(+/-) Wendell Holland ~ S36: Ghost Island
19thDec 28, 2018
- Wendell Holland is a former lawyer turned furniture designer who was a castaway on Survivor: Ghost Island. Wendell was a member of the Naviti tribe.
Wendell quickly made bonds with her tribe mates due to his strong social skills, forming an alliance with Domenick early on. When Chris was trying to target Dom, Wendell used this info to help protect Dom. Using his furniture designing skills, Wendell was an asset at camp, helping construct the camp. He also proved to be an asset at the challenges, proving to be a strong competitor. On Day 7, tribes were swapped and he remained on the new Naviti tribe. With growing tensions between his ally Dom and Chris, Wendell joined the other Navitis in gunning for Chris' ally Angela, only for his own ally Morgan to be voted out, which turned out to be his sole Tribal Council appearance before the merge. The very next day, he and Dom formed a final four deal with Donathan and Laurel from the original Malolo. On Day 10, Wendell was sent to the new third tribe, Yanuya, along with Laurel. Yanuya remained immune until the merge. In unaired footage, Wendell constructed an elaborate fake Idol that resembled a skull that Jenna later found. Michael pointed out to her that it was fake though, due to him knowing it wasn't from a previous season. Wendell ended up finding a real Idol, finding Erik Reichenbach's Individual Immunity Necklace from Micronesia that he gave up to Natalie, only to get voted out.
At the merge, Wendell linked back up with Domenick and re-affirmed their final 4 with Donathan and Laurel. Together, they controlled the games, feeding info to Laurel and Donathan. One by one, the remaining Malolos were sent home, with Wendell and Dom feigning Naviti strong until they eventually had to turn on their own allies. Their bond with Laurel and Donathan gave them the advantage on this. At the merge vote, he was able to vote out his rival Chris, with an iconic speech to him.
Although targeted consistently through the merge as a target, him and Domenick always had the numbers of their side, convincing people like Angela and Laurel to stay loyal. With control of the game, Wendell did not need to use his Idol, using it instead on Laurel, protecting her. On Day 38, after a close Final Immunity Challenge between Dom and Wendell, Dom prevailed and turned on his ally, forcing Wendell to compete against Angela in a fire-making challenge at the final 4. Wendell won and secured a spot in the Final Tribal Council. There, he stated “My strategy was to sit back and let Dom be the Dom show,” he said. “I tried to be a lover out here.” For the first time in Survivor history, there was a tie for the vote for Sole Survivor, between Dom and Wendell. Laurel, with 0 votes, was made the 11th jury member, and voted for Wendell to win, making him the Sole Survivor in a 6-5 vote.
Both executive producer Matthew Van Wagenen and Jeff Probst picked Wendell as their winner pick and the two of them fought to have him cast on the show. "Wendell is my choice to win," says executive producer and host Jeff Probst. "But I have to say this: every time I pick someone to win, I kill their game. What I'm hoping is that since this is Ghost Island, Wendell will reverse my curse and actually win to show I'm not cursed! I like Wendell. When he walked into casting, I etched a couple of quick notes, and they basically said, 'home run.' Wendell is a guy we had to fight to get on the show, ironically, because there's somebody who didn't like him, and everybody has a voice. Matt and I had to get down and get busy and say, 'You need to give us this one. We believe in him.' And now he's here." Jenna totally thought he was celebrity Donald Glover at first, thinking celebrities were in the cast. Wendell is the first castaway to win after a tie vote at the Final Tribal Council and the first male, and second castaway overall, to be on an auxiliary tribe and become the Sole Survivor. Wendell is the second castaway to be the highest placing member in three different tribes, after Sarah Lacina.
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