Host Jeff Probst Called This Scene ‘One of the Most Powerful’ of ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’

Karishma Patel is perceived as a “goat,” or a weak player with slim chances of winning brought to the Final Tribal Council by a strong player, by almost all her tribemates in Survivor: Island of the Idols.

However, the 37-year-old worked hard to prove she deserves to be there and found an idol, eliminated a physical threat, competed when everyone else chose to eat breakfast, and became the first woman to correctly use her idol since Kelley Wentworth on Survivor: Cambodia (Season 31).

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, host Jeff Probst commented on Patel’s momentum and called a scene of hers “one of the most powerful” of this season.

Karishma Patel Jeff Probst
Karishma Patel and Chelsea Walker | Robert Voets

Karishma Patel is perceived as a ‘goat’ in ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’

Throughout the 39th season of Survivor, almost everyone perceived personal injury lawyer Karishma Patel as a “goat” because she didn’t really do anything. She rarely helped out around camp, performed poorly at the challenges, and didn’t have a decent social game or alliances.

However, Patel believes it’s hard for her to fit in with the other tribemates because she’s older, married, and comes from an Indian background that may look down on her for “running around in her underwear.”

Desperate to stay in the game, Patel immediately flipped on her old tribe and has continued to write down anyone’s name that she’s told. However, the personal injury lawyer started sensing her “goat” status and started to improve her game.

Karishma Patel is fighting against her ‘goat’ status in ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’

Patel began gaining momentum in Episode 10 after Noura Salman asked her to gather coconuts for the tribe. A few episodes ago, she questioned her marriage to her husband, noting they seemed more like roommates.

However, as Patel walked around, picking the coconuts up, she realized and started to appreciate the love he has for her because she felt like such an outsider on the island. Additionally, she found a coveted hidden immunity idol. Then, she stood up to Missy Byrd, who demanded she writes Tommy Sheehan’s name and became the swing vote who eliminated the veteran.

In Episode 11, Lauren Beck tried to convince everyone except for Noura Salman and Elizabeth Beisel to choose to eat breakfast over competing for immunity as part of her Island of the Idols test.

She successfully persuaded all the tribemates to sit out, except for Patel, who knew she was on the chopping block. After she didn’t win immunity, Salman went through the personal injury lawyer’s bags to see if she had an idol.

Because Patel had it tucked it away in her “trusty little armpit,” Salman didn’t find it, so everyone except for Patel and Dan Spilo voted for the personal injury lawyer at Tribal Council. However, she successfully played her hidden immunity idol, and flushed out Beck’s, nullifying seven votes against her.

Jeff Probst called one of Karishma Patel’s scenes ‘one of the most powerful’

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, host Jeff Probst commented on Patel’s breakout episode, noting “a change in her demeanor” after she found the idol and rediscovered her love for her husband. He explained that when “a player finds that kind of clarity, it’s really potent” and called it “one of the most powerful scenes of the season.”

Additionally, Probst said, “Karishma does what works for Karishma” and may not “put the same energy” into group tasks, including gathering coconuts and tending to the fire as she does into personal things such as finding an idol.

Nonetheless, the host admitted he is “impressed” with how Patel handles everyone being against her and the way she stands up for herself. Watch Survivor: Island of the Idols Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.