‘Survivor 39’: Why Did No One Visit the ‘Island of the Idols’ During Episode 5?

In a new Survivor twist, there is an Island of the Idols, and the contestants are either randomly chosen or, in one case, so far, volunteer to go. Survivor legends Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine, who cannot play as contestants, live on this island, and teach visitors skills they need to be successful on Survivor.

The contestant can then practice the lesson, and if they pass, earn an immunity idol. However, if they fail, they lose their vote at the next Tribal Council.

After getting used to the new twist for four episodes, fans were dismayed to see no Island of the Idols segment during Episode 5. Host Jeff Probst explained why.

Survivor 39 Island of the Idols
Sandra Diaz-Twine, Noura Salman and Boston Rob Mariano | Robert Voets

Which ‘Survivor 39’ contestants have visited the ‘Island of the Idols?’

Elizabeth Beisel was the first person randomly selected to visit the Island of the Idols after her tribe lost the immunity challenge. There, she met Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine, who gave her a lesson in fire-making.

Unfortunately, the Olympic swimmer couldn’t beat Mariano and ended up losing her vote at the Tribal Council. Next, Kellee Kim was chosen to visit the Island the Idols, and the legends taught her how to listen carefully as part of her social game so she can form bonds with her tribemates.

After listening to Diaz-Twine talk for several minutes, Kim correctly answered three questions from her story and earned an immunity idol, which she cleverly hid in her hair.

Then, Vince Moura visited the Survivor veterans who explained he had to sneak into the other tribe’s camp and steal fire. However, they had no fire going once Moura arrived, so he took some coals to show Mariano and Diaz-Twine as proof.

They accepted, and he also earned himself an idol. Finally, Noura Salman, the only person to volunteer, went to the Island of the Idols last week and received a lesson on the art of persuasion.

To win the idol, she had to convince her tribemates to allow her to be the caller in the next challenge. It ended up being an epic fail as they voted for her to sit out of the competition, and Salman lost their vote at the next Tribal Council.

Jeff Probst explains why no one went to the ‘Island of the Idols’ during Episode 5

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Probst explained why some episodes only have one challenge while others focus more on conversations before Tribal Council.

The host said that every week, the team only has 42 minutes to fit in “fixed elements,” including immunity challenges and Tribal Council as well as connections being formed on the beach.

For Survivor 39, he explained they also have the Island of the Idols, which takes the place of a reward challenge. In Episode 5, they had a tribe swap, the Applebees’ reward challenge, and allotted time to show viewers how the contestants were adjusting to their new tribemates.

Therefore, “something had to go.” Fortunately for Mariano and Diaz-Twine fans, the veterans still made an appearance, and a few funny comments, at Tribal Council. Watch Survivor 39: Island of the Idols Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.