Player Analysis: Episodes 1 & 2

The premiere of Survivor: Ghost Island was a wild ride, and the craziness will continue next week with the first swap of the season. Predicting the votes for next week will be just as difficult as predicting the votes for the premiere because we have no idea if there will be two tribes or three, nor do we know who will be on which tribes. However, I will provide a brief analysis of each player to see how they performed in the first two episodes, which could help shed a little light on how they might be positioned going into episode 3. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

ANGELA (points earned: 5)
Angela was nearly invisible in both episodes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s still too early to tell whether she’s in a good position or not, and the fact that she hasn’t had much screen time could indicate that she’s safe for now.

BRADLEY (points earned: 5)
Bradley was also quiet in these episodes. However, he was shown strategizing in the water with Wendell and Domenick, which indicates that he’s at least included in the conversation with some of the key players on his tribe. He also isn’t attracting much attention yet, neither positive or negative, which is a good thing.

BRENDAN (points earned: 1)
Brendan happened to be on the losing tribe, so he didn’t gain many points in these episodes. However, he was also appointed the de facto leader by his tribemates and did a good job playing the part of the leader without becoming bossy or condescending. He assembled a strong alliance with Michael, Libby, Stephanie J, and others, and although it appeared that Stephanie J was going to flip on him, his alliance ultimately stayed intact. He should be set up well going into the swap because he will most likely end up on a tribe with at least some of his allies.

CHELSEA (points earned: 5)
Chelsea, like Angela, was nearly invisible in these episodes, so it’s too early to tell how she will fare in the future. However, there’s no reason to believe she is either a threat or an outcast, so she seems to be safe.

CHRIS (points earned: 1)
Chris put himself out there by volunteering to be the tribe captain in the first reward challenge, which is never a good idea. Also, his decision to forfeit the reward so that his tribe could keep their fishing gear pissed off Domenick. The battle lines have been drawn in the sand between Domenick and Chris, and it’s likely to come to a head soon. Chris does have an ally in Sebastian, but how many other allies does he have? He could be in trouble after the swap, unless he’s put on a tribe with mostly Naviti members who don’t view him as much of a strategic threat.

DESIREE (points earned: 5)
For the limited screen time she had in these episodes, Desiree has already proven herself to be a physical competitor when she dominated the basketball throwing section of the second immunity challenge. She could be one to watch in terms of gaining points in future challenges. Also, she seems to get along well with her tribemates so far.

DOMENICK (points earned: 6)
Domenick was one of the breakout stars of these first two episodes, but so far, his gameplay has been a mixed bag. He’s paranoid like Tony Vlachos, which leads him to play aggressively. That aggression is good in some cases (i.e. finding the idol in the middle of the night) but not so good in other cases (i.e. admitting he disagreed with Chris’ decision at the reward challenge and telling Chris he has an idol). Domenick is a high risk, high reward player. Now that he has an idol, he will gain a point for every episode he keeps possession of it. He also has shown the willingness to make big moves. However, if he keeps playing at such a fast, aggressive rate, he could paint a target on his back. Either way, it’ll be entertaining to watch.

DONATHAN (points earned: 2)
Donathan was another major star of these episodes. His gameplay wasn’t flashy or impressive from a strategic standpoint, but he seems to be playing a decent social game. Even if he had not been sent to Ghost Island, his tribe probably would have still voted out Jacob because Donathan is more trustworthy and likable. Likability goes a long way in Survivor. Now that Donathan has survived the first two episodes, he will probably be around for awhile due to likability alone. But don’t count on him to score many points in water challenges!

JACOB (points earned: 4)
Oh, Jacob. As a Survivor superfan, Jacob should have known better. But instead, he got stuck in his head and made blunder after blunder. Some of his ideas were good, such as making a fake idol on Ghost Island and getting his tribe to think he had a real idol, but his execution was poor, such as when he showed his fake idol to the entire tribe, or when he publicly announced that he was going to search for an idol. He’s the latest example of the importance of the social aspect of the game over strategic gameplay. Strategic moves are fun and exciting, but the social connections are much more vital. At the very least, FSG players who drafted Jacob will receive 1 handicap point for every episode going forward.

JAMES (points earned: 1)
James blew the second immunity challenge, which put him in the crosshairs of his tribe. However, instead of apologizing and moving on, he kept harping on how he should be voted out due to his horrible performance. Dude, let it go! Do you want to stay in the game or don’t you? Fortunately for him, the tribe opted to vote out Jacob instead. However, the fact that he was still the target for the “dummy vote” shows that his tribe doesn’t have much loyalty to him. Hopefully his game will find new life at the swap.

JENNA (points earned: 1)
Jenna is lying low, but also aligning herself with the right people. She’s loyal to Stephanie J, which is going to be beneficial for her in the long run, and she also seems to have good connections with everyone else on her tribe. She’s in a comfortable spot, and she should be able to assimilate quickly into her new tribe after the swap.

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KELLYN (points earned: 5)
Kellyn received a confessional, indicating that her story will probably be picking up in the next few episodes, though she didn’t have a lot of screen time overall in these two episodes. However, she seems to be getting along well with everyone and isn’t coming across as overtly strategic, even though she secretly is.

LAUREL (points earned: 1)
Laurel is probably the smartest person in this cast, but she’s doing a great job not calling attention to her strategic capabilities. Instead, she’s lying low, smiling, and making friends. Although she’s not making big moves, she’ll probably be around for awhile.

LIBBY (points earned: 1)
Libby was part of the “beautiful people” alliance with Brendan, Michael, and Stephanie J, and although she didn’t receive a confessional in these episodes, she seems to know how to align herself with the key players on her tribe. The question is, what will happen if she’s stuck on a tribe without any of her allies next week?

MICHAEL (points earned: 1)
Michael has proven himself to be a strong physical competitor, and he put himself in a secure position as the right-hand man of the tribe’s leader, Brendan. The problem is, he may be too much of a threat. His name already came up before tribal council when Jacob suggested that he and Stephanie J target him. Although that never came to fruition, it’s an early indication that he will have a target on his back going forward. Sidenote: how are Michael and Libby not in a showmance yet?

MORGAN (points earned: 6)
Not only did she find herself on the winning tribe, Morgan also received the Legacy Advantage from Jacob. She seems to be friendly and unassuming so far, but the fact that Stephanie J now knows about Morgan’s advantage could put her in some hot water if the two women end up on the same tribe next week.

SEBASTIAN (points earned: 5)
Is Sebastian going to be Ozzy 2.0 or Jason Siska 2.0? That remains to be seen, but he’s starting to tip a little towards to the Jason side of the scale in terms of gameplay. He aligned himself with fellow Floridan Chris, but the two of them may not be in the best position on their tribe because Domenick is organizing a coalition against Chris. Sebastian doesn’t seem to be much of a strategic threat, but he will probably keep helping his tribe earn challenge points.

STEPHANIE G (points earned: 3)
As far as what viewers could see, despite being voted out first, Stephanie didn’t do much wrong. However, she was a little aggressive in her strategy conversations with the others on the beach, when she threw out Donathan’s name. That was probably enough of a reason for her tribe to target her, especially with Jacob safe on Ghost Island. Too bad for Stephanie, because she had potential. As a consolation prize, the FSG players who drafted Stephanie G will receive a handicap point for every episode moving forward.

STEPHANIE J (points earned: 1)
Stephanie Johnson displayed some impressive social and strategic skills in both episodes. She was the one who got her tribe to vote out Stephanie Gonzalez because she perceived her to be a threat (maybe it also had to do with the fact that she didn’t want another Stephanie around), and she also got Jacob to divulge information in the second episode by playing the part of a potential ally. Although she briefly flirted with the idea of flipping on Brendan, Michael, and Libby, she made the right decision by sticking with her original alliance. She’s one to watch, since she could dominate this game going forward. However, she’ll have to restrain herself from making unnecessarily big moves or she could put a target on her back prematurely.

WENDELL (points earned: 5)
Wendell’s social skills are an underreported story because he’s playing so subtly. He’s flying under the radar but also keeping himself positioned nicely between the two dominant alliances. He even gathered information from Sebastian and reported to Domenick that Chris wanted to vote him out, proving that he’s a valuable ally to Domenick. It would be great to see Wendell and Domenick team up going forward, because they could really balance each other out. Either way, Wendell is another smart strategic player who is wisely staying out of the spotlight for now.

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2 Responses

  1. I thought Gonzalez was going to be the better Stephanie this season, but I was dead wrong! I also really like Stephanie J and I can’t wait to see what she does next. I think she’ll be racking up points throughout the season because she’s probably in for the long haul.

  2. I think Stephanie J was AWESOME this episode and I am an immediate fan of her, and so it’s surprising to read she in this game, is only a 1-point-Survivor so far. I can’t wait for her to earn massive points later.

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