The Noble One
Come on in guys! Congratulations on making it all the way to the Survivor: Ghost Island merge episode; this is a huge milestone in reading these recaps. We are now in the individual portion of the game, and oh baby—it’s time. The Domenick v. Chris war can now officially kick off. Let’s do this thing.
We begin like every good merge does: with a feast. All 13 castaways come together to form one tribe, eat, drink, and be merry (and also rap, if you’re Chris). Well, Domenick didn’t get the memo because he’s already annoyed with having Chris back in his presence. Oh buddy, we’re just getting started.
After the feast, Chris is lying down when he notices something in his buff. It’s a note, telling him to go to treemail. How lucky we are that of the randomly placed buffs, Chris of all people picked up the one with a note. Awaiting at treemail is a clue to an idol, but here’s the catch: it’s hidden at Ghost Island, and he has to sneak out of camp at night to catch a boat ride over. A risky opportunity, but Chris is ready for it. This is a really creative usage of Ghost Island and actually provides a better risk/reward situation than ever before.
Some original Naviti members meet up to discuss if they can all work together for a vote, but the Dom/Chris feud could prevent that. Wendell decides he will mediate a meeting of the minds, to try and end this ‘cold war’ between the two guys. In a surprise to literally no one, Chris is not on board with what Dom is pitching (he’s too suavé). Thus, the battle will continue.
Night falls, and Chris sneaks off to Ghost Island without a hitch. Ghost Island looks fantastic at night, torches light the way along the beach to the idol’s location. It truly is becoming the spooky playground. Chris finds J.T.’s idol from Survivor: Game Changers, the same idol he didn’t bring to Tribal when he was blindsided and voted out in 16th place. Truly a cursed idol, and now it’s only good for one Tribal Council… unless Chris wants to be bold. If he wagers his vote, he can increase the power of the idol for one additional Tribal Council, up to five more times. But if he loses once, he loses his vote at the next tribal. Chris goes for it, and wins round 1. Round 2, he hits the no vote. So now he can’t vote at the all important merge tribal, but he does have another tribal to play his idol if necessary. Chris pledges he will actually bring the idol to Tribal and be ready to play it.
The next morning, Chris is naturally tired and cranky (since he was up all night at Ghost Island). This irks Dom, and sets off a tremendous series of editing. We alternate between Chris and Dom talking smack about the other, and it’s absolutely hysterical. Major props to the editors here; Dom rolls his eyes in one place as Chris is rapping in another. It’s TV gold. We also get a nice strategy scene between Jenna and Libby discussing the merits of which to side to go with, noting that the original Malolos may be needed for numbers in a vote.
The first individual immunity challenge is a typical endurance challenge, and Kellyn prevails in a hard fought battle over Libby. Back at camp, Chris immediately brings everyone not named Dom or Wendell to the water well for a meeting. That’s 10 people all gathered around listening to Chris preach strategy. He proposes a split vote between Dom and Wendell to flush Dom’s idol (the fake idol that Chris thinks is real). Back at camp, Dom and Wendell realize they’re literally alone. They decide enough is enough and to combat Chris tonight. Wendell reveals he too has an idol, and the pair now realize they have plenty of ammunition.
Everyone returns from the well and Donathan immediately tells Dom his plan. Dom says Jenna and Libby are on board with getting Chris out, which Donathan refutes. However, at the same time Wendell is pitching Chris to Jenna, Libby, and Sebastian. Libby remarks that with the war, she feels very safe tonight. Naturally, why would that ever be the case. Kellyn, Des, Angela, and Chelsea are back at the water well and throw out the idea of voting Libby, in order to get another Malolo out.
Tribal commences and it quickly becomes the Dom v. Chris war we all anticipated. Dom reveals his fake idol to the tribe, which Chris verifies, and they (along with Wendell) pull no punches in trying to target the other. But with idols afoot, it’s anyone’s guess what’s about to happen. Chris “votes” first, holding his no vote parchment while saying farewell to Dom or Wendell. Domenick votes, loudly proclaiming so the whole tribe can hear in an ode to many famous confessionals past, “CHRIS NOBLE. Been a pleasure serving you coffee for 22 days. See you on the other side brotha.” And then, we get to Wendell’s vote. Folks, I’m going to need you to watch this before I explain to you why it’s the greatest voting confessional of all time.
It starts off with a pretty fair critique of someone Wendell is tired of living with. And then, the pièce de résistance. He goes for the jugular: Chris’ rapping. If the confessional just ended at “You’re trash,” it would’ve been pretty savage. But what makes this so great is Wendell clearly feels bad about calling Chris trash. So he clarifies: his rapping is trash. He can’t rap. He has no bars. And then, it’s over. But wait, there’s more! Telling Chris to put the mic down is a great add-on, and even better is the finisher: “Put the pen down, bro. Use an eraser.” What seals the whole confessional is Wendell’s exasperated, albeit a tad awkward, delivery (reminiscent of Donald Glover’s humor, which of course is fitting because they’re identical). Every time he thinks he’s done, he begins to close his parchment and put it in the urn. Then when he finds more to say, he re-opens it to continue. This happens a couple times during the whole confessional and it’s just pure gold. I’ve re-watched this confessional at least a dozen times since the episode aired, and it continuously delivers. With all due respect to Rob Cesternino’s Casey Kasem confessional from Survivor: Amazon, Wendell’s has taken the title of best ever.
Back to the game, the votes have been cast. Probst can’t wait to get someone to play an idol, and luckily for him Domenick obliges. Despite literally wearing his fake idol, Dom instead opts to play his Legacy Advantage that he got from Morgan. Chris and Wendell choose to be brave and hold onto their idols. The votes come up two votes for Chris, and two for Libby. Then, the Chris votes pile on and pile on. J.T.’s idol remains cursed, as Chris is blindsided with it in his own pocket.
So clearly I’m no Chris Noble with the rap skills. Speaking of The Noble One (that’s his rap name), he’s our first juror! Very excited to see his reactions to the rest of the game from the jury bench. The stars of the episode are, of course, Dom and Wendell for getting out their number one target and not really losing too much in terms of idols/advantages. Now that one of the biggest storylines of the season has been completed, it will be interesting to see what happens from here on out. Can the duo continue to run the game? Or will a new faction rise against them? We’ll find out Wednesday. Until then, may the Survivor Gods smile down upon you.