Last Night Was Everything That Makes Survivor Great | Survivor 42 Episode 6 Recap

Last night was a two hour Survivor masterpiece. Just an awesome episode from start to finish. I was a little weary going into it because I was concerned it would be a bloated episode that overly focused on the stupid hourglass twist, but that wasn't the case at all. While that twist did return, the rest of the episode was awesome. Seeing all 12 players hit the beach and form strategic alliances and social bonds is what makes Survivor so great. So many different layers of strategy were at play. The first merge tribal council is usually one of the best of the season, and this one was no different. And it feels like we really know these players on a personal level, way better than we knew anyone from Season 41. The editors have done a great job and the cast is delivering. The post-merge game is going to be highly entertaining. 

I'll recap this jam-packed episode as best I can below, but for a more full recap listen to our latest Snuffing Torches episode. The podcast is available on Apple and Spotify. And you can watch the full episode on YouTube too. 




And comment your top 3 winner picks as we hit the merge. We all gave ours in the episode. Now let's get onto the recap. 

Vati Camp (Green)

-Mike was mad at Chanelle for writing his name down after their tribal council. This confused me because...Mike voted for Chanelle? Not sure how he can feel so betrayed by a person when he also voted for them. An overall really strong episode for Mike but thought this was a little odd unless I'm missing something. 

Ika Camp (Blue)

-This foreshadowed a running theme of the episode in Tori vs. Rocksroy. These two just don't like each other. Well Tori hates Rocksroy. Rocksroy may be totally oblivious to Tori hating him. Would be funny if he's watching back now and being like "Damn, I thought me and Tori were friends." That's Rocksroy life, baby. Overall, Tori was just being really annoying here following Rocksroy around and asking about the summit. Her social game leaves a lot to be desired. 


-Such great free publicity for Applebee's that they totally didn't pay for. Just so happened that Survivor 42 casted the 18 biggest Applebee's fans in America. They were going nuts with totally natural reactions when the reward was revealed! 

-It was very similar to last season with some minor tweaks. They would be split into tribes of five with two people on the outs. Jonathan, Lydia, Hai, Maryanne, and Tori made up one tribe. Omar, Drea, Mike, Romeo, and Chanelle made up the other. Lindsay and Rocksroy were on the outs. 

-As for the challenge itself, it was another incredible showing by Jonathan. He made his own rules and just pushed the ball with his superhuman strength, then single handedly got the rest of his tribe through the obstacle course. It was arguably his most impressive challenge performance yet, which is saying something considering they once had to literally stop a challenge because nobody but him could complete it. Maryanne and Lydia completed the puzzle to win it for them. Maryanne snapped back at Hai at one point which was odd and not a great social decision. 


-They then got to choose between Lindsay and Rocksroy for who would join them at the Applebee's feast and also be safe at the next tribal council (or so they thought). They chose Lindsay saying she needed the meal more, even though it appears Rocksroy has lost like 70 pounds. 

-And then another twist was that they could send Rocksroy to Exile Island where he would get "power in the game." Or one of the winners could go instead to keep the power for their own tribe. Jeff made it very clear it was a big decision and was even like, "Are you sure?" But they obviously didn't expect that sending Rocksroy there would take immunity away from them and nobody wanted to risk it, so they sent Rocksroy away to Exile. (Well except for Drea who back at camp hypothesized the twist could be exactly what it was. Did she see Season 41 somehow???)

-As for the Applebee's feast itself, the highlight was Jonathan saying his usual meal at home is 18 eggs, 9 pieces of cheese, and grits. Just an absolute behemoth of a man. 

Exile Island aka The Rocksroy Show

-Rocksroy was born for Exile Island. All he cares about is making a fire, building a shelter, and cooking rice. So these two days were a breeze for him. I honestly think he just saw the show's name was "Survivor" and assumed it was only about actual survival. He was stunned to learn about "alliances" and "tribal councils." And I love that. New school Survivor is filled with strategic gamebots. Rocksroy is a throwback to someone you'd see on like Seasons 1-6. He's just there for the vibes. He has no chance to win a season like this, but I'm still enjoying him as a character. 

-We also learned more about him and his battle with his eye disease that may make him blind one day. It's why he wears the rec specs. He was just appreciating being on the show and seeing the Fiji sunset and it was very wholesome. 

-Another funny moment to me was when Jeff came to explain the hourglass twist and Rocksroy was like, "I may have to interrupt you Jeff. My rice will be done soon." Man gave zero fucks about the hourglass.

-As for the hourglass itself, Rocskroy smashed it because obviously. It should show just how stupid the twist is when Rocksroy, one of the least strategic players Survivor has seen in quite some time, realized "Oh wait I either give myself immunity or don't? Well this is a no-brainer." He showed some hesitation but ultimately made the right decision. 

-It would truly make zero sense to not smash it. Sure you might make the 6 people you're taking immunity from pretty annoyed, but you're also going to earn brownie points with the 5 people you're giving immunity too. And especially since Jeff explains what the choice was at the immunity challenge, I think everyone realizes, "Oh yeah that makes sense. I would've done the same thing to protect myself." Nobody with any common sense will hold a grudge over that. Erika smashed it last season and won the game. Protecting yourself at the most chaotic tribal council of the game is the right move. And you know that someone else will do something over the next couple of days to put themselves on the chopping block and take the heat off you. 

-I expect and hope to never see this twist back, no matter how many tweaks they want to add to it. 

Immunity Challenge

-I want to go to the immunity challenge before talking about camplife at all because there's a lot more to break down there. At the challenge, Jeff revealed Rocksroy's decision which meant Jonathan, Tori, Lindsay, Hai, Lydia, and Maryanne now had to compete in the challenge. 


-It was the classic challenge where the players had to spell out "Immunity" in a box puzzle while balancing it on the rope. Jonathan got out to a good start, but his fell and Tori won. Proof that there are some things Jonathan can't do and why he might not be as much of a physical threat with these individual challenges. 

-A highlight from before the challenge was Tori proving to be just a god awful social player. 

-"Hey Rocksroy, it was actually a gift to make you miss out on the merge feast and go have you starve alone for 2 days. How could you repay us like this????" She's just such a true villain and truly mean person. But the show needs that. It would be awesome if she can provide some Kass like chaos from here on out. 

-So the five people capable of being voted out were Jonathan, Maryanne, Lydia, Hai, and Lindsay. 

Merge Strategy, Alliances, And Bonds

-This was the crux of the episode and it was AWESOME. This is what Survivor is all about. Not the twists. Not the advantages. Not even the challenges. To me, the best part is the camplife where we see how alliances and bonds form. And we saw plenty of that this episode. 

-A main alliance of 8 seemed to form at first. Hai, Lydia, and Mike were a tight trio from green. Jonathan, Omar, and Lindsay were a tight trio from orange. And Drea said her closest ally from blue was Rocksroy. This surprised me a little because I thought Romeo was her go-to guy. But maybe she figures Rocskroy is more trustworthy and easier to manipulate. An alliance of 8 obviously won't last long (and didn't) but you do need numbers that big at the first merge vote. 

-Every tribe was airing out their dirty laundry. Hai, Lydia, and Mike talked about how untrustworthy Chanelle is, which I think is a little unfair. Drea threw Tori under the bus from her tribe. And Maryanee was on the outs from the Taku trio. Chanelle specifically was having a tough go of it. Anytime she tried to join a conversation, everyone was like "Oh hey Chanelle! We were just talking about how much we like you! But we're all going to go run away from you right now!" Just a brutal spot for her. But I like how aware she was about it. She still shows promise. I don't know if she can win being this on the outs, but I can see her putting together a scrappy, underdog run like a Spencer or someone. One bad thing she did last night though was not tell Omar he didn't have a vote. She knew that since she lost her vote, he also didn't have one. Would've just been an easy way to gain trust with him by saying it. Not sure what the advantage of hiding it was. 

-We also saw advantage alliances forming. Maryanne, Drea, and Mike talked about protecting each other since they're the three idol holders. And the amulet crew is even more interesting of Drea, Hai, and Lindsday. Right now they're all still in the game so 3 amulets can give them an extra vote. But if one gets booted then 2 gives them a steal-a-vote. And if just one holder remains, it becomes a fully formed idol. I think it makes more sense for them to work together than to target each other. The "advantage" is basically designed to make them turn on each other. But if all three get together and say "Hey let's not do that" then they can keep a target off themself. Also the difference between an extra vote and a steal-a-vote isn't really THAT huge, especially with this many people left. And once just two of them remain, they'll really be more likely to target each other to get the idol. So I think them just working together makes sense. 


-Hai was really the narrative driver for a lot of this episode. It felt like he was our narrator explaining everything to us and being one of the main people setting up that large majority alliance. We were seeing the game through his eyes, which is a winner trait. He also formed a bond with Romeo which spoke to his strong social game. And he talked about using Jonathan as a meat shield to protect himself. I think that's smart because Jonathan is such a huge target that it makes sense to keep him around for awhile because he won't win EVERY challenge and then you can boot him closer to the end with like 6 or 7 left. 

-The bromance between Jonathan and Mike stole the show for me. 

-I love this duo. They just bonded over how strong they both are. Jonathan said it's hard to overcome the stereotype that he's just a big, meathead jock and Mike said he was the same way when he was younger. I do think Jonathan is way more than that. He's a fully fleshed-out character. We've seen a LOT of Jonathan's personality. He's very well-rounded. His social game is great and he can be strategic too. The target on his back is just so huge, but he has a lot of winner characteristics and Mike is just an awesome social player. Everyone seems to like and trust him. I think he'll have to move up my winner rankings a bit. This meme from the Survivor Reddit page made me chuckle. 

-Romeo was one player seeing through this duo though. Saying Mike needs to get his head out of Jonathan's ass. The visual of Mike sleeping next to him every night and following him around like a puppy dog is very funny. Romeo was the first one this to be like "Uhhh hey guys….. maybe we should target this superhuman challenge beast who keeps whooping our asses." While targeting Jonathan will make anyone unpopular fans, it was a smart move. I like Romeo's chances still even though he appears to be on the outs. He brought that plan to Tori, Lydia, and others. Lydia was down for the plan since Tori and Chanelle, the two previous targets, were both now immune. 

-But once Lydia brought this plan up to Omar, she sealed her fate. Omar went full Godfather mode. It was the most impressive episode for any player this season. Omar didn't have a vote and was also immune, so he at first thought about just laying low to not ruffle any feathers. But once he heard his guy Jonathan was getting targeted, Omar put on a fucking CLINIC. He used this as an opportunity to show that Lydia already wasn't loyal to the alliance of 8 and turned them against her. The hardest part was to get Hai to go against her. A few weeks ago, Hai went to rocks to protect Lydia, his biggest ally in the game. It seemed like we could be heading for a Josh vs. Jeremy like showdown from Season 29. Hai had to try to get the votes on Maryanne instead if he wanted to save Lydia. So going into tribal, Lydia and Maryanne seemed to be the main ones on the chopping block with Jonathan's name still being floated. 


Tribal Council

-Nothing too crazy at tribal. I like that live tribals haven't been a thing this season. The main thing was Drea and Maryanne going at each other pretty randomly. While I'm no Maryanne fan, I thought she was in the right on this one and Drea arguing with her seemed kind of stupid and pointless. Could be worth monitoring that Maryanne has now exchanged verbal blows with two power players in Drea and Hai. 

-Ultimately, Lydia was sent home with a 6-2-2-1 vote. She would not make the merge nor the jury. Just brutal. 

-The 6 votes on Lydia came from Drea, Hai, Jonathan, Lindsay, Mike, and Maryanne. It was interesting to see Hai turn on Lydia, but I think it was the right move. He couldn't risk his game for her AGAIN. Sticking with the majority was the right move. But now he could find himself in trouble with his closest ally gone. 

-Lydia and Romeo voted for Maryanne. Chanelle and Tori voted for Jonathan.

-And Rocksroy voted for…. "Lynze." King shit. Who's Lynze? Who fucking knows. Probably Lindsay but there's also a chance he meant to vote Lydia and got their names confused. Or he couldn't remember who the vote was for and just tried to combine their names. Rocksroy will do what Rocksroy wants. 

-Farewell to Lydia. I thought she had potential to be a funny player based on Episode 1 and her pre-game press and Twitter, but she didn't get much shine in the edit. She was not a real threat to win and the show won't suffer much without her. 

Winner Rankings

This is a ranking of the players I think are most likely to WIN. This is not necessarily who I think is safest in the game. 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

1. Hai - I think Hai might have a tough road ahead of him. He just lost his closet ally and is playing very hard. Could be peaking too soon. People will realize that which might make him a target soon. But he still has a better understanding of the game than maybe anyone and he's been my pick since Week 1, so I'm not changing. 

2. Omar - Huge episode for him. I've had him in Tier 1 all season because I am a genius. But now other people are finally realizing what a threat he is. His social and strategic combo is lethal. 

3. Romeo - He's on the outs of the majority alliance for now, but you know that will crumble. He'll find a way to stick around for awhile. Likable and smart is a good combo. 

Tier 2

4. Jonathan - If he gets to the end, he wins. Period. It would be so impressive for him to get there with the target on his back that he'd have to get the million. But will he get there is the huge question. 

5. Mike - I'm finally starting to give Mike the respect he deserves. His social game is just so good. You saw it with Jonathan. He has himself in the majority alliance. Everyone wants to work with him. I still don't think he's cutthroat enough to actually win, but he's got a chance. 

6. Chanelle - She has her work cut out for her. That's for sure. She's not in the majority alliance and people don't want to work with her at all. But I think there's a good Survivor player somewhere inside her. And I think her edit is actually pretty good. I can see an underdog run from her, but winning will be very hard. 

7. Drea - She's armed with advantages out the hizzou, but I still don't like her winning chances. She's too much of a risk-taker and I think all the advantages will put a target on her back. 


Tier 3

8. Lindsay - The most non-existent edit of any player left. We really know nothing about her. Erika's edit was also quiet last season, but this seems even quieter. Don't think we'll have another UTR winner like that with a cast this strong. 

9. Maryanne - Already making enemies with new players thanks to her big mouth. She's got the idol and extra vote, but it won't be enough to save her.

10. Tori - Just a horrible social game and very unlikable. She's got a chance to get dragged to the end as a goat. 

Just Vibes Tier

11. Rocksroy - He may vibe his way to the finals, but he won't be winning.

Overall, just a great episode of Survivor. This season has already been good and I think it will only get better from here. I'm very excited for every episode, which is something we couldn't say about Season 41. So glad to have good Survivor back on TV. 

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