Blindsides are just the nature of the game on reality competition shows, especially CBS hit Survivor. This is a lesson Janet Carbin learned the hard way during the Season 39 finale earlier this week on Island of the Idols. Fan-favorite Janet landed in the final five after Dan Spilo was removed from the show due to alleged inappropriate behavior. Shortly after, she found an immunity idol which could have given her a direct shot to the final four, but she was unaware Dean Kowalski held an idol nullifier that would, and did, destroy her game.
At Tribal Council, the four other tribe members voted to send her packing, and even though she played her idol, she was stunned to find out a nullifier had been played properly against her. Janet had previously told Dean she’d found an idol, a mistake that ultimately cost her the game. She is now speaking with Entertainment Weekly over the shocking game events, admitting she is totally “crushed” about her loss after feeling she could have taken home the victory.
“I was crushed. I was absolutely crushed, because I did not allow myself to believe I could win the game. I was taking it step by step by step. But when I found the idol, it was the first time, all the way through my heart and every cell of my being was like, ‘Oh my God, I could win this game.’ And it was crushing, because a nullifier with five people left is ridiculous. I never expected it. Never expected it.”
Janet later said that had she made it to the final three, she really thought she would have won the game, and she’s probably right. Making it into the final three should have been no problem for her either, considering her stellar fire-making skills. Dean ended up beating Lauren Beck in the final fire-making challenge, sending him to the final three, but the remaining castaways all knew they couldn’t beat Janet, which prompted Dean to play the nullifier in the first place.
Season 39 wasn’t a total loss for Janet, however, as the 59-year-old was given Sia’s gift for being one of the musician’s favorite players in the game. Janet was given $100,000 from the “Chandelier” singer, as was Elaine Stott. Sia also gave Jamal Shipman $15,000, for a total of $215,000 in prize money, the most she has ever given away to the Survivor cast.
Season 40 of Survivor: Winners at War, will premiere this February on CBS.