Come on in guys! The Survivor merge is breathing down our necks, the individual phase of the game oh so close. But first, this episode. Well it starts off in a hurry as Michael immediately goes idol hunting. The rest of the Malolo tribe seems unphased, as he’s evidently on the bottom. But lo and behold, he finds one. And guys, oh my god. It’s the fucking stick. The most iconic fake idol of all time, created by Ozzy Lusth in Survivor: Micronesia (Fans vs Favorites), found by Jason Siska, and played by Eliza Orlins. All three were voted out in succession, creating the stick’s curse. But it has transformed into a real idol, and Michael once again has power.
Head to the reward challenge and wouldn’t you believe this, Malolo loses again! Moments to note are Angela calling Michael by the wrong name (James, aka the person voted out last week) and Bradley snapping at Donathan several times. Naviti comes in first, and chooses Kellyn to go back to Ghost Island. She’s the first repeat visitor to Ghost Island, and the logic there is pretty fair.
Kellyn heads to Ghost Island and once again finds herself with an opportunity to play for an advantage. This time, she has a 2/3 chance to win. Kinda get the feeling they really want her to just suck it up and play, no? Well she does, and she wins the vote steal found by Sarah Lacina in Survivor: Game Changers that she used to vote out Michaela Bradshaw (who had the advantage at her feet and never saw it. Gotta love irony!)
Back at Naviti beach the tribe is reveling in their victory, but Bradley starts getting impatient and literally claps at Donathan to help him set up their steak reward. Domenick and Chelsea are talking about the challenge and Bradley continues to complain, even saying in his confessional he’s trying not to be a dick. Spoiler, he’s failing. The four other Navitis vent about him on the beach, and Donathan and Libby are aware that throwing Bradley under the bus could save them.
At Yanuya, the tribe enjoys their food reward as well. Wendell remarks that today is his girlfriend Nicole’s birthday, and even gets the tribe to sing Happy Birthday to her. He also notices that the food is making everyone lethargic, and decides this is the perfect time to go idol-hunting. Bingo bango bongo, he finds himself one. For this idol the producers double-dip in the Micronesia love, choosing Erik Reichenbach’s immunity necklace that he infamously gave up at the final five Tribal Council, only to be voted out. Good luck hiding that, Wendell.
At Malolo beach, Des decides, ‘Hey we have so much bad luck let’s burn our flag. Burning the Malolo name will reverse our curse.’ It’s… interesting thinking. We head to the immunity challenge and the hot ring-tossing of Wendell secures immunity for Yanuya. It’s down to Malolo and Naviti. Will the curse continue? Well, it’s Michael vs Donathan on ring-tossing so… yeah Malolo wins immunity for once.
At Naviti beach Domenick has had enough of Bradley. He’s a pain in the ass, he’s insufferable… but is he the right person to vote out? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: it’s a choice between comfort and strategy. Yes, Bradley is incredibly difficult to live with. But he’s probably a number for Dom. He and Chelsea mull over voting Bradley or voting Libby. Libby is worried it will be her but Chelsea reassures her to have trust. At tribal, Libby and Donathan insist they can be loyal to Domenick and Chelsea, apologizing for blindsiding Morgan. Bradley monologues about conversation and debate and insists he isn’t being an argumentative dick. The tribe votes, and it’s 1-1 between Bradley and Libby. A second Bradley vote pops up, his eyebrows flair. Original Naviti has finally turned on itself, as Bradley gets blindsided in 14th place. The pre-merge villain is gone, his comeuppance served.
Well next episode we are officially merged! The game really kicks it up a notch around merge time and this one should be no exception, with the Domenick v. Chris war FINALLY starting to really begin. Individual immunity will be crucial, and don’t forget about Domenick’s Legacy Advantage (which is eligible to be played since 13 are left). Until then, may the Survivor Gods smile down upon you.