“Survivor 42” is in full swing, and with three castaways already sent home, the green Vati tribe is looking strongest with all of its original members intact, versus the blue Ika’s five and the orange Taku’s four.
Taku’s Jackson Fox was pulled from the game in the premiere episode for medical reasons, and last week saw Marya Sherron voted out after their tribe lost immunity. Zach Wurtenberger of Ika was the first casualty of Tribal Council this season, after getting unanimously voted off by his tribe in the season premiere.
The March 23 episode is titled “Go for the Gusto” and its description, courtesy of CBS, is as follows: “One tribe attempts to recover after drawing a line in the sand at Tribal Council. Also, a castaway goes on a journey and must make a decision that could change their game, and one tribe stacks their way to victory, earning immunity and a fruitful reward.”
Follow along with our live episode recap below but be warned of spoilers.
All times Eastern.
8:05 – The four remaining on Taku are tight. Maryanne also told her tribemates of her extra vote, and the team go on a joint idol search. Damn, that’s real loyalty. Maryanne finds something. “I’m, like, freaking out!” she says. “Did I just do it?? Did I just find an idol?!”
Maryanne, alongside Omar, has found the Beware advantage…uh oh. She, like Mike last episode, has lost her vote until either the merge or until those on the other tribes have said their secret phrases aloud. Maryanne’s phrase is: “It’s another classic case of the bunny rabbit having dinner in the mailbox.” Maryanne is awfully open with her tribe, actually telling them about the so-called “advantage,” and that as of now she doesn’t have a vote. This girl is awfully trusting, so my fingers are crossed that that isn’t gonna do her in…
Over at Vati, the group dynamics of the tribe, as we saw in the premiere, consist of Jenny and Mike, Hai and Lydia, and the “in-between,” as Daniel calls it, is him and Chanelle. A neurotic Daniel actually gets Mike, against his better judgment, to hand him his idol so that he can read the instructions. Daniel discovers that the idol will not die if they blindside Mike, so the plan as he and Chanelle formed it last episode turns out to be useless. He then loses the idol as he’s returning it to Mike…oh God.
Turns out he dropped it…yeah, he almost lost the idol for his tribe. “To Mike’s credit, he was totally right,” Daniel says. “Another example of Daniel Strunk having an epic fail.” Well, at least he’s humble. And he’s lucky he found it.
8:15 – Damn – Maryanne ALREADY slips in the secret phrase before the immunity/reward challenge, having made up some cockamamie story about a bunny rabbit and a mailbox. Mike, however, doesn’t say his own “soccer” phrase, because no one from Ika said anything. That way, he can go into the merge with his secret still intact.
It’s an intense swimming challenge. Jonathan, as always, is dominating for Taku. The current is really strong; I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever seen waters so intense on a Survivor challenge as they are here. “I’m not mad about sitting out on this one,” Lydia says on the sitout bench. Rightfully so.
Jonathan is a tank. Not only is he carrying Taku’s latter back to the beach, he’s actually going back into the water to help carry his struggling tribemates back. He then singlehandedly holds the ladder as Lindsay climbs up it to retrieve the key. What a hero. It’s actually unreal that they haven’t won every challenge so far.
Jonathan lands one sandbag…two sandbags…a THIRD sandbag….holy crap…will the other tribes even reach the beach?!?
JONATHAN MAKES THE FINAL BAG!! Taku wins immunity and reward!! They should thank their lucky stars. A small tribe of four, with one person unable to even to cast a vote, would mean disaster if they actually had to go to Tribal.
8:20 – WOW. The current is so intense that Jeff is actually putting the challenge ON HOLD. Since neither of them could retrieve the keys using the ladder in the water, he’s telling them to skip that part of the challenge and just come back in to the beach. Production will retrieve the keys for them, and all they have to do is land the sandbags from the comfort of the beach. Another Survivor first!! This season really is intense.
It’s a tight race between Ika and Vati now. Each of them have three sandbags. Rocksroy is killing it, but so is Mike. They’re tied, 4-4…and…DREA WINS FOR IKA!!!! Vati is going to Tribal Council for the first time.
Now, Taku has to choose someone from Vati, as well as someone from one of the other tribes, to go on a “journey.” Taku chooses Chanelle from Vati, as well as their very own Omar. We’ll see how that goes, especially for Chanelle, who will be missing out on some crucial pre-Tribal strategizing. Not good for her.
8:30 – REMINDER: Mike can’t vote tonight!
Jenny is worried about Chanelle’s journey, given that she knows the secrets of the Summit, so she tries to get the others to vote for Lydia. Mike (even though he can’t vote) agrees, but Hai, Daniel, and Lydia, meanwhile, are planning to vote for Jenny. Daniel’s playing double agent, claiming loyalty to Jenny and Mike. However, he obviously needs Chanelle to get a majority 3 out of 5, so can’t make any real promises just yet, not until he knows where Chanelle stands.
The “journey” is indeed a return to the Summit. There, Chanelle and Omar bond. They are then confronted with the same ship’s wheel as seen in the premiere, and all the other Summit appearances. So they have to choose to either “Protect” or “Risk” their vote. The two of them are fatally misreading each other – Omar thinks Chanelle won’t do anything to risk her vote, and Chanelle trusts Omar to protect her more than she should. So both choose “Risk Your Vote,” meaning that they will both lose their vote, including tonight, for Chanelle. NOT…GOOD. Now, only four people will be voting at Vati’s Tribal Council tonight.
8:40 – At Vati, Lydia is worried about votes being thrown on her, especially Jenny and Mike, if Jenny has an idol she doesn’t know about it. Chanelle comes back, and tells Daniel about the Summit. Daniel is despondent that she may not have a vote, so haphazardly tries to orchestrate a 2-1-1 split, attempting to trick Hai and Lydia into splitting the vote between Mike and Jenny, so his and Jenny’s votes for Lydia combined would be enough to send her home.
As Chanelle tries to organize the split vote, Hai is suspicious of her sudden change of plan. His gut clearly serves him well….worth keeping an eye on Hai in future episodes. Now, it comes down to whether Chanelle can direct the vote without even having one.
8:50 – At Tribal, Hai calls Vati is “family” and insists he can “trust them.” Daniel, bless him, then explains “why I will lose season 42.” As he rambles on, Hai’s suspicions seems to grow, judging by the ominous look on his face. He then sees Chanelle whisper Lydia’s name to Daniel. He can’t have that.
Okay, 8:43 and we’re already voting. Something crazy’s gonna go down, you can already tell.
At the voting booth, Hai seems genuinely disconcerted, hesitating about who he should vote for. Jeff reads the votes – first vote: Lydia. Second vote: Jenny. Then, Lydia. Final vote…Jenny. DAMN…WE’VE GOT A TIE!!! Hai looks confused….where are the other votes? All will be revealed in due time, young Padawan.
On the revote, it’s another tie, with only two votes cast. ANOTHER SURVIVOR FIRST!!! Unbelievable. Hai reflects much of the audience’s general confusion by saying, “Where are the votes?” Jeff, impatiently, tells him he’ll get to it. Now, they have to come to a unanimous decision between either Jenny or Lydia. However, because Chanelle and Mike didn’t vote, they can’t participate in the consensus; this is entirely up to Daniel and Hai. Predictions? I honestly can’t see either of them turning on their respective ally, though going to rocks this early is unheard of and highly unlikely. Let’s wait and see what this already chaotic season of “Survivor” has in store for the last few minutes of Tribal.
Daniel says he really doesn’t want to draw rocks. Understandable. He then tries to throw Lydia under the bus. Hai insists that he’s not changing his vote. In a dramatic discussion, Hai still insists he won’t change his vote and betray Lydia. Daniel says he was “backstabbed” by Chanelle, sending her into a rage, calling him a “snake.”
8:55 – With dismay, Daniel says he just can’t go to rocks on Day 7. As a result, Jenny is sent packing. WOW, guys. This may just be one of the most chaotic Tribal Councils I’ve ever seen. I can already hear the cries of “Survivor” fans calling out the unjust rules leading to a premature elimination, and pleas for Jenny to return someday. If the producers have any humanity left in them, she will. Someone this good at the game deserves better than this.
“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS.