Post-merge Survivor is always exciting because the closer the players get to the end, the more they realize their position in the game. This usually leads to those who are on the bottom trying to make big moves to shake things up, and for those in control to try to desperately maintain their foothold. What this means for viewers is we get more exciting episodes like we did tonight, where we finally saw the majority Naviti alliance crumble under its own weight, while those on the bottom gained a little more power.
But before we dive in, as I do at the beginning of every Recap, please heed the following: Remember that this recap assumes that you have already seen this week’s Episode 10 of Survivor: Ghost Island, so if you have not and don’t want to be spoiled, please come back later! It’s important to add too that while we WILL hit on all of the important developments of the episode, this is not a linear “blow-by-blow” recap, and is more of a discussion and reaction of what we just witnessed together.
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It’s never a good sign when an episode starts off giving us some personal information about one of the players, as tonight’s episode did with Desi…the more we usually know about a person, the more likely their torch is about to get snuffed. Especially when this intel was about Desi, a player whom we really haven’t gotten to know all that well over the season’s first nine episodes. To her credit, at least she got to go out swinging, as this was an all-Desi episode to say the least.
And you really can’t blame her for trying to upset the apple cart. She is 100% correct in thinking that Dom, Wendell and Kellyn are running the show and are the most dangerous players left in the game, but looking back it was probably a poor idea to turn on Kellyn – her closest ally of those named – first. Who knows what would have happened had Desi included Kellyn in her devious plot to overthrow the “Dom-Father” and his consiglieri, Wendell…she could have always picked a spot later on to blindside Kellyn after all once the bigger fish had been fried. Still, her alternative, in her mind, was to just go with the flow and then get voted out once the Malolo four had been dealt with. Even if she had wiggled out of that predicament, she would presumably not have had the Survivor resume enough to win the game, and as Desi told us tonight, she was in it to win it.
It was a big risk, but ultimately Desi was a victim of Laurel, who I called out last week as being THE most dangerous player left in the game…if not for Laurel, Desi’s plan works and Kellyn is most likely blindsided, with her double-vote advantage going with her (yeah, remember that advantage still in the game?). With Laurel having one foot in each alliance, she will probably withstand this Desi attack and come out smelling like roses (or as close to roses as one can come out smelling after 39 days on a deserted island). After all, Dom still trusts her and the Malolos still need her, and with her closest ally, Donathan, now in possession of an Idol, they are getting closer and closer to seeing this one all the way through.
With Desi now gone, it looks like Chelsea‘s game has gone crashing with it. Based on Chelsea’s edit, no one is predicting her to win the game, but voting along with Desi makes it clear that she was left out of the loop as to what the rest of the tribe was going to be doing. Chelsea’s game is pretty much damned in any scenario at this point, because even if Desi’s plan to blindside Kellyn would have worked, people would have perceived it as just that: Desi’s plan, and not Chelsea’s. Now without Desi, Chelsea could become a key number for the Malolo’s should they look to make a big move, but if Laurel and Donathan stay loyal to Wendell and Dom, as it appears they will, there won’t be much stopping that power foursome, except for themselves.
Kudos must be given to Dom and Wendell right now…you know you are in control of things when someone wants you gone but is afraid to target you directly. Also, who did everyone go running to this episode? Dom. I found it very interesting that Kellyn stood up to Dom when she demanded that they vote out Michael, but in the end, the Dom-Father must have given Kellyn an offer that she couldn’t refuse.
Episode Take-Away: Jeff Probst had called tonight’s episode his favorite of the season, and it definitely brought the fireworks…with all the lying and scheming, it is actually slightly uncommon to see such a wide-open blow-out at camp, where one person firmly positions themselves as defending a lie. You now have a 6-4 split if you consider the original tribal divides, but clearly it is Dom, Wendell, Laurel and Donathan who look to be running things. How Michael has been allowed to remain in the game thus far is beyond me, and I think that Kellyn was correct in thinking they needed to get rid of him, like, yesterday. He’s the type of player who if he gets far enough, has the ability to just will himself to the very end of the game by winning challenges, so it’s definitely a dangerous gamble to allow him to continue on towards Day 39.
Voted out this week: Desi Afuye
Won Immunity: Chelsea (first individual win)
Vote: Angela not able to vote due to Ghost Island penalty. No Idols or advantages played. 8 – Desi (Laurel, Donathan, Dom, Wendell, Michael, Jenna, Sebastian, Kellyn), 2 – Michael (Desi, Chelsea)
Next Week’s Episode: Look out, a late season twist and a big one! We see Probst announce to the remaining players that not one, but TWO people will be voted out at the next Tribal Council (and we also glimpse that there are two Immunity Necklaces up for grabs). Things are ramping up as we enter May, and there are only three episodes remaining heading into the Finale on May 23rd (not August 23rd, as I mistakenly listed last week…thanks to my attentive readers for pointing that out!).
Quick Note! Remember to return right here to Reality Tea for my FilmSurvivor Podcast on Thursday, where you can listen to my full exit interview with Desi Afuye. I also encourage you to check out my weekly movie reviews (like “Avengers: Infinity War” this week) as I am also the national film critic for AXS.com and am a movie critic/TV personality in the Detroit area. As always, the easiest way to get all of my Survivor coverage and movie reviews is to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – or on Facebook.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TONIGHT’S EPISODE? DO YOU LIKE DESI’S MOVE OR WAS IT POOR TIMING? DO YOU THINK LAUREL AND DONATHAN WILL STAY LOYAL TO DOM AND WENDELL?
Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe