Survivor: Ghost Island

Give Me Five! Episode 1 & 2

Which moments made an impact in the season premiere?

Welcome to Give Me Five! Each week, Brent Sullivan will look at the top five impactful moments from the latest episode that could influence the rest of the season.


Another season of Survivor has started and this one (just like season 35) had a particularly heavy pre-season with lots of content to consume. Ghost Island seems like a really fun idea, and I enjoyed finally seeing it on my TV for the first time. Also, I think that Jacob was a perfect fit to be the first one selected to go. Production once again did a great job making it look fantastic. Now, on to another season of moments and the potential impacts that they may have.

1. Choosing captains. We were off to the races quickly here when each tribe had to select a captain immediately. Those captains had to then turn around an pick one person for a physical portion of a challenge and one person for a puzzle portion. Malolo chose Brendan and Naviti chose Chris (or maybe Chris chose himself?). It seemed to work out okay for Brendan since Malolo won the challenge and he appears to be in a good spot. Chris, on the other hand, is handling things a little bit differently over on Naviti. Not only did he drop his tribe them out of the first challenge to at least save the fishing gear, but Domenick wasted no time in calling him out on that decision. If all of that isn’t enough, Chris is still referring to himself as the leader six days into the game. Survivor history shows that most people in that role don’t usually make it that far. We will have to see what sort of impact this has on our “captains” as the season goes along.

2. Domenick is playing the game hard. There is always someone that comes out playing too hard and fast as the season starts. For this season, that guy is Domenick. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is a character, and I enjoyed watching him over the first two episodes, but the dude needs to tone it down a notch. First of all, when everyone was just standing there when Probst asked if they would do anything different, he raised his hand. That is a bold move on the first few minutes of the game. Then back at camp, he was taking control of the shelter building and talking non-stop. Finally, something good happened to him, he was able to find a hidden immunity idol in the middle of the night. I really thought that would turn his game around until he made a fake one and then shared it with Chris. I really couldn’t follow his thinking on this, but either way, he has a real idol now and an excellent chance to make an impact with it in the near future.

3. Morgan has an advantage. Even though Jacob was the first inhabitant of Ghost Island, Morgan is actually in possession of the first advantage from Ghost Island. Due to Jacob winning it during his stay and him having to will it away, he walks away with nothing but a fake idol. Jacob chose to give the Legacy Advantage to Morgan, hoping it would carry goodwill for him down the road. He will obviously never have the chance to test that out. Morgan now has an advantage that can help her later as long as she can keep her mouth shut about it. At the moment, Stephanie J is the only person who knows, but how long will that last?

4. James’ performance in the challenge. James’ performance in the immunity/reward challenge was not a pretty sight. I am not sure what was going on there, but it is almost like he couldn’t get enough breath to go underwater. Donathan stepped up to help him finish out that portion of the challenge, but that was not a good look for him. James may bounce back in the next challenge and do fine, but if he keeps struggling or if there are more water challenges, he may not be able to overcome this negative start. I am curious to see how he does in the next episode.

5. Stephanie has game. The way that Stephanie played Jacob was crazy and fun to watch. Not only is she a big fan of the show, but she has a killer social game as well. She seems to have a small group already with her and had Jacob eating out of her hand. It will be exciting to watch her over the next few weeks to see how she can follow-up her week one action.

6. Bonus: Just a quick note on a few people’s edits so far. Donathan is probably getting the best edit with the whole hero discussion after he stepped in for James. A few other people to note are Wendell and Stephanie. On the other end is someone like Domenick, who come out and started idol searching right away. I will be watching closely to see if he is able to survive while keeping up that level of play.

There you go. What moments from the double premiere week episodes do you think made an impact?

Written by

Brent Sullivan

Brent is a 39-year-old Survivor super fan from Muncie, IN. He is married with two kids and does IT work at a local non-profit organization. He has been running in-person and online Survivor contests since season 7.

One response to “Give Me Five! Episode 1 & 2”

  1. To me the fact that Donathan took so damn long to agree to try and step up was not a good sign. And after he was like “I had faith in my swimming ability” And i’m like then why didn’t he do it from the start.
    Question on the bonus. I hardly remember anything from Wendell this episode

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