Survivor: Ghost Island Bonus Content Roundup – Week 3

Taako From Teevhii shares the best bonus scenes from the previous episode of Survivor: Banshee Atoll.

This Week In Secret Scenes

“You Know You Should Flip Right?”

This is a solid bonus clip all around as it supports the overall narrative of last week’s episode and functions as a good 2+ minutes of footage. The first full minute is chock-full of background and foreshadowing for what’s to come at Tribal. We see the Malolo Four settled on the beach at the crack of dawn, determining their plans for the day re: getting just one person to flip. In discussing who’s most likely to flip, we get a shot of Sea Bass and Egg separated from the rest of Old Naviti. Brendan gives some empty platitudes about uncertainty in Survivor, both to his alliance and to us via confessional. Stephanie gives some interpersonal advice, and Jenna chimes in right after her. Each of these things echoes what we have already seen in the official edit.

And then we get to Michael trying to work Des. He starts off well, saying to Des, “We’ve not talked game at all.” It’s a good opening that doesn’t come on too strong and works to establish a collaborative, equal partnership between players. From there it goes downhill. Fast.

Michael’s serve is quickly parried by Des’s self-assured “I know.” Michael returns with “I don’t think Bradley’s all on your side,” which more or less reveals his hand. Des swiftly asks, “Why do you say that?” and from there, it’s clear that she’s completely turned off by whatever Michael’s trying to say. It’s an entertaining sequence of Michael getting thrown off by Des seeing right through him followed by Des’s confessional right after. And the clip on the whole shows us why Malolo was specifically targeting Sea Bass and Ham at Tribal; they can’t go after Bradley with their plan, and Des (and probably Kellyn) has already rebuffed them. My particular problem with this clip is that is underscores the lack of Des confessionals in the main edit.

This Week In Confessionals

“If I Get A Chance To Go Out There, I’m Going”

Within fifteen seconds, I was already thinking, “Jesus, more of this? Have we not gotten past this at this point in the season?” I don’t want Donathan to be one-note, but it seemed like his entire presence on the show is devoted to “Country boy leaves Kentucky for the first time” (and let’s not get into implications of him misusing the word “diversity”).

But after taking a morbid turn that almost made me spit up my water, Donathan refocuses us to the fact that his story is not just “Country boy leaves Kentucky for the first time” but is “Gay country boy gets outside of his isolating environs and begins a new journey.” And this is why I’m holding out hope that Donathan gets far along in this game—I want this particular storyline to be given some more screen time.

LGBTQ individuals are still fighting for acceptance, not just in Appalachia but across this country and across the world. And it isn’t just from the out-and-out bigots (clock the play on words) who endorse torture disguised as therapy, hypocritically attempt to codify discrimination in the name of freedom, and enable a culture where Queer individuals are regularly mocked, marginalized, and assaulted. Cardi B, who claimed to support her LGBTQ fans, blamed them for their own gaybashing by her fiancé Offset. Just a few weeks ago, someone (who I am out to) felt bold enough to tell me that she didn’t think gays should be able to get married while I was giving her a ride in my own goddamn car. It’s not always the obvious ones, folks.

And so gay representation doesn’t have to always be a feature of loud and proud personalities who are fantastically fierce (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). There are many shades of the Queer community, and it’s important that we showcase all of them. Not just because it could help us connect with those who don’t yet know us but because it could also support the closeted Queer youths who are surrounded by those wearing their anti-LGBTQ biases on their sleeves (and to be clear, I’m not suggesting that we “tone it down” for the cis-hets, just that we more fully represent everyone in our community). I seen in Donathan a butterfly who, despite being out and proud for years, is still in the process of emerging from his gay cocoon. He currently has his feet in two different worlds, and I think the documentation of his transitional growth will help normalize the Queer experience (at least among people who watch Survivor).

That was a lot for just one clip, but two notes for y’all at the end of it: (1) if you think that all that was too political for a Survivor blog, get the fuck over it, it’s 2018. Though I’m sure that anyone who made it though Game Changers with us doesn’t feel this way. (2) if you’re unsure about how to use the phrase “Queer” (because Offset was criticized for using it while I use it multiple times above), I’d advise you to be mindful about the context and connotation of how you’re using it. Don’t forget the audience either; there are many LGBTQ individuals who have different opinions on the word. And a rule of thumb: it’s a red flag if you’re using it as a noun. The word is typically an adjective in modern usage.

“I Don’t Wanna Be The One On The Chopping Block”

I typically don’t like clips where all the person does is recap the previous challenge. Yeah, you don’t like losing–who does? Sure, you’d love to have immunity/PB&Js and milk, whatever. So it takes until 1:10 before we get something to dissect. Here’s what I noticed: Michael isn’t sure who to play the idol for. He could play it for himself, for another Malolo, or for no one at all. That last one was a quick aside, but my ears perked up at him hinting that he was considering not playing the idol. The instant response was “NOOOOOOOO.” It’s bad strategy all around to hold the idol. When it’s 5-4, you’re at a tipping point with the numbers, so the marginal benefit of booting an old Naviti is the greatest here (aside from when you’re tied, but that ain’t happening if Michael doesn’t play the idol). Plus, Michael already showed showed his Malolo alliance the idol and said it could be used to save someone at this tribal. Pulling the rug out from under them will severely piss off the two remaining Malolos. Though Michael might not care, since he tells us at the end of the confessional that he (and potentially everyone else from Malolo) is considering flipping. Well then. Form this overall clip, I’m not sure that Michael is a power player, and the Michael we’re getting in the main edit is a bit incongruous with the Michael we’re getting here.

One bonus observation: Michael speaks like he has to figure out which single person (that’s non-pluralized, y’all) he should play the idol for. Because, of course, he can only play it for one person, r/Survivor.

“Hope Came Alive”

Continuing the thread of “references to live blog comments you might have missed,” let’s talk about Steph’s take on the idol gambit. After already having an extensive discussion in the liveblog comments between Alkanarra, BadPlayer91, and myself, I’m about to beat this dead horse into a bottle of glue. But I’m doing it anyway because this is my post, dammit, and the final decision is mine to make.

I want to get Steph’s words exactly here:

Michael’s gonna pull out his idol and say, “I’m playing this for one of us four. So if you guess right, good for you. One of us will go home. You guess wrong, and guess what: Bradley’s going home. So you can either join with us or you guys are the ones that are gonna take the gamble now.”

This is the worst extortion attempt I have ever seen. “You better help us smash your windows. Otherwise, your windows might get smashed, if you catch my drift.” It just makes no sense on its face. Is there a perfect play to save all four Malolos? Not that I’ve seen. But there are certainly better plays than this.

This Week In Gifable Moments

When Shirin does your job for you (and you hope she does this every week)