Deal or No Deal Island Premiere Recap: Welcome to the Banker’s Private Island

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere recap
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC via Getty Images

Deal or No Deal Island marries the original game show with grueling physical and mental challenges. And this time, the 13 competitors join host Joe Manganiello on the Banker’s private tropical island. No, this isn’t an AI-generated title! This really is Deal or No Deal, on an island! Let’s get into the premiere recap for Deal or No Deal Island, titled “Are You A Gambler?”

Who’s in the cast of The Deal or No Deal Island?

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere cast
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC
  • Dawson Addis – Muskego, WI
  • Aron Barbell – Champaign, IL
  • Jordan Fowler – Nashville, TN
  • Nicholas Grasso – Brooklyn, NY
  • Miranda Harrison – Fort Myers, FL
  • Claudia Jordan – Dallas, TX
  • Alyssa Klinzing – Kansas City, MO
  • “Boston” Rob Mariano – Perdido Keys, FL
  • Kim Mattina – Anthem, AZ
  • Stephanie Mitchell – Gainesville, AL
  • Jamil Sipes – Grand Prairie, TX
  • Brantzen Wong – Tustin, CA

Among the cast are two reality stars. Survivor legend “Boston” Rob Mariano and former The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Claudia Jordan. Claudia was a briefcase model for the first four seasons of the original Deal or No Deal. It will be interesting to see if her experience with the game is an asset, or a target on her back. And Kamari Love and Ben Crofchick are the Banker’s assistants.

The Banker has some rules

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere recap
Photo by: Patrick Ecclesine/NBC

Scattered around the island are briefcases worth (wait for it) a total of $200 million. The players will compete in challenges to win the briefcase used that night in a round of Deal or No Deal.

Whoever finds the case with the highest value is safe. The two guests with the lowest value cases are in danger of being sent packing. One of them will play against the Banker in a classic game of Deal or No Deal. And the competitor with immunity will decide who goes against the Banker. This game is out of control!

Getting to know you

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC

As the contestants were driven in, they got to know each other. Aron recognized Boston Rob from the jump, and they formed a connection. Aron’s reason for competing tugs at my heartstrings. His father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and he is hoping to win some money to help his family.

The competitors met Joe on the beach. He is a liaison between the contestants and the Banker. In this show, the Banker is looking for his “ultimate adversary.” Step right up, Boston Rob! I would love to see that match-up.

Meanwhile, a helicopter arrived with Kamari inside. She tossed out briefcases worth $4.5 million all over the island. And the Banker has upped the ante by including two red cases. One case contains a “steal,” which allows you to nab someone else’s case. The other red case contains a low cash value. The catch? The player won’t know until they open the case. This is so stressful…

A spa day to remember

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere recap
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC

Then it was off to grab those cases. The cases were in a mud pit, which was called a spa. No thanks!! People were getting stuck in the mud – literally. Dawson grabbed a $1 million case. Kim, who is 62 years old, was struggling to even move. Meanwhile, Jordan helped secure a case for Kim, while Dawson and Boston Rob helped her out of the muck.

Another chance to bet on red

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC

The Banker was salty that no one selected a red case and phoned Joe. The Banker will give $10,000 to anyone who goes back into the mud and grabs a red case. Kim and Brantzen, a professional poker player, decided to go for it. Brantzen wanted Kim to get a red case. He didn’t take one for himself. However, the group was unhappy because now, whoever had a low-value case, was in jeopardy.

Keep a close eye on Kim. She was chilling like a villain and wasn’t afraid to wear that badge. She planned to manipulate everyone to the end. Well played, Kim. Well played.

Kim opened her red case and it was a “steal.” Brantzen’s kindness has twisted the game. She told her fellow players that if she took the $1 million case (hello Dawson!), she wouldn’t put that contestant up against the Banker. She took Dawson’s case, and Aron joined Dawson in the bottom two.

Let the social game begin

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere recap
Photo by: Monty Brinton/NBC

The players were sharing fancy tents and showers. It’s like glamping! Kim told everyone that she would stay true to her word to Dawson. She wants to build up some currency in the social part of the game.

Some of the players called out Brantzen for dooming Aron because Kim had a low case. I feel like the currency in Brantzen’s social bank just plummeted.

Kim and Brantzen outed Rob as a Survivor winner. And Kim pointed out how dangerous his gameplay is, much to Boston Rob’s horror. The group was eyeing him as someone who had to be eliminated. But Rob has clocked Kim as the most dangerous player in the game.

Brantzen talked to Aron. If Aron doesn’t pick him for elimination, Brantzen won’t hurt him for the next three rounds. Afterward, Boston Rob chatted with Aron and they decided that Brantzen should go home. Meanwhile, Rob also had his eye on Stephanie as a potential danger.

Who will face the Banker in The Temple?

Deal or No Deal Island Premiere
Photo by: Patrick Ecclesine/NBC

Aron Barbell faces off against The Banker in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 1.

The contestant playing against the Banker must make a good deal. A good deal means agreeing to a higher offer than what was in the players’ case. If the contestant succeeds in beating the Banker, they not only get to stay in the game, but they decide who is going home. That is diabolical. And I like it! If they make a bad deal, they will be eliminated. Wow.

Aron was ready to face the Banker. He told Joe that if he wins, he will pay off his parent’s house. I am rooting for him. All the case amounts were added to the board, along with the Banker’s low numbers. During the game, that shifty Banker will attempt to buy Aron’s case.

Aron picked number 10 as his case. He has to open eight cases in the first round. Unfortunately, he picked several large amounts. The Banker called and offered Aron $45,000. Aron declined the deal.

For round two, he had to select seven cases. Aron lost the $1 million case. The Banker dissed Aron’s ability as an accountant. Ouch! The Banker offered Aron $107,000, and Aron once again refused the deal.

Now he had to choose two cases for this round. The Banker offered $266,000. Again, Aron rejected the offer.

Finally, the Banker offered $445,000. The amounts left on the board were $400,000 and $600,000. Aron rolled the dice and again refused the deal. The gutsy player needed to have $600,000 thousand in his case to survive. Aron did, and he added $600,000 to the final case for the group! But Aron doesn’t get any of the cash, because it all goes into the suitcase for the final player.

Who was eliminated in Deal or No Deal Island, Episode 1?

Photo by: Patrick Ecclesine/NBC

Brantzen Wong was the first player eliminated in Deal or No Deal Island.

And cue the waterworks as the contestants gave him a group hug. Unfortunately, the poker player wasn’t able to overcome his decision to help poor, helpless Kim.

Deal or No Deal Island continues Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.