March 4, 2018

Survivor Ghost Island: Sweaty Sock Rice and Other Bad Decisions

3/04/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

Ancient relics of Survivor failures past make up Survivor Ghost Island where twenty new castaways will need to reverse the curse or face the thought of being an advantage failure of the game. This new season starts with each tribe picking a representative on the fly, who in turns must pick a physical and puzzle person to compete in a challenge to win a shelter building kit. But there's more twists to make this introductory paragraph even longer: after a physical obstacle course, the puzzle will be timed and if time runs out, the tribe loses the fishing supplies initially given. The chosen leader leader has a choice to cancel the puzzle before time runs out to save their fishing supplies, but that gives the other team eggs and flint. So yeah, lots at stake. I'm going to Seinfeld blah blah blah this to say the Naviti tribe leader, Chris, cancels out the puzzle last minute to keep the supplies which gives the Malolo tribe the bonus goodies. The first decision to haunt someone for the season? We shall see.

Malolo (orange tribe) arrives at camp with a group celebratory huddle and then gets right to work building their shelter. This tribe is jam-packed with superfans but perhaps not the strongest of the bunch, including sweet Kentuckian Donathan and overeager Jacob. Jacob makes himself an obvious target very quickly: he loses his shoes in the ocean, is totally obvious about hunting for an Idol, and pours the rice stash into his dirty sock to try to find a clue (it's just a bottle of rice). Naviti is the physically stacked tribe but the tribe is starting with some tension from the start. Construction manager Domenick didn't agree with Chris the Model's decisions on the first challenge, so both have plans to target each other.

The first Immunity Challenge is a strenuous challenge to pull sleds filled with giant puzzle pieces to assemble a big cube. Malolo struggles in the challenge, but Kellyn of Naviti is cool and logical in the puzzle portion to help secure her tribe's victory. Naviti chooses to send Jacob to Ghost Island after he makes it quite obvious that he's the annoying one on the tribe that would be voted out first, which Jacob vocalizes was his plan all along. Dude, keep your strategy a secret. With all his cards on the table and alone on Ghost Island except for lots of props from Survivor seasons past, Jacob smashes the first urn as instructed by the paperwork. Urn #1 reveals a game of chance: wager his next vote for a chance at an advantage. Jacob takes the risk and chooses the correct bamboo tube; he wins Sierra Sarah's Legacy Advantage from Survivor Game Changers, which can save the holder of the advantage at when either 13 or 6 people remain. But to reactive its power, Jacob must will the advantage to a member of the other tribe (he chooses Morgan). Will this be the gesture to form a future alliance?

With Jacob on Ghost Island and immune from the vote, the next physically weakest member of Malolo is Donathan. He decides to turn the target on Gonzalez (AKA Stephanie G), and the women ponder the idea of keeping someone weaker but potentially loyal over the strategic threat that's a physical asset to the tribe. Or maybe it's just Stephanie J asserting her will to the be Sole Stephanie.

Tribal Council time! Probst asks about the unknown entity that is Ghost Island and Gonzalez assumes Jacob is off looking for idols there. Jenna also agrees that Jacob isn't fitting into the tribe and making game mistakes. Donathan expresses nerves of being one of the weakest but Stephanie G says physical strength isn't the only kind of strength needed in this game. Gonzalez is concerned that maybe she hasn't been in all the necessary conversations so she gets up and starts whispering to her allies. Not this again. Listen, I know some viewers love these whisper scrambles; I do not. But this whisper session doesn't help Gonazalez and she become the first player eliminated from the game.

OH WAIT, there's another whole hour to go and the gameplay continues to be bad. Morgan discovers the plan to send a weak player to Ghost Island paid off her her as she receives her Legacy Advantage. Glad it's working out for one side of twist, because Jacob has really botched the whole experience. Jacob constructs a fake idol and an elaborate lie about his time on Ghost Island. Jacob shares with the tribe his intent to play his idol at the next Tribal Council to rid himself of such a burden, but Brendon calls Jacob's bluff when he doesn't have the parchment with the rules. Domenick's late night insomnia leads to him finding Andrea's "tainted" idol from Survivor: Caramoan in a tree hole on Naviti beach. Domenick tries to start fresh and create trust with Chris, so he shares with Chris a fake idol but uses the real idol note. Chris senses something is off considering initially Domenick denied having having an idol but also he doesn't want to be screwed over, so he'll roll with it.

To win the next Immunity Challenge, the tribe needs to complete a water-based obstacle course, release buoys from an underwater cage, then shoot the marked buoys into a basket. Malolo loses immunity for a second time after falling behind in unlocking the buoys (James is winded and Donathan has to be motivated by his team to be a hero and get back in the damn water). Naviti continues their strategy of sending the weakest to Ghost Island, and chooses Donathan which crushes Jacob's soul. Donathan's smashed urn reveals diddly but he realizes he's becoming more confident in himself already. Back at Malolo, James takes ownership for losing the challenge for the tribe but overall the tribe is still planning to take out Jacob. Stephanie befriends Jacob to try and make him feel safe, and it works so well that Jacob admits he lied about the idol and gave Morgan the Legacy Advantage. Given the insane amount of trust Jacob demonstrated to her, Stephanie ponders the idea to Jenna of keeping Jacob and booting a strong guy (Michael) before a swap happens.

Tribal council time again! James owns his challenge failure but it's a brief discussion before moving on to Jacob's tall tales of Ghost Island. There's an "information imbalance" and Probst jumps upon his new favorite alliteration buzzword which surely will come up more this season. Jacob appreciates the tribe is trusting and kind to him, maintaining his extremely hyperbolic stance on his tribemates and tribe. But he also knows this might all be in vain and he might have been left out. Michael hopes to keep the tribe strong so they don't lose momentum, but Brendon admits the days keeping the strong around on Survivor are a thing of the past. As the tribe gets up to vote, Brendon whispers to Michael that he thinks they are being setup. Jacob votes for Michael and a few votes are cast in James' direction in case an idol is played, but it's superfan Jacob whose Survivor dreams end on day six.

[All images credited to CBS]