Over the off-season we will try and post a weekly Monday article looking back at some of the biggest unanswered questions in Survivor history. If you would like to be involved or have ideas contact us. Today we look back at the polarising season that was Ghost Island.

WARNING GHOST ISLAND SPOILERS IN THIS ARTICLE.

Ghost Island has been sent to the pages of history. With many of the cast openly discussing the failures of their season in comparison to David v Goliath. And while there is truth in what they say, i’d argue that Ghost Island had one of the most intriguing casts we’ve seen in years. I thought it would be fitting to look at who will stay in the history books and which players may have a chance to return for their second chance. People were negative on Ghost Island, for a myriad of reasons – but one thing you can’t deny is this cast had amazing individual characters and players of this game. Reviewing in order from Ghost Zero to the Wendell here are my GHOSTLY PREDICTIONS. Who will be haunted by past mistakes and who will return with a chance to correct the mistakes of the past.

Here are the three categories i’ve created to determine whether a player will return.

Ghosted – (One and Done)

Haunted (Could potentially return, but could remain haunted for life)

Phoenix Rising – (More to come – All but guaranteed to see them again)

Lets start at the bottom. Lovely Stephanie, we hardly knew thee. You become the scape goat when Jacob was shunted to Ghost Island.

Stephanie Gonzalez
Photo: Robert Voets CBS

20. Stephanie Gonzalez

Lets face it, it is EXTREMELY difficult for a first boot to return. That has only happened once from memory, and if it were not for Francesca’s rivalry with Phillip Sheppard, she most likely would never have returned. There has to of been something really special that the producers see in someone for them to return, and nothing seems to stand out straight away. If anything, she seems a lot like Carolina Eastwood from Survivor Tocantins – an entertaining first episode boot, but not a returnee.

Chance of return: GHOSTED

Jacob Derwin
Photo: Robert Voets CBS

19. Jacob Derwin

Was there any better person to send to Ghost Island in episode 1 other than Jacob? He was a producers dream. Loud, eager to prove his superfan cred, that fed his paranoia. A Survivor Superfan who would jump at the chance to come back. Fake idols, bold statements, and a shocking crash and burn from arguably the most liked player in the pre-game simply by his demeanour. He may  not have lasted long, but he was a memorable character and a tonne of fun. Bring him back and lets hope he goes deep!

Chance of return: Haunted

Morgan Ricke
Photo: Robert Voets CBS

18. Morgan Ricke

Never trust the cute blonde Morgan. A decision that will haunt her for life. It’s easy to forget Dom or Wendell could easily have been voted out at this tribal. What a fundamental shift in Survivor history that would have been. People believe she has Kelly Wentworth upside, but with other strong characters ahead of her this season it is unlikely she will get her second chance. It has been said that at times past great female returnee casts were difficult to come by,  but things are changing.

Chance of return: Ghosted

Brendan Shapiro
Photo:Robert Voets CBS

17. Brendan Shapiro

Brendan suffers from a strong case of “normalitist.” As a guy he is terrific, we’d love to have a beer and watch a game together, but as a character on a television show there is nothing that stands out. He is the GI Joe doll perfectly taken out of its box. Talking of boxes Brendan ticks many that makes you think he could be a great Survivor. On paper, Brendan is Jeff Probst’s dream contestant (see Andrew Savages). An older,  alpha male, father who does not shy away from a leadership role. What makes Brendan standout in comparison to the other players who tick those same boxes Probst loves. It’s simple, one word – Game.  He was able to manipulate  and control the pace that the entire tribe was playing which was masterful.  He is bound to have Jeff pulling for his return and therefore must be way up the list.

Chance of return: Ghosted

Photo: CBS

16. Stephanie Johnson

How great is Stephanie Johnson. We’re still not sure why she was not at the Survivor Ghost Island finale? Stephanie is a hard one to place. She demonstrated throughout her season that she had a strong game. Stephanie falls into that “not a 20-something but not the older mum type” category.  She isn’t competing with the Libby’s, and the Wentworth’s. Nor is she a Chrissy or Dawn type cast choice.  She is in that mid to late 30’s spot who is a mother but has a lot of game. Not only is she a great chance to return, she is a great chance to return and take out the title.

Chance of return: Haunted (but we wish she’d play again).

Photo: CBS

15. James Lim

To start, can I just say how great of a guy is James Lim. He has shown on social media and his recent podcast with Rob Cesternino on RHAP that he is an astute judge of this game. James was very much reminiscent of the cool headed, persuasive Yul Kwon from Cook Islands when he got his brief moment to shine in the demise of the aforementioned Morgan Ricke. Jame’s biggest issue is he’s just a great normal guy, he does not pop and isn’t the most entertaining.

Chance of return: Ghosted, unfortunately.

Photo: CBS

14) Bradley Kleihege

Dust off the sand from your spectacles it’s time to talk about Bradley Kleihege. I don’t want to hear any complaints about my evaluation. Bradley seemed like he was all about one thing. Naviti Strong! I feel this would have changed had he made the merge and we would have seen the real Bradley. The greatest thing about Bradley was that he was an absolutely amazing villain, unintentionally! Perhaps his only hope is a Heroes v Villains 2, but i’d be excited to see his return to the sandy and windy beaches of the Mamanua Islands.

Chance  of return: Haunted

Photo: CBS

13) Chris Noble

We are not worthy of the brilliance that is the Survivor artist known as Chris Noble. What a character. What a casting choice. What boldness. What class in defeat. Sure, he may be seen by many as a touch delusional, but who cares if they are right or not? Survivor is about multiple character types – as highlighted in the 5-5 final tribal council that saw “game respects game” vs. “that person hurt me and I’m upset.” If everyone was the same it is boring. Chris Noble is unique, charismatic and is needs to come back.

Chance of return: Phoenix Rising

Photo: CBS

12) Libby Vincek

Libby is the quintessential don’t judge a book by its cover. The “Devil in an angels body”. She was clearly overshadowed by other cast members out there in the edit, but did show potential. A combination of Natalie White and Andrea Boehlke you can never say never when it comes to a return. We’ve seen “Game Changers” with smaller Survivor resumes get a second chance. The coldness she displayed in ousting Morgan was highlighted and won’t be forgotten by them.

Chance of return: Ghosted

Photo: CBS

11. Desiree Afuye

Desiree’s game was mostly invisible to it’s hard to make bold claims of how impressive a game player she was. Her biggest move was ultimately her downfall and I don’t think we saw enough to think we will see Desiree again anytime soon.

Chance of return: Ghosted

Photo: CBS

10. Jenna Bowman

A returning Survivor must have something unique about themselves. Either being a great character, a great narrator, have a captivating personality, or a strong willingness to play the game hard. I do not believe that Jenna has showed enough of these qualities while on the show. At Ponderosa however she was amazing!

Chance of return: Ghosted

Photo: CBS

9. Michael Yerger

Why isn’t he back already? For someone so you he had astounding composure and never gave up. How he survived as long as he did being the threat he posed was astounding – and all at the ripe old age of 18. Smart, game aware, articulate, social and physical. We haven’t seen the last of Michael Yerger yet.

Chance of return: Phoenix Rising

Photo: CBS

8. Chelsea Townsend

Chelsea may not have jumped off of our TV screens. But that was not necessarily the full story. Was she the greatest victim of the loop-sided Ghost Island edit? What has emerged from post-season interviews has been that Chelsea was a very important player out there. There was a lot that we didn’t see, and that leaves her as a wild card. It wouldn’t be the most left field decision ever.

Chance of return: Haunted

Photo: CBS

7. Kellyn Bechtold

Kellyn was arguably the biggest player behind Dominic this season. She narrated much of the story until her ultimate demise. What we saw from Kellyn was someone who was authentic. A real person riding the roller coaster of emotions that is Survivor. As viewers we were part of her emotional journey.  Her Naviti strong attitude may hurt her, but not badly enough. She still had game attitude out there and stood out as a unique individual.   

Chance of return: Haunted, but should return.

Photo: CBS

6. Sebastian Noel

This is one SeaBass you want to catch and release. When you look at the likes of Devon (Heroes v Healers v Hustlers) and Jay (Millennials v Gen X) players who fall in a similar character mould to Sebastian it is hard to see Sebastian coming back for a second chance. In his mind he was the greatest. In the minds of the viewers, he was not. It’s a strong pass from us.

Chance of Return: Ghosted and burning a sweet, sweet scent. 

Photo: CBS

5. Donathan Hurley

Jeff Probst loved Donathan. Sia loved Donathan. Donathan’s grandmother loves Donathan. These are the only people who love Donathan. Jeff loved talking him up and he was such a unique and great character. His “truth bombs” were spectacular viewing (terrible to be playing alongside). As long as he remains a fan of the game and Jeff remains a fan of him, there may be more than just one more chance to play again.

Chance of Return: Haunted – But likely.

Photo: CBS

 4. Angela Perkins

Angela Perkins was a participant on the 36th season of Survivor: Ghost Island and a member of the Naviti tribe.

Chance of return: Even the Ghosts on Ghost Island can’t find her. Ghosted

Photo: CBS

3. Laurel Johnson

The fear of failing can be our biggest mistake of all. Nobody was more polarising as a viewer to watch than Laurel. She recognised she had a 0% chance of winning this game with Dom and Wendell yet did nothing about it. Will she even want to return given the response from fans? I don’t see her wanting to come back too soon, and nor do I see casting necessarily wanting her back.

Chance of return: “Who dis new phone?” Mutually Ghosted

Photo: CBS

2. Dominick Abbate

Dominick is as big a lock to return as any player we have ever seen. You can’t get any closer to the title. Should he had made a fire? Maybe. But the biggest regret he should have was not taking Angela to the end. An Angela losing finalist vote, in my mind goes to Dominick and history is completely different. It wasn’t the Wendell and Dom show, it was referred to as the Dom and Wendell zone for a reason. Wendell provided the win. Dom provided the entertainment. BRING THIS MAN BACK!

Chance of return: Phoenix Rising

Photo: CBS

1. Wendell Holland

Statistically, winners are quite unlikely to return and I don’t see that changing with Wendell. He is one and done for me, respectfully. Since Survivor All Stars we’ve had only a handful of returning winners. 4 returned for Heroes v Villains (Sandra, Tom, Parvati and JT). Outside of that, only JT, Sandra and Tony Vlachos have returned again. With all due respect, Wendell does not come close to them as a character. Wendell was a fantastic social player out there. A master at the social game. However, he was not exactly compelling television viewing. There was one voting confessional that many found hilarious, but outside of that he was not a huge tv character like Dom.

Chance of Return: Haunted

Who have we got wrong? Let us know your thoughts on below in the comments or on twitter @TAusmerican & @ryanvbrink

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