Why Fans Believe Karishma Patel Could Win ‘Survivor: Island of the Idols’

Until Episode 10 of Survivor: Island of the Idols, Karishma Patel seemed to stick around so others can use her as a vote. But, in one episode, she “pulled herself from the ground she’d been laying on” to find an immunity idol and become the swing vote in a critical Tribal Council.

Fans are beginning to realize Patel may be receiving a winner’s edit based on her edit and the amount of screentime and confessionals she gets every episode.

Karishma Patel
Karishma Patel | Robert Voets

‘Survivor 39’ Karishma Patel worried about her perception as a married Indian woman

For almost the entire season, Karishma Patel has had trouble fitting in with her tribemates. In Survivor: Island of the Idols Episode 3, she hesitated joining the rest of her alliance members in the ocean as she was worried about “being a 37-year-old Indian woman running around in her underwear.”

However, she did it anyway because the odd man out usually goes home first. Patel opened Survivor fans’ eyes with her viewpoint as it’s one that’s never been told on the series before, and they began to like the personal injury lawyer, even though she didn’t perform well in challenges.

‘Survivor 39’ Karishma Patel openly doubted her marriage

For three episodes in a row, Patel was the primary target. However, she somehow escaped every time. The tribe swap in Episode 5 saved her as Patel was more than willing to flip on Lairo.

After warming viewers’ hearts with her hilarious love for Applebees, she opened up about her personal life to the old Vokai members. Patel explained how she felt she brought her family shame because she didn’t want to get married.

The personal injury lawyer then began openly questioning her decision to get married and admitted she felt like she and her husband were “roommates.”

Her choice to open up to her new tribemates saved her because they voted Tom Laidlaw off the island as they felt he had too many ties to old Lairo.

‘Survivor 39’ Karishma Patel had an ‘empowering’ Episode 10

Almost all of Episode 10 focused around Patel. First, she found an immunity idol while looking for coconuts and realized she does love her husband. After it took her a while to come back to camp, she put on an Oscar-winning performance and pretended to be disoriented so well that Lauren Beck and Noura Salman offered to call the medics for her.

Then, she stood up to Missy Byrd and referred to her behavior as “bullying” after the veteran demanded Patel write Tommy Sheehan’s name down. Instead, the personal injury lawyer talked to Elaine Stott about Byrd, and they agreed to blindside the veteran.

Why fans believe Karishma Patel will be the Sole Survivor

Patel has had the most screentime and confessionals this season and hasn’t gone to Island of the Idols yet. Even though Russell Hanz also dominated the screentime for Survivor: Samoa and didn’t win, Patel is playing a much different game.

While people could argue that Patel doesn’t have any accomplishments where the jury would respect her, eliminating Byrd is a big move she has under her belt. Additionally, Patel has an idol, currently the only player on the island with one, and could shake things up if she used it correctly.

Patel is also a lawyer, which means, even if someone brings her to the Final Tribal Council as a goat, she has the potential to win just based on her speech as she’s used to presenting closing arguments.

Finally, after the Dan Spilo inappropriate touching controversy, Patel would be a satisfying winner. She has the “underdog” story, somewhat worked with Kellee Kim, supported Janet Carbin, and still has the opportunity to make big moves.

Watch Survivor: Island of the Idols Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.