"Placebo Effect"
Season The Cursed Idol
Author IAmNothing712
Episode Number 3/13
Episode Chronology
Previous "Can't Cut the Mustard"
Next "Buy a Lemon"

This is the third episode of Survivor: The Cursed Idol.

Previously on Survivor

At Davao, Serena breaks down for feeling like an outsider in the tribe. At Cebu, Hallie and Seth squabbled over work ethic. Belinda finally finds Cebu's Hidden Immunity Idol. At the Immunity Challenge, where they survivors competed in a local street game, Hallie breaks in half, winning immunity for Davao. In the end, Hallie's swagger, yet physical weakness cost her the game, but not before leaving without doing damage. She gave Seth the Cursed Idol, making him potentially vulnerable the next time he goes to Tribal Council. With both tribes visited Tribal Council once, both Cursed Idols are now in play. Will "The Curse" be enough to send Serena or Seth home? Fourteen remain, who will be voted out tonight?


Reward Challenge: Wheel of Misfortune
Five tribe members would run through a course with a balance beam, a bridge with five roulette-esque wheels in the middle and another balance beam. These tribemates would collect five flags at the other end of the course. Two other tribe members will have to crank to make their roulette spin. Once a member gets a flag, he/she must traverse the obstacle course one more time. First tribe to collect all five bags would win reward.
Reward: A week's worth of rice and beans.
Winner: Cebu

Immunity Challenge: Not-So Happy Together
One tribemate would yell directions at his/her blindfolded tribe members (tethered into pairs) to collect puzzle blocks to a flight of stairs. After collecting all nine pieces, the whole tribe would build the puzzle, and run to the top of the staircase, raising a flag. first tribe to raise their flag wins immunity.
Winner: Cebu


Night 6

Returning from their first Tribal Council, everybody expressed their relief, now that their most hated tribe member was voted out. Alanna stated: "We may be the only tribe in Survivor history that was excited to get rid of someone." Belinda added: "It was a breath of fresh air." While the rest of the tribe happily went to sleep, Seth, who received the Cursed Idol was uneasy. He said "I hope my tribemates see me as a force to be reckoned with at challenges. If I show them an ounce of bad behavior, they might get rid of me. I don't want to be sent home with this damn idol, so if needed to be fake, I'll be forced to do it."

Day 7

Early morning at Davao, Cyrus woke up the earliest. Knowing that if he did camp chores, he would tick off his tribemates. As a solution, he decided to take a morning walk. Cyrus said: "I have struggled in the past. Now, I have to win this thing, to provide for my family. I will strive to make sure my kids will not experience the hardships I faced in my younger days."

At Cebu, while several of the tribe members are already awake, Curtis lied down in in the shelter, while he was about to throw up. Seth reacted: "Curtis doesn't seem look too well. These past few days his body doesn't seem to accept our living conditions fully Hopefully he doesn't screw the challenge for us, or else he's gone. With Curtis already sick, we cannot afford to have any of our stronger members sick as well."

Day 8

Upon receiving Tree Mail, the tribes convened for their next Reward Challenge.

Davao Cebu
Runners (in order) Wheel Spinners Runner (in order) Wheel Spinners
April Carson Wes Eddie
Adrianna Brock Curtis Seth
Serena Belinda
Cyrus Alanna
Freddy Carly

April and Wes ran first for their tribes, with April sucessfully treaded the first balance beam, while Wes was a hot mess. Wes caught up when April found herself stuck in the roulette, to the delight of Cebu's spinners Eddie and Seth. April bridged the gap when it came to the second balance beam, whilst Wes was again traversing the beam terribly. April secured the first flag for Davao.

While Wes was still on his way to their starting platform, Adrianna rushed to extend their lead, but stumbled at the second balance beam. Giving time for Wes to catch up. Once Wes reached Cebu's platform, Curtis tried to catch up for the lost time. Adrianna extended the lead by scoring Davao's second flag. Curtis was on her heels, scoring Cebu's second point seconds behind Adrianna.

Serena ran next for Davao next, and Seth and Eddie both agreed to spin their roulette faster, struggling Serena. Belinda went past Serena in traversing the course and back, giving Cebu the lead.

While Serena was on her way to back to the platform, Alanna went for Cebu next. A visibly dizzy and emotional Serena lied down on the tribe mat, signaling Cyrus to run next. While Cyrus and Freddy tried to catch up, Alanna and Carly's agility widened up the lead, eventually winning the challenge for Cebu.

Back at camp, Serena was furious for her performance, stating she could do much better. April assured her that she did well. In a confessional, Carson vented his reactions to Serena's incessant breakdowns: "I think Serena needs to stop this "poor me" melodramatic nonsense. I'm so over it!" Aware of Serena's problems since she stepped in the island, Cyrus told Serena about self-confidence. He said: "Think of an ineffective product on the market that gives too many seemingly believable promises. Then your mind starts to think that the product actually works, but doesn't. It's like real life, you have to think what you're doing really works, even if it looks the opposite." Enlightened from her pep talk with Cyrus, she gave him a hug. Unknown to Cyrus, the pep talk only motivated Serena in finding Davao's Hidden Immunity Idol. Not wanting to look for the clue anymore, she searched in tree barks, until she stumbled upon something out of place, a stone inside a bark. Much to her surprise, she found Davao's Hidden Immunity Idol. Happy about her discovery, Serena said: "My placebo effect talk with Cyrus really worked. I felt like he just gave me a million dollars." At Cebu, Seth was tasked to cook a serving of their newly acquired rice. But to the tribes' chagrin, Seth's rice was burned. Carly complained: "Perhaps Seth never had rice his whole life because it's carbs, and look at him, he's a big hunk of meat!" This almost led to a row between the sassy ghetto white girl and the tough construction worker. But not wanting conflict and Seth's rice, Carly resorted to climb a very high coconut tree that protruded long enough to reach the sea. Carly collected six coconuts. Shocked by her courageous move, Cebu gave Carly a round of applause. Much to her surprise, Carly realized her gesture. "I can't believe I just did that. Ahh, the wonders of hunger!"

Day 9

After receiving Tree Mail, the tribes met for their next Immunity Challenge. Serena and Alanna were chosen to be the callers for their tribes.

While Davao gained the early lead by collecting their pieces first, though Carson was apparently not listening to Serena, dragging Freddy, who was tethered with him. But when Freddy took the shots for the puzzle, he and Carson caused conflict, because the latter was asserting his ideas too much. This gave Cebu enough time to catch up, winning them immunity.

Losing two consecutive challenges caused Freddy to harshly accuse Carson for being non-cooperative during the challenge. Carson claimed that the puzzle would have been completed early if they listened to him. Serena intervened, saying that Carson never listened to her when he was collecting puzzle pieces Brock said: "Carson lacks the self awareness that what he did was the factor of our loss, and he was still making excuses about it."

That afternoon, Freddy campaigned for Carson's elimination to Cyrus and April, saying that his lack of cooperation at the challenge would hurt them in the future. Meanwhile, Carson was doing the exact same thing to Adrianna, Brock and Serena. Serena said: "I can't believe that after a single challenge, I got out from the chopping block without even trying. They even forgot that I had the Cursed Idol!"

At Tribal Council, Freddy and Carson again squabbled about their conflicting puzzle strategies which led to their loss. Freddy's poor anger management was called out, while Carson's excuses were admonished. When Jeff brought up the topic of the Cursed Idol, everybody assured that Serena was safe, with the tribe unanimously stated that despite their back-to-back losses, they found Serena's challenge performances decent. Confident that she will not be voted out, even with the threat of the Cursed Idol, Serena did not use her Hidden Immunity Idol, thus counting her Cursed Idol as one vote. Ultimately though, it was Carson's headstrong personality and immaturity got him voted out in a 6-1-1 vote, but not before leaving without giving the Cursed Idol to Freddy as a parting gift.

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 3:
CursedIdol Carson
Carson (6 votes)
CursedIdol AdriannaCursedIdol AprilCursedIdol Brock
CursedIdol CyrusCursedIdol FreddyCursedIdol Serena
Adrianna, April, Brock, Cyrus, Freddy, & Serena
CursedIdol Freddy
Freddy (1 vote)
CursedIdol Carson
CursedIdol Serena
Serena (1 vote)
CursedIdol Delia
Delia (via Cursed Idol)
CursedIdol Freddy
CursedIdol Carson
Carson White

Voting Confessionals

You're too headstrong, sorry.


Both you and Freddy are hotheads, but I have to come up with something.


Sorry, have to stick with the group.


Go home and warm up, kid.


If both you and Freddy stay longer, the tribe gets more cancer.


You're 1% muscle, 99% hot gas.


Hope you go home. It's time for the tribe to hear me.


Final Words

Next Time on Survivor

  • Seth and Freddy's tempers flare, angering their tribemates. Will their Cursed Idols become their one-way ticket home? Find out!

Author's Notes

Survivor: The Cursed Idol episodes

"Beware of the Curse" · "Can't Cut the Mustard" · "Placebo Effect" · "Buy a Lemon" · "Dropping Like Flies" · "Go to Your Momma" · "She's Joshing Me!" · "Reality Check" · "Queer the Pitch" · "Stuff It in Your Face" · "Feeding Frenzy" · "I'm Dumb, but Not That Much" · "I Don't Forgive, I Get Even"