Survivor Ghost Island: Should Stephanie Johnson return?

Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Always up to make a big game move, Survivor Ghost Island’s Stephanie Johnson has a good run that was cut too short. Should she return in the future?

One of the oddest things about Stephanie Johnson’s edit was that she was primed to last a lot longer than she did. Unlike Stephanie Gonzalez, Jacob Derwin, Morgan Ricke or Brendan Shapiro before her, the audience was primed to cheer for her to win Survivor Ghost Island. When her dreams (and torch) were snuffed, it felt like a genuine shock, even with “Naviti Strong” mantra in play.

Stephanie came out of the gate relying on her social game to make her presence known. She had a good rapport with everyone on Malolo, especially Jenna, who she helped save from being the first boot of the season. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to flip the script on Brendan and Michael with the help of Jacob Derwin, showing her ability to control things from the middle.

That all went away when the first tribe swap saw an original Malolo minority alliance on both of the new tribes. No matter how much Stephanie worked over Kellyn (the two were very cordial), both women openly spoke about how nothing could be done to prevent Malolo being voted out.

This sent Steph and Jenna searching for idols, eventually bringing on Brendan and Michael doing the same. From this point onward, the Naviti players got painted as the enemy, while Stephanie Johnson was portrayed as the motherly patron of Malolo. She shared her point of view often, talking about how she was playing to provide for her family and how she never gave up hope.

Her elimination episode was so brutal. Reaching Ghost Island and given no advantage, her march down the road to inevitability felt like a Greek drama. Each vote in her name was given the same dramatic effect as an arrow through the heart, as the editing surrounding her crushing moment was both unseen in Survivor and felt like a renowned hero’s defeat.

Next: Vote here for whether Stephanie Johnson should return

Should Stephanie Johnson return in a future season of Survivor? Vote in this straw poll here to lend your voice for either yes or no.