Finally! The curse has been reversed on Survivor: Ghost Island. The Malolo tribe can raise their heads up high and feel proud over winning the immunity challenge. While their win didn’t shake off their negative reputation completely, it did help with easing them into the next phase at next episode’s merge. All it took was some confidence, a new mindset and a little spiritual fire to set them on a new course. Say what you will about their little ritual, but it worked.
The Malolo tribe needed a miracle to change their outlook on the game, and if they had not won, Michael was going to be their next target (to their knowledge). Why didn’t the Malolo women care more about Michael searching for a hidden immunity idol? He was at the bottom of the totem pole; he was obviously the next target with nothing left to lose unless he found an idol. The smart strategy would’ve been for Kellyn, Desiree and Angela to follow Michael around as he was searching so that they could cut him off or at least confirm if he found an idol. They’re lucky that they didn’t lose the challenge because one of them would’ve obviously been blindsided in the end. However, now that the merge is coming, the old Naviti tribe could be blindsided regardless.
Ozzy’s hidden immunity idol from Survivor: Micronesia was the perfect return. I remember watching that moment 10 years ago when Jason showed the fake idol to Eliza and she said, “It’s just a ******* stick!” That prop is an iconic Survivor item, and now that it has power, it can reverse the curse it had on all three of them. I can’t wait for it to be used in actual play. The same goes for the hidden immunity idol that Wendell found. The Erik necklace from Survivor: Micronesia had a lot of bad mojo after he gave it away. Hopefully Wendell uses it to protect his game.
The last Survivor historical ghost item to return was a bit of a stretch when it came to meshing with the overall theme. Sarah finding the “steal a vote” power and using it against Michaela on Survivor: Game Changers was its intended purpose. She found it fair and square, used it, and sent a castaway out. However, from Michaela’s perspective, the secret advantage could’ve been hers if she had simply looked below her feet. So, we can overlook this as it’s in a grey area. Kellyn should hold onto this for a very important moment because a second vote can save someone’s life. It’s one of the biggest powers any castaway should covet.
When it came to the two challenges, both were fun additions to see return. Rope balancing challenges force the tribes to work together in harmony and whenever we’ve seen this game in the past, there’s always a learning curve to get the hang of it. Suffice it to say, the return of this reward challenge was welcomed and it should return yet again. In the case of the immunity challenge, the key to winning was all in the throwing of the rings. Donathan did a great job with stepping up to the plate. He found the confidence to throw for his team and nearly it won it for them. Still, congrats to Michael for snatching the victory for Malolo – they needed a win and this moment was crunch time for them. You couldn’t help but feel the emotion after the last ring hit the target.
Bradley’s elimination was shocking, but not for the reasons you might expect. Naviti has the numbers in Survivor: Ghost Island; they’re going into the merge with control over the game and could wipe out the Malolos if they so choose. For them to eliminate one of their own over a Malolo, that decision was surprising in context. Bradley getting the boot over his actions… that elimination was simply priceless.
Look, Bradley had no chance to win Survivor: Ghost Island. When playing the role of villain, there’s a fine line between “love-to-hate” and “hated.” Many past Survivor winners, who were villains, convinced their juries based on accomplishments and social games, like Todd from Survivor: China and Tony from Survivor: Cagayan to name a few. Bradley had no social game to the point that he even recognized the fact that he was being an asshole and that his personality rubbed people the wrong way in his personal life. He never made the attempt to pull himself back and change his approach with his tribe members, so he was only digging himself a hole that he couldn’t escape. Bradley would’ve been the perfect goat to take to the end; however, they made the choice to get rid of him now, so he failed in that regard too.
“Gotta Risk It for the Biscuit” made up for last week’s formulaic gameplay. We saw blindsides, twists, character development, and the return of several past powers that will shake up the game. The sixth episode was a fun round with a satisfying finish. And with the promise of the merge coming up next round, Survivor: Ghost Island is about to get a lot more competitive and intense. Bring it on!