Heading Into Finale, One ‘Survivor’ Castaway Proves Their Worth With Epic Blindside

Jonathan Young Survivor episode 12

CBS Jonathan Young competes in an immunity challenge in "Survivor 42" episode 12.

“Survivor 42” is drawing to a close, with only six contestants remaining: Jonathan Young, Lindsay Dolashewich, Maryanne Oketch, Omar Zaheer, Mike Turner, and Romeo Escobar. Tonight, one person will be voted out, and the final five will head into next week’s three-hour finale and reunion show.

The penultimate episode of the season is titled “Caterpillar to a Butterfly,” a quote that resonates a lot with Omar, given his veterinary and animal-loving background. Many fans would argue that he is already a butterfly in the game, though…so will another contestant be sprouting into an all-powerful game-player? Romeo? Maryanne? Will the all-mighty Taku 4 continue to remain intact, or will they finally turn on each other?

And will any of these contestants’ numerous advantages ever be played? Well, we’re about to find out. Let’s get into the last episode of the season before the finale.

All times Eastern.

8:05 – Coming back from Tribal Council, Lindsay and Omar are understandably ecstatic about  pulling off their plan of eliminating Drea without a hitch. Omar now has Mike in his pocket – but no longer his idol, as he has decided to return it to Mike. However, he nonetheless plans to pit Mike and Jonathan against each other, the same way he turned Mike and Hai against each other. We’ll see if that plan works out just as well as it did the first time. Mike, though, has other plans in mind, and wants to eliminate Omar. He approaches Maryanne, who is hesitant given her longstanding alliance with him, but thinks she might have to do it if she’ll have any shot of winning. Sophie’s chioce, Maryanne. Better make it soon.

The next morning, Mike and Jonathan start strategizing against Lindsay and Omar, and at this point, Jonathan is ready to cut Taku like a toxic ex. “Taku 4 has made it to the final 6, and that’s as far as it’s going to go,” he says. “It’s time to break up.”

8:15 – Omar wins the reward challenge, and Jeff gives him an unprecedented dilemma: if he chooses sustenance in the form of chicken and vegetables, he can pick two people to come with him; if he chooses sugar in the form of cookies and cake, he can take three. Naturally, he chooses the latter, and chooses Romeo, Maryanne, and Mike. Interesting choice. We’ll see where that takes him.

8:25 – Lindsay and Jonathan are back at camp, and Jonathan is very well aware that they are pitted against each other, though Lindsay privately underestimates Jonathan’s astuteness. She later tells Mike about her idol, who, to secure their loyalty, runs to Jonathan and Maryanne to relay the information to them. Damn, who would’ve guessed Mike would be the one stirring up the pot here?

After Mike offers Maryanne, who already has an idol, his own idol at 5, she becomes determined to take out Omar. “This means that I’m double safe,” she says, “so I’m on for this plan for Omar, like we have to get him out as soon as we can, and that means at the next vote.”

Maryanne also feels betrayed that she didn’t know about Lindsay’s Amulet/idol, which makes her want to turn against her. “I thought we were close, but basically I’m just like a sacrificial lamb to her,” Maryanne says. She wants to be able to show people that she is a true contender, “not just a goat to be herded.” The title is referring to a metaphor Maryanne used to describe Omar, but perhaps Maryanne is the true butterfly after all.

8:35 – It’s a close immunity challenge….and it all hinges on Jonathan and Lindsay. In the end…Lindsay wins immunity!! There goes a lot of people’s plans. Mike now thinks that “Plan B” is gonna have to come into effect, which presumably means Omar. Is Mike powerful enough to pull this off, and is Maryanne still down to stick with the plan? We’ll just have to wait and see.

8:45 – Naturally, Lindsay is feeling ecstatic about her immunity win. Jonathan is not happy about this, however, because he fears she’ll use her idol for Omar. Lindsay immediately starts targeting Jonathan, and recruits Omar, Romeo, and (at least ostensibly) Maryanne. “It’s Mike going after Jonathan, Jonathan going after Mike,” Omar explains. “And if that’s the case, our plan is foolproof.” Yes, Omar…if that’s the case.

Maryanne, now determined to prove her strength and worth in the game, is set on taking out Omar, including by using her extra vote, and can’t commit to Mike’s safety plan of voting out Romeo in the event Lindsay plays her idol for Omar. Mike doesn’t like Maryanne playing “Survivor 18.0,” and is worried that her risky play could backfire on them. “Having my fate in her hands is scary,” Mike says.

“I’m going guns blazing to go and make my move on Omar,’ Maryanne says. “If I don’t get guys who are literally like a foot taller than me to go and listen to me, then my whole plan is gonna go up in smoke.”

Looks like tonight’s Tribal is the moment of truth, folks.

8:55 – It’s pouring down at Tribal Council, where the contestants discuss what factors come into play when considering who to vote off. Lindsay says she feels confident about tonight’s vote, which Omar echoes. “I’m Survivor confident,” he says, but knows that that means he could be wrong. Well, in this case, being wrong could be deadly for Omar. He even adds, “I could be on the receiving end of a blindside…” boy, that does sound ominous. Anyway, let’s see how his read on the game turns out.

The votes are cast, and surprisingly, no one plays an advantage. We get two votes for Jonathan, two votes for Romeo, and suddenly, two votes for Omar. Before the final vote (Maryanne’s extra vote) is read, Omar asks Maryanne, a giant grin on his face: “You did it?” Maryanne responds, “I did.” The last vote is read, and it’s for Omar.

Omar, like the two castaways before him, delights in his blindside. “I was Survivor confident,” he says on the way out. Yes, indeed he was, and he paid the ultimate price for it. Now, with five left, it all depends on whether Maryanne will be able to continue this newfound streak of strategic dominance.

Be sure to tune in next week for the three-hour finale, airing Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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