Archive | April, 2018

“I hope this doesn’t bite me later.” Survivor: Ghost Island April 25 2018 recap

26 Apr

Everyone is hungry at the start of this episode,and Desiree,whose background we don’t know much about, tells us that she has experience being hungry because she was once homeless.

As for her place in the game, she sees herself at the bottom of the original Naviti (purple) group, so she’s ready to take out a Naviti member. And she says as much to Jenna, Donathan, and Laurel. Also,  Desiree says Angela and Chelsea would go along with this.

After the reward challenge Angela is sent to Ghost Island. Like Kellyn, she  gets to play a game than has a 2/3 chance to win. Unfortunately she does not win.

We see a bunch of people enjoying a meal on a grassy hilltop in Fiji with a helicopter parked nearby. A group date on The Bachelor? No, it’s the winners of the reward challenge. And soon we see Kellyn tell us that the game is going great for her and everything is falling into place. That’s usually not a good thing on Survivor.

Back at camp, Laurel tells Domenick about Desiree’s plan. Why she does this I’m not sure. When Kellyn is back from the reward, Domenick looks her up and tells her the news.

Meanwhile, Michael goes off to look for an idol. Since he’s obviously in trouble given the results of the last tribal council, he doesn’t have much to lose. Donathan comes along to help. But it’s actually Donathan who soon finds an idol. We soon find out that this was Scot’s idol from Survivor: Kaoh Rong, though having looked it up in this wonderful blog  I see that the idol was not Scot’s but Jason’s, though Scot did leave the game with the idol in his pocket, in what I still think was the best Survivor blindside of all time.

While this idol and the one Tai had in Kaoh Rong could be combined to make a “super-idol,” this one needs to be combined with another one just to make a normal idol. And Donathan finds out the other half is under the center of their shelter. (Oddly, though he’s searching along with Michael, it appears he doesn’t tell Michael about this).

So Donathan goes back to camp, plops down in the center of the shelter, and waits for an opening. But he’s never alone. So finally when Jenna and Michael come around, he whispers to them about what’s happening. Michael feels around under the bamboo, finds it, and hands it to Donathan. And Donathan exults to us that he found two idols. Then again, Donathan is the guy who earlier in the season refused to dive underwater until the others spent five minutes heaping shame on him, then told us later how courageous he was!

The challenge involves balancing a ball, and Chelsea wins, in her only shining moment of the season to date. And now we hear from Desiree that Kellyn is the one she wants to target. Kellyn confronts Desiree and Chelsea about the rumor she has heard, and they both deny it, very plausibly at that!

This was the critical juncture. What Desiree should have done here was go back to Laurel, Jenna, and Donathan and say “the plan is now definitely on and tonight is the night to make the move”. But that’s not what she does. Instead, she confronts Laurel (with others nearby) about blabbing out her secret, and then announces that the earlier conversation about Des wanting to take out a Naviti member never happened at all!

The problem is, now the former Orange tribe members have no incentive to work with Des, since she’s not voting with them after all. But they do have a great reason to point fingers at Des, since that could take the target off of Michael! And they basically spend the rest of the episode on such finger-pointing.

Not that Kellyn has given up the Michael idea, in fact she stridently tells Domenick that they need to get Michael out. (Kellyn has done two things this season: scowl and talk about keeping Naviti strong.)

All of tribal council is about whether or not Desiree lied. When it’s time to vote, Angela can only show the camera her “no vote” card. But it doesn’t matter as only two votes are for Michael and all the rest are for Desiree, who will join the jury.

Actually I might be wrong about “no vote” not mattering. Chelsea was the only vote for Michael except for Desiree, and I’m sure Chelsea will be wondering why a third vote from Angela wasn’t in there.

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

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

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


“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)

“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