“This is not … just a stick.” Survivor: Ghost Island April 18 2018 recap

19 Apr

After a relatively easy vote (namely Chris), everyone is trying to shore up their positions for a vote that promises to be tougher. Wendell asks Laurel is she is “1,000% top four” with him, the other two being Domenick and Donathan. She says yes. Wendell tells Laurel that Domenick has a real idol (which I’m pretty sure she already knew) and that he, Wendell, also has an idol. As so often happens on Survivor, this does Wendell more harm than good, as now Laurel trusts him less, not more.

The reward challenge takes place at the same beach that has seemingly hosted nearly every challenge this season. It goes on a long time without anything too entertaining happening. Jenna draws the rock to go to Ghost Island, where she gets the message that she doesn’t get to play a game.

At the reward challenge (a taco meal), we hear both Laurel and Libby say it’s time to make a big move. Angela tells us she was in “psychological operations” in the military … is she about to start some Russell Hantz-like shenanigans? Alas, her campaign seems limited to telling everyone that Michael wants to vote out Wendell, which is actually true.

It’s Day 25, and we see a row of covered-up plates at a high table, indicating it’s time for the “gross food” challenge! Jeff Probst points out that this challenge dates back to season 1, and I think it’s a shame they haven’t done it every single season, as it never fails to entertain.

The first-round meal consists of fish eyes, and as the food is revealed we see a fly buzzing around it, perfectly underlining how disgusting it is (and much better than the Big Brother method of simply adding the sound of a buzzing fly). Wendell doesn’t even attempt to eat a fish eye!

The next two rounds are beetle larvae and sea slugs respectively, and the last round, which is Michael vs. Angela, is mother-of-pearl. Tellingly, everyone is cheering for Angela, and she wins. Michael asks Probst if he can still eat the rest of the food, just so he can say he had the full experience.

The original purple tribe wants to vote for Michael, but would love to be able to split the vote. But to do that they would need to pull in some orange-tribe members, namely Laurel and Donathan. Michael makes the point that if Purple is splitting the vote and every Orange player (Michael, Laurel, Donathan, Libby and Jenna) all votes for the same person they could take out anyone from the purple tribe. So it all comes down to Laurel and Donathan. This is actually a pretty interesting situation, and I don’t think I’ve said that yet this season.

Also, we see Domenick assuring Libby she’s fine, but then Donathan tells her he knows some votes are coming her way. We have seen a lot of Libby this episode, making me think she’s going home.

Tribal Council is just cryptic talk by almost everyone. The votes are cast and Michael plays his idol, which you’ll recall from two episodes ago is the onetime fake idol. He says “this one’s for Ozzy” (who was the one who made the fake back in Fans vs. Favorites).

Jeff Probst then unveils some shtick that he no doubt came up with weeks ago. He says “This is not … just a stick anymore, this is a real idol.”

The votes are read, and most are for Michael and do not count. There’s one Wendell vote, and the rest are for Libby, who will join the jury.

In other words, Laurel failed to make the big move she hinted she was going to make. Perhaps Libby knew that and just voted for Michael in the hopes he didn’t have an idol or wouldn’t play it.

contenders: 1. Domenick, 2. Laurel, 3. Wendell, 4. Michael, 5. Kellyn, 6. Sebastian

no chance: Donathan, Jenna, Chelsea, Desiree, Angela

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Chris (Angela), Libby (Jenna)

Advertisements

“Put the mike down, bro.” Survivor: Ghost Island April 11, 2018 recap

11 Apr

This episode goes directly to the tribe merge, and directly from there to hyping the Domenick and Chris rivalry.

The players on the merged tribe have a set table waiting for them, and there’s a buff at each place setting. By chance, Chris sits down in front of the one that has a note hidden in it referring to a secret at tree mail. The secret is a clue to a hidden immunity idol, the catch being that the idol is at Ghost Island. A boat will arrive in the middle of the night to take him there, it’s his choice whether to take it and risk being caught.

Wendell decides to try and play peacemaker between Chris and Domenick and arranges a sit-down. Why don’t they just get out someone from the Orange tribe now and worry about the rivalry later? Chris refuses to commit to any such thing, and now even Wendell believes that Chris has to go.

Chris does slip away to Ghost Island without being spotted, and gets the idol: it’s J.T.’s idol from Survivor: Game Changers. Is it really “cursed” since J.T.. neglected to even bring it to a tribal council when he was in trouble? Alas, this idol can only be used by Chris at this next upcoming  Tribal Council. Ah, but he can play a game to extend its power by additional weeks. Each time he wins a 50/50 game it adds one week, but if he loses a game he has no vote at the next Tribal Council. Chris plays the game, winning the first round and losing the second. So his idol will work for the next two weeks, but he has no vote this week.

The immunity challenge is the one where you have to balance a little statue on a disc at the end of a pole. This seems to favor players with shorter arms, and indeed it comes down to Kellyn, Chelsea, and Libby. Kellyn wins.

Chris has an anti-Domenick plan to set in motion, so he boldly asks everyone but Wendell and Domenick to go to the well with him to discuss it! Wendell, alone with Domenick, reveals to his ally that he has an idol.

Domenick is sure of Wendell, Laurel, and Donathan’s votes, and figures he can pick up Jenna and Libby. But Donathan says those two are “trying to bluff you up.”

Also, we get a look at the four women of the Purple tribe: Chelsea, Angela, Desiree, and Kellyn. They are less interested in Domenick vs. Chris than in getting another remaining Orange tribe member out. Preferably Libby or Michael.

With so much uncertainty, how many idols are going to be played? I could see Chris, Domenick and Michael all playing one!

Interestingly, this tribal council, the seventh of the season, is the first one for Chris! He was only on the immunity-losing tribe once, and missed that tribal council because he was on Ghost Island.

Most of the council is about Domenick vs. Chris. It’s time to vote, and Chris can only go to the voting booth and hold up his “No Vote” parchment. Domenick speaks his “Chris” vote very loudly to the amusement of all. And Wendell briefly tells us why he’s voting Chris, then stays at the voting booth a moment to say how lousy Chris’ rapping is. “Put the mike down, bro,” he says.

Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol. Domenick gets up fingering the fake idol he’s been wearing around his neck, but ultimately whips out the Legacy Advantage instead, which can only be played at he round of 13 (which is now) or the round of 6. Saving it does no good if you never make it to the round of 6, so it’s sound strategy to play it now.

The votes are read, and all but two are for … Chris, who becomes the first member of the jury. There were two Libby votes, by Desiree and Angela. Why in the world did Chris not play his idol, especially since it only has two weeks of power anyway?

At least Chris must have a Survivor record, namely the record for staying in the game the longest without ever casting one single vote.

There is a funny moment at the end. Chris thanks Jeff Probst but leaves before Jeff can say “It’s time for you to go.” Jeff rattles it off anyway as Chris walks off.

contenders: 1. Laurel, 2. Domenick, 3. Michael, 4. Wendell, 5.  Kellyn, 6. Libby, 7. Sebastian

no chance: Donathan, Jenna, Chelsea, Desiree, Angela

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Chris (Angela)

Idoling up: Survivor: Ghost Island April 4, 2018 recap

5 Apr

Last episode nothing happened, and I bemoaned the lack of any idols or advantages to at least liven things up. Whereas this episode: …. Nothing happens, but at least some players arm themselves with idols to do battle later.

The first to find an idol is Michael, and this idol is nothing less than the famous stick from Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites that Ozzy had planted as a fake idol. Well, we learn that in the ensuing 10 years it has gained power and is now a real idol!

Next we see Kellyn at Ghost Island, her tribe having lost the reward challenge. She is offered the chance to play a game, though this one has a 2 in 3 chance to win rather than just 1 in 2.  She gives it a try and wins an advantage, namely the one Sarah snatched up oh so memorably in Survivor: Game Changers. While that was a vote stealer, now the power is that of an extra vote.

 

The purple tribe won the reward challenge and gets to eat some steaks, and Bradley is grumpy even for him. The rest of the tribe commiserates about how annoying Bradley has become.

 

On the green tribe, Wendell goes looking for an idol and does find a map which soon leads him to … Erik’s immunity necklace from Fans vs. Favorites, the one he so memorably and stupidly gave to Natalie (a moment that was replayed at the start of this season’s first episode). The onetime immunity necklace is now an idol.

 

(Just to recap, Domenick also has an idol as well as a legacy advantage.)

 

The immunity challenge is won by Green, with Orange finishing second. Orange is absolutely ecstatic about being in second place, since that means they won’t be going to Tribal Council.

Purple will be going, however, and Bradley is an obvious potential target since everyone is so annoyed by him. But Domenick wonders if it’s better for him to keep Bradley around, especially since we heard Domenick talk about what a threat Libby is last episode. Chelsea gives Libby her word that she is not going home, but then Chelsea and Domenick indicate they still haven’t made a decision.

Also, we have hardly heard anything from Libby this episode. Surely that means she won’t be the one voted out?

Turns out it does mean exactly that. Bradley is blindsided and sent home.

contenders: 1. Laurel, 2. Domenick, 3. Michael, 4. Wendell, 5. Chris, 6. Kellyn, 7. Libby, 8. Sebastian

no chance: Donathan, Jenna, Chelsea, Desiree, Angela

“The devil in an angel’s body” Survivor: Ghost Island March 28, 2018 recap

28 Mar

There are no post-tribal council scenes to start the show. The episode begins with the tribes meeting Jeff Probst on the beach, and a tribe swap to three tribes. We get an early quote from Desiree, who has rarely been heard from this season, so surely she must play some major role in the episode.

The new tribes are:

Orange: Desiree, Michael, Angela, James, Kellyn

Purple: Donathan, Bradley, Chelsea, Domenick, Libby

Green: Sebastian, Wendell, Jenna, Chris, Laurel

Coincidentally, each of these has three original purple tribe and two original orange tribe members. Jeff Probst asks some questions of the players and the obvious is belabored — this stuff would not have made the cut if this were a very eventful episode.

On the new Green tribe, we get to hear a lot of Chris bragging. We also get to see him reveal to Laurel that he is a model. She is quite amused that he thinks the revelation is a big deal, much like the reaction to Jeremiah’s similar revelation back in Survivor: Cagayan which I detailed here. Then Chris tells us he didn’t want to publicize that he’s a model because “for some crazy reason, people think models might be self-absorbed,” this after we have been shown multiple examples of Chris being just that.

On the Orange tribe, we hear about Angela’s frustration over people on her own tribe having voted for her a few episodes back.

On the Purple tribe, Domenick is just glad he’s not on the same tribe with Chris, for the first time this season. Also, he has decided Libby needs to be voted out: “Libby is the devil in an angel’s body, OK? Libby is out for blood.”

The immunity challenge is that every-season staple in which one caller has to direct his blindfolded teammates. But this one has some more interesting obstacles added, plus the callers even need to coach their still-blindfolded teammates through the puzzle at the end.

Initially the purple tribe is way behind because Chelsea and Donathan can’t manage to find the right bag of puzzle piecs. Now, I don’t know if I would trust Chelsea and Donathan to go to the corner store for a carton of milk, much less to win immunity for my tribe.

When we get to the puzzle portion, Orange has a big lead but caller Desiree can’t find the proper words to describe to her teammates what they need to do. Probst is quick to point out that Desiree couldn’t do the puzzle on Day 1 and yet she was chosen to lead the puzzle-solving on day 17.

In the end, Wendell for the green tribe is the best caller, and his tribe wins as he shouts “What’s up Probst!” Purple, led by Domenick, comes in second. That means Orange is going back to Tribal Council, and Michael reminds us that this will be his fifth this season out of six councils total.

We then go to a Chrysler commercial which shows some movie scenes from the past involving “futuristic” vehicles, are of which are much cooler than the Chrysler they’re trying to sell us.

At the camp, it becomes apparent that Angela is the swing vote, and the person voted out will be either Desiree (for her poor challenge performance) or James (because he is from the original orange tribe). We don’t hear why Michael is not a candidate.

Tribal council is so boring I won’t waste time on it. Every vote but one goes to James. I understand that the original purple tribe is sticking together but if so, why wouldn’t they take out the other tribe’s biggest threat in Michael?

Also, I just realized there was no Ghost Island trip in this episode, nor was it mentioned even once in a season entitled Survivor: Ghost Island!

This season has been a bit of a snooze so far, I think because so many of the characters are low-key, with the only interesting new discoveries (at least among the people who are still around) being Michael and Domenick. Also, I wondered in previous seasons if there were too many immunity idols in play, but frankly the last two episodes could have used an idol or two to liven things up. Sorry, but the “next time on Survivor” preview clips didn’t get me too excited for next week either.

contenders: 1. Laurel, 2. Domenick, 3. Michael, 4. Wendell, 5. Chris, 6. Libby 7. Bradley, 8. Sebastian, 9. Kellyn

no chance: Donathan, Jenna, Chelsea, Desiree, Angela

“It’s hard for me to switch off the defensive, bitchy look.” Survivor: Ghost Island March 21 2018 recap

22 Mar

This episode focused on letting us get to know some of the players a little better. That is my nice way of saying that not much happened.

Certainly nothing of interest happens before the reward challenge, the final phase of which entails throwing balls to hit a fairly small disc. For Purple, Chris is slinging the balls, and you would have thought John Elway was throwing based on their velocity. Thanks to Chris, Purple wins in a blowout, and Jeff Probst is in awe. It is revealed that Chris played college baseball and was in fact a pitcher.

Time to decide who goes to Ghost Island. It’s Stephanie who draws the white rock. However when she smashes the little urn at Ghost Island, she finds out that she doesn’t get to play a game. We hear a little bit more about her story: like Kellyn, Stephanie was unhappy and decided to make changes in her life including getting divorced. And Stephanie left the Mormon religion at that time as well.

On the other tribe, Chris sees that Donathan is upset and reaches out. They bond because Donathan is the caretaker of his grandmother while Chris, as we learned previously, has had to tend to his own sick mother for many years. In prior episodes Chris’s social game seemed to be sorely lacking, now we see that he might have it in him after all.

The immunity challenge is, I believe, a new one: a player from each tribe has to go out into the water and get on a boogie board attached to a rope, and his tribemates must furiously crank a wheel to reel him in. Boy, does riding that board look like fun! The next phase is a slide puzzle, which Purple completes faster to win the challenge. I believe this is their fourth win in a row, and I must say I’m glad because all of the likable characters (except Michael) are on the purple tribe.

Orange needs to figure out whom to vote out. Chelsea and Kellyn decide it should be Jenna, in one of the least dynamic conversations you’ll ever see.

Jenna is in fact worried about being voted out (it will surely be her, Michael, or Stephanie). And Jenna wonders if people don’t want to work with her because of her poker face: “It’s hard for me to switch off the defensive, bitchy expression.” Last week we were led to expect to see romance blossoming between her and Sebastian, but a couple of mildly flirtatious sentences are all we see.

Others propose that Michael or Stephanie should be voted out,  and we see another Chelsea/Kellyn conference which is just as lackluster as the first.

Michael campaigns on the basis of being able to help the tribe in challenges more than the women can. But in private, we see him in tears. I think every tough guy on the season has already cried at least once!

By the way, Desiree has been advocating voting out Stephanie because she seems so strategic, and Desiree also searches Stephanie’s bag. No fair!

Tribal council is so very boring this episode, so let’s go straight to the vote: every ballot but one is cast for …Stephanie! It’s a shame, as until now she was my pick to win the game. I think she could have been a contender, but the uneven tribe swap followed by some challenge losses ruined things for her.

contenders: 1. Laurel, 2. Domenick, 3. Michael, 4. Wendell, 5. Chris, 6. Libby 7. James , 8. Bradley

not sure: Desiree, Kellyn, Sebastian, Angela

no chance: Donathan, Jenna, Chelsea

 

“We made enemies with everybody.” Survivor: Ghost Island March 14, 2018 recap

14 Mar

Domenick and Wendell had a rough tribal council. Their ally Morgan is gone, Chris and Angela are not happy about the coup attempt against them, and everyone else is an ex-member of the orange tribe. But there is one bright spot: Domenick reveals to Wendell that he has a real idol.

And another morale boost comes when Domenick checks his bag to find the legacy advantage that Morgan willed to him. He can’t use it until the round of 13 which is four votes from now, but it’s something. Maybe he can “reverse the curse,” though given that the two players from this season who have touched the advantage so far are Jacob and Morgan, the curse is obviously still going strong as of now!

The reward challenge is a perennial winner: a team of two tries to transport an inner tube to their goal while the other team does its best to tackle them and wrest it away. Jeff Probst reveals that in addition to the food reward, the winning tribe gets to send one of their opposite numbers to Ghost Island, and unlike in prior episodes, the person will be back for tribal council.

One person on the Orange tribe has to sit out, and we hear Chelsea say “I’m sitting,” marking the first words she’s been heard to say this entire season!

The purple tribe wins the reward challenge fairly easily: Chris and Wendell use a give-and-go to get the first point, and a couple of the others are won thanks to Laurel who we see is very athletic.

With no group consensus among Purple as to who should go to Ghost Island (we might not see a consensus the rest of the season), there is a rock draw and Kellyn is the lucky one.

You might recall that the last two Ghost Island visitors, Donathan and Chris, did not get the chance to play a game to win an advantage. Kellyn does, but the stakes would be the same as the ones Jacob faced: if you win the game of chance you get an advantage, but if you lose, you don’t have a vote at the next tribal council. As discussed a couple of posts ago, Jacob wasn’t risking too much since the first couple of votes of the season are rarely close. But for Kellyn it’s a different story: her group has a 5-4 majority so losing one vote would be critical. She decides she can’t risk it.

On the purple tribe, Chris and Angela want to join the ex-orangers to take out Domenick or Wendell. However, Laurel and Donathan like Wendell, and come to the same conclusion others on this season have come to: they don’t want Chris calling the shots. By the way, Laurel tells us that she went to Yale and played Division I sports (a web search reveals she was a volleyball player). It’s not too surprising given her challenge performance.

Also, Domenick reveals to Laurel that he has an idol. “You did lie to us,” she says good-naturedly. And he has the perfect response: hey, “it’s an idol.” Any true gamer has to understand that.

It’s Day 12, and time for a challenge that ends with having to toss volleyballs up onto a sort of gutter (a final phase that was also used in Millennials vs. Gen X). Desiree announces she’s the one to sit out this challenge. Which reminds me: I’ve joked about Chelsea being invisible, but Desiree pretty much has been as well ever since she did the puzzle in the first 10 minutes of the first episode.

Orange has a huge lead, and all Sebastian and Brendan have to do is lay up their balls and it’s an easy win. But this is obviously harder than it looks. The purple tribe comes from way behind to catch up and win, with Chris and Wendell doing the shooting. When Probst declares the win, everyone piles on top of Chris like a national championship has just been won.

So the orange tribe needs to figure out whom to vote out. There’s a 5-4 majority of the old purple tribe, and Kellyn is very glad she didn’t risk losing her vote earlier.

We see Bradley leading the discussions. All we knew about him before was that he complains a lot, now we see that he’s also arrogant and could well be the season’s villain. We also actually hear multiple consecutive sentences from Chelsea, at the 40 minute mark of the fourth hour. And I’m starting to see why we never hear from Chelsea, Bradley, and Desiree: they’re a bit boring and a bit annoying!

Brendan and Michael at least have the idol that Michael found. And it’s lucky it was Michael, because he’s the only guy big enough to wear such a huge idol on his person unobtrusively! It’s in his back waistband under his sportcoat. They let Stephanie and Jenna know about the idol, and they resolve to put all four of their votes on Bradley.

We go to tribal council, and now everyone has been to one except Chris. Michael says someone has to be on the bottom of the 5-person alliance, and Sebastian and Chelsea are those two, with Bradley the ringleader according to Michael.

And then Michael smoothy delivers his prepared announcement. He shows James’ idol from Survivor: China and announces that since James was voted out with two idols, this one has the power to keep two people safe (apparently nobody questions that assertion). He also announces that his alliance’s four votes will all be on Bradley. Michael is amazingly eloquent. If he really is a real estate agent I’m sure he’s great at it.

It’s time to vote, and Stephanie writes Bradley’s name, whispering “I have never in my life heard a grown man who whines and complains as much as you.”

Michael whispers to Brendan that he’s getting the vibe that the vote is for Stephanie. When it’s time to play idols, Michael walks up to Probst and while reading everyone’s expressions, announces he’s playing his idol for himself and Brendan. We have seen these reads work before, most recently for Joe last season. But Michael doesn’t notice what we are shown: Bradley looking very worried at that announcement. That should have been a sign to stand pat with protecting one of the guys. But Michael says no, he’ll play it for Stephanie instead.

We see four votes for Bradley right off the bat, but alas all the rest are for Brendan.

Brendan’s parting words show us he’s a very good sport. I thought he might get further in the game but I didn’t think he’d win — the athletic-looking obvious leader types never seem to win anymore like they did in the early seasons.

Time for my first full ranking of the year.

contenders: 1. Stephanie, 2. Laurel, 3. Domenick, 4. Michael, 5. Wendell, 6. Chris, 7. Libby

not sure: Desiree, Kellyn, Jenna, Bradley, James, Sebastian, Angela, Chelsea

no chance: Donathan

“Don’t trust the cute blonde.” Survivor: Ghost Island March 7, 2018 recap

9 Mar

It’s Day 7, and Jeff Probst asks the two tribes if they have a good feeling about their respective groups. Of course, the only time he ever asks such a thing is when he’s about to announce a tribe swap, which he does now. The new lineups are as follows:

Purple still: Dominick, Chris, Angela, Wendell, Morgan

Purple, used to be orange: Donathan, Libby, Laurel, James

Orange still: Jenna, Stephanie, Brendan, Michael

Orange, used to be purple: Desiree, Sebastian, Kellyn, Bradley, and someone named Chelsea who I would swear was not there in the first episode.

Some of these players had no significant role last week, so we get to know them for the first time here (other than the aforementioned Chelsea who is as invisible for the rest of this episode as she was in the prior episode, assuming she was on that first show at all). Angela is a woman in her thirties (or forties?) who tells us she served two tours in the military. Kellyn was seen briefly in the prior episode but not in my recap — she told us that she didn’t like the way her life was going so she got divorced and went on Survivor, among other things.

Lastly, dark-haired Bradley has been on screen a few times but hasn’t shown us much to date. Now we do hear from him once he arrives at his new tribe’s beach, but the only thing he says is that their beach sucks, and he says it a couple of times.

Cut to Chris, who is worried. True, his old tribe is in the majority in his new group, but three of those people are Domenick, Wendell, and Morgan, none of whom he had a great connection with. Chris tells Angela that Domenick has an immunity idol and that they need to blindside him, though Angela bristles at being given orders. Then Chris goes on to tell James and Libby about the idol too!

On the orange tribe, Jenna, Stephanie, Brendan, and Michael are all panicking to varying degrees about being in the minority. They all go looking for an idol, and Michael finds one.

In keeping with the season’s theme, the idol Michael finds is one of James’ two idols that he had when it was voted out of Survivor: China. This might be the most distinctive idol in Survivor history, it’s the square logo that was on the arch leading into his tribe’s camp. We see a flashback to him popping it off, with glimpses of other memorable cast members from that great season: Todd, Courtney, Denise the (putative) lunch lady, and (sigh) Amanda. But let’s stay on topic here.

Back on the purple tribe, Morgan and Domenick are getting a bad vibe from Chris, but Morgan gets great vibes from her new tribemate Libby, and the girls bond over both being Catholic.

The challenge is fairly standard Survivor fare, ending with a puzzle which Bradley and Kellyn do much faster for the orange tribe than Wendell and Laurel do for purple. So purple is going to tribe council, and we see Stephanie looking super-relieved as she could well have been the one to go home.

We’re only at the 31-minute mark of the episode, so obviously much more is due to happen, right? First up is the Ghost Island selection by Orange. There will certainly be junctures in this game when people will vie to send an ally to Ghost Island to keep him safe and allow him to potentially gain an advantage, but at this juncture every person’s vote at Tribal Council is critical, so each group wants to have someone from the rival group be prevented from participating. By the way, Probst reveals new information he didn’t mention last week: the choice of whom to send to Ghost Island must be unanimous, or the person is determined by random rock draw. Orange is understandably not unanimous, so rocks are drawn and Chris is the one to go. We see a shot of Angela, as this is bad for her. But it should make for an interesting vote, since the numbers will be 4-4 going into that vote.

Chris smashes the appropriate urn at Ghost Island to find out he won’t have a chance to win an advantage. Soon he breaks down and cries on camera, and tells us he wants to win for his mother, who has had multiple sclerosis since before he was born.

At camp, Angela tells Wendell she just can’t vote for an original purple tribe member, and will go to a rock draw for a tie vote if need be. Wendell has no such reservations, and in fact he wants to vote out Angela.

Domenick isn’t done maneuvering. To recap: he has a real idol, he made a fake, he told Chris he didn‘t have an idol, then he told Chris he did have one but showed him the fake. Now, Domenick shows James, Libby, and Laurel the fake idol and tells them it’s fake, to show his sincerity. James has the same reaction Chris did last week: something’s fishy here. James, Libby, and Laurel are skeptical of Domenick, so they lean more toward siding with Chris and Angela. If Domenick is voting for Angela as he says, that means James, Libby, and Laurel can decide who goes home: either Domenick or his two allies Wendell and Morgan. Since Domenick maybe/probably has a real idol, it should be Wendell or Morgan, says James. But Laurel says they need Wendell (presumably for strength in challenges) and as noted earlier, Libby trusts Morgan. What to do?

By the way: James compares Domenick to Russell Hantz. Not that I find that comparison all that apt, but since it used to be that every season had someone be compared to Russell, it’s nice to see that mini-tradition revived.

Let’s be honest, nothing too exciting happened this episode. And there was definitely nothing exciting at Tribal Council. Except perhaps the vote result itself. It seems to be clear that Angela is on her way out, and gets 3 of the first 4 votes, but then we hear four votes for Morgan and Morgan is out!

In retrospect it makes sense, but the move was not telegraphed by featuring Morgan heavily in the episode.

Now, the camera lingers on Libby like she’s Benedict Arnold and Judas rolled into one, but really it makes more sense that she stuck with James and Laurel for now. Morgan is a good sport, but she does say “Don’t trust the cute blonde” on the way out.

The Morgan votes were: James, Laurel, Libby, and Donathan, whom both I and the show had completely forgotten about.

The Angela votes were Wendell, Domenick, and Morgan, and the Libby vote was by Angela.

The players are done, but there’s one thing left for us viewers: to see who Morgan is going to will her Legacy Advantage to. It’s Domenick, who Morgan says was always honest with her. Domenick can’t use it until the round of 13 and there are 17 players left right now, so we’ll see if he lasts long enough to make it an issue.