Survivor 42: Episode 12 Reaction

We’ve made it to the home stretch and what a roller coaster it has been. The game is flipped on its head after a huge blindside in the best episode of the season. Let’s break it down!

The Kingdom Crumbles Behind Omar and Lindsay’s Back

After pulling off the big Knowledge is Power blindside Omar and Lindsay get back to camp and they are feeling really good about their chances to get to the end. They believe they have the numbers and they can pit Mike and Jonathan against each other in the next vote to take another threat out. Easy enough right? But that wasn’t what was really going on. Mike and Jonathan were both very aware of the threat posed against them, and they had a strong alliance with each other to combat the biggest threat in Omar while Omar and Lindsay believed it would be simple to pit the two “meatheads” against each other. Mike then does the legwork to get the blindside off the ground: because Lindsay had told Mike about her amulet (why did Lindsay do this by the way???) it was easy for Mike to get Maryanne on board the “Vote Out Omar” train. Maryanne herself felt like she needed to make a big move and thanks to Drea’s speech last week, Omar had become threat number one for who wins a jury vote against everyone.

We cannot hit this point enough, but it is crazy how confident Omar and Lindsay felt that they had the game on lockdown. They simply believed that Mike was all in with them after saving his idol from being stolen with and then Lindsay can finally get her vendetta hit on Jonathan off. The sun hadn’t even rose on the next day before Mike was making plans with Jonathan to vote out Omar. Lindsay believed Jonathan had no idea that she was targeting him. Jonathan was hyper-aware that Lindsay wanted him out. And Omar believed that Maryanne was going to ride the easy wave all the way to the end. But Maryanne was keen on rocking the boat.

Maryanne’s Game Defining Move

The challenge goes in the worst possible way for Maryanne, Mike, and Jonathan: Lindsay had won, therefore Lindsay has the option to use her amulet idol on Omar and both are safe for tonight. Mike and Jonathan moved to damage control and planned to vote out Romeo the goat, and then they can bring Maryanne in for a final three pact to vote the front-runners out next. Maryanne had the extra vote so there was no chance for a tie. But while the boys wanted to play for self-preservation, Maryanne was prepared to make her resume defining move and move forward with the Omar blindside. Maryanne proposes a split vote where she would bring in Romeo to put 3 votes on Omar, then the big boys put two votes on Romeo to tie with the 2 Jonathan votes from Lindsay and Omar. We have to assume this split is possible because Romeo has no knowledge of the idol Lindsay has, because I don’t think he would agree to be the backup vote just in case Lindsay plays her idol for Omar (which common sense would say she will). While she faces resistance due to the riskiness of Lindsay’s idol and the unpredictability of Romeo, the boys ended up agreeing and because Lindsay chose to hold her amulet (for fear of a new one going into circulation if she played it, or just confidence that Omar was safe), the best player of the season to this point is sent to the jury.

Maryanne felt the pressure that comes with spending a majority of the game in a follower role rather than a leader role, but she took full advantage of her opportunity today with the power of the extra vote she received so early in the season. Now she stands out to the jury and the “big boys” she was worried wouldn’t listen to her may trust her enough now to secure a final four by voting Lindsay at the next tribal council. Regardless of how the season ends up, this is the game defining move of the season and Maryanne has established herself as a power player.

Survivor Confident

What a fall from grace for Omar, who not even two episodes ago was looking like the runaway favorite. He said it himself: he got Survivor confident. That cockiness that he called out about both Hai and Mike ended up infecting him fully. Pure irony. Both Omar and Lindsay are guilty of looking down on their fellow players and just assuming that they wouldn’t have the social or strategic skills to topple them. Because Omar played Mike on the Hai vote he felt Mike was in his pocket. Because Jonathan screwed up the Drea vote badly Lindsay thought Jonathan was all brawn and no brains, and then went tunnel vision to vote him out. But one bad play does not make a player bad. In their successes they lost the pulse of the game and didn’t realize the gun was pointed at them, so much so that Lindsay didn’t play an idol that she didn’t need that she could only use tonight to save an ally, when 99% of players would probably play an idol for the sake of showing the jury that they had one. I don’t think this is prisoner of the moment to say that tonight Lindsay made an all time Survivor mistake.

Dizziest Contestant: Maryanne

I audibly laughed seeing Maryanne trying to unspool her rope with childlike glee and toddler-like walking ability.

Biggest Jeff Probst “It’s for the Kids” Moment: Jeff Shouts Out Omar’s Niece

Do you think Omar is watching this with little Hana, and he sees her excitement to get a shout out from Jeff, but this entire time he knows he is watching the episode where he sees how exactly he gets blindsided? Is he smiling? Is he trying hard to fake it?

MVP of the Episode: Maryanne

Huge move. Took out the biggest threat in the game right before the end. Will definitely survive the next vote because of her idol and Mike even promised her that his idol is play for her to use too.

Goat of the Episode: Lindsay

She not only told people about her idol amulet which helped let Mike Jonathan and Maryanne confirm a shared target, but then after winning immunity she chooses not to use it to protect her ally and her ally goes home. This episode could not have gone worse and she is now the easy next person to vote out, barring craziness (which given this season is quite possible).



18. Jackson

17. Zach

16. Marya

15. Jenny

14. Swati

13. Daniel

12. Lydia

11. Chanelle

10. Rocksroy

9. Tori

8. Hai

7. Drea

6. Omar


5. Romeo — Still a goat. Was hardly present in this episode. Too little too late.


4. Lindsay — I don’t think a win is out of the question if she’s in the right final three… but her path to reaching the end got a lot harder. As it stands she’s gonna have to win the next immunity challenge or find a hidden idol advantage to avoid being the easy vote in the next tribal council. Losing Omar has sunk her resume (because Drea and Hai KNOW she could have saved him a la amulet) and her power to control her fate strategically.


3. Jonathan — Perception is still against him despite having a pretty good episode as he played his role in the Omar and Lindsay deception. His shaky social game and strategic game in moments throughout the season leave him behind Mike and now Maryanne.


2. Mike — He has done a ton of the legwork to make these recent blindsides happen on Hai, Drea, and Omar and he will be able to say that he had a hand in those votes. He seems to be well-liked (Drea gave him a co-sign as she was leaving), but his “trust and honesty” game might leave a few people salty about how deceptive he actually ended up being. I think he is a lock to win if it’s him, Jonathan, and Romeo in the final three. Any other combo will be trickier but possible.

1. Maryanne — She made the move of the season in a crucial moment in the game, and that will hold a ton of weight with the jury. She will be safe for final five, which means if she can win the final immunity (not looking like it) or beat her counterpart in fire-making (because Romeo will probably be picked by the immunity winner as a goat), then she will have the loudest resume in the final tribal council. As long as doesn’t go the way of Xander last season, where her poor position on Taku and in the first two-thirds-ish parts of the game is held against her, than she can probably beat everyone left.

I’m really excited to see how this ends. This has been a really good season of Survivor with such a solid cast!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Reality TV connoisseur writing about the shows I like, especially Survivor. I also watch the Challenge, the Bachelor, Love is Blind, and more.