'Survivor: Ghost Island' recap: Jenna Bowman and Michael Yerger voted out at separate Tribal Councils
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/03/2018
Survivor: Ghost Island's Lavita tribe voted out Jenna Bowman and Michael Yerger at two separate Tribal Council sessions during Wednesday night's one-hour broadcast on CBS.
Jenna, a 23-year-old advertising account executive from Detroit, MI, was voted out on Night 29 of the game through a 1-1-3 vote instead of Sebastian Noel and Donathan Hurley.
Michael, an 18-year-old real estate agent from Knoxville, TN, was voted out of Lavita later that same night through a unanimous re-vote.
During the first vote, Michael tied with Laurel Johnson after receiving two votes apiece. Kellyn Bechtold had an extra-vote advantage, and she used it on Laurel in case Michael played a hidden Immunity Idol and was deemed safe. Kellyn and Wendell Holland also each received one vote on the first vote.
"Even though I came up short, I can look back and really be proud of the game I played... At 18-years-old, I feel like my life is just beginning and I watched the show for so long, to have an experience like this is priceless," Michael said following his ouster.
The Survivor broadcast began on Night 27, with Domenick Abbate thanking Laurel for warning him that the Naviti girls were targeting their alliance and trying to take Kellyn out. Laurel's warning resulted in Desiree Afuye's elimination instead.
Laurel assured Domenick and Wendell that she was with them. Kellyn was grateful to Laurel for saving her; however, she wasn't sure she wanted to work with Laurel going forward. Kellyn liked the idea of continuing to stay "Naviti Strong."
On Day 28, Wendell told the cameras he didn't think people knew Donathan and Laurel were working with Domenick and himself, and he intended to keep it that way.
Domenick and Wendell had become great friends in the game at this point, but Domenick admitted in a confessional he'd be willing to take his pal out if necessary. Domenick wanted to win the game for his family.
Domenick then went off looking for another hidden Immunity Idol. He discovered an emblem painted on something that looked like a coconut, and inside was David Wright's fake idol from Survivor 33.
David planted a fake idol he had created in the game to trick Justin "Jay" Starrett, who ended up playing the idol to save himself at Tribal Council only to discover minutes later he had been voted out of the game.
David's idol had not matured into a real idol, but Domenick realized he could use it the same way David had -- to trick a fellow castaway into thinking he or she would be safe. In the meantime, Domenick stashed the coconut under brush until he could come up with the best way to play it.
Each player was required to pull up on a bar, clamping a ball between two sets of jaws. If the pressure was released, the ball would drop and that person would be out of the challenge.
Jeff revealed the tribe was going to be split in half based on random draw and then each team of five castaways would have an immunity winner. The last person standing in the challenge on either team would be named the winner.
Jeff also told the two teams they would each be going to separate Tribal Councils, meaning two castaways would be voted out of Lavita by the end of the night.
In addition, the person left standing out of all 10 castaways would be able to send his or her team to Tribal Council second. Jeff suggested this group might have an advantage because they'd be able to see which castaway gets eliminated hours beforehand at the first Tribal of the night.
One team was comprised of Michael, Laurel, Domenick, Wendell and Kellyn. The other team was made up of Jenna, Donathan, Sebastian, Chelsea Townsend, Angela Perkins.
Chelsea won for her team -- her second Individual Immunity win in a row -- and then it came down to Wendell against Domenick on the other team. After exchanging some funny banter, Wendell dropped out of the challenge and Domenick put the immunity necklace around his neck.
Heading back to camp, Michael realized he was up against three original Naviti and his chances of staying were slim. Domenick also planned to put votes on Michael, telling the cameras it should be "an easy vote."
Since Michael knew he might be going home, he asked Donathan if he could borrow his idol just to show at Tribal Council since they were attending separate sessions. Michael promised he would just use the idol as a bluff and then give it back to him.
Donathan, however, gave a very simple and plain answer -- "No." Michael therefore decided to lie about having an idol in the hope of saving himself for one more night.
Michael then told Kellyn that he had an idol and was playing it that night regardless. Michael told Kellyn that he was with her for the long haul and neither of them should share news of the idol with Laurel. Kellyn was shown agreeing with this plan.
In the case Michael really did have an idol, Kellyn was worried votes would be put on her. Dom, however, assured Kellyn that Michael was bluffing because he's able to read people very well. Domenick noted he was going to vote for Michael no matter what.
But Kellyn wasn't convinced Michael was powerless, so she suggested to Chelsea they vote for Laurel, who definitely didn't have an idol. Kellyn apparently didn't know Laurel was working with Domenick and Wendell, but she had an extra-vote advantage to use that she had won on Ghost Island.
Wendell was then shown discussing with Laurel how Kellyn needed to go next if Michael played an idol. Wendell, in fact, was willing to vote for Kellyn regardless of Michael's idol in order to save Laurel.
Meanwhile, Sebastian's team also had three original Naviti against two original Malolo. Sebastian said his Naviti members were going to vote for Jenna but promise her that Donathan was going home instead.
Jenna seemed to know she had a 50/50 chance of staying, so she decided to put on an act and make Donathan think she was absolutely going home. Jenna assumed her defeated attitude might convince Donathan not to use his idol at all -- resulting in his elimination -- or to play it for her.
Jenna therefore told Donathan that Sebastian warned her flat out she was getting voted out next. As expected, Donathan considered playing his idol for Jenna to save their numbers, as he didn't want to see Jenna or Laurel on the other team go home.
Donathan then told Jenna to vote Sebastian and that he'd use his idol on her. Jenna told the cameras Donathan was "an idiot" and she had every intention of voting him out.
At the first Tribal Council session of the night, jury members Chris Noble, Libby Vincek and Desiree were welcomed.
Jenna announced it was her going next and she had absolutely no chance to stay. The Tribal was brief and to the point.
When it became time for the castaways to play their idols or advantages, Donathan decided to use his idol on himself.
Jeff then read the votes in the following order: Donathan, Sebastian, Jenna, Jenna and Jenna.
At the second Tribal Council of the night, Wendell declared the vote was easy and Michael was in trouble, but Kellyn was still nervous because Survivor is never that easy.
Kellyn called Michael "The Idol King," but then Domenick announced he did not believe Michael had an idol. Michael also had no idol to show, however, he offered up a reasonable explanation about how he wanted to keep it under wraps until the time comes to play it.
Wendell and Dom then started whispering, and Laurel told Jeff it was probably over whether or not to "take a shot at Michael." Laurel said the guys were going to determine Malolo's fate and the vote could very likely be her, however, she was just pretending like she wasn't working with the two guys.
From Kellyn's perspective, both Laurel and Michael thought they were in trouble -- and she didn't know what to think.
When it became time to vote, Kellyn put two votes on Laurel in case Michael really did play an idol. Laurel, on the other hand, cast one vote for Kellyn just in case. Michael voted for Wendell, and both Michael and Domenick voted for Michael.
The vote resulted in a tie between Laurel and Michael. On the re-vote, Michael and Laurel could not vote, and everyone else could only vote for one of those two players. The team ultimately succeeded in taking out Michael on the re-vote.