Thursday, May 12, 2022

Survivor 42 S42E11: Battle Royale


Survivor delivers an unneeded twist in an episode of big moves and big mistakes.
by Jeremy Fogelman

This week on Survivor, our dear Drea was voted out but the reason was unfortunately easy to understand: she was a strategic threat already and she foolishly gave away her advantage info to Omar which directly led to her getting voted out. If Drea had simply kept her foreknowledge to herself, her new enemy Mike might’ve gotten voted out instead.

Dear Drea was a strategic threat, but unfortunately an all too obvious one -- her Terminator-like behavior at tribal of repeating “I observe” certainly didn’t sound that friendly or non-threatening. At this point in the game she had merely survived already being a target, so she really needed to outplay the others -- and revealing to Omar was a huge mistake.


However, her outing of Omar’s betrayal as she entertainingly dragged most of her fellow contestants might spell the end for Omar’s under the radar strategy. She gave Mike the “kiss of death” by calling him as the likely winner if he makes it to the end, but also praises Lindsay and Maryanne. So even for vote out mastermind Mike (and actual vote out mastermind Omar), he suffered from poor optics this episode.

Alas, the Survivor gods shined brightly this week on one person, and one person alone: Lindsay, as she beat the odds in her Monty Hall “Do or Die” twist and stayed in the game despite having (as she noted) made a foolish mistake competing in the immunity challenge. Although this twist is not as bad as the Sinister Hourglass twist, I still don’t like having it ultimately come down to a game of chance.


Still, I was certainly tense about the winner of the immunity challenge, especially as Lindsay had been getting built up as the only one that can stand against Jonathan in challenges. The big man didn’t have the best episode either, despite having won immunity -- he was clearly annoying people to the point where they wanted him gone, regardless of any immunity prowess.

As for the rest of the gang, Maryanne continues to play the well considered non-threat game -- she considers the double edged sword of being not seen as a threat also meaning that people wouldn’t vote for her to win. She’s definitely a thoughtful player of the game, and certainly a very entertaining one.

At this point I really only see Romeo and Jonathan as the “can’t win” players, as people actively disliked by other players -- which is the real kiss of death for the final winning vote. Omar’s stock went down a bit while Lindsay’s rose a bit, while Mike stayed steady and Maryanne moved up -- Romeo and Jonathan went further down.

Overall, despite the annoying twist, it was quite the fun episode, losing a great player that will clearly become the case until the finale because it’s nearly all great players left. Quite a place to be in.

Next time on Survivor, the Taku four made it to the final six, and Maryanne isn’t a goat to be herded!

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