It’s amazing just how much energy one twist can take out of a great show. Survivor 42 has been a fantastic season, and last week’s blindside of Hai Giang was one of the season’s best episodes. The problem is, ever since it returned from hiatus, Survivor has been dominated by overpowered twists – few more overpowered than this week’s.
As the game shifted to the final seven, it seemed like powerful alliances were ready to turn on each other. Omar had firmly taken control of the game, and had convinced Mike to flip on his close ally Hai. But now he was feeling like Mike might be a threat to his game. At the same time, many people were worried about Drea’s pile of advantages – and they didn’t even know how many she had. Meanwhile, both Jonathan and Romeo were getting on people’s nerves – Jonathan for his temper, Romeo for his laziness and food-hoarding.
The problem is, all of this might have been for nothing, because this week was the week of the infamous Do or Die twist. While not the worst twist in Survivor history, Do or Die takes the fate of the contestants out of their own hands and puts it in the hands of a random game of chance. The person who comes in last in the immunity challenge is essentially forced to play a game of chance for their life.
This week’s immunity challenge was a painful balancing challenge, and the contestants were briefed on the twist and given the chance to sit out. And when it was time to reveal their rocks – five chose to sit out and the only ones competing were Jonathan and Lindsay. After a tense and agonizing challenge where both struggled to hold on, Jonathan came out on top and Lindsay’s fate in the game would be in the hands of random chance.
Not even knowing if there would be a tribal council that night didn’t stop the contestants from playing Survivor as hard as we’ve seen all season. Omar quickly got Drea on board with the plan to blindside Mike, and Drea let him in on the existence of probably the most powerful advantage in Survivor history – the Knowledge is Power advantage. They planned to use this to steal Mike’s idol and vote him out – but Omar quickly started wondering if Drea was now the bigger threat and he should clue Mike in. That would allow them to pull off the same flashy idol-switch that Xander and Tiffany did last season.
As tribal council began, everything was in flux and it felt like everyone was chomping at the bit to get to voting. But first, Lindsay had to play Do or Die for her life. And another reason why this is one of the worst twists in Survivor history is because it’s incredibly easy to predict. As soon as Lindsay’s fate was revealed with ten minutes to go, it was clear she would survive. And for the second season in a row, this twist did not claim anyone. Good. And with that, it was time for the fireworks.
Sure enough, Drea used her advantage to demand to know if Mike had an idol – and the answer was no, as Mike had passed it on to Omar for the night. Drea had burned her advantage and was now incredibly vulnerable. She pulled her extra vote and voted for Mike, but she and the perpetually out-of-the-loop Romeo weren’t enough and she was sent home 5-3. Her dramatic exit where she gave her assessment of all the players in the game, exposed Omar, and asked to snuff her own torch was one for the Survivor ages.
And so we’re on to the final six, with only one episode to go before the finale. Below, the power rankings for week 11 of Survivor 42.
- Lindsay – With an idol in her pocket thanks to the amulet and not really being on anyone’s radar, she’s as safe as can be.
- Maryanne – Maryanne’s threat level has decreased massively, she seems to be getting better at the social game, and no one knows she has an idol. She’s almost a shoo-in for the finale.
- Mike – Assuming he gets his idol back from Omar, he seems to have a solid block in his corner.
- Omar – Now that everyone knows about his double-dealing, he could go from an underdog to a strategic powerhouse – which isn’t good for staying under the radar.
- Romeo – He’s obviously a goat at this point, which means he could either be dragged along to the end or become an easy pick-off.
- Jonathan – As it gets closer to the end, it’s probably win or go home for the season’s challenge beast.