Survivor Ghost Island: Should Kellyn Bechtold return?

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

One of the most strategic players of Survivor Ghost Island, Kellyn Bechtold kept Naviti strong. Should she get the chance to return for a future season?

If, as a woman, you are able to mastermind a strategic alliance that carries themselves to the end of a Survivor season, the fans usually treat you like royalty. If they help buoy others’ position in the game in a way that eventually gets cuts down or keeps gameplay stagnant, the knives start to come out. The latter happened to Kellyn Bechtold in Ghost Island, whose edit started out positive and sweet but got undercut with sinister tones throughout the season.

Good Survivor strategy dictates that you work with a good core group of players early on in the season and hold onto them until right before the final days of gameplay. Because Malolo and Naviti swapped players just a week after starting the game, these deeper bonds hadn’t started to really form yet, forcing players to cling to original tribal lines over dynamic gameplay pre-merge.

Kellyn was the strongest proponent of “Naviti Strong,” and it helped decimate Malolo members leading into the merge. Post-swap, it saw Brendan Shapiro, Stephanie Johnson and James Lim voted out one after another, sandwiched between two unfortunate Naviti vote-outs that included the would-be boyfriend, Bradley.

Still, Naviti had the chance to systematically vote out one Malolo player after another at the merge, right after Chris and Domenick had their fight at the merge. As Kellyn began to lose control over Naviti’s decision-making in its handoff to Domenick and Wendell, we started to see the sweet, charming, excited fan who freaked out over extra votes and Immunity wins turn into someone (rightfully) paranoid and frantic.

It was painted this way because the story of Survivor Ghost Island’s second half focused on the downfall of the “Naviti Strong” maneuver. It was a phrase repeated so often I could not believe it to be true close to two weeks after the merge, even though Domenick, Wendell, Laurel and Donathan worked as a Final Four alliance under everybody’s noses.

This much became out in the open once Chelsea was voted out, but by then it was too late for Kellyn to work her charm. Her entire gameplay to that point was to strategize and work with players in her own alliance. She was so entrenched that when her teammates flipped on her friend, there was nobody left to vote alongside her. Even Donathan’s frantic blowup wasn’t enough to save her.

Next: Vote here for whether Kellyn Bechtold should return

In the end, Kellyn was voted out because she was a charming strategist early that didn’t change tactics after the merge. Still, she’s a superfan who loves the game through and through. Vote here if you believe she deserves another shot to play in Survivor.