“Survivor 42” Finale Recap: Who Will Take Home the Million Bucks?

“Survivor 42” (CBS)

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Last Week: Maryanne went from pretender to contender when she decided to spend her extra vote in a manner that tossed Omar’s game in the blender.

39 26 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

Alright, let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Kula Kula Tribe (wearing purple)

  • Jonathan, 29 – Beach Service Company Owner
  • Lindsay, 31 – Dietician
  • Maryanne, 24 – Seminary Student
  • Mike, 58 – Retired Firefighter
  • Romeo, 37 – Pageant Coach

Post Tribal Shenanigans

Most of the tribe is kinda bummed to be on a new, empty beach, but Maryanne is absolutely on cloud nine after her blindside bombshell. (Not to be confused with Fiji’s floating pizzeria known as “Cloud Nine.” Yes, that’s a real place.)

When they get down to talking about the vote, Jonathan claims that the plan was to vote for Omar the whole time. Was it? That’s going to have to be an exit interview discussion, because I like the “You and Mike wouldn’t listen to Maryanne so she went over your heads” narrative.

Anywho, Lindsay is bummed to have been left in the dark. But, Jonathan points out that she voted for him. Through some circular logic, it’s worse to Lindsay to have not been told about the Omar vote than it is for her to vote for Jonathan. That’s a stretch.

During the conversation, Jonathan accuses her of being aggressive. And it seems like she’s aggressive in the same way Drea was aggressive at Tribal, meaning…not at all. I’m not quite sure he knows what that word means.

Then, Romeo tells everyone that he has an idol and will use it to get to the final four. That’s adorable that Romeo thinks that everyone doesn’t want to take him to the end.

He shows us what can best be described as an immunity bracelet. It’s passable, but he totally doesn’t need it.

The next morning, Maryanne and Lindsay tell each other that Mike has promised each of them his idol at final five. Uh oh…

Also, Mike tells Lindsay that he might still play his idol for her if he’s safe. Might…

Final Advantage Clue

Tree mail arrives with a word scramble that will help the players find an advantage in the next immunity challenge. Lindsay figures out the phrase that claims the advantage is in the “toes of a sleeping giant.” Unfortunately, she has no idea what the sleeping giant is.

But, it doesn’t matter because the others can’t figure out the clue (and Maryanne won’t help them). Lindsay has at least 40 minutes to run around the island and eventually claim the prize.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race through a series of obstacles, claiming puzzle pieces along the way. The first person to finish the puzzle wins immunity and a pasta dinner complete with garlic bread, salad, cake, and red wine.

Quick Aside: I would fight any one of you for garlic bread.

Lindsay’s Advantage: Lindsay will only have to untie one knot to retrieve each bag while the others will have to untie six. That’s not game breaking, but I wouldn’t turn it down either.

Result: Jonathan was the first to retrieve all of the pieces, but he’s just not a puzzle guy. Mike manages to catch him, pass him, and barely edge out Lindsay to win immunity. Mike is allowed to share his reward, so he picks Jonathan.

How could Jonathan lose?! He perfected the monkey walk! 

Oh my goodness. What if Mike plays his idol for Maryanne and Maryanne plays her idol for Lindsay?

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Lindsay is furious that Jonathan is probably going to last longer in the game because she’s a way better player. That’s the show, though. Way better players go early all the time.

Mike isn’t sure what he’s going to do with his idol, but he knows he’s going to use it to get the final four he wants. During the meal, he promises it to Jonathan. But, he’s also promised it to everyone except for Romeo.

Lindsay makes a last-minute push to try to get Mike to play his idol for her, but he is very non-committal. It is hard to play one idol for three people.

At least Romeo is safe.

Maryanne verbalizes my idea of playing her idol for Lindsay if Mike plays his idol for her. But, she thinks Lindsay might be hard to beat in the end.

Tribal Time

It seems pretty clear that Lindsay is going home, so I’m thinking there are going to be some idol shenanigans.

There was an interesting moment where Maryanne was complimenting Omar, and it was pointed out that she’s probably trying to get his vote.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol or an advantage and…Mike plays his idol for Maryanne.

Doh…

Then, Romeo admits that his idol is fake and throws it in the fire.

And…Maryanne doesn’t play her idol at all. (Which I get. Jonathan is much more beatable than Lindsay.)

We’ve got one vote for Lindsay, one vote for Jonathan, one vote for Lindsay, and the fourteenth person eliminated from “Survivor 42” is…Lindsay.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will have one hand tied behind their back. They’ll place a ball in a circular chute. As the ball rolls down, they’ll have to catch it and put it back in the top. As time goes on they’ll add more balls. The last person with all of their balls in motion will win immunity.

Quick Aside: This challenge is also known as “The Fishbach Breaker.”

Result: It comes down to Jonathan vs. Romeo with…Romeo picking up the win! He gets to pick who beats him for the million dollars!

Quick Aside: And Romeo was my winner pick from day one!

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Mike and Romeo sit down first, with Mike telling Romeo that he knows that he should be one of the ones to make fire. However, if he makes fire against Jonathan, he might have to face Mike and Maryanne at final three which would be much tougher than potentially sitting with Mike and Jonathan. That’s a good point.

Meanwhile, Maryanne is giving Jonathan all kinds of fire-making tips because she wants him to beat Mike. Oof…that might come back to burn you…no pun intended.

Later, Mike takes Jonathan aside and tells him to sit down if Romeo doesn’t pick him to make fire. Interesting point, because the jury isn’t terribly impressed with Jonathan at this point. Stepping up to compete could earn some points.

Tribal Time

The jury is shocked…shocked to see Romeo wearing the immunity necklace.

Nothing terribly interesting is said, other than Mike being pretty confident that he’ll be squaring off against Jonathan.

Romeo’s Choice: Maryanne will go to the final three, Mike and Jonathan will make fire.

Fire-Making Challenge: The first person to make a fire that is tall enough to burn through a rope will be the last member of the final three.

Result: Mike wins! It wasn’t even close. Jonathan is the fifteenth and final person eliminated from “Survivor 42.”

As Jonathan is giving his parting comments, he says he hopes to get a second shot to play. Yeah, you and like half of this cast is probably on casting’s all-star short list.

Day 39 26 Brunch

Whoa…so we get short snippets from the jurors telling us what they think of each player’s game. A lot of the players seem pro-Mike with Omar saying that he’ll need to admit to being a snake to get his vote.

Romeo thinks he’s the person who played the best game and is the ultimate underdog. Well, half of that statement is correct. The jurors don’t seem that impressed with him at all.

Maryanne knows she has to be honest about her game but still has to be herself. The jurors seem to agree with this assessment. They need to hear about what she did.

Tribal Time

Omar kicks things off. He congratulates everyone and makes a longwinded survival of the fittest analogy. He also claims that all of the votes are open. Like…open between Mike and Maryanne?

Tori thinks that Mike didn’t want to lie. She thinks that Maryanne is fun and goofy. And, she thinks Romeo is quieter and more reserved with bursts of paranoia. She wants to know if that’s accurate. Mike agrees, claiming the only time he went against his word was with Rocksroy. Maryanne says that acting like she didn’t take the game seriously was part of her strategy. She points out that young people who took the game seriously were booted quickly. Romeo admits that he was paranoid because he thought he was in charge at the merge and ended up on the bottom. He claims the random votes were so he didn’t have to vote for people he liked.

Hai wants to know why Romeo gaslit him after the Chanelle vote when Romeo voted for him. Romeo says he was emotional and that it was Drea’s fault. Buh…

Omar follows up on Mike’s comment where he only lied to Rocksroy, asking if he lied to Drea as well. Mike admits that he did things that he didn’t want to do to protect himself. Chanelle is worried that he isn’t owning up to his lies. Mike says there’s only one person who he lied to after shaking his or her hand. Everyone else turned on him first.

Quick Aside: This is a bad look. I’ve always said; if someone thinks you lied to them, even if you didn’t, tell them you lied. Ask Coach Wade about that.

Drea eventually throws him a line, saying that his social game was on point. Especially for someone playing against significantly younger people.

Omar thinks Maryanne’s “sloppy” social game put her on the bottom. Maryanne thanks him for the chance to explain. She thought she was doing really well until the fake merge. But that helped get her back in line.

Lindsay asks if she brought anyone in for a vote. Maryanne mentions the vote where she brought Romeo in to vote out Omar. Jonathan disagrees, saying the move to get rid of Omar was his and Mike’s idea. She doesn’t dispute this, but says she had thought of it earlier.

(Huh, so last week it seemed like the Omar vote was all her doing. Seems like there was more to it.)

We move onto the physical section and Rocksroy wants to know what survival skills they brought to the game. Maryanne had crazy palm frond weaving skills, she was also good at scaling fish. Mike thinks his work ethic was his best skill, claiming he never stopped working. Romeo admits that he’s never been camping and he learned how to swim before coming out for the show.

Drea says that her vote will be based on strategy and she wants to know everyone’s biggest strategic move. Romeo says that he had to switch into self-preservation mode since he was on the bottom at the merge. He says he took Maryanne to the final three because she didn’t have a strategy. Mike says that his big move was getting rid of Hai because he was too strong. He then says that he thought he was playing an honest game, but the jury is changing his mind.

Quick Aside: Nice, good pivot.

Finally, Maryanne says her big move was to set herself up for the final three with multiple combinations. She mentions getting Mike to give her his immunity idol at final five even though she already had the merge idol. (The jury audibly gasps.)

Chanelle asks everyone what they learned about themselves. Romeo says that he had to keep fighting and never gave up, and he’s now confident enough to not have to hide his sexuality. Mike is proud of being able to compete as an older player. Maryanne almost self-sabotaged by taking Lindsay to the end because she was afraid of being rejected by the jury. She tells us about how she recently lost a lot of friends due to a false rumor. So, she’s proud of getting to the end, but taking the chance to lose is a growing experience for her.

Wow.

My Assessment: Good stuff from all three. I don’t think Romeo has the resume to win. I think Mike stumbled early and then righted his ship. But, I think Maryanne was great from top to bottom.

I think she’s walking out with the check.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro tallies and returns and everyone is shocked when he starts reading the votes. We’ve got one vote for Mike, four votes for Maryanne, and the winner of “Survivor 42” is…Maryanne.

Verdict: For better or for worse, seasons 41 and 42 are going to be linked together forever. They’re basically an identical format with different casts. And 41 was fine while 42 was great.

My takeaway? It’s the players, not the twists.

Focus on the players.

Last Order of Business: Check out our YouTube channel for interviews with the final five in the coming days!