The last person to leave the game, the person so close to the end they can taste the money but has their opportunity to plead their case taken away at the very last moment. That person becomes ingrained in their respective season as the final recipient of “The Tribe Has Spoken” and earns a place in a very special group in Survivor history: The Day 38 Club.
Inside Survivor contributor Ian Walker continues the countdown of the updated and revised Day 38 Club rankings. The list takes into account the strength of a player’s game, character, and the power of their story.
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No. 19 – Lauren Beck (Island of the Idols)
Survivor: Island of the Idols turned out to be one of the darkest seasons in the show’s history, and one most fans would probably rather forget. Yet, Lauren Beck shone as one of the bright spots within the darkness of those 39 days.
Proudly the only person ever to be cast because of a referral to Jeff Probst, Lauren was smart, bubbly, and wore her heart on her sleeve, riding the emotional highs and lows the game. She would go on to have a couple of close calls throughout her time in Fiji, each one strengthening her resolve to push forward, eventually to Day 38, where some crafty play by a close ally resulted in her Survivor journey coming to an end.
That close ally would be Tommy Sheehan, who Lauren aligned with right at the beginning of their time in the Vokai tribe together. Both young people in committed relationships, Lauren and Tommy saw a lot in each other and were determined to go to the end together. That prospect became a little dicey at the tribe swap, where a four to four split in the new Vokai tribe loomed large.
However, a potential tie was shaken up by Elaine Stott, a member from the opposite tribe who had received a vote blocker advantage through her trip to the Island of the Idols, giving her group the upper hand. This curveball sent a shiver down Lauren’s spine, knowing she could easily be taken out. Luckily, Lauren survived, but that didn’t quell her fears, continuing to freak out now that she was in the numerical minority. Only after pulling out a clutch Immunity win and securing her spot in the merge was she able to refocus on the game ahead.
Fortunately for her, Lauren’s trip to Island of the Idols was one of the more exciting and fruitful ones compared to the other castaways. Faced with winning an idol good for two Tribal Councils, all Lauren had to do was correctly pick the upcoming Immunity challenge winner. Also, there would be a twist to this challenge; this would be an “eat or compete” challenge, thereby giving Lauren better odds of her selected champion winning, thus securing that idol, if other people opted to eat.
Upon returning from the IOTI, Lauren filled her fellow hungry competitors’ heads with pancakes and bacon, using her vivacious personality to sell the dream of filling their empty bellies in exchange for sitting out of the Immunity challenge. It worked, and she got that idol, which she would use to secure her spot in the next round.
Towards the end of the game, Lauren was seen as potentially the biggest threat remaining, a fact that Tommy used to his advantage in a major way. The final Immunity challenge was won by Noura Salman, who had been known to be a little erratic. Even before Noura won, Tommy was working to convince her to take him to the final three so that he could avoid the fire-making challenge all-together.
Tommy’s gambit worked; Noura took him along with her to Day 39 (where he would go on to win the game!) while Lauren competed in and lost that fire-making challenge to Dean Kowalski. Her torch extinguished, Lauren left the game another super charming, capable Survivor player left to wonder “what could have been” instead of enjoying that Day 39 breakfast and a shot at a million bucks.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor as the Day 38 Club rankings continue over the coming days. Check out the previous entries here.