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Survivor Returns TONIGHT: Full Season 42 Preview And Cast Assessment

CBS Photo Archive. Getty Images.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Survivor Season. It's only been a few months since the Survivor 41 finale, so the wait hasn't felt very long at all considering we had 16 months between Season 40 and Season 41. That was the long night. This was just like a power nap. But the world is always better with Survivor on, so I'm glad it's back. 

Season 42 premieres TONIGHT. Here is what we know so far. Like Season 41, it will also be the shortened 26 days as opposed to the traditional 39 days. This is presumably because of COVID stuff. It was filmed May-June 2021, right after Season 41. It will also start in 3 tribes of 6 with no themed tribe divisions. Twists that will be back: The Beware Advantage (which suuucks). The three different hidden immunity idols at each camp that only activate once all three people say the secret phrase to each other at a challenge. I don't mind this being back. I thought it was kind of funny. Although I don't like that the finders of the idol can't vote until the idols become activated. Feels pretty unfair. But whatever. This is the last time they could do the twist like this because the contestants in future seasons will know about it. Whereas this season was filmed before Season 41 aired. 

That will likely be a running theme throughout the season. Season 41 was mostly disappointing. It was great to have Survivor back, and the cast wasn't the worst, but there were way too many twists in the game. It didn't feel like Survivor at some points. Just trying to do too much. I worry a bit that all the new fans who fell in love with Survivor over quarantine felt like they were watching a whole different show in Season 41. I think the fans did a good job of voicing their displeasure with a lot of the changes and hopefully Jeff Probst and the rest of the show runners head it. BUT… the problem is this was filmed right after Season 41 so they couldn't see any of the reaction to it and make the necessary changes. 

But it is possible that the edit could be different. Season 41 was way more focused on the advantages than the players themselves. We knew basically nothing about the winner except that she was from Canada. Survivor is best when it's character-driven, not advantage-driven. So hopefully they heard some of the Season 41 feedback and made the edit less focused on twists and advantages dominating every episode. And I'm sure it's not an exact carbon copy of Season 41 to begin with. Let's just hope the cast is intriguing. But as I've said before, even bad Survivor is better than every other show on television. 

Here is the teaser for the season. 

Alright now as is tradition, I will be breaking down the entire cast based on their preseason profiles. Judging books by their covers but also how they answer the generic CBS cast questions and their preview videos. My track record with these is usually pretty good. Last season, for example, I had Erika ranked in my pre-season Tier 1 and put her in a group of 6 saying "I would feel confident saying the winner is one of these six people." Gonna pat myself on the back for that one. 

And this season, we also did a full cast breakdown podcast for Snuffing Torches. If you're new, that's the Survivor podcast I host along with a rotating cast of Glenny, Jeff D, Nate, and Jake Marsh. We do episode recaps that come out every Wednesday night/Thursday morning after the show airs. You can SUBSCRIBE HERE ON APPLE AND SPOTIFYAnd also follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Listen to the full episode here. 

Alright now let's get into the cast assessment and pre-season winner rankings. All these answers come from the CBS cast page

Jonathan

Favorite Hobbies: Working out, spearfishing and surfing

Pet Peeve: Wearing shirts, people who bully others and when people are disrespectful

If I looked like that, I probably wouldn't want to wear shirts either. But I personally do everything I can to cover up my gross body ever since I stopped being a gym rat two years ago. 

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Broke the Guinness World Record for most pullups with 100 lbs on my back.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I can sing an amazing rendition of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.”

This is quite literally the "Get you a man who can do both" meme brought to life. Impressive range. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Ozzy

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? My athleticism will help me greatly in the challenges. My wit and charm will help me outside of the challenges. I’m very strong willed and determined. I will not give up on anything.

Wants to be like Ozzy. Wants to do well in challenges. Cliche answers like "he won't give up." I already know everything I need to know about Jonathan.

My Take On Jonathan:

A guy like Jonathan is a pretty easy read. He's talking about spearfishing, providing for his tribe, winning challenges, being like Ozzy, blah, blah blah. He'll be kept around pre-merge because he'll help around camp and be good in challenges. Then after the merge he'll get booted for being a physical threat. Maybe be like the second member of the jury or something like that. Unless he's some secret strategic brainiac but that feels unlikely. 

Chanelle

Favorite Hobbies: Exploring new countries, trying new cuisines and blogging about them.

Need to get her on a Boozin Burgers. 

Pet Peeve: Slow walkers. It’s the New Yorker in me.

Very much agreed. Tommy crosses streets so fast it's amazing. My street vision is akin to LeBron's court vision. I see 3 streets ahead. 

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Utilizing my recruiting skills to create a mentorship program to help young women get into professional spaces.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’m good at crunching numbers in my head!

I'm getting strategic thinker, girl boss type energy from her. Probably very smart and competitive. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I’m truly a student of the game. I’ve watched all the seasons. I’ve studied the greats, and I’ve learned the nuances. I am a subject matter expert in SURVIVOR. Aside from having the “toolbelt” to win, my motivations will push me through the cold nights and hungry days. I want to show Black and brown girls that this game was made for us, too!

My Take on Chanelle: 

I'm cautiously optimistic. I think she's definitely going to be a very smart, strategic player and seems to know the game. However, I also get some "gamebot" vibes. She might prove to be too focused on the strategy and not enough on the social. Some "know it all" vibes which gives me pause and could rub other people the wrong way. Winner potential is there though. 

Jackson

3 Words to Describe You: Kind, dedicated and assertive.

No room for kindness in this game. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I used to be a girl. I’m covered in tattoos. I’m a big softy when it comes to animals. I’m a collector of hurt or abandoned animals.

Jackson joins Zeke as the second transgender contestant in show history. Zeke chose to not tell anyone about it his first season and was then outed by Varner on his second season. Unclear what Jackson will choose to do, but as he says, people would certainly have no idea just by looking at him. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Elaine! Biscuit all the way. She was hard-working, confident, resilient and played a hell of a mind game! You couldn’t not like her.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe it will be mentally, physically, emotionally and socially the hardest thing I’ll ever tend to do. It will break me down and challenge every aspect of my being – but I know that I am a survivor in life, and this will just be another aspect I will crush.

My Take On Jackson:

Elaine is a fitting comparison. I think that Jackson is going to be a very likable player among both castaways and fans. But being too likable can cost you, just like it did Elaine. He also says he wants to play honorable and all that, so I don't think he'll be cutthroat enough to win. My best guess is he's a likable player who makes it fairly far but doesn't get brought to the end because he's a jury threat.

Lydia

Favorite Hobbies: Writing/comedy, going to music festivals, roller skating, and going to the movies by myself

I'm also a big proponent of going to the movies alone. Such a great pleasure. I blogged about that last summer and stand by it.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I am terrified of vacuum cleaners. I can use one, but I can’t be in a room when someone else is vacuuming because people always chase me with it, and it scares me. 

Laugh out loud funny. Has to be one of the strangest fears I've ever heard. Luckily, I don't expect she'll encounter any vacuum cleaners on Survivor. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think Tom Westman. He was honest, but still a great player. Also, Cirie. She is a great social player. I’ll carry my own in challenges but dominate socially. Maybe a little crazy like Debbie? Time will only tell.

Tom Westman may have been the last person I thought she'd compare herself to. I always think of Tom Westman as a challenge beast, which I don't expect from Lydia. Cirie seems like a more apt comparison. Let's hope it's more Cirie and less Debbie. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe I could be the sole Survivor because I’m likable, funny, but also wicked smart and strategic. I’m young, but still super capable of holding my own. I’m honest, but willing to make big moves that change the game. I’m ready!

My Take On Lydia: 

Lydia is either going to be one of the first three out or be in the final three. At first, I get really good vibes from Lydia. Likable. Endearing. Funny. Her Twitter name is "Lydia Chlamydia." That's good stuff. Seems like someone you just want to be around. And when you're stranded on an island, you want to be with people like that. However, there's also a chance she's overly quirky/weird (a la Debbie) and everyone can't stand being around her. That's not someone you want to be with on an island. I think we'll know within like an episode which side of the spectrum she's on. She also gets bonus points for being a fan of the game. But I don't love how much she takes about being honest. She may not be cutthroat enough. But overall something in my gut just says I like her chances to go deep. But I don't see her as a winner. 

Hai

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling to new cities and using their public transit system to explore, bringing my dogs to dog parks, recreating all my favorite dishes from scratch using recipes I find online.

I prefer traveling to new cities and using their Uber system. 

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’m the first person from my family to go to college and graduate. I bought my first home at 24. I paid off all my student loans ($40k) by age 26. I am the youngest associate director of analytics at my company, by age 27. Most importantly, I’m mentoring my younger brother to ensure he surpasses me in all aspects. Watching him make strides in school and in his personal life is my greatest accomplishment.

I made a steak by myself last week. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? People would never guess that I grew up in extreme poverty by looking at me now. My family and I have very comfortable lives today, but we’ve had to hustle and fight for the past two decades to improve our socio-economic class. We started in a one-bedroom apartment, shared with another family. My parents both worked seven days a week to provide for us, so I was often left alone to fend for myself from the age of 8. I learned to survive and be resilient from a very young age. People don’t see that now, but I’ll always cherish those tougher years. They made me strong.

He better save all that for a jury speech. Nobody is going to want to take him to the end with a story like that. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I want to say Parvati, but I’m not that hot nor charming. I will realistically be similar to Aubry. She was just a strategic mastermind. She understood social rankings and was able to strategize across very nuanced alliances. She’s also non-threating, similar to myself, so I’ll focus on keeping bigger physical and social threats around to ensure myself a shield. She was also not afraid to cross-alliance lines and work with people who could further her game. Don’t rule anyone out.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe that I am a well-rounded individual with great logical sense, a strong ability to read social situations, amazing speaking abilities, and a strong desire to better my family’s lives. There is no alternative besides coming home with a million-dollar check.

My Take On Hai:

Just a ton of impressive answers out of Hai from start to finish. I loved in his video when mentioned how well he can read a room. That's huge in this game. He seems to be likable, smart, and has just an overall great understanding of the game. I think he's going to go very, very far. Might be my winner pick. 

Swati

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Getting into every college I applied to because I worked hard for that, writing and directing my own show and having a successful community response, and enlisting in the Army National Guard. I was raised to prioritize things like service to my country and the world. I’m really proud of my decision to enlist.

Goes to Harvard and is in the army national guard. I'll never get on this show competing against people like this for god's sakes. 

Who is your hero and why? Elon Musk. My life’s mission is to change the world for the better. Building something like Tesla, which is uber successful and also a boon to the environment, is my dream.

Elon Musk superfans made the final four of worst fandoms on the planet in our episode of The Bracket last week. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? A cross between Victoria Baamonde and Chaos Kass. Victoria’s blindside of Aubrey is one of the most underappreciated moves ever, in my opinion, but she needed to take more control of her game, like Kass.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Having grown up in the most competitive environment in America, I’ve gotten pretty good at persuading people to cheerfully act in my best interests and not theirs. Recommendation letters, winning elections, high attendance for all my events, etc. -- my entire life has been a highly successful exercise in persuasion. It sounds awful, but to some extent, I live every day the way Tony plays.

My Take On Swati: 

She is certainly a very impressive person outside of the game, but how that translates to Survivor remains to be seen. She's very smart and sometimes very smart people can rub others the wrong way. Although she did seem fairly likable in her video. She also doesn't look like a physical threat but is in the Army so she must be pretty good in challenges? Her young age is also probably a knock against her. Just very hard to get a read on her overall.

Rocksroy

3 Words to Describe You: Thankful, calm – except when driving--and faithful

Pet Peeve: Drivers who do not use their turn signal. Someone who thinks they know everything.

Seems like Rocks really really really gets road rage. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’m an environmental scientist. I’m Jamaican. I have been to over 20 countries. I love watching golf.

Don't want to get myself cancelled but I feel like I wouldn't NEVER guess that he's Jamaican. If I found out that I was Jamaican for example, that would surprise me way more. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? John Cochran. He understood his weakness the second time around and it strengthened him to compete and win.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? Because I’ll never forget what I’m playing for – my family and the money. The sum of which would be a life-changing amount for my family.

Was not expecting the Cochran comparison but I like his reasoning. 

My Take on Rocksroy:

Seems like a relaxed, likable guy. Wants to be helpful around camp which should bode well in the pre-merge stage of the game. Didn't give any promising answers in terms of strategy though. He feels like a jury member to me. 

Lindsay

Favorite Hobbies: Co-ed flag football in the sand at Bar A by the shore. Interior decorating for the holidays. Any high intensity or adrenaline activity – snowboarding, paintballing, skydiving, wake surfing, etc.

A Jersey Shore girl. Wonder if she's ever cut the mozzarell at DJais. 

3 Words to Describe You: Loud! Growing up, my friends’ parents always described me as “the loud friend.” Talkative – all of my report cards every year [said] “talkative” or “distracts others.” Intense personality – I’m a good person, but I definitely do not mesh with everyone.

This is the most "I'm from New Jersey" description I have ever seen.

Pet Peeve: I hate wasted time. Anything that just eats away time drives me nuts. I have too much pent-up energy that I need to do something. I hate slow and quiet talkers. Spit it out and speak up! This is why New Jersey is my homeland and the only place people understand me. We are all cut from the same cloth.

Okay now THIS is the most "I'm from New Jersey" description I have ever seen. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I can definitely outwit everyone since I am very familiar with dealing with different types of people and have always had a strategic mind. I can read people very well and am very good at persuading others. Plus, let’s be real, people are stupid. And when people are hungry, they forget how to stay composed. Once you see the cracks, it gets easier to outwit. I can outplay everyone because I am very competitive and athletic so I should be one of the top competitors in challenges. I’m an animal. I can outlast everyone because I have grit. I have always been able to endure difficult and uncomfortable situations when needed if I know there is a bigger outcome on the other side waiting for me. I don’t break easily. I have too much determination to ever think to quit. I will be the final Survivor!

My Take on Lindsay: 

Some of these castaways so far have been a little hard to read. Lindsay is not one of those people. A loud, strong headed, high strung, competitive girl from New Jersey. Anyone in the northeast has met a thousand Lindsays in their lifetime. She says in her video that she needs to "chill out" but I think that might not be in her DNA. She could be an early boot if she's as confrontational as it appears. Very very very low chance of winning. 

Zach

Are we sure this isn't Donathan from Season 35? 

Favorite Hobbies: Social strategy games, sketch comedy writing and running

3 Words to Describe You: Clever, competitive and storyteller

I like all those things too except for running which I hope to never have to do again. (Unless I'm on Survivor). 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Todd Herzog. He played a brilliant game in China, where he controlled every single vote from the shadows. We’re in a period of SURVIVOR now where the tallest tree is the first one cut; just look at Edge of Extinction’s boot order. You need to build a resume, but you can’t let anyone realize how extensive your resume is until it’s too late. Todd managed to keep his threat-level low while subtly manipulating every facet of the game and revealed everything at Final Tribal Council. I’d also love to mix that with Jeremy’s meat shield strategy, so that I’m never the first one targeted if things go awry.

I love this answer a lot. Todd is one of the more underrated players in the history of the show. Him talking about "threat level" and "meat shields" is also very encouraging. Seems like a guy knows the game super well. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I love all of the core skills that you need to win the game. I’m extremely personable and make friends easily. I’m super intelligent and strategic, with a vast knowledge of the game. I’m athletic enough to not be a liability, but not enough to be a threat. And most importantly, I am willing to work harder than anyone to win. In speech and debate, I competed against hundreds of students from around the country every weekend. These people were just as smart as me, just as well-spoken and just as talented. But I beat them because I worked harder and because I wanted it more. And the same will be true for SURVIVOR.

My Take On Zach:

I'm optimistic. I think I have to be optimistic because it's hard to not see the similarities in how I'd play the game as a fellow superfan. This guy probably took my spot if we're being honest. His biggest issue, as he says, will be the pre-merge part of the game as he won't provide much in the way of challenges. But if he's social enough to stay off the chopping block, I like his chances a lot. We've seen nerdy superfans win the game before (Adam and Cochran). We've also seen them crash and burn early. My gut feeling is he does well.  

Jenny

Favorite Hobbies: Travel, Pilates, writing, watching movies
3 Words to Describe You: Direct, open and compassionate
Pet Peeve: Arrogant people and those with a sense of entitlement

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Kelly Wentworth’s tenacity is definitely something I will emulate. I don’t give up! Lauren Beck because she really studied and watched people to understand their motives. I love to study human behavior.

Two of the biggest Survivors on TikTok. I don't know what to make of that but that's something. And I like her answer about Lauren and studying human behavior. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I have a high EQ (emotional intelligence). This means I know how to read people well and understand what they are feeling. I’m also a great listener and leader and know I will be able to gain trust.

My Take On Jenny:

Her video and answers don't really provide us with a whole lot. She seems cool enough I guess. Definitely don't think she's going to step on anyone's toes or bother anyone. But if she stays too low for too long she could end up being an invisible edit we forget ever played the game. 

Omar

Pet Peeve: People who complain about the cost of vet care, rudeness, feeding seeds to parrots, gym grunters, Joey from “Friends,” the fact that mini wheats have gelatin, when people talk bad about pigeons, and institutional racism.

Really went from 0 to 100 at end there. Kind of a weird list of pet peeves overall. What's wrong with Joey from Friends??? Pigeons do suck. The mini wheats thing is so oddly specific I have to respect it. I do agree racism is bad though. Gotta think every other contestant saw that and is like "Damn I should have said I don't like racism too."

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? I’m most proud of setting my mind to become an exotic animal specialist from undergrad. It is more difficult to get into vet school than med school in Canada, and the avian/exotics residency has the lowest admission rate of any specialty (3-5%). I’m also proud of maintaining my Muslim values while living in the Western world – abstaining from alcohol, pork and premarital sex – no matter how hard it may be. I am also proud of the resilience I didn’t know I had within me to deal with my father’s death in 2017.

Do you guys think he's a Stoolie?

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? “They must adapt, or they’ll be voted out of the game.” A statement that has not changed. You can look to nature and Darwin’s theory of evolution and see how the fittest survive, but the fittest may not be the lion in every situation. My ability to adapt, connect with others, understanding strategy & how to manipulate numbers, and most importantly – social awareness of myself and others are the key ingredients to success. I am not going to leave everything to starve on an island to let someone else win. I am playing for me and my family, and no one will get in the way of that. I can’t wait to do the show I love so much proud, by not only winning but being the first Indian and Muslim to do so. It would be a dream come true to see my nieces watch me win and serve as a role model – that will never leave my mind.

Great answer. Adaptability is maybe the most important quality in Survivor. You can't plan for all the things the game is going to throw at you. And he seems to understand that. 

My Take On Omar: 

Another promising player. There seem to be a lot of winner potential people in this group and he's another one of them. Seems likable. Strategic. Won't be a challenge beast but maybe won't be a complete and total liability. I expect him to go far. 

Maryanne

Pet Peeve: When people don’t listen to me, people who walk slowly in front of me, anything that disrupts my sleep, hypocrites, and people who don’t apologize.

There might be a few things that disrupt her sleep while she's sleeping in a shelter on a remote island. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I am a great listener! Just because I talk a lot, it does not mean I am not listening. People are so used to hearing me when I am there, so when I am quiet, people usually don’t think I’m there and I can take notice on what they are saying. Also, I check in on people and let them vent to me, which gives me more context about them that can help guide my future decisions.

Good quality for the game. Can be a sounding board that people come to and trust with information. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Davie. Davie was someone who had loyalty to many people, had a strong core alliance and was social. Not only that but he was able to find idols and win challenges and play idols correctly to further his game. But most of all, Davie had so much fun when he was on the island, no matter if he was on the top or bottom of his tribe. Davie had the path to 6th place, and I will perfect it to 1st.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe I will win SURVIVOR because I am a social person, and SURVIVOR at its core is a numbers game. I have lived in diverse cities and also been in situations where I was the only black person. But in every situation, I thrived and SURVIVOR is another place where my resilience and personality will shine. Also, I never go down without a fight. When all hope is lost, I will be searching for idols, talking to people, and convincing them that me staying is best for everyone. I am going on SURVIVOR to win and I will do everything in my power to do so.

My Take On Maryanne:

I hate to sound like a broken record but sounds a lot like everyone else in this cast. Seems like a lot of likable players. Don't really have that confrontational type so far which could hurt us, the audience. Feels like all these people are just gonna be best friends. I hope not. But I don't love how she said in the video that she'll be afraid to stab people in the back and wants to see "the good in them." Way more fun to see the bad in people. Anyway, there's some potential for her to last for a bit but I'm not getting major winner vibes. 

Romeo

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling, beauty pageants and watching SURVIVOR
3 Words to Describe You: Competitive, intuitive and smart

What is something we would never know from looking at you? How competitive I am. Because I am a small man, and gay and Latino, people always underestimate me. I love proving them wrong. I hate losing or being wrong. I always want to have the right answer and win everything I do.

"I always want to have the right answer and win everything I do" isn't a great thing to hear from a Survivor contestant. As I said above, know it alls who want to be right all the time tend to annoy people. Side note: I think I gotta become a co-host on Out And About if I want to get on this show. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I don’t think anyone has played a game like the one I will play. But I do want to achieve great SURVIVOR historical moments like Sandra, Cirie, Parvati, Rupert, Rob. I want to be remembered.

This reads like an answer of someone who has never watched an episode of the show and just looked up a bunch of famous players. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I know I can be the final Survivor because I am likable enough and persuasive enough to convince people to vote for me. I always find a way to get what I want.

Meh. 

My Take on Omar: 

Not very optimistic. Not being a physical help mixed with potentially being a bit confrontational is usually a recipe for a pre-merge boot. Also nothing to suggest he's going to be some strategic mastermind to save himself. We don't have a ton of info obviously so I could be wrong, but he doesn't feel like a contender to me. 

Tori

Hot. 

Favorite Hobbies: Crossfit, playing board games or card games, spending time with family (I’m the middle child of five kids.)
3 Words to Describe You: Quirky, warm, self-aware
Pet Peeve: When people lack self-awareness, are emotionally reactive, immature, or petty

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I get this all the time: “When I first met you, I thought you were going to be a mean girl, but now that I know you, that’s not the case.” People tend to stereotype me, so they’re surprised when they realize I have depth, am intelligent and that I do a lot of super nerdy things.

Looks like Alex and Jordyn might have a new host for Mean Girl Pod. 

Who is your hero and why? It would be so cheesy to say “Jesus,” but I did want to use this question to explain the importance of my faith. I am a fully devoted follower of Christ, and my life motto is to “love God and love people.” I recognize that there is a higher calling on my life than simply living for myself.

Big time God girl. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I am the total package. I am a strong social player because of my background in counseling and psychology, so I understand human behavior. I genuinely care about people and know how to connect on a deeper, personal level. I am an animal when it comes to anything physical because of my strength, grit, and unrelenting determination. I have studied the game of SURVIVOR, so I know what strategy will work in the game. I come off as a very sweet, trustworthy person, but people have no idea what I’m capable of. I know how to balance being a huge threat, while also drawing people in and making them want to work with me. My faith gives me an advantage because I can rely on God when I am weak and ask Him for guidance.

Oh REALLY big time God girl. 

My Take On Tori: 

Potential for sure. Very impressed with her video and some answers. Being a therapist is a huge leg up in getting people to trust her. She seems nice and unassuming, but hopefully her Survivor fandom means she'll be cutthroat when she needs to be. There's no God when you're out on that island. Can't be thinking "What would Jesus do?" Have to think "What would Satan do?" So hopefully she's not too clean cut and honorable to be weary of betraying people. But it seems like she understands the game so I'm very optimistic. A potential winner.

Daniel 

Favorite Hobbies: Movie fanatic, LEGOs, keeping track of things, and SURVIVOR

I think this might be Jeff D Lowe? 

Pet Peeve: People who are so convinced they are right that they foreclose debate; people who are disruptive in movie theaters; when people try to talk to you even though you are wearing headphones; oatmeal raisin cookies masquerading as chocolate chip cookies.

This is just a great list of pet peeves. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I collect signed pocket U.S. Constitutions. Among others, I have one signed by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, Justice Sotomayor, and the former U.S. ambassador to Estonia.

What a fucking character this guy is. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? In order for me to win, I will need to lower my threat level from the get-go. The most natural way is to embrace my inner goofy, like Fabio. And then, obviously the winners I would model my game after are Yul and Todd.

Like this answer a lot. Doesn't really seem like someone who would have a natural target on his back from the get-go though. 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I truthfully think the odds are against me. It is all going to be a matter of threat management. I’m going to leave it all on the table. I will play my heart out because it will probably be the one shot I get – I’ve been waiting years, and I want no regrets. I can’t promise you I will win, but I can promise you I will have fun and make the most of this opportunity. Cancer survivors don’t go anything less than full throttle.

My Take On Daniel:

Am I missing something here? I'm not sure why he thinks he's going to be this huge threat. Looks like just your average, frumpy white dude. I do kind of love though that he's already making excuses. "Odds are against me. No way I can do this." Making a pre-excuse. Sort of respect that line of thinking. I do overall think he's a promising contestant but we just have to make sure his weirdness and idiosyncrasies aren't too extreme. He could be a Rick Devens type who makes a deep run. In the video, he seems very self aware and is embracing an underdog mentality. Funny and likable but knows the game. The winner vibes are there for sure. 

Drea

Favorite Hobbies: Working out and any kind of charity work
3 Words to Describe You: 
Resilient, ambitious and caring
Pet Peeve: 
Dishonest people

Not exactly the most exciting list of answers. Anyone who lists "dishonesty" or "lying" for pet peeves does not give me much hope for their ability to play Survivor. 

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Becoming an All-American Track Runner. If you are or ever have been a competitive athlete, you know the dedication, sacrifice, sweat and tears it takes to succeed. Every time I question my ability to make something happen, I look back at the girl who ran track and remember I was, and still am, that person! 

Anytime I see a Survivor say they're a track runner, it immediately makes me think of the legend that is Crystal Cox from Gabon. But I don't get any vibes from Drea that suggest they're similar otherwise unfortunately. We could be so lucky to get another Crystal.

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I have a fear of death. I come off as super confident and strong, which I am, but deep down, I do fear the end. I think it stems from losing some very important people in my life at a young age. However, this fear doesn’t cripple me; it gives me the perspective to live every day to the fullest.

Same. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Kelley Wentworth. She contributes to her team and sets up alliances while still being a competitor in the competitions.

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe my personality, physical strength and ability to manipulate people to do what I want will help me get to the final. I am able to see where different personalities fit in my life and utilize them when it fits.

Incredibly bleh answers. 

My Take On Drea:

She didn't exactly give us much to work with. Very brief and generic answers. Nothing to provide us with much optimism. But also nothing to provide us with much pessimism either. We did discover during our Snuffing Torches recording that she's a fitness influencer with 700,000 followers on Instagram. Gotta be a good sign that she's at least somewhat personable. But that's not enough to make me think she's a winner. It could just be that we don't have a lot of info her, but nothing in her answers makes me think she's going to be a strategic, cutthroat player. She'll likely last through the pre-merge because of her athleticism but could be an early merge target. 

Marya 

Favorite Hobbies: Gardening, writing (poetry & spoken word), and Pilates

Potential hippie?

What is something we would never know from looking at you? Well, perhaps because I’m always in front of people in some sort of leadership role, everyone thinks I am super strong, have no problems…or never made a mistake. In reality, I am a bag of mistakes made and lessons learned. I am also tender-hearted—if someone else is hurt, I hurt. Basically, I’m a softy

I think it's safe to say we shouldn't expect her to be masterminding many blindsides. 

Who is your hero and why? Kious Kelly. Kious was the first nurse in New York to die of COVID-19. He gave his life for others. He was a dearly loved and respected nurse. He passed on March 24, 2020. Kious was my brother.

At first, I was a little confused with how specific this example was until I got to the end. What a twist. Obviously very heroic from her brother. 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Ironically, a mix between Angelina and Tony. After Angelina’s turbulent first few weeks, she slipped under the radar and made it to the end. Tony brought an upbeat, funny and light energy. By the time he was recognized as a threat, it was too late.

That might be the oddest combination I've ever heard. Not what I was expecting at all. I think I kind of like it? 

My Take On Marya

As the oldest female contestant on the season, there's definitely a chance she's the mom archetype of the season. Seems like she's very caring and nice which should be good for her social game. But I do think there's possibly more to her than just being that mom that gets dragged to the end as a goat (a la Heather last season. Never forget Heather). Overall though, it seems like she's someone who will either be out very early or go very far. Can't see her winning though. 

Mike

Favorite Hobbies: Working out, sports, and watching great movies

Spoken like a true firefighter from New Jersey. 

3 Words to Describe You: Loyal, loud and fair

Him and Lindsay are gonna get along great. 

What is something we would never know from looking at you? I’m sensitive. I care. I get my feelings hurt. I’m smart (at least I think so). My heart hurts for the less fortunate. I love learning. I’m a straight arrow.

Awww. Mike is just a big teddy bear softy? 

Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I would love to play like Boston Rob. Not sure it will work out that way but I really believe that I have all the great attributes of all the great players.

I like how he's managing expectations here. "Yeah I prob won't be one of the greatest players in the history of Survivor." 

Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I honestly think I can be the final Survivor because I possess all the attributes needed. I’ll be a beast in challenges, a worker in camp, yet I’ll make people believe I’m not a threat until it’s too late. I also have the gift of gab! People will like me (even Jeff).

When I looked at this man, I did not expect him to ever say the sentence "I have the gift of gab." What an enigma. 

My Take On Mike: 

When I first looked at Mike, I thought "first boot." Older guy who doesn't look like he'd mesh well with this younger cast. But maybe there's more to Mike than meets the eye. I still don't think he's a winner though. An older guy who works hard around camp and is loyal to his alliance probably to a fault. Can't imagine he's a manipulator or strategist. If he's helpful enough at camp and in challenges he should make the merge and go far. Maybe a loser at FTC. But there's also a good chance he's out in the first three tribals. He ain't winning. 

And here are some TikTok versions of those cast assessments. 

Winner Rankings

Alright now that we've judged these books by their covers, let's get into some potential winner picks. This is a running list I’ll keep all season long. This is NOT who will last the longest. Don’t look at the person ranked last as the person most likely to go home next. Look at them as the person with the least chance to win. That person could very easily get dragged to FTC as a goat, but won’t win. This is ranking people based on their chance to actually win the game. 

Tier 1 (I believe the winner will be one of these six people)

1. Hai

2. Daniel

3. Omar

4. Chanelle

5. Jackson

6. Zach

Tier 2 (I could see one of these people winning)

7. Maryanne

8. Tori

9. Jenny

10. Rocksroy

Tier 3 (Very very very low chances)

11. Romeo

12. Swati

13. Lydia

14. Lindsay

Tier 4 (Would be shocked if they win)

15. Drea

16. Marya 

17. Jonathan

18. Mike

And there we have it. Your full Survivor 42 preview guide. Excited to keep the Survivor content coming all season long. Weekly episode recap blogs. Snuffing Torches episodes recaps (SUBSCRIBE AND LEAVE A 5-STAR REVIEW). And I may do some TikToks too @tommysmokes. Follow along all season as we enjoy the greatest show in the history of television. 

26 days. 18 people. ONE Survivor!