Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s season finale of Survivor.
With only five players remaining at the start of Survivoreveryone’s goals were big, bold and ever-changing. After 23 days in the elements, it was still anyone’s game to win.
Following Omar’s blinding last week, Lindsay finds herself in hot water, having voted for her (former?) ally Jonathan. As the tribe arrives at a brand new beach with no shelter or tarp, the gloves have clearly come off. Lindsay demands to know why she was kicked out of the vote, but since she voted for Jonathan, he no longer wants to be part of their “alliance”.
As they bicker, Romeo tells everyone he has an idol. He even made a small bracelet to sell his story. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s something, I guess. The scheme gives the impression that it is too little, too late. Almost as if he had fashioned his own participation trophy. (There’s no way in hell anyone will believe it, is there?)
The next morning, Mike tells Romeo that they need Lindsay, only to then tell Lindsay that he would be willing to use his idol on her. But he also said the same thing to Maryanne! (Is it me or is this guy constantly writing checks he knows he can’t cash. That’s not the Big brother house, Mike!) This whole nice guy thing can’t play a Final Tribal well, can it? If I was sitting next to Mike in the final, I would use that as ammunition against him.
All five players receive an envelope with a hint of an advantage for the next challenge. They must decipher a sentence and cannot seek the benefit until they understand it. Lindsay is the only person to crack the code: “Good fortune is hidden in the sleeping giant’s toes.” She travels all over the island until she finally finds out what “toes” are and finds the last bonus in the game. immunity. Will that be enough to help him save his (sinking) game?
IMMUNITY IS BACK TO GRAB | Players must traverse a series of obstacles collecting puzzle pieces along the way. First to finish, yada, yada, yada. But they also play for the reward: Pasta, garlic bread, meat sauce, cake, salad and red wine! Yes, Jeff. That is worth playing.
Lindsay’s Advantage: Everyone else will have to untie six knots for each puzzle bag. She will only have to detach one.
Jonathan is flying through those hurdles, proving those players should have sent him weeks ago. As Probst once again drools over Jonathan’s physical prowess, Lindsay falls off an obstacle and has to backtrack, giving Aquaman time to catch up with her. Jonathan and Lindsay collect all of their bags and are the first two to start the puzzle. After a few minutes, it looks like either Lindsay or Mike is winning, and Mike narrowly wins. a. room. Mike then chooses Jonathan to eat the food with him. (Which…stupid enough? Even though Jonathan is my buddy, I wouldn’t give him the fuel.)
CAMP | Jonathan asks Mike if he would use the idol on him if Lindsay pulled out one of hers. Mike agrees. But he already said he was going to use it on Maryanne. And Lindsey! (You get an idol! And you get an idol! All! Body! Get! An idol !) This is madness, I tell you.
Lindsay then makes a heartfelt appeal to Mike, who once said he would love to see her come to an end. She tells him she has earned his loyalty, and he doesn’t disagree. Besides, she never once lied to him. His plea is good, using emotions to seduce an emotional player, but will that be enough?
Meanwhile, Maryanne wonders if she should save Lindsay with his idol. She’s still looking to make another splashy move in front of the jury, and a blind side to Jonathan might be. But it all depends on what Mike decides to do.
TRIBAL COUNCIL | Lindsay talks about being a sitting duck and knowing that she’s coming home, despite finding the last edge. She tries to play down her game based on the fact that Omar tricked her, but Jonathan says that’s far from true. You have to admire the fight she has in her. The woman goes hard.
Jeff claims benefits and idols after the vote. Mike gets up and uses it on…Maryanne. Romeo then throws his fake idol into the fire (which he tries to play as a great show, but nobody cares – I definitely don’t) and Maryanne doesn’t play his. No surprise here: Lindsay joins the jury.
IMMUNITY #2 | It’s time for a Survivor classic: Simmotion. (Maryanne knows the name of the challenge, which seems to impress Jeff.) Before the challenge begins, each player talks about what motivates them, leading Maryanne to bring up a family member who is not currently speaking with the rest of their family. . . Jeff says she’s on Survivor could possibly bring them all together, and she says through tears that she wants more than a million dollars.
The challenge begins and everyone picks up their first ball and drops it into the contraption. Mike does not even go beyond the warm-up phase! He drops his second ball and becomes the first person out of this challenge.
Everyone not named Mike manages to add a second ball, and soon after, Maryanne gives up! (It’s crazy to me that people drop out so quickly, but I also just ate a dinner large enough to feed three, after slamming coffee all day and sleeping like the childless adult that I am, so who am I to judge?) After placing the fourth ball, Jonathan slips and Romeo earns his place in Final 3.
CAMP | Mike knows he’s going to be sent on the fire-making challenge. He feels he can beat Maryanne, but he’s not sure he can conquer Jonathan. Knowing this is her best chance of winning, Maryanne gives Jonathan some tips for starting a quick fire. (Also, I would never pass up a fire challenge without putting this in writing: I HATE THE FIRE CHALLENGE. Hate, hate, hate. I don’t like to pout, but this semi-recent change of Survivor irritates me beyond belief.) The general consensus: Maryanne and Romeo do not do not want Mike to sit in the finals with them.
TRIBAL #2 | Mike is, indeed, the target, and Romeo makes it official: Maryanne is in Final 3, and Mike and Jonathan face off in the fire. The challenge begins and Mike is the first to get a flame. But Jonathan’s flame catches too, just as Mike starts licking the rope. Mike’s flame becomes an intense fire and soon after his blue flag goes up. Jonathan is now the final member of the jury.
FINAL TRIBAL | Tori asks the finalists if her perception of them is accurate. Mike says yes, despite the Rocksroy vote. Maryanne takes issue with the idea that she didn’t care enough about the game. She says she’s seen how quickly young strategic players have been weeded out (like Swati and Tori), and of course she’s corrected on merge. Omar then calls out Mike for lying to Drea, but Mike is adamant that he kept his word with everyone but Rocksroy. Hai and Omar don’t seem to appreciate Mike’s lack of game ownership, but Drea calls his social game “on point”.
Omar claims Maryanne’s social play was “sloppy”. She confronts it, saying she didn’t realize she was sloppy until the fake merge. From there, she rolled it up and was able to make more strategic plays like the one to start Omar.
In terms of strategy, Drea asks what each finalist’s signature game was. Romeo says he had to go into self-preservation mode and explains how he made a fake idol. Hai asks why he brought Maryanne to the final, and Romeo says he thought she wasn’t using her own strategy enough. Mike says he played both a strategic and an emotional game, but his affair with Omar and Lindsay helped him build alliances and build relationships. Maryanne tells them that by eliminating Omar, she set herself up with all the player combinations to make sure she would be seated in Final 3. She then says that she kept the only secret of the season and pulls out the fusion idol for everyone to see. , which seems to impress the jury.
Chanelle asks about their personal development, which brings Romeo to tears, as he knows he wasn’t just playing for himself. He didn’t want to play low, but those were the cards he kept getting. He’s also happy to leave this game a “free man”, despite what his religious family back home may think. He thanks Hai for helping him through this.
Mike says he’s happy to have proven that a guy older than him can go out and compete with people who are half his age. He learned that he could always do what he thought he could no longer do, and he is happy that his children can see all that he has achieved.
Maryanne says she realized she was sabotaging herself, because she wanted so badly to save Lindsay with her idol. She knew she couldn’t beat her friend, but she was afraid that her friendship would be rejected after the fact. She knows she’s still learning and growing, but she had to bet on herself.
AND THE WINNER IS… | The jury votes and Probst tells them that there is another twist this season: the votes are read on the spot. To the right. Now. The jury explodes! (Of course, we knew what was coming.) Probst reads the results and Maryanne becomes the winner of Survivor 42!
Did the right person win? Grade the finale and season below, then fire up the comments section!