Logan Saunders recaps episode 6 of Survivor: Ghost Island ahead of episode 7.
SURVIVOR: GHOST ISLAND EPISODE 6
JAMES–WE HARDLY YANUYE
Previously on Survivor: At the Naviti tribe, there was a war between Chris and Domenick, and original Naviti were turning on each other (and not in a good way).
The Malolo tribe was facing TC, and the original Naviti were a united front against Stephanie, Michael, and Jenna. At TC, the Naviti alliance stayed strong leaving Jenna and Michael fighting to stay alive.
Fifteen are left; who will be #swapscrewed tonight?
No TC reaction. No camp life. We flash immediately to James’ agony when he sees Stephanie was voted out.
Probst doesn’t ask everyone how comfortable they are feeling. The buffs are immediately dropped.
JAMES: Oh man.
Now Probst plays Q&A as he asks Michael about the tribe swap after suffering from a losing streak. Mike views it as his saving grace; James says it is going to be a race for everyone to make it to the merge.
For some reason, I was thinking about how they switched tribes in Survivor: Guatemala and how elaborate they were with having fun mini-games and questions about their own tribes. Or Gabon where you ranked your whole tribe from best player to worst player.
For the past several seasons it’s just ‘pick a random buff and see what the hell happens’. It gets tedious after a while.
NOTE: Swapping twice pre-merge is always reserved for returnee seasons. Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless you make the argument that the merge episode for Fiji was actually the second swap, this is the first non-returnee season to utilize this twist.
Desiree is cringing and hope fate takes care of her.
Everyone is instructed to open their buff. A green color emerges. We’re indeed going to three tribes of five.
Lots of talking about Donathan feels he could be f–ked and Michael feels his situation still sucks but views it as being better than before.
Sebastian is confident they’ll win every challenge. Now they have Chris’ coordination, Wendell’s well-roundedness, Laurel’s athleticism and puzzle mastery, and Jenna’s. .presence after losing four out of five immunity challenges.
Jenna wants to talk about furniture with Wendell. Ah, already making bonds with the one player you don’t really know.
Wendell saves a shell for Sebastian. It’s his shell.
WENDELL: It smells horrendous.
SEBASTIAN: It’s my shell.
Sebastian likes his dead conch.
SEBASTIAN: Wendell has been my buddy who has never been my buddy that has always been hanging around with Domenick.
Wendell is relieved he doesn’t have to manage two giant egos in the form of Chris and Domenick. Now he just gets to play with Chris on a team separate from Dom. Of course, it comes at a price.
SEBASTIAN: Laurel, you used to play volleyball?
LAUREL: Yeah, you?
LAUREL: Looks like you’ve played–
(CHRIS walks over.)
CHRIS: So did I! Four-time MVP! I kayaked through Honduras and the Amazon!
Laurel lays around as she hears Chris talk about being a motivational speaker as she rolls her eyes.
CHRIS: I haven’t told people I model. .except Libby.
And now Laurel. .and crews.
Laurel couldn’t give less of a crap about all of Chris’ boasting Ben Wade style. She gossips about it with Jenna. As long as Chris keeps contributing to victories, they’re willing to put up with it until the merge.
I have a feeling this has been the attitude since day one.
The whole tribe is united to the merge as they hang out in the shelter! Hell yeah!
That ends quickly as James and Angela inform the other three about the conspiracy to eliminate Angela.
ANGELA: I was fifty shades of pissed off.
It’s actually a lot better than other things that are fifty shades.
Michael likes to hear all of the stories from Naviti 2.0. Eventually he discusses the previous Malolo stories with James. James crosses his fingers that Angela will feel indebted to Naviti 1.0.
BRADLEY: Coming back to the Naviti beach was like going to a resort after living in a swamp. . .it honestly felt like we won a reward.
Bradley never warmed up to the old Malolo camp. Just wait until he finds out about the sock-laden rice.
Chelsea is crying because the coffee makes her feel like being at home, and hadn’t eaten anything for two days. More tears.
Dom feels great to not have Chris around and can let his hair down. .is there any hair that reaches past the middle of the back of his head?
Dom brags about his fake idol to all four standing around. He likes having Donathan, Brad, and Chelsea on a tribe with him. He describes Libby as a devil in an angel’s body.
DOM: Libby has to go. She has to go even more than Chris has to go.
Dom informs Brad has a seductive power and will stab anyone in the back. For two minutes straight it’s a series of shots of Libby strolling casually through the water.
BRAD: I think I’m a little better than I thought I was. .well, I always thought I was fantastic, but maybe I am fantastic as I think I am and am playing an A+ game.
Well, Bradley is being edited for an epic downfall later on in the season. For now, he and Dom shall continue to click.
We skip ahead two days.
NOTE: Despite Angela and Libby being discussed extensively, they had no confessionals. It was all from Dom’s, Brad’s, James’, and Michael’s perspectives.
TRIBAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #6
A whole new tribal immunity is unveiled.
One person will be the caller; the other four will be blindfolded. They will be led to three bags of puzzle pieces. Once all three bags are retrieved, they will direct their still-blindfolded tribemates to solve the puzzle. It’s pretty much identical to the format of the blindfold challenge in Millennials vs. Gen X.
Desiree, Domenick, and Wendell are the callers.
Chelsea and Michael fight over a bag despite being on the opposite tribe because Donathan untied the wrong bag. Yikes. That was a mess. Malolo shoots up to two bags while Naviti has nothing. Chelsea and Donathan untie another bag. Donathan is atrocious at following directions. Particularly when Dom is shouting ‘DONATHAN, NO! NO! DONATHAN!’
Yanuya has one bag. Malolo has two. Naviti has nothing. Dom can’t figure out how to go under a log rather than over it.
Sebastian and Chris are waiting to hear from Wendell as they backtrack to their bag in a chest. Michael stumbles over his tribe’s chest.
Libby takes a huge hit on the chin from the same log that Donathan doesn’t know how to use. Naviti is doing a terrible job at listening to Dom. Is his voice that weak?
Michael and James are painfully crashing into barrels.
Malolo has all three bags as Desiree is allowed to jump off and lead everyone to the puzzle table at the end of the field. They have to go through the sawdust piles under the logs for the third and final time.
Yanuya has the final bag. About a minute later is Naviti as Chelsea’s mouth absolutely shatters against the pole at the start of the challenge. Ouch. She really needs a coffee.
Yanuya is at the puzzle table; he notices only two bags are with them. He is frantic and sees they left a bag behind. It’s as if his tribemates couldn’t see it. He has to run back.
PROBST: A-huge-setback for Yanuya!
I dunno. I think Wendell lost no more than thirty seconds.
Desiree, who describes herself as being bad at puzzles, is in charge of directing a blindfolded tribe to solve a puzzle. Angela and Kellyn ask her who she was talking to at specific points.
Yanuya is first to solve the puzzle after Probst’s repetitive commentary.
Domenick and Desiree are screaming at their tribe. Dom’s screaming works as Naviti wins immunity.
For the fifth time in six rounds, Malolo, regardless of who is on this tribe, is going to TC.
Probst praises Wendell’s efforts. Naviti also gets their idol.
Meanwhile, he has nothing to say to Desiree. Michael is annoyed he is going to his fifth TC out of six.
MICHAEL: This season is all about reversing curses. Not creating new ones!
Even when nobody goes to Ghost Island we get a ‘reverse the curse’ reference. Sigh.
Desiree cries and cries as she apologizes to everyone in the shelter. Kellyn and Angela are in tears. Desiree is used to exceeding expectations in life and has horrendously failed.
Kellyn asks Desiree and Angela to vote for James. They both agree.
DESIREE: It’s either James or me. .nobody feels like they have a connection to James.
James and Michael discuss how Desiree choked. Michael requests for James to use his bond to pull over Angela.
James talks about his Korean background and adapting to his new American culture when he was sixteen. This transitions into him talking to Angela. He reassures her he won’t have her at the bottom of his alliance. We now get insight into Angela’s military background, divorce, and all of the struggles that come along with that.
Angela appreciates James’ genuine nature and his trustworthiness. Angela is evaluating who she can trust more to take her further.
Kellyn and Angela are hanging out on the beach as a shark chills with ’em. Kellyn reminds her of how strong old Naviti was on New Malolo and wants her with them. Kellyn is super terrified of having Angela dictate tonight.
KELLYN: I don’t think she even understands what is going on in her own head.
That’s a tough quote for Angela to hear when she is watching this at home.
TRIBAL COUNCIL #6
Probst says Malolo is one of the worst tribes statistically. .even if there have been three separate iterations of it.
Desiree manages to string about seven or eight inspirational quotes into one response to a question.
It’s a discussion of long-term versus short-term game. When you merge or swap in another two rounds, I have a feeling short-term game will triumph.
Kellyn wants to bring up the Naviti-Malolo bonds while James says the tribal divisions are random and used the word ‘myopic’.
Everyone is asked if they go with their head or their heart in real life. Angela is the only one to answer heart. Kellyn somehow goes with ‘None of the Above’ and says she goes with her gut.
We go to vote. Desiree votes James. James votes Desiree. This is all clearly coming down to Angela’s vote.
FIRST VOTE: James
SECOND VOTE: Desiree
THIRD VOTE: JAMES 🙁
FOURTH VOTE: James
James was not expecting that unanimous vote. He is really slow to get out of his seat for some reason. I don’t know what that was all about. He wishes everyone good luck and exits on his own.
Michael is wondering how the hell he is still alive in this game.
Next Time on Survivor: There’s fire on Malolo and fury at Naviti.
Morgan and Stephanie were never in danger of going home prior to the first swap.
James was never in danger of going home prior to the second swap.
James was able to adapt to South Korea and America, but couldn’t adapt to the islands of Fiji.
I thought he would do very well but perhaps his very humble, physically gifted, and likable nature made him an ideal candidate to be eliminated prior to a merge. He was also greatly hampered by the fact that his one original Malolo member on the new tribe was never his ally from the beginning. Something tells me Michael viewed James the same way as he viewed Kellyn, Angela, and Desiree on his tribe.
With that being said, we now have a single 18-year-old man on a tribe with three women. Considering Michael repeated how he wanted to be flirtatious prior to the start of this season, this was his best case scenario.
What will happen if Malolo goes to another Tribal Council? I think they would eliminate Michael. Kellyn and Desiree are too loyal to Naviti and don’t feel it is necessary to boot Angela. Without Chris and Dom’s rivalry as a distraction at camp, it makes cooperation a relatively easy goal to attain.
Michael will be super pissed if he doesn’t make merge because he went to six of the seven pre-merge Tribal Councils.
Speaking of original Malolo, I am sure editors used Jacob’s “Greatest Survivor Tribe Ever!” quote repeatedly because half of the tribe has gone home in six episodes. Gonzalez, Jacob, Brendan, Stephanie, and now James.
No Ghost Island this episode despite there being thirteen urns. This means one will be used in the finale cycle, I presume.
When you have tribes voting based on very short-term goals because of how early the merge occurs and how frequently switches occurs, the vote-offs have quickly lost their power. If Desiree, James, Michael, Angela, or Kellyn had gone home tonight, I would’ve been thinking “I don’t disagree with that decision. Who gives a damn when they merge after the next Tribal Council anyway”.
Chris has yet to step into Tribal Council. If we have a delayed merge, he could be chasing down Survivor history. I believe skipping out on seven consecutive Tribal Councils is still the record.
Yanuya sounds like a tribe named by Frank Trigg.
I wish somebody named Noah was on this season to add to the confusion.
I like how Jenna and Sebastian’s bond has some long-term relevance. I could be missing the mark on this, but I am under the impression that Jenna is receiving a winner’s edit. A lot of unnecessary footage has gone her way, and she is forming storylines along the way.
I am curious to see what happens when she starts interacting with Domenick.
I like how Chris’ edit is becoming more and more absurd. While many of us were hoping he was gone by episode four, the fact he is a super athlete who is also a pro at one-upsmanship is hilarious to watch. You know a guy’s ego is growing more and more each week when you know he is only a few days removed from his first freestyle rap.
He is dead at the merge, but we really need to see him win individual immunity a couple of times to frustrate every single player in the game.
When you’re on a tribe of just five, Chris’ antics gets magnified that much more.
And yes, we’ve seen A LOT of time invested in the Chris vs. Domenick rivalry. There better be a big payoff or viewers will be accusing production of being biased towards their male players once more.
These are the same viewers who can’t help but notice Chelsea, Angela, and Libby are very underedited. And we sure ain’t getting that much more additional airtime from Desiree, Jenna, and Laurel since the start of the season.
In fact, the only major female character still left in the game is Kellyn. Kellyn also has had a couple of mild episodes for content.
There is an idol on Malolo and an idol on Yanuya that has yet to be found. I assume at least one has to be found next episode, and whichever idol isn’t found will be hosting the merged camp in the following week to ensure that idol is found.
Libby’s and Chelsea’s days are numbered. Chelsea received one confessional about coffee and then a ton of immunity challenge content where she was screwing things up for Naviti. Libby’s name was being trash-talked constantly but yet we didn’t hear her perspective whatsoever.
Not one person is targeting Donathan. That kid is so safe until people start thinking about the jury phase once we get down to the last five or six players.
Wendell is friends with everyone. A lot of people are agreeing with Probst’s pre-season assessment that this guy has a very good shot at winning. He has strong bonds with both Dom and Chris, and I don’t think he’ll be penalized strategically in terms of which side he decides to take.
Bradley has gone from three-episode kingpin on Malolo to retreating back to being one of Dom’s sidekicks on Naviti.
It is a shame that Dom’s personality makes him impossible to order around to the point a guy like Bradley has no choice but to consult with him as to what they always do strategically.
At least Bradley produces the unexpected soundbites.
If Yanuya goes to Tribal Council before the merge, I will be stunned. That is a tribe with absolutely no weaknesses.
I would say Malolo is most likely to return once more and Naviti is not terribly far behind. Remember that Naviti has Donathan, Chelsea, and Libby who aren’t exactly the best for challenges. I don’t care how much CrossFit Domenick does on a regular basis.
Malolo seems like a tribe composed of four people who would never interact with each other. Could you picture a real life situation where James, Desiree, Michael, Angela, and Kellyn all click and hang out with one another? It’s part of what makes Survivor what it is–force a group of people to awkwardly spend time together under severe conditions.
Naviti should have some fun conflict. Donathan is standing up for himself a lot more, Domenick gets bored easily within the game, Bradley loves conflict, and Chelsea cries while drinking coffee. There’s no way the camp will be peaceful for long.
The only way Yanuya gets any airtime is if Chris jumps in a conversation and reveals that not only is he a model, volleyball player, baseball player, actor, carpenter, and saxophone musician, but he is also a top-ranked cherry stem tie master which will be brought up 2.4 seconds after Jenna reveals she has that exact talent.
Otherwise, Yanuya should be invisible.
In all seriousness, at least one idol is being found next week. Then wait for one more for the individual advantages to start rolling in.
P.S. I just watched the season premiere of De Mol 6 this week (Belgian Mole). The average age of their contestants is 37.7. It is the oldest of pretty much any reality show ever. Ghost Island could learn a lesson from that.