Stephanie Johnson was doomed from the moment that I picked her to win the game after the premiere episode of Survivor: Ghost Island. She may have come across as more than just a bit eccentric in her pre-season interviews, but once on the beach, she looked to be one of the most dangerous players this season. Of course, it takes more than a good strategy and social skills in the game of Survivor. Stephanie didn’t have much luck out there, and on this week’s episode her luck finally ran out.
If you missed any of the action, you can catch up with our Episode 5 Recap, as well as checking out the Podcast below.
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Yes Stephanie quickly became “one to watch” for me when she was shown easily manipulating Jacob to get what she wanted during the first few days in the game. But after looking like an early favorite, Stephanie found herself in the minority after the first tribe swap of the game. When Michael shared the fact that he had an Idol last week, Stephanie had a ray of hope: If Michael were to play the Idol correctly, it would swing the game in her favor. But even though Michael chose to play the Idol on Stephanie, she wasn’t the majority’s target, so her alliance lost a number and their only Idol. That left Stephanie in a very vulnerable position heading into this week.
But even after losing yet another Reward challenge, not all was lost for Stephanie. She drew the white rock that sent her to Ghost Island, but her hopes were quickly dashed when she was not given the opportunity to get a secret advantage there. She had some touching moments, sharing on national TV her struggle as a single mom, and how she had left the Mormon faith and had gotten a divorce within six months of each other. She was also a super-fan and we could see the love for the game on her face throughout this week’s emotionally-rich episode. But in the end, she was just the biggest threat left for the majority to target, and with even her allies looking to do anything to secure their spots in the game, Stephanie was voted out unanimously, becoming the fifth person voted out of Survivor: Ghost Island.
I had the chance to speak to Stephanie today on the FilmSurvivor Podcast (the full audio of which you can find and download at the bottom of this article). But here were some highlights from the interview:
STEPHANIE JOHNSON INTERVIEW
On what the experience was like re-watching all of the emotion and drama from home:
Stephanie Johnson: It was extremely difficult to re-watch. It was an emotional episode overall, but I was watching it with my boys and they didn’t know the outcome until last night…it was just a very heavy, emotional night at my house watching. There were a lot of tears and anger and I kind of feel like I was even in shock watching it, I feel like I have to go back and re-watch so I can actually see it again without the shock value of knowing I’m going to be voted out.
Her thoughts on her experience on Ghost Island and the Ghost Island twist as a whole:
Stephanie: Well I can say that I don’t like that I didn’t get to play the game, because I didn’t get to play the game (laughs). But I think for me, the hardest part about that was the two votes when I needed it the most, the person going to Ghost Island was no longer in use. That was just another random, bad luck of fate. Like if Kellyn hadn’t been [at Tribal and had she remained on Ghost Island], it would have been 4-4, and it could have a completely different game. And then if I would have been Immune [by being at Ghost Island], then I obviously would still be in the game. So for me that was the biggest disappointment from Ghost Island, is that when I needed it the most, I feel like Ghost Island let me down.
On who the biggest threat is from the alliance of five:
Stephanie: Bradley and Kellyn are definitely a power couple. And I called them out at Brendan’s Tribal Council, I must have said that 15 times. I knew it the minute they stepped on the beach, I have a pretty good read on people, and I could tell that they’d be running the show. They have their three minions who will do whatever they want because they’re not really there to strategize, but Kellyn and Bradley are smart. They definitely were in it together.
For much more from Stephanie Johnson, including my full interview, please listen to the latest episode of the FilmSurvivor Podcast below or by clicking here.
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Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe