First off, I’m sorry for being late in posting this. I started writing it last night, right around the same time that it started to rain. The power went off around midnight and, when I left for work this morning, it still hadn’t come back on! I finished this at work.
Well, it’s time for another season of Survivor! I just got finished watching the 1st episode of season 36. Can you believe how long Survivor has been around? I was still in school when it started and now, 18 years later, I still love this show. Sometimes, it’s great. Sometimes, it’s frustrating. But, it’s never boring.
Of course, every season of Survivor has to have a gimmick. This season, the gimmick is Ghost Island. The idea — and I’m not sure how this is going to really play out — is that, along with not having to go tribal council, tribes that win immunity get to send a player from the opposing tribe to Ghost Island. Being on Ghost Island means that 1) the castaway doesn’t have to go to tribal council with the rest of his tribe and can’t be voted out and 2) the castaway gets a chance to win an advantage that was squandered during a previous season of Survivor. These old items — idols, advantages, and stuff like that — are now cursed because they were improperly used the last time they showed up in the game. By using them correctly, the castaways get a chance to lift the curse.
It’s kind of silly, to be honest. At the same time, it could be fun to see if history repeats itself and if people end up making the same mistakes that were made in the past. Otherwise, to be honest, Ghost Island just seems like a fancier version of Exile Island.
The first episode was two hours long, which means we got two immunity challenges, two tribal councils, and two trips to Exile Island. Unfortunately, the same tribe went to both tribal councils.
Speaking of tribes, here’s who is on each tribe. As always happens during the first episode, only a few castaways got a chance to make an impression.
Malolo Tribe (Orange):
top (l-r) — Jenna, Laurel, Libby, Gonzalez, Stephanie
bottom (l-r) – Brendan, Donathan, Jacob, James, Michael
Stephanie Gonzalez — From the minute Gonzalez first started talking to the camera, I knew she was either going to get voted out first or she was going to win the game. Certainly, she had the determination to win but, unfortunately, she let her paranoia get the better of her. By interrupting tribal so she could whisper in her tribemate’s ear, she confirmed to everyone that she wasn’t particularly trustworthy or stable. And so, Gonzalez became the first to be voted out.
Jacob Derwin — Poor Jacob. I knew he was pretty much doomed from the minute that I first saw him. You don’t want to talk too much on Survivor and Jacob never knew when to shut up. He survived the first Tribal Council because he was on Ghost Island. On Ghost Island, he got the infamous legacy advantage, an advantage that gives immunity to the person holding it but only when there’s only 13 players left in the game. Unfortunately, Jacob had to give the advantage to a member of the other tribe. (He chose Morgan). Jacob then made the mistake of making a fake immunity idol and trying to convince his tribe that he had received it on Ghost Island. No one believed him and Jacob was voted out at the second tribal council.
Jenna Bowman — Jenna has yet to make much of an impression but I’m hoping she wins because Bowmans stick together.
Donathan Hurley — Donathan’s from Kentucky and he talks a lot. He got a lot of screen time during the premiere but he’s probably the weakest physical player left in the game and I’ll be surprised if he makes it to the merge. Donathan was the second player sent to Ghost Island but he received a message telling him that he wasn’t going to receive an advantage. I wonder if his tribemates will believe him when he returns to the beach.
Laurel Johnson — I like Laurel. She appears to be intelligent and, last night, she showed that she’s already thinking in terms of strategy. She knows that she’s not a part of the main clique on her tribe and that she needs to do something about that if she wants to make it to the merge. If she does make it, I think she’ll be contender.
Stephanie Johnson — Stephanie gave Jacob a lot of false hope when she said she might be willing to work with him to take over the tribe. In the end, Stephanie realized her plan wasn’t going to work and Jacob went home. Stephanie seems to be serious about playing the game but I’m not totally convinced that she’s as much of a brilliant strategist as she seems to think that she is.
James Lim — James is an athlete. He seems kind of full of himself, though he was at least honest enough to take responsibility for his tribe losing the second immunity challenge.
Brendan Shapiro — Brendan’s tall and handsome and kinda looks like he should have been a B-movie star in the 1950s. He was selected to be tribe leader at the very start of the game.
Libby Vincek — Libby is this year’s blonde model. She’s from Texas so I hope she does well.
Michael Yerger — Michael is telling everyone that he’s a 23 year-old real estate agent from Los Angeles. Actually, he’s 18. Michael is athletic and handsome and it seems like he’s going to get too cocky for his own good. He’s one of those players who I imagine will end up accidentally insulting everyone at the wrong time.
The Naviti tribe (from left to right): Bradley Kleihege (25), Chris Noble (27), Domenick Abbate (38), Sebastian Noel (22), Wendell Holland (33), Angela Perkins (43), Chelsea Townsend (25), Desiree Afuye (21), Kellyn Bechtold (30), and Morgan Ricke (29).
The Naviti Tribe
Domenick Abbate — People are either going to love or hate Domenick. He talks a lot and he’s not shy about sharing his opinion. Because they didn’t have to go to tribal council, we didn’t spend much time with Naviti but, from what I saw, it appears that everyone is thinking about voting him out. Fortunately, Domenick found an immunity idol. Unfortunately, he then made a fake immunity idol and showed it to Chris. Domenick thinks that, by doing this, he cemented their alliance but instead, it just made Chris distrust him.
Desiree Afuye — Other than the fact that she’s bad at puzzles, Desiree has yet to make a huge impression.
Kellyn Bechtold — Kellyn appears to have a lot of energy. She’ll either be a great ally or an annoying red herring.
Wendell Holland — Wendell seems likable. He’s one of the few people on the tribe who doesn’t want to vote out Domenick.
Bradley Kleihege — Bradley didn’t much of an impression last night. He wears glasses. That’s about it.
Chris Noble — Chris is tall, handsome, and very self-assured. He’s the type of player who always seems like he should win but somehow never makes it to the merge. So far, he’s taking his role as tribe leader very seriously. Perhaps a little too seriously.
Sebastian Noel — Sebastian is definitely a physical threat. It’s hard to tell if he’ll be a strategic threat as well.
Angela Perkins — Angela hasn’t made much of an impression yet.
Morgan Ricke — Thanks to Jacob, Morgan now has the legacy advantage. Whether it’ll do her any good, we have yet to see.
Chelsea Townsend — Again, Chelsea has yet to make much of an impression.
And those are your castaways! Last night, we lost both Gonzalez and Jacob. Next week, it appears that the tribes are going to be reshuffled so who knows what we’ll happen! I can’t wait to find out though!