Survivor: Island of the Idols
|Survivor: Island of the Idols|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Location||Mamanuca Islands, Fiji|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||September 25 –|
December 18, 2019
|Filming dates||March 21, 2019– April 28, 2019|
Survivor: Island of the Idols is the 39th season of the American competitive reality television series Survivor, The season was filmed in Fiji during April and May 2019, and aired on CBS in the United States and Global in Canada from September 25, 2019 until December 18, 2019, when Tommy Sheehan was named the winner by an 8-2-0 vote over Dean Kowalski and Noura Salman.
This season introduced the eponymous Island of the Idols, as Survivor alumni Sandra Diaz-Twine, winner of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and Rob Mariano, winner of Survivor: Redemption Island, returned to the game as mentors living on the Island of the Idols, though they did not compete for the million-dollar prize themselves. Instead, Diaz-Twine and Mariano periodically hosted a contestant each episode and gave them a lesson to assist them in the game. They also gave the contestant a chance to win an advantage, but if they failed, they lost their vote at their next Tribal Council.
The season received widespread media attention after contestant Dan Spilo was accused of "inappropriate[ly] touching" female contestants. While there was no in-game recourse provided from the production crew, Spilo was later ejected from the game following an off-camera incident involving a crew member. CBS and Survivor producers issued an apology for how they handled the situation and announced they would make significant changes to their safety protocols, to be fully in place by the 41st season, which would be the first to be filmed following Island of the Idols' airing.
This season featured the Island of the Idols, a secluded location inhabited by Survivor winners Sandra Diaz-Twine and Rob Mariano, acting as non-competing advisers. Castaways were periodically exiled to the island throughout the season, where Diaz-Twine and Mariano taught them a lesson about a specific skill designed to help them in the game, such as fire-making or active listening, and then offered them an optional challenge to test that skill. Winning the challenge would yield a reward such as a hidden immunity idol or vote blocker, while losing the challenge meant losing the right to vote at the next Tribal Council attended by the losing castaway (though this was not revealed to the other players; a castaway without a vote would still go to the voting area during Tribal Council, but would write "no vote" on the parchment). Diaz-Twine and Mariano were not eligible to compete or win the grand prize, nor could they vote at Tribal Council. Unbeknownst to the castaways, the mentors secretly attended each Tribal Council in a hideaway, allowing them to eavesdrop on the proceedings.
According to host and executive producer Jeff Probst, the idea to bring back past champions as mentors came from "wondering how to get a player like Boston Rob, who has said he'd never compete again because he doesn't feel he'd ever really have a shot to win, to return to the show." Probst considered the mentors to be equivalent of on-camera producers for this season. Mariano and Diaz-Twine were even involved with the pre-production phase, posing for 3D modeling of their heads for the statues, and providing input on the type of lessons they would be able to teach, as well as how they would present these lessons. The two also had flexibility as to how significant each advantage would be, such as making an advantage be valid for a time ranging from one to three Tribal Councils. According to Diaz-Twine, Probst compared their mentor roles similarly to the single-episode cameo by Survivor: Caramoan winner John Cochran during Survivor: Game Changers, where he had provided strategic advice to a player as part of a reward. Diaz-Twine and Mariano later returned to compete on the subsequent season, Survivor: Winners at War, which began filming in Fiji weeks after Island of the Idols production concluded, though this had not yet been confirmed when they were cast for this season.
Probst said that production wanted players to try to figure out with as little information that they were told: that the title of the season was "Island of the Idols" and had hoped players would question if the separate island would be filled with immunity idols. They were not sure how players who were taken to the Island would behave on their return whether they would tell the truth or lie about what happened on the island, and were surprised that all players fibbed and did not discuss Rob or Sandra's presence there.
Island of the Idols became the first season to feature a Canadian-born castaway (Tom Laidlaw), as the casting process opened for Canadian residents in mid-2018. Previously, Canadian citizens had been ineligible to compete on the show as, according to Probst, the limitation was due to the rights that Mark Burnett and CBS had on the Survivor format, limiting it to contestants with American citizenship. While Survivor has had contestants with dual citizenship in the past, such as Survivor: China winner Todd Herzog, they were required to give up their non-U.S. citizenship as a prerequisite for claiming their prize money.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Switched tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
36, Henderson, Nevada
|Lairo||1st voted out|
27, Durham, North Carolina
|Vokai||2nd voted out|
27, Palo Alto, California
|Lairo||3rd voted out|
27, Los Angeles, California
|Lairo||4th voted out|
60, Greenwich, Connecticut
|Lairo||Lairo||5th voted out|
32, New York City, New York
|Vokai||Vokai||6th voted out|
23, Harrisonburg, Virginia
|Vokai||Lairo||7th voted out|
1st jury member
29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Vokai||Lairo||Lumuwaku||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
33, Providence, Rhode Island
|Vokai||Lairo||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
36, Warwick, Rhode Island
|Lairo||Vokai||10th voted out|
4th jury member
24, Tacoma, Washington
|Lairo||Vokai||11th voted out|
5th jury member
26, Saunderstown, Rhode Island
|Lairo||Vokai||12th voted out|
6th jury member
37, Houston, Texas
|Lairo||Lairo||13th voted out|
7th jury member
41, Rockholds, Kentucky
|Lairo||Vokai||14th voted out|
8th jury member
48, Los Angeles, California
59, Palm Bay, Florida
|Vokai||Lairo||15th voted out|
9th jury member
28, Glendale, California
10th jury member
36, North Potomac, Maryland
28, New York City, New York
26, Long Beach, New York
The 20 new castaways were randomly divided into two tribes of ten (Lairo and Vokai). Vokai won nearly every challenge, even after a tribe swap. Missy controlled much of the strategy on Lairo, while Vokai was run by Lauren and Tommy. At the swap, Lairo outsider Karishma flipped on her old tribe, while new bonds were formed on both tribes, causing some of the players to forgo their old alliances.
At the merge, Dan had been accused of inappropriate touching by several women on the tribe (though Missy and Elizabeth exaggerated their claims to get ahead in the game). In the midst of this, Lauren and Tommy used their social bonds to ultimately dismantle the Lairo alliance until only Dean remained. After Dan's ejection for an unspecified incident with a crewmember, Dean kept himself in the game by winning immunity challenges while Elaine and Janet were eliminated as they were considered too likeable to take to the end.
The Final Four were Dean, Lauren, Noura, and Tommy; Noura won the final challenge, and Tommy convinced her to take him to the end. Dean joined them in the Final Three after defeating Lauren in the fire-making challenge. The jury ultimately rewarded Tommy's strong social game by voting him the Sole Survivor.
|Episode||Challenge winner(s)||Island of the Idols||Eliminated||Finish|
|No.||Title||Original air date||Reward||Immunity||Exiled||Result|
|1||"I Vote You Out and That's It"||September 25, 2019||Vokai||Elizabeth||Lost||Ronnie||1st voted out|
|2||"YOLO, Let's Play!"||October 2, 2019||Lairo||Kellee||Won||Molly||2nd voted out|
|3||"Honesty Would Be Chill"||October 9, 2019||Vokai||Vince||Won||Vince||3rd voted out|
|4||"Plan Z"||October 16, 2019||Vokai[a]||Noura||Lost||Chelsea||4th voted out|
|5||"Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You"||October 23, 2019||Vokai||Vokai||None[b]||Tom||5th voted out|
|6||"Suck It Up Buttercup"||October 30, 2019||Vokai||Lairo||Elaine||Won||Jason||6th voted out|
|7||"I Was Born at Night, But Not Last Night"||November 6, 2019||Vokai[c]||Vokai||Janet||Declined||Jack||7th voted out|
1st jury member
|8||"We Made It to the Merge!"||November 13, 2019||None[d]||Aaron||None[d]||Kellee||8th voted out|
2nd jury member
|None||Aaron||Jamal||Lost[e]||Jamal||9th voted out|
3rd jury member
|9||"Two for the Price of One"||November 20, 2019||Elaine
|Noura||None[g]||Aaron||10th voted out|
4th jury member
|Elaine||Missy||11th voted out|
5th jury member
|10||"Bring on the Bacon"||November 27, 2019||None||Noura||Lauren||Won||Elizabeth||12th voted out|
6th jury member
|11||"A Very Simple Plan"||December 4, 2019||Janet,
|Lauren||None||Karishma||13th voted out|
7th jury member
|12||"Just Go For It"||December 11, 2019||Tommy
|Dean||Dean||Won||Elaine||14th voted out|
8th jury member
|13||"Mama, Look at Me Now"||December 18, 2019||Dean[i]
|Dean[j]||Janet||15th voted out|
9th jury member
10th jury member
|14||"Reunion Special"||Jury vote|
- Although not shown in the episode, Vokai also won a reward of baked goods and caffeinated accessories along with immunity.
- There was no Island of the Idols due to the tribal switch, therefore no one was exiled.
- Press photos revealed that there was an unaired reward challenge in this episode. Vokai won the challenge, winning pizza.
- There was no reward challenge or Island of the Idols due to the merge.
- No challenge; the note that invited Jamal to the Island of the Idols simply said that he was to lose his vote at the next Tribal Council.
- In addition to immunity, Elaine won reward for her entire "orange" tribe for lasting the longest in the challenge.
- No one was sent to the Island of the Idols due to the double Tribal Council.
- There was an unaired reward challenge. The reward challenge was a trip to the spa.
- Combined reward and immunity challenge.
- On Day 36, the remaining players were sent to the Island of the Idols for the remainder of the game, and given a final lesson. Dean solved the clues and found the final advantage.
|Original air date||US viewers|
|569||1||"I Vote You Out and That's It"||1.3/6||18||September 25, 2019||6.29|
The two tribes, Lairo and Vokai, were dropped off at their camps with no introduction by Jeff, and several members wondered about the "Island of the Idols" theme. At Lairo, Tom bonded with Elaine and Vince, and the other seven members agreed to align against them. Missy felt more secure in aligning with the women, so she told Elaine her name had been mentioned for elimination. Elaine's sense of humor caught the attention of her tribemates, especially Ronnie; he proceeded to propose an alliance with her (masking his true intention of voting her out first), but she distrusted him.
At Vokai, Janet led the tribe in making fire without flint. Jason quickly began searching for an idol, but Molly and Dan noted his absence from camp and targeted him. Jack bonded with Tommy, who subsequently bonded with several of his other tribemates. Kellee and Molly were put off by Dan's "touchy" behavior, voicing their concerns to Janet. Dan and Kellee later smoothed things over, though Kellee was still wary of Dan.
Vokai ran away with the victory during the puzzle portion of the challenge. Jeff had a Lairo member randomly draw the name of a tribemate to be sent to the Island of the Idols; Elaine drew Elizabeth's name. Jeff also said Elizabeth would return in time for Tribal Council that night. At the Island of the Idols, an excited Elizabeth was greeted by Boston Rob and Sandra, who taught her how to make fire. Elizabeth made fire after struggling, then accepted an offer to take on Rob in a fire-making challenge for an idol good at the next two Tribal Councils. Elizabeth lost the duel and therefore, her vote as well. Before she left, Rob and Sandra told her to randomly draw a Vokai member's name (which remained unrevealed) to be the next visitor to the Island of the Idols.
Back at camp, Chelsea conferred with Elaine, Tom, and Vince, who targeted Ronnie. Elaine was targeted by some of the other tribe members, but after pledging her loyalty to them, Aaron targeted Vince instead. Elizabeth returned to camp and withheld the information about Rob and Sandra, as well as the fact that she lost her vote. At Tribal Council, Rob and Sandra watched the proceedings from a concealed alcove; Elaine continued to plead her case, while Ronnie made a case for tribe strength. Ultimately, Ronnie was blindsided by the rest of his tribe, sans Aaron and Elizabeth (the latter of whom cast no vote), becoming the first person eliminated from the game.
|570||2||"YOLO, Let's Play!"||1.2/6||22||October 2, 2019||6.57|
The aftermath of Lairo's first Tribal Council was tense, with Vince questioning why he received votes and Aaron expressing frustration about being left out of the loop. Missy reassured him that he would be safe, but Aaron was skeptical. The following day, Chelsea stumbled upon an idol while gathering firewood. At Vokai, Noura's quirky behavior was a concern to her tribemates, while Jack, Jamal, and Molly were tightly aligned. A boat came in to pick up Kellee for Island of the Idols, as her name had been drawn by Elizabeth previously. Upon arriving, Kellee was greeted by Rob and Sandra, who told her more about themselves and said that her test would determine how well she paid attention socially. Rob offered Kellee an idol good for two Tribal Councils if she could correctly answer 4 of 5 questions; her hesitance made Rob offer the idol for 3 councils if she could get 3 of 5 right. Kellee ultimately won the challenge, but at camp, she also kept Rob and Sandra a secret in favor of a lie about a choice between urns.
Lairo won the challenge. The vote initially was a toss-up between Jason and Noura; Molly wanted Noura gone first, but Jamal saw Jason as a more dangerous player. Lauren saw an opportunity to target Molly for her perceived social prowess, roping in several tribe members, though Tommy was reluctant to make waves at the tribe's first vote. At Tribal Council, Jason and Noura both pled for their tribemates to spare them. Ultimately, Lauren’s plan came to fruition and Molly was voted out, leaving Jamal and Jack shocked.
|571||3||"Honesty Would Be Chill"||1.2/6||23||October 9, 2019||6.51|
Now in the minority of Vokai, Jack tried to reintegrate with his tribemates, while Jamal attempted to shift the target off himself by targeting Dan, though Janet grew wary of Jamal's scrambling. At Lairo, the men were wary of a women's alliance and attempted to align with Vince, who secretly wasn't on board. Karishma, who wasn't as keen on the women's alliance, accidentally cut her hand with the machete and felt alienated from the tribe afterwards. A boat came to pick up Vince for Island of the Idols, and after Vince left, Dean openly suggested splitting the vote in case Vince were to find an idol, which made Karishma paranoid. At the Island of the Idols, Rob and Sandra tested Vince's ability to remain calm under pressure by challenging him to sneak into Vokai's camp after dark to light a torch from their fire without being caught. Vince accepted the challenge, but due to rain which had put out Vokai's fire, resorted to taking ash from the fire pit instead, which satisfied Rob and Sandra. Vince was given an immunity idol good for his next two Tribal Councils.
Vokai overtook Lairo in the puzzle to win the challenge. The women debated voting out Vince or Tom (due to wanting to keep Aaron and Dean around for challenges), while Vince told a paranoid Karishma to vote against Tom. At Tribal Council, Karishma whispered to some of her tribemates but was called out by Tom. Vince brought his idol but didn't play it, and the women stuck together to send him out of the game.
|572||4||"Plan Z"||1.4/7||17||October 16, 2019||6.91|
After narrowly surviving the vote, Karishma was still uneasy about her position in the tribe, while Aaron and Missy were concerned about a potential power couple in Dean and Chelsea. At Vokai, Jamal searched for an idol while his tribemates were occupied, which he eventually found. Unlike the previous visits to Island of the Idols, Vokai had to come to a unanimous agreement on whom to send, or else the tribe would randomly draw a name. Noura eventually volunteered; upon arriving, Rob and Sandra gave her a chance to prove her powers of persuasion by explaining the next immunity challenge would have one tribe member call out directions to others who would all be blindfolded; their challenge to Noura was to persuade her tribe to make her the caller. If successful, she would gain an advantage to block a tribemate from voting, or otherwise would lose her vote. She agreed instantly, but upon returning to camp, her disjointed explanations of why she should be the caller created distrust among the tribe.
Vokai had Noura sit out. Lairo nearly came from way behind, but a mistake in the puzzle proved costly, and Vokai won the challenge. Aaron tried to convince his tribemates to vote out Dean to break up the "power couple", but several others wanted to vote out Karishma. Missy sensed that some of them were scared to turn on Dean so quickly, so she proposed voting out Chelsea instead. At Tribal Council, Missy's plan worked; Chelsea didn't play her idol and was blindsided with it in her pocket.
|573||5||"Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You"||1.3/6||21||October 23, 2019||6.82|
Dean questioned his tribemates over Chelsea's blindside, eventually deducing it was Missy who orchestrated the vote. Upon arriving at a challenge site, the tribes were randomly reshuffled; the new Lairo tribe consisted of Dean, Jack, Jamal, Janet, Karishma, Kellee, Noura, and Tom, while the new Vokai tribe consisted of Aaron, Dan, Elaine, Elizabeth, Jason, Lauren, Missy, and Tommy.
Vokai continued their challenge dominance even with new members. At Lairo, Dean and Tom respectively bonded with Kellee and Janet, while Karishma eagerly pled her loyalty to the five Vokai members. At Vokai, Elaine and Missy fake-fought to entertain their new tribemates, while Aaron bonded with Tommy in hopes that it would break the 4-4 stalemate in the tribe.
Vokai won immunity again. Dean and Tom were willing to cut Karishma due to her weakness in challenges, while Vokai debated voting out a threat in Dean or Tom, or preserving tribe strength with them. Noura had lost her vote from her unsuccessful test at Island of the Idols, but Vokai still had a 4-3 majority in the tribe. At Tribal Council, Dean was left out of another vote as Tom was sent out of the game.
|574||6||"Suck It Up Buttercup"||1.2/6||21||October 30, 2019||6.37|
Despite being in a 5-2 majority, Noura approached Dean about turning against Jack and Jamal, but Dean was wary of her eagerness to flip. At Vokai, Aaron told Jason he was ready to jump ship to avoid going to rocks.
Elaine was picked to sit out for Vokai, meaning she would also be sent to the Island of the Idols. Vokai won the challenge. At the Island, Elaine accepted Rob and Sandra's challenge before even hearing what it was. The two instructed her that she had to retrieve a vote-blocking advantage that was hidden at one of the stations at the upcoming immunity challenge without being caught; being caught or not retrieving the advantage would cause her to forfeit her vote at the next Tribal Council. At Lairo, Jack offhandedly mentioned the word "du-rag" in Jamal's presence, but immediately realized the ramifications of what he said. Jack offered an apology, which Jamal accepted.
Elaine was able to snatch the advantage, and Lairo came from behind to win immunity. Elaine told Elizabeth, Aaron, and Missy about her advantage, but Aaron internally debated whether to flip. At Tribal Council, Elaine revealed her advantage, leading to whispering amongst the Lairo and Vokai alliances. Ultimately, Elaine blocked Jason's vote, and Aaron stayed loyal to his original tribe, sending Jason home.
|575||7||"I Was Born at Night, But Not Last Night"||1.3/6||TBA||November 6, 2019||6.82|
Lauren felt betrayed by Missy, to whom she felt close, after her alliance's successful blindside of Jason. At Lairo, Noura tried to organize a girls' alliance against Jamal. Janet was selected for Island of the Idols; Rob and Sandra's challenge to her was to play a game to test her ability of calculated risk. If she won, she would receive an advantage where she could forgo any single Tribal Council up until the final seven (in which case she would be immune); if she lost the game, she would lose her vote. Janet decided not to play due to concern over being a future target because of the advantage. Back at Vokai, Tommy and Lauren tried to turn the Lairo members against Dan, but Missy saw through their scheme.
Vokai edged out Lairo as both tribes were placing the final piece of the puzzle. The Vokai majority plus Karishma agreed to vote out Dean, but Kellee got an idea to turn against Jamal or Jack using her idol. As that night was the last opportunity to play it, she discreetly gave the idol to Dean. At Tribal Council, Jamal voiced concerns of a potential girls' alliance, but Kellee took the comment as being sexist, leading to a healthy discussion about respect for women. When the time came to vote, Kellee voted against Dean to cover herself; Dean played the idol to negate 5 votes, but this prompted Jamal to play his idol on Noura. Jamal's idol went to waste, while Noura joined Dean in voting out Jack, who became the first member of the jury.
The episode concluded with a tribute to two-time contestant Rudy Boesch, who died the weekend prior to the episode's release.
|576||8||"We Made It to the Merge!"||1.1/6||TBA||November 13, 2019||6.07|
Kellee located a hidden immunity idol on the Lairo beach, prior to both tribes receiving notice about the merge into Lumuwaku. At the celebratory merge banquet, Kellee met with Missy for the first time, discovering both had issues with how Dan behaved around them. This led to a long discourse between the merged tribe over Kellee's accusations against Dan, requiring production to speak with the contestants as a whole and individually, warning Dan about his behavior. In the meantime, Tommy talked to Janet and Kellee about aligning with Aaron, Missy, Elizabeth, and Elaine, but Kellee was skeptical because she felt those were the four most dangerous players in the game. Despite this, Kellee had bonded with Missy on the beach, to Tommy and Lauren's concern. Kellee decided not to vote out Dan for his behavior and put her feelings aside to target Missy. However, Lauren told Missy about the plan, causing Missy to believe Kellee was lying about Dan. Missy instructed Elizabeth to lie to Janet about Dan.
Aaron won the challenge, with Kellee targeting Missy as the biggest remaining threat, but decided to target Dan instead after Jamal and Janet agreed to. Kellee felt uneasy about Dan's calm demeanor before Tribal and searched for a merged tribe idol, which she found. At Tribal, the situation around Dan was discussed. Kellee opted not to play either idol, and while Dan received five votes, Missy's turn led to Kellee's elimination.
After Kellee's blindside, Dan quickly tried to learn why he was targeted by Missy, Elizabeth and Janet. Both Missy and Elizabeth admitted that they did not actually have any issues with him. Janet also apologized to her ally Dan, explaining that he had been targeted based on his reputation. Missy and Elizabeth gaslit Janet after everyone assumed the incident was made up by Kellee and Janet. The following morning, Janet found a new immunity idol. Near camp, Jamal saw a note and took it, finding that it would send him to the Island of the Idols. There, Rob and Sandra explained that by grabbing the note, he already lost his vote for the next Tribal Council, but gave him the opportunity to sabotage another player, giving him blank paper and pencil to write anything he wanted. Back at camp, Jamal claimed that he had found a special advantage that he had to write down and give another player, giving this to Dean. However, this painted more of a target on Jamal, as Dean and the rest of the tribe weren't convinced of Jamal's story.
Aaron and Missy won immunity. Jamal, at the bottom of his alliance and without a vote, scrambled for some support before Tribal, while Janet became concerned she would be targeted. At Tribal, the situation from Dan and Kellee came up again, leading to a long discussion on appropriate behaviors. Janet even considered quitting due to Elizabeth and Missy's playing on Kellee's accusations against Dan, but was talked out of it. After the vote, Janet played the idol, but it was unnecessary as the tribe had sent Jamal to the jury with six votes to Janet's two and Karishma's three.
|577||9||"Two for the Price of One"||1.2/6||TBA||November 20, 2019||6.63|
Karishma continued to struggle with the elements and at camp, but she discovered an idol. She lied about feeling ill to her tribemates, since they had her gather coconuts and she only had collected two in an hour.
Noura won immunity on purple but immediately dropped out afterward in her elation, leading to orange winning reward; Elaine also won immunity. Several of the purple team members agreed to vote out Janet, but Aaron's name was also brought up due to his status as a physical threat. Dean was reluctant to expose himself as a physical threat by voting out Aaron, but at Tribal Council, he joined the rest of the group in sending Aaron to the jury.
Meanwhile on orange, Karishma and Missy clashed when the former felt bullied as they tried to talk strategy. Missy targeted Tommy due to his strategic and personal bond with Lauren, but Elaine came up with a plan to target Missy. At orange's Tribal Council, Karishma and Missy's conflict was brought up. Ultimately, Karishma joined Elaine and Tommy in blindsiding Missy from the game.
|578||10||"Bring on the Bacon"||1.1/6||TBA||November 27, 2019||6.48|
Dean grew concerned of a "goat" alliance banding together to take out threats, and he attempted to align with Tommy and Elizabeth. He also wrote his own fake legacy advantage to give his tribemates the perception that he'd get rid of the potentially real one Jamal gave him earlier. The tribe had to unanimously select a person for Island of the Idols or go to random draw; Lauren immediately volunteered, which upset Karishma, as she wanted to go. On the Island, Lauren's test was to predict the winner of the upcoming immunity challenge; Rob and Sandra told her about the challenge, which gave castaways the option to sit out and eat. Rob eventually offered to have Lauren pick two potential winners, and she chose Noura and Elizabeth. Lauren then told her tribemates about the challenge, attempting to get only Noura and Elizabeth to compete.
Elizabeth, Karishma, and Noura competed, with Noura outlasting Elizabeth for her second consecutive immunity win. Lauren received an idol good for the next two Tribal Councils for her correct prediction. The tribe considered voting out a threat in Elizabeth or an easy target in Karishma. Karishma attempted to rally Elizabeth to take out Dan, but Lauren overheard their conversation and foiled Karishma’s plan. This made Dan want to switch the target from Elizabeth to Karishma, which he expressed to his alliance. At Tribal Council, Dean played the fake legacy advantage he wrote, and Karishma played her idol. This prompted Lauren to play her idol, but no votes were cast against her. Seven votes against Karishma were negated, and a 1-1 tie between Elizabeth and Janet led to Elizabeth being unanimously sent to the jury on the revote.
|579||11||"A Very Simple Plan"||1.2/6||TBA||December 4, 2019||6.86|
On day 31, the castaways were met by their loved ones: Lauren's husband Matt, Tommy's girlfriend Nicole, Karishma's husband Drew, Noura's sister Lana, Janet's husband John, Dean's mother Lori, Dan's 13-year old son Ryan, and Elaine's girlfriend Tonya.
Janet and Tommy won reward; they selected Dan and Lauren, as well as their loved ones, to join them on reward. Those four players aligned and agreed to target Elaine first, while the four left at camp (Dean, Elaine, Karishma, and Noura) aligned as well, with Noura going on a tirade about not being chosen for the reward. The latter group targeted Lauren as the biggest social threat and searched for a new idol, which Elaine found in front of them.
Lauren outlasted Elaine for immunity. Though Karishma was again targeted as an easy vote, a split-vote proposal opened the door for the four left out of the reward to orchestrate a blindside against Tommy, upon Elaine's suggestion. Noura's paranoia over Tommy having an idol as well made Dean uneasy about working with her, and at Tribal Council, he ultimately whispered to Tommy that Elaine, Noura, and Karishma had targeted him. This led to open whispering that culminated in Noura loudly revealing the alliance's plans, not to trust Dean, and that Elaine found an idol. Lauren grew frustrated that Noura had not told her alliance of this information before tribal, which prompted her, Dan, Janet, and Tommy to consider voting Noura out. With her idol exposed, Elaine was forced to play it, but the tribe had agreed to their initial plan of sending Karishma to the jury, with Noura receiving three votes after her outburst.
|580||12||"Just Go For It"||1.2/7||TBA||December 11, 2019||6.82|
As retaliation against Dean for leaking the previous tribal's plan to Tommy, Noura hid Dean's shoes. The next morning, Janet, Tommy, Dean, and Elaine searched for a new idol, which Janet found and showed to Tommy. Dean saw them looking down at something and correctly surmised they had it. Elaine told Lauren that Tommy, Dan, and Dean could potentially be plotting a guys' alliance, and Tommy was indeed wary of Lauren's status as a social threat and sought to align with Dan and Dean.
The next person for Island of the Idols was to be selected by random draw; Janet drew Dean's name. When he arrived, he was offered a coin flip for one of three advantages of his choice: an idol nullifier, an extra vote, or an idol good for the next Tribal Council that couldn't be played for himself. Dean won and chose the idol nullifier. At camp, Dean told everyone he lost his vote, but privately told Tommy the truth, which concerned Tommy about Dean's surging gameplay.
Dean barely beat out Elaine for immunity. Elaine was nervous about being voted out and pitched her case to Lauren, while the majority targeted Elaine with Dan voting Noura as a backup in case any idols or advantages were played. At Tribal Council, an emotional Elaine opened up about her experience and was consoled by her tribemates. Though she again pled her case to stay, saying she would be a bigger target than other threats like Lauren and Janet, Elaine was sent to the jury.
The following morning, Jeff arrived at camp and informed Dean, Janet, Lauren, Noura, and Tommy that Dan had been removed from the game after an undisclosed incident and would not serve on the jury.
|581||13||"Mama, Look at Me Now"||1.2/6||TBA||December 18, 2019||6.52|
The final five were instructed to pack their belongings and get on a boat for Island of the Idols. Rob and Sandra told them that would be their home for the rest of the game, but they had one last test for the players not disclosed to them. Tommy caught on and asked Dean for assistance due to being color-blind, but Dean followed the clues for himself and located an idol. During this, Dean and Tommy made a Final Two deal.
Dean won immunity and chose to share his reward with Noura, as a gesture of putting their differences aside. They made a final 2 deal, but unbeknownst to Noura, Dean had one with Tommy as well. Janet was targeted, but she tried to convince Tommy to turn on Lauren due to her strong social gameplay. Dean contemplated whether to play his idol nullifier, debating whether Lauren or Janet was a bigger threat for his game. At Tribal Council, Janet played her idol and Dean played his nullifier, and Janet was unanimously sent to the jury.
Tommy took Noura aside and tried to convince her that his firemaking skills were limited, in case Noura were to win final immunity; in reality, Tommy felt confident in his firemaking ability.
Dean maintained a slight lead over Noura throughout the challenge, but dropped nearly every block late in the challenge. Noura held on to win her third immunity necklace. She began a long explanation of who she would take to the end with her, ultimately choosing Tommy; Lauren was offended that Noura said she was her “number 1” but was forcing her to make fire, leading to an argument during which Noura threatened to hide the machete. At Tribal Council, Noura indeed took Tommy to the end, citing that she needed someone to beat Lauren at fire. Dean won the firemaking challenge, making Lauren the final jury member.
At the Final Tribal Council, Tommy’s social game was praised, but he was questioned over the big moves he had made as opposed to Dean, who was praised for his immunity wins and finding advantages late in the game. However, Dean was called out by Tommy and Noura for riding coattails for much of the game and questioned over saying the line he wouldn’t cross was making final 2 deals (though he had done so numerous times). Noura wasn’t taken as seriously by the jury due to her perceived erratic and emotion-based gameplay.
|582||14||"Reunion Special"||0.9/5||TBA||December 18, 2019||4.61|
|Several months later, Tommy was named the Sole Survivor in an 8–2–0 vote over Dean and Noura, respectively, and won the US$1 million prize. Probst later announced that Sia, a singer and fan of Survivor, had given Jamal Shipman $15,000 and Elaine Stott and Janet Carbin $100,000 each.|
|Original tribes||Switched tribes||Merged tribe|
- On Day 27, a split Tribal Council was held. The castaways were divided into two groups; each group went to Tribal Council separately to eliminate one castaway from each.
- The vote resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- Dean played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore five votes against him were not counted.
- Janet played a hidden immunity idol on herself, therefore two votes against her were not counted.
- Karishma played a hidden immunity idol on herself, therefore seven votes against her were not counted.
- No vote; Dan was ejected from the game and did not join the jury.
- Janet played a hidden immunity idol on herself; however, Dean used an idol nullifier against her, cancelling the idol's effects.
- For winning the final Immunity Challenge, Noura had to assign additional immunity to another castaway, with the remaining two competing in a fire-making challenge to determine the third finalist; she gave additional immunity to Tommy, and Dean defeated Lauren in the fire-making challenge
- Due to losing the game on Island of the Idols, this contestant lost their vote at the next Tribal Council.
- Elizabeth and Janet were not eligible to vote in the second round of voting.
- Jason's vote was blocked at Tribal Council.
From the first episode up until the merge in the eighth episode, Kellee Kim and several other members of the Vokai tribe had expressed concerns to Dan Spilo about him repeatedly touching them without asking. At the merge, Kim had her first opportunity to speak to Missy Byrd, who also stated her concerns on Spilo's behavior. Kim spoke of her concerns to the merged tribe, at which point production became much more involved. One Survivor producer explained to Kim that she should let them know if Spilo continued to cross the line, and if she did, then production would immediately take action. Production contacted CBS about the situation, who instructed them to have group and individual meetings with the remaining castaways and formally warned Spilo about his behavior. Title cards were used in-episode to explain the situation to viewers.
Though not in her best game interests at the time, Kim and her ally Janet Carbin ultimately agreed to vote out Spilo at the first merge Tribal Council, believing to have support from the other women on the tribe, including Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel, who had both expressed discomfort towards his actions. However, Kim saw herself being voted out of the game after a majority of the tribe believed her to be a bigger in-game threat than Spilo was. Issues on Spilo's behavior persisted in the tribe through the next few days, as both Beisel and Byrd admitted that they did not have any issues with him, and had simply decided to play on Kim's concerns in an attempt to gain her trust. At the next Tribal Council, the impact of Spilo's behavior had come up, and Spilo took time to apologize to Kim and the other female tribe members for any wrongdoing, even bringing up the impact of the Me Too movement during his speech. The day after the episode aired, several contestants posted public apologies to Kim and Carbin for their behavior—seeing the problems with it after watching the episode—and for not seeing how much the situation affected the two women.
Probst claimed that he and production talked to Kim about letting her have a chance to respond to Spilo, but she agreed with production that as a jury member she would remain quiet as per the game's rules. Kim would later challenge this statement, claiming that she did not speak with Probst at all until after that particular Tribal Council. For the remainder of the season, production continued to monitor the situation, with the staff performing individual interviews with players keeping abreast of any concerns or issues related to the situation and reminding contestants to report anything they feel uncomfortable about to production immediately. At the end of Episode 12, on the morning of Day 36, Probst came to camp and announced to the remaining castaways that Spilo had been removed from the game, and would not be allowed to serve on the jury. A title card revealed that Spilo was ejected because of an off-camera incident that "did not involve a player." In an interview, Probst declined to elaborate on what happened, citing "privacy and confidentiality" concerns. This is the first time a contestant had to be ejected from the show by production.
Many fans argued that Spilo should have been ejected from the game when Kim's concerns were first raised instead of creating a storyline out of it for the show. CBS and MGM issued a joint statement reiterating that production had been monitoring the situation around the clock, as part of the standard practice for the show, and would have taken action if they felt Kim or any other player was at risk. "On Survivor, producers provide the castaways a wide berth to play the game. At the same time, all castaways are monitored and supervised at all times. They have full access to producers and doctors, and the production will intervene in situations where warranted." Other fans were upset at Beisel and Byrd for using the situation to leverage their game.
For the first time in the show's history, the finale and reunion shows were pre-taped, rather than aired live. The show went "live-to-tape" four hours earlier than usual to screen for potentially sensitive material relating to the allegations against Spilo and his subsequent ejection. Dan Spilo was uninvited from the reunion following his ejection. Elizabeth Beisel and Jack Nichting also did not show up to the finale. The reunion included a one-on-one interview between Probst and Kim to address the allegations and the way they were handled, and resulted in Probst apologizing to Kim on behalf of the production team.
CBS and Survivor issued a second statement on December 18, 2019, prior to the finale to readdress the protocol for future seasons. Due to these events, castaways in Season 40 (which was filmed immediately after this season was) were given additional pre-production guidelines on "personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues". Future seasons will see this orientation expanded to include the means to which castaways can report their concerns of other players in a confidential manner to production, and production will improve their staff's training to watch for these issues ahead of time, and to add a support system for affected castaways as part of their available on-island and post-elimination mental health support. Further, new rules will disallow "unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases" to be brought into the game, or they may led to a castaway's dismissal from the game. Additionally, during the reunion, Probst apologized directly to Kim on behalf of the show and CBS for mistakes that were made, and then gave Kim several minutes to express her concerns and additional thoughts from the incident. Kim stated that the hardest part of the situation was not what Spilo did, but that she felt that she was "not supported or believed" by production, which Probst said was a misstep on their part. In response to these announced changes, Kim said "This has been a hard season, but I’m proud that the change I fought for is happening. I’ve been inspired & overwhelmed by the people who have reached out to support me & share their stories."
Spilo spoke to People after the conclusion of the season, saying "I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor...After apologizing at the Tribal Council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously."
Survivor: Island of the Idols was initially praised for the diverse cast and its gameplay prior to the merge episode. However, the controversy regarding Dan Spilo was met with universal disdain and intense criticism, resulting in the season receiving extremely negative reviews from critics. Additional criticism was pointed at the following post-merge episodes, as well as the edit portraying a very predictable winner.
Andy Dehnart of Reality Blurred had labeled the season as the worst ever while pointing out several systemic problems with the show as a whole. He noted that the past five seasons were all won by men, while the past four seasons had featured only one female finalist who did not receive a single vote at the Final Tribal Council. He stated, "in the last five seasons, there have been fifty-two jury votes cast, and fifty of those have gone to men." He also lambasted the show for not having a proper protocol in dealing with sexual harassment until the "inappropriate touching" controversy essentially forced CBS to develop a formal one.
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the inaction from producers had not only ruined the season but tainted the legacy and future of Survivor. He stated, "Somewhere, somebody needs to feel shame — not embarrassment, but shame — at what happened this season and owing to potential legal ramifications, I doubt we'll see any regret or remorse at all. I'm not accusing anybody of a crime. All I'm saying is: Kellee deserved better. The women of Survivor deserved better. The fans of Survivor deserved better. I don't know how anybody is supposed to trust the show to do right by its contestants again. You broke it, Survivor gang. I don't know how you're going to fix it."
Caroline Framke of Variety stated that the way that CBS handled the controversy was "irresponsible and infuriating." Specifically, she talked about the merge episode, which highlighted the Dan Spilo controversy, and the ninth episode, which aired one week after the merge episode and did not discuss the controversy at all. She stated, "It's downright insulting, and a baffling display of the show's inability to grasp the gravity of what happened on its watch."
James Poniewozik of The New York Times talked about the ending to the twelfth episode when Dan was ejected from the game. He stated, "Wednesday's episode abruptly ended with the cryptic announcement that a contestant, Dan Spilo, had been ejected from the show after an 'incident.' But regular viewers knew that this was just another twist in a story that had tarnished the season." He goes on to explain how CBS "failed its #MeToo test," accusing the network of not listening to Kellee Kim's complaints and concerns the first time she spoke about them.
Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly, ranking the Survivor seasons through the 39th installment, placed Island of the Idols at the bottom of the list. He called the season "impossible to enjoy" due to Spilo's actions, and stated that "even though there were several things and people worth celebrating at various points in the show’s 39th installment, the end result is that this felt like the least entertaining outing in the franchise’s history."
|1||"I Vote You Out and That's It"||September 25, 2019||1.3/6||6.29||0.70||2.53||1.97||8.83|||
|2||"YOLO, Let's Play!"||October 2, 2019||1.2/6||6.57||0.58||2.11||1.76||8.69|||
|3||"Honesty Would Be Chill"||October 9, 2019||1.2/6||6.51||0.62||2.20||1.78||8.72|||
|4||"Plan Z"||October 16, 2019||1.4/7||6.91||0.63||2.13||2.02||9.06|||
|5||"Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You"||October 23, 2019||1.3/6||6.82||0.62||2.17||1.90||9.00|||
|6||"Suck It Up Buttercup"||October 30, 2019||1.2/6||6.37||0.62||2.31||1.80||8.69|||
|7||"I Was Born at Night, But Not Last Night"||November 6, 2019||1.3/6||6.82||0.64||2.32||1.92||9.16|||
|8||"We Made It to the Merge!"||November 13, 2019||1.1/6||6.07||0.60||2.36||1.75||8.45|||
|9||"Two for the Price of One"||November 20, 2019||1.2/6||6.63||0.59||2.08||1.81||8.73|||
|10||"Bring on the Bacon"||November 27, 2019||1.1/6||6.48||0.66||2.35||1.77||8.84|||
|11||"A Very Simple Plan"||December 4, 2019||1.2/6||6.86||0.52||1.92||1.74||8.79|||
|12||"Just Go For It"||December 11, 2019||1.2/7||6.82||0.51||1.98||1.75||8.82|||
|13||"Mama, Look at Me Now"||December 18, 2019||1.2/6||6.52||0.54||1.99||1.77||8.53|||
|14||"Reunion Special"||December 18, 2019||0.9/5||4.61||0.55||2.08||1.41||6.70|||
|No.||Air date||Total viewers
|1||September 25, 2019||2.18||3|||
|2||October 2, 2019||1.80||7|||
|3||October 9, 2019||1.78||4|||
|4||October 16, 2019||1.89||4|||
|5||October 23, 2019||1.81||4|||
|6||October 30, 2019||2.13||1|||
|7||November 6, 2019||1.92||4|||
|8||November 13, 2019||1.99||3|||
|9||November 20, 2019||1.92||4|||
|10||November 27, 2019||2.02||2|||
|11||December 4, 2019||1.86||4|||
|12||December 11, 2019||1.98||1|||
|13||December 18, 2019||1.82||3|||
- "Survivor 39 calendar". The True Dork Times. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Ausiello, Michael (June 13, 2019). "CBS Fall Premiere Dates: NCIS, Five-0, Young Sheldon, Neighborhood and More". TVLine. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (December 12, 2019). "Survivor to pre-tape reunion show due to sensitivity and security concerns". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Wigler, Josh (May 15, 2019). "'Survivor' Winners Sandra Diaz-Twine and Boston Rob Mariano to Return For Season 39". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- Tharp, Sharon (September 25, 2019). "'Survivor' Legends Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine Break Down Being Mentors for Season 39's 'Island of the Idols'". usmagazine.com. Us Magazine. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (December 17, 2019). "Survivor and CBS announce new oversight after inappropriate touching incidents". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- Ross, Dalton (May 15, 2019). "Survivor: Island of the Idols: Jeff Probst shares intel on NEXT season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (September 25, 2019). "Jeff Probst explains why he missed the Survivor marooning". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Ross, Dalton (September 19, 2019). "Boston Rob and Sandra react to their ginormous Survivor statues". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Ross, Dalton (September 11, 2019). "Boston Rob and Sandra on why they said yes to Survivor: Island of the Idols". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Ross, Dalton (February 4, 2020). "Jeff Probst on the biggest get for Survivor: Winners at War". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- West, Rachel. "Jeff Probst Announces Canadians Are Now Eligible To Compete On 'Survivor'". ET Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- Probst, Jeff (February 22, 2011). "Jeff Answers Your Questions: Feb 22, 2010". jeffprobst.com. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Justin.tv - RTVZone". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- George, Daniel (September 9, 2019). "Who is the first Canadian-born Survivor player in the show's history?". Fansided. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- Holmes, Martin. "Season 39 Cast Revealed". Inside Survivor. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- "Who's In The Cast Of Survivor Season 39: Island Of The Idols?". CBS. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (September 26, 2019). "'Modern Family' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 1, 2019). "'The Masked Singer' and 'Sunday Night Football' lead premiere week: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Sept. 23-29". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 3, 2019). "'Chicago Med,' 'The Masked Singer' adjust up, 'Single Parents,' 'Almost Family' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 8, 2019). "NFL dominates the week, FOX takes the win: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Sept. 30 – Oct. 6". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 3, 2019). "'Survivor' and 'S.W.A.T.' adjust up, 'SEAL Team' and 'Almost Family' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 17, 2019). "'Thursday Night Football' and 'The Masked Singer' keep FOX on top: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 7-13". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 17, 2019). "'Chicago Med,' 'The Masked Singer' adjust up, 'SEAL Team,' 'Chicago P.D.,' 'Almost Family' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 22, 2019). "NFL, 'The Masked Singer,' and 'The Simpsons' lead: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 14-20". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 24, 2019). "'SEAL Team' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 29, 2019). "World Series and NFL dominate, FOX stays on top: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 21-27". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (October 31, 2019). "World Series, 'Survivor,' 'Chicago Fire' adjust up, 'Single Parents,' 'SEAL Team' adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (November 5, 2019). "World Series carries FOX to another win: Broadcast top 25 and network rankings for Oct. 28 – Nov. 3". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (November 7, 2019). "'Chicago Fire' adjusts up, 'Nancy Drew' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (November 14, 2019). "'Survivor,' 'The Masked Singer,' all others hold: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (November 21, 2019). "'Chicago Med,' 'Survivor,' everything else unchanged: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (December 2, 2019). "'Almost Family' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
- Rejent, Joseph (December 6, 2019). "'The Moodys' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (December 12, 2019). "'Nancy Drew' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Welch, Alex (December 19, 2019). "'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' and 'Survivor' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- Goldstein, Joelle (November 14, 2019). "Survivor Contestant Accused of 'Inappropriate Touching,' 2 Players Admit to Using Allegations to Win". People. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Wigler, Josh (November 13, 2019). "'Survivor' Dives Into #MeToo Debate with Claims Against Hollywood Talent Manager". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- "Survivor The Rules". scribd.com. Scribd. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- Dehnart, Andy. "Survivor proves 'there are always consequences for standing up' in a bleak merge episode". realityblurred.com. Reality Blurred. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- Chokshi, Niraj (November 15, 2019). "Female 'Survivor' Contestants Apologize After #MeToo Backlash". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- Gomez, Patrick (November 14, 2019). "Survivor's Aaron Meredith posts tearful apology video for his role in controversial tribal". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Seemayor, Zach (November 14, 2019). "Lauren Beck Apologizes Following 'Survivor' Inappropriate Touching Controversy". Yahoo!. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (December 11, 2019). "Survivor host Jeff Probst talks about first player ever ejected from the game". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (November 14, 2019). "CBS and MGM issue statement addressing controversial Survivor episode". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Haring, Bruce (November 15, 2019). "'Survivor' Struggles With Harassment Issues, As Two Contestants Admit False Accusations Were "Gameplay"". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- Helling, Steve (December 12, 2019). "Survivor Contestant Dan Spilo Was Uninvited from Live Finale After His Removal from Show". people.com. People. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 17, 2019). "CBS & 'Survivor' Address Season 39 Controversy, Outline Measures To Prevent Inappropriate Behavior". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
- Low, Elaine (December 18, 2019). "'Survivor' Finale: Kellee Kim Says She 'Was Not Supported or Believed' After Misconduct Claims". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- Helling, Steve (December 17, 2019). "Survivor's Dan Spilo Breaks Silence on His Behavior on the Show: 'I Am Deeply Sorry'". People. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- "Who Won 'Survivor: Island of the Idols'?". Us Weekly. December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Dehnart, Andy (December 19, 2019). "Survivor ends its worst season ever by doing one thing right: giving Kellee Kim an apology and time to speak". realityblurred.com. Reality Blurred. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Fienberg, Daniel (December 12, 2019). "Critic's Notebook: Even After an Unprecedented Eviction, 'Survivor' May Be Permanently Broken". hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Framke, Caroline (November 21, 2019). "'Survivor' Mishandling Sexual Harassment Is Irresponsible and Infuriating (Column)". variety.com. Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Poniewozik, James (December 12, 2019). "How 'Survivor' Failed Its #MeToo Test". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Ross, Dalton (December 20, 2019). "Ranking every season of Survivor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (September 27, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The Masked Singer' Season Premiere Helps Fox to Dominate Prime Time as it Doubled the Runner-Up Network in Adults 18-49". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (October 15, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Emergence' Leads Broadcast Network Telecasts in Viewer Percentage Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (October 18, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Nancy Drew' Series Debut Draws Top Audience in Time Slot for CW in Nearly Two Years". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (October 17, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: Three-Hour 'Chicago' Crossover Event Boosts NBC to its Best In-Season Regular Schedule Wednesday Among Adults 18-49 in Three Years". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (October 25, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: Tyler Perry's 'The Oval' and 'Sistas' on BET Off to Decent Starts". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (October 31, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: Nearly 24 Million Viewers for World Series Game Seven Across All Fox Platforms". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (November 8, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: Fox, with Two 'Masked Singer' Episodes, Dominates Prime Time in Demos, Nearly Doubles Runner-Up NBC Among Adults 18-49". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (November 14, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: More Than 13 Million Watch First Day of Impeachment Hearings Across Six Networks". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (November 21, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 6.6 Million Viewers for Democratic Debate on MSNBC". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (December 3, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: CBS Tops Thanksgiving Eve in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and 25-54". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (December 7, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' on NBC Leads the 8-10 p.m. Time Slot in Total Viewers". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (December 12, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2' Season Finale on MTV Leads Cable Telecasts in Adults 18-34". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Pucci, Douglas (December 19, 2019). "Wednesday Final Ratings: Over 12 Million Watch Impeachment Vote Coverage Across Various Cable News Stations". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 23, 2019 – September 29, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 30, 2019 – October 6, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 7, 2019 – October 13, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. October 22, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 14, 2019 – October 20, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. October 29, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 21, 2019 – October 27, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 28, 2019 – November 3, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 4, 2019 – November 10, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 11, 2019 – November 17, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. November 26, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 18, 2019 – November 24, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 25, 2019 – December 1, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) December 2, 2019 – December 8, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) December 9, 2019 – December 15, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) December 16, 2019 – December 22, 2019" (PDF). Numeris. December 31, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.