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Ghost Island is a twist used in Survivor and is the eponymous twist of its 36th season.

In essence, Ghost Island is a variation of Exile Island, where a member of the tribe that loses a Reward Challenge is banished until the next Immunity Challenge. The island features a lit fire wok, meager food rations, and a pre-made shelter emblazoned with props from previous seasons. The banished castaway arrives on Ghost Island and is welcomed by the message, One bad decision can haunt you forever, after which, he/she given a chance to obtain a past playable Survivor relic—game advantages from the series' history. While the contestants banished to Ghost Island may or may not be granted immunity from Tribal Council, previous disadvantages imposed by Exile Island such as being away from their tribe, ostensibly from its social dynamics, remain.

Strategy

There are many strategies to use in a season with Ghost Island, such as:

  • Sending a contestant that the winning tribe believes was in danger of being voted out.
  • To further isolate a tribe member from its tribe so that he/she can be an easy target.
  • Following a Tribe Switch, a contestant on the winning tribe can attempt to send a member of the losing tribe that was a member of their original tribe prior to the switch.
  • Sending the most likable person, likely causing demoralization of the opposing tribe.
  • Sending an ally for the chance of receiving an advantage.

Twist History

Ghost Island was the main twist in Survivor: Ghost Island. After losing the first Immunity Challenge, Malolo had Jacob Derwin pegged as the main target for elimination. However, Naviti saw this clear vote count, and decided to send Jacob to Ghost Island.

Upon arriving at Ghost Island, Jacob smashed the first urn in line. Following the instructions he was given, he found two treasure chests, with a third, locked chest in the middle. Picking the chest to the left, Jacob obtained the key to the locked chest. Inside was the Legacy Advantage misplayed by Sierra Dawn Thomas in Survivor: Game Changers. Jacob was forced to will the advantage to a member of Naviti. He chose to give the advantage to Morgan Ricke.

Donathan Hurley and Chris Noble were sent to Ghost Island following Jacob. However, neither of them received advantages in the game. Donathan was sent via unanimous decision by Naviti. Chris was sent after the Tribe Switch via rock draw due to the original tribe factions on Malolo being unable to unanimously agree.

After the Reward Challenge on Day 10, Kellyn Bechtold was sent to Ghost Island after a rock draw. At Ghost Island, she decided not to play for an advantage, seeing as her vote was crucial in what would otherwise be a 4-4 deadlock in the event that Malolo attended Tribal Council. Kellyn later returned to her tribe and joined them for Tribal Council at the next Immunity Challenge.

Following the Reward Challenge on Day 13, Stephanie Johnson was sent to Ghost Island after a rock draw. There, was refuted by Ghost Island. She returned to her tribe in time for the next Immunity Challenge.

After the Reward Challenge on Day 18, Kellyn was sent back to Ghost Island by the Naviti tribe. At Ghost Island, she decided to play for an advantage, but it came with a twist. She was allowed two chances at an advantage, and she received the Vote Steal advantage used by Sarah Lacina to vote out Michaela Bradshaw in Game Changers. It was now an Extra Vote at a Tribal Council.

After the merge on Day 20, Chris found a note in his new buff informing him that there was a Hidden Immunity Idol on Ghost Island and had to sneak off that night to get it. When he arrived that night, he received J.T. Thomas' idol from Game Changers, which turned out to only be good for one Tribal Council. However, Chris was allowed to play for a chance to extend the idol's shelf life for up to five Tribal Councils. He successful in extending idol's use for one more Tribal Council, but lost the second wager, thereby losing his vote at the next Tribal Council.

Following the Reward Challenge on Day 23, Jenna Bowman was sent to Ghost Island after a rock draw. There, she was refuted by Ghost Island. She returned to camp the following morning.

After the Reward Challenge on Day 26, Angela Perkins was sent to Ghost Island after a rock draw. At Ghost Island, she was allowed two chances at an advantage. She decided to play for an advantage but lost the wager, thereby losing her vote at the next Tribal Council.

Following the Reward Challenge on Day 31, Wendell Holland sent himself to Ghost Island, forfeiting his spot on the reward. There, he received Malcolm Freberg's challenge advantage for the Final Immunity Challenge in Survivor: Philippines, allowing him a second chance at the upcoming Immunity Challenge.

On Day 33, Sebastian Noel was sent to Ghost Island by Wendell and Domenick Abbate. There, he was allowed three out of four chances at the same advantage. He won the re-placed Extra Vote which was last misused by Kellyn on Day 29.

Following the Final Immunity Challenge on Day 38, the final four castaways—Angela, Domenick, Wendell, and Laurel Johnson—were all sent to Ghost Island where they stayed until departing for Tribal Council that night. While no advantage was available, the winner of the Final Immunity Challenge, Domenick, was given the choice of which among three urns from previous seasons—Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: Cagayan, and Game Changers—the jury would cast their votes in at the Final Tribal Council. He chose the Cagayan urn.

Advantage/Game History

Castaways banished to Ghost Island must smash an urn to know if an advantage is available for that cycle. If an advantage is available, the castaway must follow a torch-lit path to a station filled with multiple lock boxes, where at least one contains an advantage. To obtain the advantage, castaways must be willing to wager their vote the next time they go to Tribal Council in case they fail to guess the correct box with an advantage. Any wrong box will contain a parchment that states "no vote", which the unlucky castaway must cast the next time they visit to Tribal Council.

Episode Ghost Island Inhabitant Took chance? Correct Choice? Advantage
"Can You Reverse the Curse?" S36 jacob t
Jacob Derwin
Yes! Yes! Legacy Advantage
S36 donathan t
Donathan Hurley
No advantage available for this episode.
"Only Time Will Tell" S36 chris t
Chris Noble
No advantage available for this episode.
"Trust Your Gut" S36 kellyn t
Kellyn Bechtold
No! N/A Unknown
"A Diamond in the Rough" S36 stephanie t
Stephanie Johnson
No advantage available for this episode.
"Gotta Risk It for the Biscuit" S36 kellyn t
Kellyn Bechtold
Yes! Yes! Extra Vote and unknown advantage
"Fear Keeps You Sharp" S36 chris t
Chris Noble
Yes! Yes! Hidden Immunity Idol only usable at the next Tribal Council;
Extend idol lifespan to two Tribal Councils
Yes! No! Extend idol lifespan to three Tribal Councils
"The Sea Slug Slugger" S36 jenna t
Jenna Bowman
No advantage available for this episode.
"It's Like the Perfect Crime" S36 angela t
Angela Perkins
Yes! No! Two unknown advantages
"A Giant Game of Bumper Cars" S36 wendell t
Wendell Holland
Yes! Yes! Advantage at the next Immunity Challenge
"Always Be Moving" S36 sebastian t
Sebastian Noel
Yes! Yes! Extra Vote

Trivia

  • Jacob Derwin is the first person to be sent to Ghost Island.
  • Donathan Hurley is the first person to be sent to Ghost Island and not receive a chance for an advantage.
  • Morgan Ricke is the first person to not be sent to Ghost Island, but become a beneficiary of its advantages.
  • Chris Noble is the first person to be sent to Ghost Island via rock draw.
    • He is also the first person to be sent to Ghost Island without losing a challenge or being sent by an opposing tribe or castaway.
    • He is also the first person to play Ghost Island's game of chance and lose his wager.
  • Kellyn Bechtold is the first female to be sent to Ghost Island.
    • She is also the first person to refuse Ghost Island's wager.
    • She is also the first person to return for the next Tribal Council.
    • She is also the first person to be sent to Ghost Island twice. She was later followed by Chris.
  • Stephanie Johnson is the first person to be sent to Ghost Island and be eliminated after returning for the next Tribal Council. She was later followed by Chris.
  • Angela Perkins is the first person to lose the game of chance on her first try.
  • Chris Noble is the first person to find an idol on Ghost Island.

References