“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

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