“Survivor: Ghost Island” Premiere Recap: Who Was Voted Off First And Second?

Truth rating: 10
Survivor Ghost Island Premiere Recap

By Shari Weiss |

Survivor Ghost Island Premiere Recap


“Survivor: Ghost Island” had a two-hour premiere on Wednesday. Season 36 debuted with new twists and surprising Tribal Councils. Get the full recap below and find out who was voted out first!

As Gossip Cop reported, “Ghost Island” was revealed to be the newest theme during the “Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers” finale in December. The concept features all new players being given the same advantages of former competitors with the goal of not repeating their mistakes. Twenty castaways were brought to Fiji ready to learn from the past.

The contestants were divided into two new tribes: “Naviti” features Angela Perkins, Chelsea Townsend, Desiree Afuye, Kellyn Bechtold, Morgan Ricke, Bradley Kleihege, Chris Noble, Domenick Abbate, Sebastian Noel and Wendell Holland, while “Malolo” includes Jenna Bowman, Laurel Johnson, Libby Vincek, Stephanie Gonzalez, Stephanie Johnson, Brendan Shapiro, Donathan Hurley, Jacob Derwin, James Lim and Michael Yerger. One of them will outwit, outplay and outlast to become the new “Sole Survivor” and win $1 million.

The first episode was appropriately titled “Can You Reverse The Curse?” It began with the new cast arriving to the island on Day 1. Each tribe had to choose one person to represent them, and they selected Brendan for Malolo and Chris for Naviti. They each then had to choose team mates who they thought would be best at the physical and puzzle aspects of this unknown challenge. The task ultimately involved going through an obstacle course to find keys and solve a puzzle.

At stake was a machete, fishing kit, pot, rice and a shelter-making kit. The winning team would get it all, while the losing team would miss out on the fishing kit and the shelter-making it. But the leader could also choose to forfeit before time ran out in order to still get the fishing kit. Chris ultimately opted to do that, sparking mixed reaction from the other Naviti players, as it not only gave Malolo the win, but they also received flint and eggs.

Malolo rejoiced at their early luck as they built their camp site, where Michael told everyone he’s 23 when he’s really 18. Jacob accidentally lost his shoes in the water on Day 2, and he worried that he or Donathan would be the first eliminated because neither suggested strength. Jacob hunted for an idol, which further made him stand out in a negative way to his team mates.

At Naviti, Sebastian and Chris quickly aligned before agreeing to target the fast-talking Domenick, who had openly questioned whether Chris made the right decision during the first challenge. In contrast, Wendell gravitated toward Domenick, and gave him a heads-up that Sebastian was eyeing him. Domenick knew Chris likely planted that idea.

On Day 3, the tribes faced their first immunity challenge. Again they’d have to obtain puzzle pieces through an obstacle course and make the solve. Somebody from the losing group would be forced to go to Ghost Island. Naviti reached the puzzle first and eventually solved it, winning not just immunity but the flint they missed out on earlier. Despite Manolo’s loss, Jacob declared they were one of the best tribes of all time and would stage a comeback.

It was Naviti who got to choose who from Manolo would go to Ghost Island, and they picked Jacob, who was thrilled, claiming he was talking a big game in hopes he would be sent to the mystery destination. By selecting him, he was safe from elimination, disappointing the rest of his tribe who now had to face Tribal Council without him. At Ghost Island, a graveyard of sorts of advantages and idols from the past 34 seasons, Jacob had to smash an urn that gave him a clue, which led to a “game of chance,” where he had to risk his vote for an advantage.

He risked it, won and uncovered the “legacy advantage” from “Survivor: Game Changers.” That season, Sierra made the mistake of telling Sarah, who then blindsided her with an elimination. Now Jacob was tasked with anonymously giving the advantage to someone on the opposing tribe. He decided on Morgan, hoping they would link up after the merge. He later decided to “stretch” the truth to his team mates, faking an immunity idol in hopes of surviving another round.

Before Tribal Council for Malolo, Donathan criticized Gonzalez to some of the players, accusing her of shutting him down and stealing his advice. To others, she insisted he should be the one to go, leaving several competitors to debate the pros and cons of each of them. Did they want to keep a weak link who could be molded and get rid of a strategic threat, or ditch the lightweight in favor of the physically stronger person?

At the ceremony, they first discussed Jacob, before debating whether they should be looking at physical, strategic or social strength. Donathan and Gonzalez were both concerned about the vote, leading the latter to go whispering to certain players, but no one was talking to the former. Yet after the ballots were cast, it was Gonzalez who was voted out.

That night, Domenick went looking for an idol at the Naviti camp as everyone slept and found the hidden immunity idol that, during “Survivor: Caramoan,” Andrea didn’t play, thinking she had a solid alliance. Meanwhile, Morgan was thrilled when she found the legacy advantage in her bag on Day Four, courtesy of Jacob. It guaranteed her immunity if played when only 13 or six people were left.

Returning to Malolo, Jacob spun a tale about getting an immunity idol at Ghost Island, promising he would play it at the next vote. Brendan didn’t believe the story and told the others it was likely a fake idol and they should “pin” their votes on him. They decided to give him a false sense of security so he wouldn’t play the idol, just in case it was real.

With his security boosted thanks to his real secret idol, Domenick on Naviti asked Chris to “start fresh,” and they agreed to play together. Asked if he had an idol, Domenick initially lied and said he didn’t, before making a fake idol and showing it to Chris, who secretly thought something was “off.” So both were still gunning for each other.

For the immunity challenge on Day 6, the tribes had to go through a water-based obstacle course, release buoys and shoot eight of them into a basket. There was also a reward of chairs, blankets, pillows and washboards up for grabs, as well as the power to send a losing player to Ghost Island. Naviti had a big lead, particularly as James couldn’t get the buoys released for Malolo and Donathan wasted time refusing to try. He finally participated, allowing the tribe to progress, but it was too late.

Naviti won again, and they chose to send Donathan to Ghost Island, ensuring his safety while the rest of Malolo would have to go to Tribal Council again. At Ghost Island, he had to smash an urn, in which was a message that said he wouldn’t get to play a game. He at least felt the experience was boosting his confidence.

James took responsibility for losing the challenge, admitting he “choked,” but hoped for another chance to prove himself. Brendan still wanted to target Jacob, but thought they should “hedge our bet” and also put votes on James just in case. Stephanie volunteered to cozy up to Jacob, who identified Michael as a threat in the event of a tribe swap. Trusting her, Jacob told Stephanie his idol was fake and revealed his real advantage went to Morgan.

Stephanie passed on this knowledge to Jenna, and they debated whether they should cross Jacob as originally planned or cross Brendan and keep this newfound alliance with Jacob. At Tribal Council, James again said the loss should be on him, while Jacob again offered up the immunity idol story. He said he was “more comfortable” moving forward, and again insisted he was playing with some of the “best” people. But he acknowledged there could be a plan against him.

Brendan also admitted he was “worried,” as he didn’t think the game these days was about keeping physically strong people around. But when the votes were tallied, the majority were against Jacob. He was the second person eliminated.

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