‘Survivor: Ghost Island’ Finale Recap – Saving the Best for Last


“Survivor: Ghost Island” (CBS)

QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. Be sure to come back for exit interviews with all six of tonight’s finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.

Last Week: Wendell lost a challenge due to a lack of yellin’, Don was worried Dom had a secret he wasn’t tellin’, and the person voted out of the game was totally adorable.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Lavita Tribe (wearing black)
Angela, 42 – Army Veteran
Donathan, 26 – Caretaker
Domenick, 38 – Construction Supervisor
Laurel, 29 – Financial Consultant
Sebastian, 22 – Fishing Guide
Wendell, 33 – Furniture Company Owner

Let’s do this!

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Wendell cracks a joke, telling Dom that if he’d known which way the vote was going to go, he could have sent Dom home. Yeah…that feels like one of those jokes that has a little too much truth in it.

Donathan is (rightfully) shocked to still be in the game. But, Laurel tries to talk him down.

In other news, Dom and Wendell (Domedell?) aren’t worried about Donathan, so they decide to target Sebastian next. And what bait do you use to catch a Sea Bass? Banana Laffy Taffy.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will run through the MOST AMAZING SKULL-SHAPED MAZE EVER in search of three bags of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete their puzzle will win immunity and a steak dinner.

Result: Wendell finished the puzzle first and made sure to tip Jeff Probst off to that fact. He was allowed to share his meal with two people and chose Sebastian and someone named Angela.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Laurel is really bummed that she didn’t get to go on the reward. She uses this as her 30th wierdo reason to not trust her alliance.

Sebastian realizes that he’s playing a game and that he’s in Dom and Wendell’s shadow. He approaches Donathan and Angela with a plan to use his secret extra vote. Angela is psyched to be a part of someone’s plan.

CUT TO: Angela telling Dom about Sebastian’s extra vote.

SERIOUSLY?! She just offered it up. Didn’t try to use the information as leverage to get further in the game. Ugh…tell me she wasn’t in charge of any military secrets.

Best ways to spread a secret on “Survivor”: Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-swing-vote.

Dom’s concern is that everyone knows he has two idols, but everyone suspects that one of those idols is fake.

Tribal Time

So, this one got weird quickly.

Donathan downplayed his chances in the game, but Domenick didn’t buy it. He immediately called out Sebastian and Donathan, spilling the beans about Sebastian’s extra vote.

Domenick then breaks out his two idols and provides a fun little backstory for each. He even goes so far as to hand the fake idol to Probst.

This…uh…this isn’t a great look for Domenick. He’s coming off as a bully. Chris even refers to him as “The Godfather.”

Then Wendell and Domenick have an awkward back-and-forth where Wendell claims that they wanted to work with him.

Voting Time: Sebastian votes for someone whose name starts with a “Do” and the rest of the votes are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and Dom confesses that the one he gave to Jeff didn’t have a chance to mature and is worthless.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Domenick, one vote for Donathan, two votes for Sebastian, and the fifteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the eighth member of the jury is…Sea Bass.

Wow…he didn’t play the vote at all. OMG, so cursed, you guys.

Quick Analysis: That was it. That was the last chance to get Wendell or Dom out before final four. One of them will win this game no matter what.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race through an obstacle course while retrieving bags of puzzle pieces. The first person to complete the pyramid-shaped puzzle will win immunity.

Result: Wendell takes another one. Who knew a carpenter would be so good at putting wooden pieces into place? Ooo…and now he’s free to gift that idol to somebody.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Laurel appreciates that she’s the biggest challenge threat left on the board. And Domenick knows that she’d take Donathan to the end if she was given a chance. She claims that she needs him on the jury. Yeah, Laurel would need six Donathans on the jury.

Wendell counters by mentioning that taking them out would be a big resume builder.

Laurel again pushes the idea that Domenick and Wendell would split the votes and she’d pick up the rest. Yes, she’d get all of the votes that don’t go to Wendell and Domenick. Unfortunately for her, that number would probably be zero.

Tribal Time

Ha! Sebastian is the only jury member who looks the same as he did in the game.

And that’s pretty much it excitement-wise. Everyone appreciates that Dom and Wendell have all the power and can do whatever they want.

Voting Time: Donathan votes for Laurel, Laurel votes for Donathan, and the rest of the votes are lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Dom does. Then, Wendell plays his idol for Laurel…while giving a big speech. Like…too big of a speech.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Laurel, two votes for Donathan, and the sixteenth person voted out of “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the ninth member of the jury is…Donathan.

During the break, Jeff tells us that Sia is gifting $10,000 to Donathan. So, Sia is like the new Sprint?

Quick Aside: Both Donathan and Sebastian were awesome on their way out. Say what you want about this season, but this cast is full of class acts.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on a wobbly board and stack balls and platforms. The first person to stack six balls will win immunity.

Result: Wendell almost had it, but Domenick pulled off the win. Also, the foursome will spend the day at Ghost Island where Domenick will be faced with another decision.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Wendell immediately accepts that Domenick won’t be taking him to the final three. So, it’s up to Dom to figure out who he thinks can beat Wendell in the fire-making challenge.

Laurel makes the case that she’s not very good at making fire. While Angela makes the case that the jury likes Laurel. So…Angela is pitching that Laurel is a threat? Maybe that’s why we don’t hear a lot from Angela…

In any case, Domenick doesn’t love the chances of Angela or Laurel getting the best of Wendell.

Quick Aside: Is it crazy for Dom to take Wendell to the end? That way you show you’re not afraid of him. And, you avoid the very real possibility of Wendell looking like a champ if he wins the fire challenge.

In other news, Domenick must choose which urn will be used for the final vote. He’s given the choice between “The Australian Outback,” “Cagayan,” and “Game Changers.” The thought is that these are urns where people took the wrong person to the finals.

He stands there pondering this nothing decision for way too long before going with Cagayan.

Heh…my favorite “Survivor” joke ever: What’s the sound of a million dollars flying out the window? Woo…

But then Dom comes up with the idea of giving his necklace to Angela and facing Wendell himself. Wait…what?!

Whoa… I literally got goosebumps. That’d be the biggest move ever or the worst.

Tribal Time

Laurel and Angela both lobby to be the one who Dom takes to the end. It actually makes both of them look really bad. Meanwhile, Wendell has accepted his fate and kind of looks like a bad ass in doing so.

When it’s all said and done, Domenick chooses Laurel to go to the end.

Fire-Making Challenge

Before things get underway, Wendell wants to use the purple table, but he’s been assigned the orange table. Angela doesn’t care, so Probst lets them swap.

The challenge isn’t even close. Wendell smokes Angela…no pun intended. So, the seventeenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Ghost Island” and the last member of the jury is…Angela.

Welp…safe to say this season is going to have one of the best second-place players ever.

Day-39 Brunch

Wendell considers himself to be a silent assassin who made strong personal bonds with people.

Laurel thinks she’s come a long way from day one where she was terrified. She knows her challenge will be letting the jury know the moves she’s been making.

And finally, Domenick believes that juries respect great gameplay and that he has had the best gameplay.

Tribal Time

Whoa…Angela cleans up very nicely.

Round One: Outwit

A big part of this round was trying to discover who was really driving their alliance. Wendell claimed that he was the mastermind, and Dom kind of laughed at that. Domenick said it was a team effort, but he wouldn’t let anyone tell him what to do.

In other news, some jury members gave Laurel heat for tagging along with Dom and Wendell, but Donathan came to her defense.

And the Round Goes To… I’m giving this to Domenick, there’s a weird urgency to Wendell’s speech that isn’t playing well. Laurel made good points, but it’s clear she isn’t in the running.

Round Two: Outplay

Laurel claims that she was good in challenges, but she didn’t feel like she ever needed to win a challenge to save her game. I’m actually a big believer in that.

Wendell says that it was part of his strategy to make camp life as comfortable as possible. He also points out that he found an idol and never had to use it. In fact, he used it to prove his loyalty to Laurel.

Domenick then calls out the move he made to get Sebastian to change his vote at final six. This seems to backfire as Sebastian and Kellyn feel like Domenick was too aggressive.

And the Round Goes To… Again, Laurel is doing great, but nobody seems to care. Between Dom and Wendell, I’m giving it to Wendell.

Round Three: Outlast

Laurel knows that the jury wanted the big move of her taking out Wendell or Dom, but she knows she would have been the next target.

Domenick tries to patch up the fact that he has hurt peoples’ feelings. He claims to be passionate, not malicious.

Finally, Wendell was proud of bringing his weirdness to the game. He believes he put his heart out there and that he played a clean game even though there are a few things that he isn’t particularly proud of.

And the Round Goes To… Wow… I just don’t know which way this is going to go. I expected Chris to be anti-Dom, but that wasn’t the case at all.

So…uh…Jenna and Angela didn’t say a word. Not shocking.

Voting Time: Michael votes for Dom, Sebastian votes for Wendell, Chris votes for Dom, Kellyn votes for Wendell, and the rest of the votes will have to wait.

Wow…I’m guessing that means no votes for Laurel.

Probst tallies and returns…and starts…reading…the votes… What are you doing, Probst?!

Everybody is freaking out…I’m freaking out. Wait…does this mean there’s a tie?

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, one vote for Wendell, one vote for Domenick, and the final vote is for…Wendell.

We’ve got a tie!

Ok, Laurel will have to cast the deciding vote. This is intense.

Seriously, she had a minute to make that decision? That’s terrible.

She casts her vote. Then Probst gathers it and bids them farewell.

Next up, we’re in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Probst cracks open the stylish Cagayan urn and announces that the winner of “Survivor: Ghost Island” is…Wendell!

Verdict: What an amazing ending to a middle-of-the-road season of “Survivor.”

So, what went wrong? I dunno…maybe tone down the pre-merge swaps. Maybe a few less advantages.

But in other news, my personal “Survivor” curse, the one where I’ve never picked a winner in my pre-season rankings…the one that started when I picked Michele Chase to win “Survivor: Gabon” has finally ended.

Power Rankings Results: Roark received six points, while I received eight points. The final score was Team Roark 138, Team Gordon 143. Big thanks to Roark for being awesome competition this season!

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

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