing move.

Voted Out

     Jason Linden 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_jason_linden.jpg

Tribe: Vokai —> Vokai
Age: 32
From: New York City, New York
Occupation: Personal Injury Lawyer

  • The Atoner: He was on the outs within the first few hours of the game, but went out of his way to apologize for his faux pas. When he's finally voted off, it's through no fault of his own.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He could have easily cut ties with Noura the second her irritating behaviour became a liability. However, she decided to ally with him when nobody else would and he's feels like he owes her.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: He has to reign in Noura's craziness, but he's abandoned the role as she grew into too large of a liability.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Elaine found a vote blocker and he was old Lairo's target while his alliance could do fuck all to prepare for it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: From a certain point of view. Knowing that people viewed him so negatively pierced his soul and he spent the next few days clawing to get out of the hole he dug himself in. When he's finally voted out, he's grateful that it was because of his positive qualities rather than his negative ones and that his tribe did a full 180 on him and became his friends.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: He tried to fistbump Aaron, but he declined. Thus, signalling that he was going home.
  • Karmic Elimination: According to exit interviews, prior to learning about the vote blocker, he was planning on blindsiding Aaron on the night he went home. When Elaine blocks his vote, his alliance changed their plans to Elaine, and Aaron blindsided him instead.
  • The Smart Guy: The tribe placed him as their caller during a blind challenge but more importantly, him being smart and strategic is why Lairo placed a target on his back.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He concludes that, since his season's theme is Island of the Idols, he automatically assumes that there would probably be a bunch of idols lying around for him to find. This isn't without precedent, as there has been a strong emphasis on idols in the recent seasons. However, he chooses to search for them alone, leading people to lose their trust in him.

     Tom Laidlaw 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_tom_laidlaw.jpg

Tribe: Lairo —> Lairo
Age: 60
From: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Former NHL Player

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Averted. Tom believes that he shouldn't have to plead to anyone in order to be considered, preferring to let his actions do the talking.
  • Ascended Fan
  • The Big Guy: The man is built like a stone wall.
  • Canada, Eh?: Tom is the first Canadian to play Survivor ever since casting opened to Canadians in mid-2018. When he gets voted out, he jokes about being the first Canadian to get voted off Survivor.
  • Cool Old Guy: The oldest player on the season, and oldest male competitor since Joe in Kaoh Rong. He's also a hard worker at camp and fairly respected in his tribe.
  • Fatal Flaw: Loyalty and straightforwardness, it turns out. Unlike Dean and Karishma, who were both ready to jump ship the moment the swap happened, Tom still maintained he had allies on old Lairo and nuLairo thought that was dangerous.
  • Honor Before Reason: He didn't lie about his connections on nuVokai and paid dearly for it.
  • Retired Badass: Played as a defenceman in the NHL for ten years, and still looks to be in great physical condition.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, to an extent, as there is another Tom in the season. However, the man on Vokai goes by Tommy, instead.
  • Out of Focus: Downplayed. He has enough content to be noticeable, but he isn't a strategist so he doesn't get a lot of content by the time he goes out.
  • Team Dad: The tribe treats him as such, on account of him being the oldest on the tribe by a large margin.

     Chelsea Walker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_chelsea_walker.jpg

Tribe: Lairo
Age: 26
From: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Digital Content Creator

  • Ascended Fan: Applied for six years and was among the last cuts many times before making it onto the show, after becoming a fan at eight years old.
  • Audience Surrogate: She is a superfan and it shows, from her apprehension of the island's theme to her excitement over finding the immunity idol.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She said that blindsides were fun. Sandra says it best.
    • Sandra: You said you wanted a blindside. You got you one.
  • Break the Cutie: She never even made the merge and cried on her way out. Her ending speech wasn't about how much fun she had, but how disappointed she was that she left with an idol in her pocket and that she didn't make it further.
  • Fall Guy: The main reason she was voted off. After a messy back-and-forth on who to vote off by the tribe, her name was ultimately thrown out just to please almost everyone.
  • Irony: As the episodes went on, the strength of the women's alliance started to wane, with only Chelsea being the only person who fully believed in it. In the end, she was eliminated by the very same women whom she put her trust in, ultimately causing the alliance to implode.
  • Manipulative Editing: Her elimination was supposedly to prevent a couple from running the game. Post-game interviews clarified that wasn't actually the reason she was eliminated at all. She just happened to be the victim of convoluted chaos. The ship tease angle was the only narrative that made any sort of sense, so the editors ran with that.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Her elimination was also the destruction of the women's alliance and Missy's rise to power.
  • Ship Tease: With Dean. It lasts a single episode before she's booted off.

     Vince Moua 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vince_moua_competes_on_survivor_island_of_the_idols_when_news_photo_1570722671.jpg

Tribe: Lairo
Age: 27
From: Palo Alto, California
Occupation: Admissions Counselor

  • An Elimination in the Limelight: He receives most of his content during his boot episode.
  • Camp Gay: Downplayed. Not outright effeminate, but he refuses to work with the men and his mannerisms will definitely set off some gaydars.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Rob and Sandra taught him to keep his cool under pressure. When he got back to camp, he was targetted for elimination, and he ended up "keeping his cool" to the point where he was voted out with an idol in his pocket.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: On the receiving end of one. They made a song and dance that the split vote was between Karishma and Tom, but it was actually between Karishma and Vince.
  • Running Gag: On his boot episode, he'd often be shown smelling his fingers.
  • Tempting Fate: He comments on his stealth skills, saying "Tom Cruise can't handle this," before slipping and falling on his butt.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He had an idol only good for two tribal councils and his name popped up, yet decided not to play it. Not only that, but Karishma whispers into her alliance's ears except for his and he doesn't pick up on it.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Though not token, since there are three LGBT people on an incredibly racially diverse cast, Vince is a member of the Hmong, a group of people from Vietnam and not known by many, which makes him a notable inclusion in the cast.
  • Verbal Tic: He tends to use "y'all" and "homeboy" a lot.
  • With Catlike Tread: He breaks sticks, loudly picks up coal and falls on his ass during Rob and Sandra's test. Nobody noticed him at all.

     Molly Byman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rs_754x1024_190909103642_1024survivor_molly_lp9919.jpg

Tribe: Vokai
Age: 27
From: Durham, North Carolina
Occupation: Law Student

  • Alpha Bitch: This is how Noura felt about her though everyone else seemed to like her just fine. Though she was definitely in a position of power, which was why she was eliminated early.
  • Ascended Fan: Molly's watched the show since The Australian Outback.
  • Graceful Loser: The Queen of her tribe who gets violently deposed, and she just wishes them good luck. Her day after video has her talking about the whole thing as a positive experience, was proud of the way she played and that she's just sad it got cut short.
  • Self-Deprecation: Pokes fun at the number of people who answer Parvati for the "which Survivor are you most like?" question...while doing it herself.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: She describes herself as Parvati, and the similarities are definitely enough for her tribemates to brand her as Parvati 2.0. Much like Parvati on both Micronesia and Heroes vs. Villains, she became an early target because her charming personality was seen as threatening. Unlike Parvati, she became complacent and was thus eliminated.
  • Outdoorsy Gal
  • When She Smiles: One of her most noticeable and dangerous assets.

     Ronnie Bardah 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s39_ronnie_bardah_0.jpg

Tribe: Lairo
Age: 35
From: Henderson, Nevada
Occupation: Pro Poker Player

  • Bad Liar: Elaine immediately realizes that he is out to get her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While evil maybe too harsh a term, he reconsiders against voting for Elaine after her impassioned speech during the tribal council.
  • Rags to Riches: Overcame a difficult childhood in a tough neighborhood to become an accomplished poker player; he even beat Jean-Robert at a tournament.
  • Renaissance Man: During his final tribal, he lists down a series of jobs that he's had.
    • Long List: This list goes on far longer than it should have, to the point that it stops sounding like he's trying to relate to Elaine's experiences and more like he's bragging.
  • Too Clever by Half: Made the classic blunder of playing way too hard way too early. He wanted to target Elaine for being too well-liked believing that she could beat anybody at the Final Tribal Council ignoring that it was day three and that such tactics made him seem highly unreliable and overly-strategic whereas while everybody else realized the threat that Elaine represented knew that it was way too soon to knock out the most likable player.

Ejected From The Game

     Dan Spilo 
Tribe: Vokai —> Vokai —> Lumuwaku
Age: 48
From: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Talent Manager

  • Analogy Backfire: In defending his behavior, he states that he works in the entertainment industry where the #MeToo movement was born. As posters on Reddit commented, that's not something to brag about; the industry isn't the champion of equality like Dan tried to present it, it's the hotbed of poor behavior that #MeToo was protesting.
  • A Day in the Limelight: He doesn't have much focus, being limited to the occasional comedy scene, but the merge episode highlights him and his repugnant behaviour.
  • Dirty Old Man: He's harassed most of the women in the game and was evicted when he couldn't keep his hands off of one of the off-camera crew.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: His ejection was handled like this. Probst came up to the tribe, said he's been thrown out, and he wasn't seen on the show again.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At the most, he's tolerated by the people he's around. He's a very touchy person in a way that the group as a whole finds inappropriate. Jamal thinks he's skeevy, and Missy doesn't like him going through people's things. After Jason's vote, Tommy and Lauren immediately try and put him under the bus.
    • After Kellee's elimination, he finds use to round out their numbers but Janet loathes him while Missy and Elizabeth don't respect him.
    • If we go by Jeff's comments during the reunion, the cast saw him as a very attractive goat because everyone knew that he would lose the FTC no matter what.
  • Hate Sink: The editors have made it clear that Dan is not someone we should root for.
  • Innocently Insensitive: At the beginning, it was rather clear that Dan intended no malice, but he came across like a slimy car salesman to some on the tribe. But then it ceased being innocent when he was asked to stop and didn't.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After the end of the merge episode, it appeared that Dan had had managed to get away with his inappropriate behavior, up until the morning after Elaine's elimination, when he did something with a nonplayer to get ejected.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After getting away with harassing multiple women throughout the game, Dan apparently tried something with an off-screen producer. He then became the first person EVER ejected from the game with no seat on the jury despite making it to the Final Six.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Beyond the occasional confessional, Dan didn't receive a lot of content prior to the merge. When the spotlight started shining on him, the season took a noticeably darker turn.
  • Never My Fault: He claims to be horrified by his actions, but never actually takes the time to reflect on his behaviour. It's evident that he's never actually sorry for his actions. Instead he's "sorry they feel that way" about him, and is frustrated that they can't just accept his "apology" and move on. When Missy and Elizabeth coddle him (as a gameplay maneuver), he uses it as validation that he never actually did anything wrong.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Despite getting a severe warning about his inappropriate touching in the past, Dan was reported to have harassed a production crew member. It served to be the final straw as Dan was removed from the game sometime in the morning on Day 36 just when the final six was formed. No goodbyes, no placement on the jury, no final words, not even a trip to tribal council to discuss matters. Dan was gone, making him the first person to ever be removed from the game.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He's inappropriately touchy with the women, which becomes a sore point for Kellee and Molly. It eventually gets bad enough that the producers have to step in offscreen, first by issuing a warning and then by throwing him out of the game altogether.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: From a meta-narrative perspective. Prior to the merge, he was the skeevy guy that no one really liked who was an easy vote because he kept touching people and things. He then causes Kellee to have an on-camera breakdown, refuses to acknowledge the damage he does and his repulsive behavior is used as ammunition to keep Missy in power.
  • Obliviously Evil: He genuinely doesn't seem to understand the damage he's causing. In the early episodes, he and everyone else saw his actions as ultimately harmless (inappropriate, but harmless). Even when it got to the point that it couldn't be ignored, Missy and Elizabeth led him to think that his behavior wasn't actually a serious problem. It's really only the following Tribal Council, where Jeff tries to call him out on his behavior, that he digs in his heels and drops out of this trope by becoming willfully "evil".
  • Persona Non Grata: Because of his ejection from the game, Dan was banned from the reunion show.
  • Running Gag: Dan doesn't get a lot of focus but when he does, it usually involves him touching things. It gets hit with Cerebus Syndrome and stops being funny after the merge, where it starts to become a serious sexual harassment problem.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He's this for the otherwise fairly likable Volkai Alliance, due to being a perverted creep.

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