All it takes is one week for your Survivor game to go down the tubes, as Swati Goel found out in week four of Survivor 42. In the aftermath of her chaotic elimination, all of the tribes had tricky dynamics as the merge grew closer.
On Ika, Rocksroy was clearly the odd man out – but his work ethic and challenge strength were hard to eliminate. On Taku, they had been consistently successful in challenges, but Omar had lost his vote and Jonathan and Maryanne were increasingly at each others’ throats. An extended segment where Jonathan went fishing to avoid Maryanne and Lindsay’s chatterbox later and later riled Maryanne up by chopping wood too close to where she was standing was mostly played for laughs.
And then there was Vati, where the fallout from the tense tribal council that saw Jenny Kim eliminated was still brewing. Both Daniel and Chanelle had lost the tribe’s trust, and Mike had formed a tight threesome with Hai and Lydia. But Mike – much like Maryanne – was still lacking his vote due to the Beware Advantage.
That all came to a head this week, as Drea found the Ika tribe idol and it was time to activate them. But with likely only one week left to the merge, Mike had a tricky choice. He wanted to keep his idol secret – and if he could play out the string a little longer, it would be activated anyway without him having to announce his phrase. In the end, at the immunity challenge gathering, he decided to say it and everyone got their idol and their votes. In light of what was to come next, it was likely for the best.
The main character of Survivor 42 this week was definitely Daniel, as his injured shoulder became a subject of concern – despite it allowing him to fish effectively, he kept sitting out challenges insisting he had nothing to offer physically. That repeated itself in this week’s reward-immunity challenge, which saw tribes racing over a net, untangling a braided rope attached to a slide puzzle, and then using a slingshot to shoot sandbags at targets. Ika surprisingly had a very smooth go of it, taking first place while Taku had a horrible time on the rope. But Omar managed to figure it out, handing the sandbags over to Jonathan – who delivered two perfect shots, ending the challenge and leaving Vati as the odd tribe out.
With a tight three-person bloc and two tribe members on the outs, this didn’t seem like the recipe for a dramatic Survivor tribal council. But never count out Daniel and Chanelle. As the two continued to scheme – mostly to throw the other one under the bus – paranoia about the shot in the dark increased. The three planned to split their vote to ensure their safety, but at tribal council there was a twist. It came out two votes Daniel, two votes Chanelle, one vote Mike – the second tie in only five episodes of Survivor 42. This was likely a gambit by Chanelle to ensure she was protected if Daniel played his shot in the dark, similar to the Survivor 35 move that eliminated Mike Zahalsky, but on the revote it gave the three a clear shot – and Daniel was voted out unanimously.
What is there to say about Daniel? It’s been a while since someone burned his game down so effectively, but it was hard not to root for the twitchy superfan. Like Jacob Derwin before him, it’s not always the best players who love the game the most. It’s so easy to get caught up in the game and play too hard.
Of course, sometimes the game plays you. Because coming up is the dreaded hourglass twist, maybe the worst twist in reality TV history. With two random tribes, a reversal of fortune, and an immunity challenge, it’s almost impossible to predict who’ll go next week. So for this week’s power rankings, I’m treating these twelve as one tribe and ranking them based on their threat level, the advantages they hold, and their overall connections in the game. Really, anyone could go because all four tribes have people who could easily flip on their former tribesmates.
Below, the power rankings for week six of Survivor 42 and its double-length episode.