‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Episode 5 Recap: Braiding Places?

“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Roark Luskin, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Michael played an idol that was owned by James Clement, most of his alliance stayed, but sadly Michael went.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

The tribes as they currently stand…

The Naviti Tribe (wearing purple)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Chris, 27 – Male Model
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
James, 24 – Business Analyst
Libby, 24 – Social Media Strategist
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

The Malolo Tribe (wearing orange)
Bradley, 26 – Law Student
Chelsea, 24 – EMT/Professional Cheerleader
Desiree, 21 – Student
Jenna, 23 – Advertising Account Executive
Kellyn, 31 – Career Counselor
Michael, 18 – Real Estate Agent
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Stephanie, 34 – Yoga Instructor

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Michael, Stephanie and Jenna immediately try to mend fences with the classic Naviti folk. That’s always a strong move in my book. A lot can happen in the three/six/nine days until they have to vote again.

However, Michael’s big move has alerted everyone to the fact that he’s not just a pretty face. And, his “double idol” lie shows that he can think outside of the box. He’s in trouble.

Reward Challenge Time: The teams will race over a series of hurdles and then uncover a lever that’s buried under a pile of sandbags. The level will release smaller sandbags that will be used to hit targets. The first tribe to hit all three targets and open their flags will receive coffee and pastries.

Result: The Noble One destroyed this challenge for Naviti. It wasn’t even close. Apparently being a pitcher in college has its benefits. His WAR is through the roof. However, the highlight was Donathan jumping up and down and screaming “Cinnamon rolls! Cinnamon rolls!” How wasn’t Cinnabon a sponsor for this?

The Malolo-lows pull rocks to decide who gets to visit Ghost Island and Stephanie is the odd woman out.

On the way out, Chris lets us know that he was “pretty hot” today. He follows that with “I’m a diamond in the rough, do you see me glow? This ain’t pay-per-view. It’s a free show.” Then he does a mimed mic drop.

No, seriously.

At Ghost Island

Stephanie is not given the opportunity to play a game…which should put to rest any questions of the game being fixed. If anything, you’d think the producers would want to see her come back with an advantage.

Instead, she eats some rice and tries to figure a way out of her predicament.

Pastries and Pleasantries

The coffee reward reminds Donathan of being back home which makes him a little emotional. He shares his story with Laurel, telling her that he feels a little guilty being on the show because he’s a caregiver for his grandmother. They hug and it’s adorable.

Later, Chris and Donathan discuss the similarities with their situations. Chris’s mother suffers from MS and he’s been taking care of her. The duo seems to bond over it.

And…that’s all we get before the immunity challenge. So, we’re not going to spend any time with Malolo-low? Does that telegraph a Naviti win?

Immunity Challenge Time: One member from each tribe will run out to a floating platform. They’ll untie a bag and ride a bodyboard back to the shore. Once they’ve retrieved all three bags, they’ll use the pieces in the bag to figure out a combination. The combination will release a slide puzzle. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins immunity.

Result: Domenick and James get the best of the all-star puzzle team of Kellyn and Bradley to win it for Naviti.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Michael, Stephanie, and Jenna are all on the chopping block, and it doesn’t look like there are any cracks in classic Naviti alliance.

Jenna realizes that she is hard to get close to because she puts walls up. She tries to cozy up to Sea Bass. He seems into it, but not as into it as he seemed during last week’s preview.

Sea Bass Moment of the Week: Jenna offers to braid Sebastian’s hair, but he claims that she doesn’t know how. He hopes she can figure it out because he “needs braiders on this tribe.” Ah…never vote Sea Bass out.

Some people want Stephanie out because she’s clearly a threat, but they’re worried she might have gained an advantage at Ghost Island. Desiree digs into Stephanie’s bag and doesn’t find anything. You guys have seen people burying idols for years, right?

Bradley seems torn on Michael because he wants to win some challenges, but Michael clearly has some social and strategic chops.

Tribal Time

There isn’t much drama, but Kellyn admits that their voting plan has changed several times throughout the day.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Desiree, four votes for Stephanie, and the fifth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Stephanie.

Verdict: I don’t want anyone to think I’m calling this episode boring, but everything was pretty much by the book. The stronger tribe took both immunities, there were no twists or advantages, and the dominant alliance didn’t break ranks. It seems like a long time since we’ve had an episode like this.

And that being said, nobody made any terrible moves this week, so all the grades are pretty decent…

  • Chris – It’s fun to tease the guy, but what can I say? He killed the reward challenge and made inroads with Donathan.
  • Michael – He picked up the pieces and moved on. Now he has to cross his fingers and hope for a swap, merge, or idol.
  • Laurel – You were just what Donathan needed, right when he needed it.
  • Bradley – It seems like last week’s Tribal was the kick in the pants Bradley needed. He was much better around Stephanie and Michael this time around.
  • Desiree – Something about Desiree digging into Steph’s bag and then reporting back to Bradley made me feel like she was his right hand. Not a bad place to be.
  • Jenna – You survived this week because you were considered the least threatening, but you were making moves.
  • Sebastian – Please, please, please make all of your decisions based on how it effects your hair.
  • Donathan – You’re gonna need to pick a side here, buddy.
  • Chelsea, Kellyn, Libby, James, Domenick, Wendell, Angela – I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.

Power Rankings Results: Roark had Stephanie in spot fifteen, I had her in spot sixteen. The current score is Team Roark 39, Team Gordon 44.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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