Survivor: Island of the Idols is coming to an end with its usual three-hour finale and reunion special. However, some fans have lost excitement for the season because of Dan Spilo’s inappropriate behavior, the mishandling of the situation, and their disgust with a few castaways who used Kellee Kim’s allegations against Dan to advance themselves in the game. Because of the backlash, two Survivor 39 jury members reportedly will not attend the reunion.
Kellee Kim and Dan Spilo controversy
During one of the first days on the island, Kellee Kim pulled Dan Spilo to the side and explained that his excessive and unwanted touching bothered her. Even though he apologized and seemed to understand, Dan continued to touch Kim’s face and hair.
Once the merge came, the MBA student spoke to Missy Byrd about her concerns and if the veteran felt uncomfortable around Dan as well. Missy, who already voiced how Dan’s behavior bothered her, validated how Kellee felt, and the MBA student broke down crying on camera.
The producer filming her broke the fourth wall and told her the production crew would step in if she needed it. However, Kellee rejected it because she felt Dan would stop with Janet Carbin at the camp.
While the MBA student and Missy talked to each other on the beach, Tommy Sheehan and Lauren Beck thought something was up because Kellee said she wanted Missy out of the game. Lauren, an ally of Missy’s at the time, informed the veteran that she was the target.
Therefore, Missy assumed Kellee used her problems with Dan to blindside the veteran and so she told Elizabeth Beisel they needed to get the others to vote for the talent manager by “playing up” the touching allegations. Their plan worked, and Kellee was voted off the island that night.
Fans reacted negatively towards ‘Survivor’ production and the ‘lying’ castaways
Even though Survivor production claimed they had a group meeting and an individual conference with Dan where he was “given an official warning,” fans blasted the show for how they handled the issue.
According to viewers, Dan should have been warned after Kellee approached him during the first episode, and then should have been kicked off the show if he touched another contestant again.
Additionally, fans were extremely upset with Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Byrd for playing up the allegations when Beisel admitted she actually felt safe around Dan.
Likewise, some viewers were “triggered” by Aaron Meredith’s words during Tribal Council, who asserted the situation wasn’t a big deal because he hadn’t heard about it.
Because of the backlash, Elizabeth declined to do any interviews, although she did release a statement apologizing on Twitter. Aaron and Missy only provided answers through email, but both of them published statements regarding their conduct on the show.
Which ‘Survivor 39’ contestants will not attend the reunion?
For the first time in 39 seasons of Survivor, the reunion will not happen live, and a taped version (supposedly without edits) will air after the finale. CBS made the changes for security concerns, and they want the castmates to feel safe as possible while discussing the controversial events.
During the show, after Kellee’s elimination, Dan attempted to explain his actions and apologized to her. However, because of the jury rules, Kellee could not respond.
Even though the MBA student has not shown in any of the pictures the other contestants are posting from the reunion, she is still expected to come and voice her feelings as well as concerns she may have regarding production handling her situation.
On the other hand, Dan, who production kicked off during Episode 13 after he allegedly grabbed a female cast member’s thigh, will not attend the reunion.
Additionally, rumored couple Elizabeth and Jack Nichting reportedly declined the invitation as the Olympic swimmer has received the most backlash from the situation, including death threats.
Watch the Survivor: Island of the Idols finale and reunion December 18, 2019, at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.