Survivor: Ghost Island Recap
A Giant Game of Bumper Cars
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
May 10, 2018

We don't know who this is.

Previously on Survivor, two people were voted out. As you would probably expect, they were from the original Malolo tribe. Sadly, this means that two of the more likeable players in Jenna and Michael were voted out.

Of course, there was a little bit of drama involved. At the second of the two Tribal Councils last week, Kellyn voted twice for Laurel. She comes clean with the group when they return to camp, which makes Laurel think that “everyone is out for themselves.” Uh, of course they are. It’s Day 31. It’s about time for Dom to start shanking everyone he ever proclaimed to love.

No sooner is this little conversation over than we cut to challenge time with Probst. This is great news! Hopefully it means that this will be another episode that moves along very quickly.

This one is a Reward Challenge that gives grits, chicken, hamburgers, ice cream, and other stuff to the winner. Also, their families/friends are there! Cue the waterworks!

The challenge involves throwing beanbags onto a pedestal.

As far as loved ones, Wendell seems to intuitively know that his dad is there. They both have the kindest faces. Kellyn is delighted to see older brother Clay, who has watched the show with her and bonded with her over it. He looks slightly annoyed that he’s not the one who gets to be playing Survivor.

Donathan cries when his Aunt Patty arrives, and he can hardly wait to ask her how his mother and grandmother are doing. She tells him that both of them are fantastic. Angela and her daughter Paige sob, and Probst probes the question of Angela having been away from her family so much while she was in the military. She has some guilt, clearly.

Chelsea hugs her younger sister Sidney. It’s the most emotion we’ve seen from Chelsea, frankly (and it’s still less than everyone else). Laurel tells big brother Frank that it’s been so hard. He’s trying to be a rock and not cry. It’s a struggle. Sibling Day continues as Sebastian’s sister Grace hugs him. On a related note, Sebastian is still here.

Finally, Dom’s wife Kristin comes out to see him, and she tells him, “I love you and hate you so much!” So, she does know him!

“I’ve been in such agony. It’s just so agonizing, I don’t even recognize myself,” she says. Boy, does he ever need to win. Presumably, whoever does will take him along anyway. They’re all allied with him.

The challenge actually involves a pretty complex obstacle course before the beanbags. Sebastian is the one to get out to throwing his bag. Despite a huge lead, Dom is able to almost catch up. BUT, no go. Sebastian wins, even though we’d forgotten he was on the show. Obviously, he picks Dom to go along. Wendell is choice #2. He does the right thing and chooses Donathan as the other person to join him.

So, Sebastian is also able to choose someone to go to Ghost Island, where an advantage IS waiting. BUT WAIT! TWIST! One of the people he chose to go with him can give up love to go to Ghost Island. Wendell goes for it. His dad clearly understands. Kellyn and Laurel clearly do not. They’re pissed because they could have been with their family members.

Time for a Woman Power Alliance!

We go straight to Wendell’s advantage. It’s a repeat of Malcolm’s in the Philippines, where he was given two chances during the Immunity Challenge to keep his ball balanced. If he drops the ball, he gets to keep going (assuming he doesn’t drop it a second time).

At the reward, Dom tells Aunt Patty that he’s with Donathan to the end. She tells Dom that she will hunt him down if he is lying. Donathan wonders if he needs to be more aggressive. Maybe?

Because… the women are ANGRY. In fact, this might be the biggest divide we’ve ever seen the Reward Challenge create. Kellyn rages. Angela SUPER rages. Laurel is shaking with her anger. And Chelsea… we guess she quietly stews? She’s a tough read. This situation got acrimonious quickly.

“We can take this opportunity to take control of the game,” says Kellyn. They figure they can pull in Donathan to their all-new alliance to break up Wendell and Dom. Here’s the thing. Both guys have Immunity Idols, which means that the women will have to proceed very carefully. They’ll also need to hope that Laurel stays strong with them, because she’s conflicted about breaking from Wendell and Dom. (And there’s no guarantee that Donathan joins them.)

Say hey! It’s time for an Immunity Challenge. Let’s see if anyone can make this interesting. Obviously, this is the old balance the ball on the stick challenge. If the ball falls off, you lose. Last person standing wins Immunity. We do expect a woman to win. They’re motivated.

It won’t be Kellyn, though. She’s first one out. When they have to add sections, Angela goes out, and Wendell drops his ball for the first time. Then, he drops it again. What a crap advantage. By the way, Kellyn and Angela smile at each other when he drops it.

We’re now moving on the final round, with one more piece added to the stick pile. Honestly, Chelsea is looking pretty solid here. Sebastian falls. Chelsea falls. (So, we were wrong!) In the end, it’s Dom versus Donathan. Both men are shaking and sweating. In the end, Dom drops his ball and Dom wins Immunity, meaning that Wendell will be the target for the women.

Little do they know that Dom was about ready to turn on Wendell, anyway.

Kellyn tells us in confessional that it is now Naviti women versus Naviti men, and Laurel and Donathan are the swing votes. At least it won’t be another Pagong session. (Everyone is really not smart to think that Donathan is just someone to drag along to the end. He’s played a great game in a subtle way.)

Wendell and Dom want to get rid of Chelsea. Kellyn, Chelsea and Angela want to get rid of Wendell. Both sides think Donathan will work with them.

Honestly, it’s Laurel who’s the likeliest to betray the women. However, Wendell isn’t getting good vibes from her, so he’s prepared to play his idol to ensure Chelsea goes home.

Donathan and Laurel discuss. They’re smart enough to understand that if they go the wrong way, it could bite them. But at the same time, Donathan wants to go big or go home. With the knowledge that both Dom and Wendell have idols, it’s a really tough call.

Tribal Council, and the serious music is playing. Donathan flat out says that there’s a schism in Naviti, which makes both Wendell and Angela have frowny faces.

Kellyn notes that Donathan has been throwing truth bombs at every Tribal Council, so she expects that he’s telling the truth. Laurel confirms that he is. Obviously, Naviti is about to start freaking out. Donathan says that both the women and the men have come to him. Wendell says he has no idea what Donathan is talking about. Play your idol, friend. Dom is happy to have the Immunity Idol around his neck. Donathan is probably making a play to have Wendell play his idol here.

And ultimately, Donathan and Laurel stay strong with Dom and Wendell. Probably the right call this time, though things are going to get interesting with this few people and a few Immunity Idols still in the game. Next week’s previews show Donathan “going rogue,” as Dom calls it. Aunt Patty’s going to have to hunt him down, isn’t she?