Survivor Ghost Island: Should James Lim 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. /

He pulled off one of the more intriguing pre-merge moves in Survivor history. Should Ghost Island’s James Lim return in a future season of the show?

James Lim may be one of the most intelligent players ever to compete in Survivor. Jeff Probst referred to his IQ as a “squiggle” during the pre-game phase, and he carried himself with the quiet observation of someone who was always thinking about two steps ahead. Due to Malolo’s numbers disadvantage, he only had one opportunity to make a play to show off just what he’s capable of.

Despite being a Harvard sprinter, James’ physique became a negative talking point during his first highlight of the season. During the second Immunity Challenge, he needed to make an eight-foot dive into the Fijian waters to turn a crank and open his tribe’s buoy balls, leading to the final tribe mates tossing them into a basket.

However, due to his strong, heavy quads and a shot of adrenaline in his system, he failed each of his diving attempts. Donathan had to jump in the water and overcome his fears, but it was too late for his tribe. As punishment, he became the alternate vote target in case Jacob Derwin had an idol obtained on Ghost Island.

This sent James into a hyper-alert mode, needing to find safety where possible. A tribe swap to Naviti saw a wonderful opportunity for James and the Malolo minority to take a simple route and vote out Angela, as Domenick, Wendell and Morgan had planned to take out one of their own. However, this is where James’ brilliance came into play.

Not only did he manage to bring in Donathan, Jenna and Libby as the defacto old Malolo leader on this new Naviti tribe, but he saw how their four votes meant that if Angela was hung out to dry, their 4-5 minority became a 4-3-1 powerplay. Instead, his idea led to Morgan Ricke being voted out in 18th place, drawing first blood in a tribal feud that would last most of the season.

No good deed goes unpunished in Survivor, as this put a target both on his and Malolo’s back. The first opportunity he had to go to Tribal Council, Bradley and Kellyn made sure that he couldn’t stay in the game longer and take everyone out.

Next: Vote here for whether James Lim should return

James Lim was a quiet, pensive, but thoughtful player, and he certainly completed his task of doing his family proud. Vote here in our straw poll if you believe that he should get another chance to show off another big move in a future season.