Survivor: Ghost Island

Survivor: Ghost Island — “Gabriel Cade: Survivor Rap God”

Logan Saunders recaps episode 8 of Survivor: Ghost Island ahead of episode 9.

NOTE: Logan will not be blogging again until episode 13 due to a three-week vacation to South America.





LAVITA (Not to be confused with Loveita from BBCAN4 or that song by Iron Butterfly)















Previously on Survivor: After a surprise switch, Dom was free of his biggest enemy and he was armed with a real idol, a fake idol, and a Legacy Idol. Domenick was also in control of the vote. At Tribal Council, Domenick made his decision and broke tribal lines.

Thirteen are left; who will be voted out tonight?



DAY 20

For the first time in 36 seasons, we just blatantly cut to the merge. Remember when we had ambassadors?

Kellyn has a generic confessional.



DAY 20

The tribe sees the other two boats dock on the beach.

DOM: It’s great to see Wendell. Have somebody reasonable and intelligent to talk to.

Libby, Dom, and Chelsea may or may not feel insulted by this.

DOM: My number one nemesis. He just won’t go away. I hope Chris isn’t looking to cut my throat at this point in the game.

When you feel that way about somebody, they usually feel the same way about you.

Michael wants to be the youngest winner ever as everyone follows a map up a really cool winding wooden stairwell to a picnic at a beach.

Everyone takes a black buff from a seat at the merge feast. Dom cuts off Kellyn’s confessional about eating people after eating food as he wants to make a speech.

DOM: I hope to strengthen some of the old relationships that weren’t as strong as they were.

Dom recaps all of his bonds heading into the second half. He views Chris as a wildcard.


Life is supposed to be rich

Don’t make it cheaper

Like Lebron in the finals

I won’t take a breather

Guess what I was smoking when I wrote this

What was it?

A reefer?

The merge is over. Des thinks she is back to her original weight. Chris can barely even talk. He thinks his buff feels weird and sees a secret advantage inside of it. Wow. Secret advantages are everywhere in Survivor.

Chris sneaks over to Tree Mail where his secret advantage awaits. It’s a clue to an idol that can only be used at the next Tribal Council and possibly more. A boat will wait to take him to Ghost Island in the middle of the night.

People joked about this five years ago, but we’re at a stage in Survivor where people will literally find an advantage underneath their seat. It finally happened. Chris chose the right seat at a table.

I really wish Chelsea had found this seat to see how production would have edited it.

CHRIS: You have to go all-in [at this point] when you’re a serious threat like me.

A -serious- threat? I dunno about that.

Wendell, Dom, Chelsea, and Kellyn discuss if they can stay Naviti Strong and eliminate Michael or Libby.

WENDELL: I want it Easy Peasy Naviti.

I prefer Wendell’s flow over Chris’ flow.

Wendell wants to sit down with Chris and Dom together and act as a bridge like Neville Chamberlain except replace the Sudetenland with Malolo.

WENDELL: It’s like the Cold War. . .these two guys can blow up the world if they want. . .I like Dom. He’s my guy in this. . .maybe I’ll learn this is impossible and we have to go the nuclear option.

Dom and Chris talk with Wendell sitting awkwardly to the side. Dom offers to work together temporarily and kill each other later.

CHRIS: I haven’t made up my mind on anything.

WENDELL: What about somebody sitting over there? Would you be opposed to any of those three? Any of those three?

(The three are Libby, Jenna, and Michael.)

CHRIS: I don’t know anybody yet.

WENDELL: I just pointed to three people on the beach, but if you’re not willing to say ‘yes’ to any of them–

CHRIS: I can’t say ‘yes’ to any of them.

We cut to a confessional.

CHRIS: Domenick and Wendell were pitching me BS. I’m too suave-eh to just buy it. They want to make me their friend so they can slash me.

Oh my god. Chris is as bad of a Survivor player as I expected when I wrote my pre-season cast assessment. He. Is. Terrible. At. Survivor.

Alright, folks. Two lessons when you’re on Survivor:

NUMBER ONE: If two people ask you to vote somebody out, you always agree to it.

NUMBER TWO: If you don’t want to agree to vote out their target because you believe are a terrible liar and/or aren’t thinking straight, you ALWAYS offer an alternative name to show you are willing to work with them.

Not only did Chris refuse to agree to any of the three names Wendell and Dom pitched, but he refused to offer a name in return.

That means Chris is guaranteeing that Dom and Wendell, an alliance he suspects of having at least one person holding an idol, is going to come after him.

Even if you’re not intending to align with them, just lie for now and earn just enough trust to blindside him. You limited your options for no reason at all.

Guess what Dom and Wendell decide to do? They’re going after the one guy who doesn’t want to ally with them. What a shocker! It’s like they want to keep people in the game who have expressed an interest to work with them moving forward.




It’s the middle of the night. Chris still has his shoes on. I wish production had pots and pans scattered around camp for Chris to trip over and wake everyone up and falls face-first onto a python.

Sadly that doesn’t happen as Chris gets into the boat.

CHRIS: I got into the boat unscathed. I’d like to think I am pretty clutch, actually.

Yes, Chris. By the end of this episode, everyone will be thinking you are clutch like Michael Jordan or Sammy Sosa.

Chris follows the torches to pick up J.T.’s hidden immunity idol from Game Changers in 2017. I love how they specify 2017 since it’s the same year as when Ghost Island was filmed.

Chris discovers the fifth hidden immunity idol is only good at the next Tribal Council unless he risks his vote to play a familiar game of bamboo chute chance. Wager your vote to choose the correct bamboo chute and extend it by one Tribal Council. You can do it four additional times until you pull the ‘NO VOTE’ from one of the bamboo chutes.

Chris is gonna risk his vote on the first bamboo chute. He succeeds.

CHRIS: Survivor is not designed to let you coast.

Well. . .not for Chris to coast.

He decides to risk it again and receives the ‘NO VOTE’ slip. It doesn’t matter since it is a massive group of thirteen players. As if it is going to come down to a 7-6 vote.

CHRIS: I don’t want to be as cocky as J.T. . .I don’t want to be that guy sent home who has an idol and didn’t use it. I want to reverse the curse. I’m going to have it in my pocket and ready to rock it.

It should have lost more potency for that rap alone.



DAY 21

Chris asks Dom if the coffee is coming after Dom nearly burns his hand. He notes Chris is really tired and lays back to have his beauty sleep. It’s like he went out last night and barely slept.

Dom and Libby are talking on the beach. Dom reassures her that either he or Chris will go home.

Meanwhile, Chris tells everyone at camp that Dom has a real idol other than his fake shell idol. Both guys are constantly talking trash about each other whenever one of them is absent.

CHRIS: Dom’s a loser.

DOM: He is an idiot. He’s just a joke. He is a joke because some of the things that come out of his mouth are ridiculous.


I would love to compare myself to like the Dwayne Wades.

I started from the bottom

And now I’m here.

. . .

. . .

That’s Drake. Not Dwayne Wade.


Life is full of opportunities

Like D-Wade is prime

I’m jumping on him

With toothbrushes.

Dear God. What does Robin of Batman & Robin and Chris have in common? They both have no bars.

Libby and Jenna talk after Dom walks away. Libby doesn’t think Chris would ever lie, and is far more truthful and loyal in contrast to Dom. Jenna thinks everyone else will need their numbers in the future. We see Libby do an evil wink that has an added sound effect in there.



DAY 22

Probst takes back both tribal immunity idols. The talisman is what they covet. For their challenge, they will stand on a narrow beam with a statue on a pole that they balance over their head. At regular intervals, they will move along the increasingly narrow beam, thus making it more difficult. Once the statue falls, they’re out of the challenge.

Everyone is assigned to a beam and the poles are raised above their head. Dom’s face is turning into a beet. Jenna is out early. Donathan quickly follows. Those are two people who won’t be targeted anytime soon.

Desiree is out. The wind is picking up because. . .Fiji. Angela drops.


It’s time to move further down the beam. Most people are resting it on their head while others have it hoisted above their head. Sebastian drops.


They must now get into the very last section of the beam that has a couple inches of red paint. Probst updates how far away they are from it.

Dom drops. He can’t make the transition. Neither can Michael. Kellyn makes the transition. Chris is out too. Laurel drops. Wendell is down to five seconds and can’t do it.

It’s just Kellyn, Chelsea, and Libby. The wind increases. It’s like some of the endurance challenges in Australian Survivor. Now we need rain.

Chelsea drops, but because she swore, her elimination is in complete silence.

Both poles are wobbly. Kellyn looks like she is ready to cry. Libby’s pole is really bending and bouncing. The statue falls. Kellyn wins the first individual challenge of the season and collapses to the ground. Everyone cheers her on. The talisman is hers.

She is proud of being immune but is nervous because “Dom and Chris Noble” are at each other’s throats.

Why is Dom’s last name not specified? Why does Chris Noble earn that distinction?



DAY 22

Chris is happy for Kellyn’s victory.

CHRIS: Are we just going to sit here and be awkward or are we going to play the game?

Well, considering the conversation between you, Dom, and Wendell, you already had the former covered.

Chris takes everyone except Dom and Wendell on an expedition to the water well. I don’t think eleven people have gathered at the water well before. Ben is nearby and overhears he might be targeted.

Chris asks everyone to split the vote between Dom and Wendell.

CHRIS: I mean. . .how is this not a great deal for everybody?

Maybe they want to take out the guy who never went to Tribal Council pre-merge and single-handedly won multiple challenges for his tribe over a guy who belly-flopped into the water.

Dom and Wendell meanwhile are ready to oust Chris. Wendell is tired of Chris’ ego and tells Dom he has an idol and willing to play it. Yes, all three guys planning to receive votes have four idols between them.

Donathan’s eyes light up as he tells Dom that they want to blindside Chris. Donathan says not to approach Jenna and Libby because those two will bluff them. Malolo ain’t united.

Wendell pitches to Libby, Sebastian, and some other person.

LIBBY: It feels really good to be safe tonight.

Libby will nearly eat those words. Oh, how close she is to going home this round.

Kellyn, Angela, Desiree, and Chelsea are at the water well. They realize if the four of them band together that they can get rid of a more subtle threat like Libby. The others are so split between Chris, Dom, and Wendell then they can just eliminate whoever the hell they want. There is no rule that any of the three guys have to be voted out.

Dom and Wendell assume the rivalry is going to end tonight. Wendell doesn’t think Chris has an idol, but Dom assumes there are a lot of items in play. Try five idols and an Extra Vote, Dom.





Chris hasn’t been to Tribal Council and therefore must dip his torch to get fire. If he plays his idol, he will eventually go twenty-five days without being vulnerable and will close in on Joe’s record.

Donathan summarizes the various connections. Sebastian is asked a question and looks REALLY REALLY stoned when the camera cuts to him. I have no idea why editors used this shot. It is obviously meant to be a joke.

SEBASTIAN: It might be a different story when you get back to the filet table and have a beer with him.

Such unusual analogies.

Domenick recaps his rivalry with Chris all the way from day one and how Chris interrogated him about the idol. He pulls out the seashell idol which Chris says is the fake one. Probst applauds after Dom’s story.

Chris then brings up the attempted assassination of Angela. Wendell says Chris jumped ship first right when the swap happened. Dom is blown away all of this is an open discussion.

DOM: I know I’m definitely on the hot plate.

Yeah, I don’t know if that’s the expression. How many people are sitting on the hot plate tonight?

The water well expedition with eleven people was also brought up. Chris thinks everyone is comfortable with him in the group. Dom suspects Wendell will also be receiving votes.

PROBST: Chris. . .what do you do to make sure it’s not you tonight?

Play an idol that’s only good for this Tribal Council and the next?

PROBST: It’s time to vote. Chris, you’re up.

DOM: Go get em, buddy.

CHRIS: Thanks, Bub.

Chris casts a no vote.

DOM (voting CHRIS NOBLE): CHRIS NOBLE! Been a pleasure serving you coffee for twenty-two days.

WENDELL (voting CHRIS The Rapper): We won a lot together. Respect for that. But socially you don’t know what you’re doing. Stop saying ‘I’ so much. I hope you start listening to people. Oh yeah, and finally, somebody had to say it so I’ll say it. Stop rapping. You’re trash. At rapping. You’re garbage at rapping. You can’t rap. You have no bars. Put the mic down, bro. Put the pen down, bro. Use an eraser.

That was brilliant.

If anybody has a hidden immunity idol, and all three of you want to play it, now would be the time to do so. Wendell plays with his toothpick until Domenick stands up.

Dom pulls out his Legacy Idol. Pardon me, the Sierra Dawn Thomas Legacy Idol. He plays it for himself tonight. Wendell doesn’t play his idol.

Chris’ jaw is open but he remains seated. He remains seated when his biggest target is immune.










Chris shakes hands with Dom. He nearly makes it all the way to Jeff without a torch.

Chris, the tribe has spoken.


Next Time on Survivor: When you’re left in the dark and not sure who to trust, you’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize.

Chris Noble a.k.a. The Noble One and J.T. a.k.a. J.T. have both been blindsided with that idol. I don’t think it is cursed since both guys are prone to not reading the social dynamics around them well on their own.


I waited a couple days to see Chris’ reaction in exit interviews. Chris is still maintaining that not playing the idol in this scenario was a worthy risk.

Here’s why that doesn’t make sense: If you are in the majority for this vote, then there is a really good chance you don’t need your idol at the next TC anyway. So the only scenario where you need to play an idol with such a limited expiration date is to do it that night.

Chris left himself defenseless. Dom played an idol and he couldn’t cast a vote. What scenario in the world does Chris need to have to play an idol that is worse than the one that played out tonight?

Furthermore, Chris hasn’t been able to test anyone’s loyalty to him yet this game. Playing an idol ensures he gets a preview into who is honest and dishonest at Tribal Council. He truly didn’t have any information about anyone’s position in the game.

Of course, none of this is shocking coming from Chris. We all know what I wrote pre-season about him. He was going to be clueless socially and strategically and was going to be out at either his first or second Tribal Council. Thankfully his first trip to Tribal Council didn’t happen until the eighth round to ensure we saw as much of Chris’ goofy antics as possible. The Survivor Gods were generous in that regard. This was the perfect episode for Chris to be voted out.

While this episode had 90% of the footage focused on Dom, Wendell, and Chris, there were signs that whoever remains doesn’t exactly hold power. The Naviti’s contemplated breaking off and wiping out Malolos anyway, and the Malolos have all gone in different directions figuring out where the numbers are. If Dom gets voted out next round, I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever. In fact, it is what I am expecting.

Kellyn is the only female player with a reasonable amount of content that is competitive with the men; Sebastian is the only male player with a minimal amount of content that is competitive with the women. Jenna has been randomly inserted into scenes that don’t seem to have anything to do with her. I’d keep an eye out on that. Some are saying Jenna’s edit is a decoy, but it is a lot of effort for a decoy. Perhaps she and Wendell are two of the Final Three slots?

The way Donathan’s eyes lit up when talking about blindsiding Chris scares the crap out of me. There is a devious side to the man from Kentucky.

The immunity challenge is new but also extremely similar to a lot of ones we have seen over the past few seasons. Producers can do better.

I am hoping Dom goes soon because we have a lot of under-edited players who are overdue to be in the spotlight. If the rest of the season is just the Domenick Show then I think a lot of people will not have much praise for this season. Having him go home either this round or the next is the perfect round for him to go. If not, it’ll enter the territory of it being overkill.

Well, in an episode focused on just three people, I really don’t have too much to dissect. Wendell was the voice of reason this episode and Chris. . .wasn’t. He didn’t crush it like Sammy Sosa. He crushed it about as much as Craig Grebeck.

Chris’ rapping is worse than my Amazing Race Asia rap parodies about Allan Wu. In fact, Chris’ rapping is so whack that Gabriel Cade, the teddy-bear-loving commune-raised kid from Survivor: Marquesas is still the Survivor Rap God. Chris tried to dethrone him but fell into the same pit as the members of LFO and Jamie Kennedy from Malibu’s Most Wanted.

Alright. That does it for me for this week. . .and possibly the next three weeks! I am off to South America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Panama) on Monday and will be returning by episode 13. When I return there will be some catching up to do not only on this season but also on New Zealand Survivor! The quirkiest Survivor franchise which I am happy to see come back for a second season! Matt Chisholm is my favorite Survivor host. Whose pizza will he be stealing this year?

P.S. What happened to that whole leadership thing on day one? Did that impact what happened to Brendan and Chris at all? Because that was relevant for about two seconds this season. I wish it was brought up for future decisions like in Survivor: Samoa.

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