'Survivor: Ghost Island' recap: Morgan Ricke voted out after tribal swap
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/08/2018
Survivor: Ghost Island featured a tribal swap and the elimination of Morgan Ricke during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Morgan, a 29-year-old marine animal trainer from New Albany, IN, was voted out of her new Naviti tribe on Night 9 of the game following a tribal swap.
Morgan's tribe ousted her through a 4-3-1 vote instead of Angela Perkins, a 42-year-old Army veteran from Cincinnati, OH, and Libby Vincek, a 24-year-old social media strategist from Houston, TX, respectively, at the season's third Tribal Council session. One of her tribe's members was at Ghost Island.
"I actually have the Legacy Advantage. I thought it was going to do me good. Obviously it didn't work out, so this might be cursed now, but I am willing the Legacy Advantage to [Domenick Abbate]," Morgan said in her final words.
"He was always open and honest with me. Hopefully this isn't a curse. If it is, I'm really sorry."
TheSurvivor broadcast kicked off on Night 6, with the following members on Naviti: Angela; Morgan; Domenick; Chelsea Townsend, a 24-year-old EMT from Salt Lake City, UT; Desiree Afuye, a 21-year-old student from Newark, NJ; Kellyn Bechtold, a 31-year-old career counselor from North Manchester, IN; Bradley Kleihege, a 26-year-old law student from Haslett, MI; Chris Noble, a 27-year-old male model from Florida Keys, FL; Sebastian Noel, a 22-year-old fishing guide from Melbourne, FL; and Wendell Holland, a 33-year-old furniture designer from Philadelphia, PA.
Malolo was comprised of Libby; Jenna Bowman, a 23-year-old account executive from Detroit, MI; Laurel Johnson, a 29-year-old financial consultant from Philadelphia, PA; Stephanie Johnson, a 34-year-old yoga instructor from Boise, ID; Brendan Shapiro, a 41-year-old physical education teacher from Herndon, VA; Donathan Hurley, a 26-year-old caretaker from Phelps, KY; James Lim, a 24-year-old business analyst from Los Angeles, CA; and Michael Yerger, an 18-year-old real estate agent from Knoxville, TN.
On Day 7, the two tribes metSurvivor host Jeff Probst, and Donathan returned from Ghost Island.
After both tribes gushed about how much they loved and got along with their tribemates, Jeff announced there would be a tribal swap and everyone must select a new buff at random. Angela was so upset about the idea of leaving her tribe that she started to cry.
The new Naviti tribe -- wearing purple -- featured four old Malolo members: Donathan, Libby, Laurel and James. It also had five former Naviti members: Domenick, Chris, Angela, Wendell and Morgan.
The new Malolo tribe -- wearing orange -- was also made up of four old Malolo: Jenna, Stephanie, Brendan and Michael. And there were also five former Naviti castaways: Desiree, Sebastian, Kellyn, Bradley and Chelsea.
Naviti had the numbers on both tribes and hoped to remain five strong; however, both Chris and Domenick were still gunning for each other having started out on the same tribe and butted heads over power and pride.
Chris was also targeting Domenick because he thought he had an idol, but Dom had just been bluffing with a fake one to gain his trust.
Once Malolo returned to camp, Brendan pointed out that the old Naviti members -- especially Bradley -- did nothing but complain about their shelter and conditions.
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It was true, however, that the original Naviti's camp had a beautiful view and amazing setup, including a hammock and fire pits, because of all their Reward wins.
Chris was then shown telling Angela that Domenick had a hidden Immunity Idol and they needed to blindside him. But Chris spoke to Angela instead of having a conversation with her, so she didn't appreciate taking orders from him and therefore had no intention of listening to his demands. Angela called Chris "manipulative."
Chris then confided in another group within his tribe about Domenick's alleged idol, but Libby was on the same page as Angela in that she wasn't going to follow along with whatever Chris wanted and simply become a number for him. Libby said she'd "play dumb" but not "be dumb" about it.
At Malolo's camp on Day 8, Stephanie was looking for a crack. Feeling like the former Malolo members were in trouble, she and Jenna went off looking for an idol, as did Michael and Brendan.
And Michael just so happened to stumble upon a idol, with Brendan standing at his side. Michael found James Clement's original idol from Survivor: China.
Meanwhile, at Naviti, Morgan and Domenick were tight and wanted the five original Naviti to stick together; however, she didn't get the sense Chris wanted to stay five strong, so they painted a target on his back.
Morgan also bonded with Libby over their shared religion. Libby felt she had established a real alliance with Morgan, as they got along beautifully together.
On Day 9, the two tribes met Jeff again for an Immunity Challenge, which would also served as the Reward Challenge.
Each tribe was required to race through a series of ramp walls to a sand pit, dig up a tall ladder, climb it, retrieve a rope, use that rope to get to the top of a tall tower, and then solve a large puzzle once at the top.
The winning tribe would be safe from the vote but also walk away with a tarp to protect them from the sun and the rain.
Malolo ended up having "a dominant victory," according to Jeff, and then they had to come to a unanimous decision as to which castaway from Naviti they'd like to send to Ghost Island.
The consensus seemed to be Donathan, but Stephanie disagreed. It became clear former Naviti members wanted to protect their own, as did Malolo. As a result, the new Naviti castaways drew rocks, and Chris selected the white rock, sending him to Ghost Island.
Although Chris received immunity, it was disadvantageous to be absent from the social politics at camp. Domenick also called him "lucky," saying he was looking forward to voting Chris out at the upcoming Tribal Council.
Chris had a tough time on Ghost Island and was frustrated he'd be missing out on a huge Tribal Council in which he had intended to spearhead a vote to blindside Domenick.
Chris did not get to play a game on the island -- meaning he won no advantage or idol -- and he shared the heart-wrenching story of how his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before he was born. Chris' mother serves as his inspiration, because he said she is the ultimate survivor.
Chris' exit left four former Naviti members against four former Malolo members on the new tribe heading to Tribal Council.
On Day 9 at Naviti, Angela assumed the four Malolo would carry through with Chris' plan to vote out Domenick, but Angela didn't want to go along with that. She did not want to be controlled, and she sincerely wanted to stay Naviti strong.
Angela was willing to go through with a tie 4-4 vote and draw rocks just so she didn't have to switch sides. Angela therefore suggested to Wendell they vote for Libby. But Wendell was confused because he thought Angela was "Chris' right hand man."
Wendell definitely didn't want to draw rocks, and so he put the target on Angela. Wendell then spoke to Morgan about taking out Angela or Libby, because they were both close with Chris, but Morgan assured him that Libby was with them.
Morgan and Wendell then spoke to James and Libby about voting for Angela to prove they were on the same side.
But Domenick knew the former Malolo members might be going after him, so he decided to tell Laurel, James and Libby that he had a fake idol. Domenick brought it up, assuming Chris had warned them all about it.
Domenick hoped his honesty would remove the target from his back, but James began wondering if he was "Russell Hantz 2.0" and really did have a genuine idol in his pocket. James realized that Domenick was very capable of lying to people's faces.
James then told Laurel and Donathan that if Domenick was actually voting for Angela, their target would certainly go home because there would only be three votes for Naviti up against their foursome.
It ultimately became a choice between Wendell and Morgan, and James thought they needed Wendell going forward.
Libby, however, didn't want to take Morgan out because they had become friends. Libby acknowledged voting for Angela would be a unanimous and easy vote, but the other option would be for old Malolo to do their own thing.
At Tribal Council, Jeff revealed the votes in the following order: Libby, Angela, Angela, Angela, Morgan, Morgan, Morgan, and Morgan.
"Don't trust the cute blondes," Morgan said on her way out, referring to Libby.
The episode's closing credits later showed that James, Laurel, Donathan and Libby voted for Morgan. Angela voted for Libby, and then Wendell, Domenick and Morgan voted for Angela.