Survivor Ghost Island: Should Bradley Kleihege return?

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Few players in Survivor Ghost Island had a character arc where you wanted to see them fail. Bradley Kleihege was one of them. Should he return?

One of the things modern Survivor does is avoid making portraying most players as villainous or “evil” (within the confines of a story arc). Bradley Kleihege was an exception in Ghost Island, as he introduced himself in a big way after the first swap.

The man compared his gameplay to that of a Boston Rob or Kim Spradlin, yet his first glimpse of screentime saw him complaining like he was Colton Cumbie. He found himself being a real Negative Ned around the Malolo camp, trashing the camp for being terrible compared to his old tribe.

The brilliance of his villainy was that he was in a position of power. He played up more like a mustache-twirler, as he openly talked about plucking out enemies one by one as if they were inevitabilities. However, because of his and Kellyn’s connection and hold on Malolo 2.0, it became the truth. He was outed as the mastermind and received open disgust, yet he came out on top with Brendan’s elimination.

With Stephanie Johnson following suit, Bradley was portrayed as the conniving weasel in Survivor Ghost Island, even if that’s not who he is in real life. However, he also sent home Brendan and Stephanie in order, both of whom were parents. That sparked fear in Domenick’s eyes, as he was the last parent on the show and needed to secure his safety.

Even among friends on Naviti 3.0, Bradley’s complaining and barking orders rubbed everyone the wrong way, and it became a universal decision to blindside him right before the merge. Dom and Chelsea knew how smart he was, as he was a puzzle-solving beast throughout the season. He was not a social threat but knew how to preserve himself for the long run. He needed to go.

As odd as it seems, in retrospect, Survivor Ghost Island could have used Bradley Kleihege longer than it did. After the merge boot, it became a long walk down to victory for either Domenick or Wendell, with no real opposition or person to root against (other than Kellyn and the occasional one-episode prop).

Next: Vote here for whether Bradley Kleihege should return

That said, it’s up to you to voice your opinion. Vote here in our straw poll to decide if you believe Bradley Kleihege of Survivor Ghost Island should appear in a future season of the show.