One Castaway Makes a Game Changing Decision at the ‘Survivor 42’ Merge

Survivor 42 merge Vati

CBS The Vati 4 in episode 6 of "Survivor 42."

Tonight, we’ve got a two-hour special for the “Survivor 42” merger. Episodes 6 and 7 are titled “You Can’t Hide on Survivor” and “The Devil You Do or The Devil You Don’t,” respectively, and like season 41, episode 6 will likely see the return of the Hourglass twist, while episode 7 will likely see its aftermath, including the final Tribal Council before the official merge (and jury phase).

So far, we’ve got four tribes going into the merge equally strong – four of each. However, no tribe is fully united, as each are developing palpable cracks. How will this play out once it actually comes time to vote? People wanting to jump ship will almost certainly play a role – but how big a role, and at whose cost, we’ll have to wait to see.

Be forewarned of spoilers!

All times Eastern.

8:05 – Omg!! Finally, after so much wait, we’re getting a recap. It’s basically a recap of who has what advantages before the merge. Special reminder of the Advantage Amulet, which basically hasn’t been mentioned since episode 1. In short, Hai, Drea, and Lindsay all have one.

At Vati, Chanelle is gloating that she came out on top of that night’s Tribal Council. Mike, however, is pissed about her stray vote toward him (which she did in case Daniel used his Shot in the Dark). The four are pretending to stay strong, but Mike secretly does not trust Chanelle, and is willing to “step aside” if potential harm might come her way, as opposed to Hai and Lydia, who he would “take a bullet for.”

Meanwhile, at Ika, the cracks are showing between Rocksroy and Tori, who basically hate each other. It’s definitely fun to watch though. “I’m done with him,” Tori says. Rocksroy, on the other hand, says that “Tori is not predictable,” and as a result does not want to go far with her. Privately, Drea and Romeo are also kind of peeved with Tori. “She has no alliance to anyone,” Romeo says.

8:10 – Wow, we’re getting a live rundown on the upcoming twist from Jeff – and incredibly, we actually get to see the players come to the challenge in the background as he’s talking to us. Actually pretty cool! Jeff better wrap this up fast.

Anyway, we’re about to see the Hourglass twist again, but with a bit of a twist (or as Jeff calls them, “variables”). For one, the food is from Applebee’s (though I personally don’t see what big difference that makes), and for another, the players will be told in advance that whoever draws the odd-colored rocks will have the “power to change the game…” Finally, the winning five will have the choice to either send one of the two who draws the gray rocks to Exile with their unrevealed power, or they can choose one of themselves to do it, sacrificing food and the perceived immunity in the process. Interesting…not a bad “variable” on Jeff’s part.

Wow, looks like Jeff had his finger on the pulse with the whole Applebee’s thing. These castaways are going crazy for it. Then again, they’ve been starving on a deserted island for nearly two weeks.

Who picked the gray rocks?? It’s…. COMMERCIAL BREAK! Gotta wait a bit to find out.

8:20 – Turns out, it’s Lindsay and Rocksroy who drew the bum rocks. The teams are – Orange: Lydia, Jonathan, Maryanne, Hai, and Tori, versus Blue: Drea, Mike, Romeo, Omar, and Chanelle. My bet is Jonathan’s team’s got this.

Each group has to move a giant boulder from under the sand and through an obstacle course. Naturally, Jonathan is almost single-handedly moving that boulder from point A to point B. It’s a long and clearly arduous challenge, but Orange is ahead the entire time.

8:30 – Mike is his team’s hero, helping to move each member to each subsequent stage. We’re now getting an emotional scene with Drea trying to mount the boulder…after a long struggle, and much encouragement, she finally does, but Maryanne and Lydia are way too ahead on the puzzle for any comeback to happen. Who knows how long they spent there, but they certainly had a hell of a head start.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Maryanne is being a sweetheart or bitterly sarcastic: “Thank you for the reminder. It really means a lot.” Still love her though.

As expected, Orange wins, despite Blue’s triumphant mounting of the boulder.

Despite Jeff’s disclaimer that whoever Orange chooses to go to Exile will have the power to change the game, Orange nonetheless chooses Lindsay to join them, and Rocksroy to go to Exile (probably at Tori’s behest), meaning we’re about to see Rocksroy be presented with the Hourglass…that’ll surely be fun.


Yup, it looks like this season’s Erika is Rocksroy…at least when it comes to the Hourglass. Does that mean he’s our winner? In my humble opinion, probably not…but it’ll still be interesting to watch.

8:40 – At the reward, Jonathan says, “I almost went to Exile because of this great power Jeff is talking about,” but revealed he had to choose the food, because he needed the sustenance. At least it’s pretty clear that Jeff at least gave them a proper disclaimer.

Tori, as expected, is eagerly attempting to jump ship from her Ika tribemates already (lucky for her she’s the only Ika member there). She’s really s***talking Rocksroy, and it’s clear she wants nothing to do with any of them anymore.

Over at the beach, the losers are pretty depressed about their loss, but they’re at least happy about the meagre supply of rice they got as a consolation prize.

Wow – Drea may have a secret crystal ball we don’t know about, as she just predicted the Hourglass twist almost exactly. Casually, she says:

You never know, he might come back and be able to say that he can switch it to where they’re not immune and we are.

Anyway, Drea and Mike are coordinating about their idols (as revealed through their secret phrases which they uttered in the last episode), but it’s unclear as to where it will lead. They’re open to aligning with each other, but naturally the two strangers are still suspicious of one another.

Over at Exile, Rocksroy is presented with the iconic hourglass, but no Jeff, and no instructions, at least not yet. Naturally, he has no idea what it means, and puts it aside to deal with later. Later, we get his personal story, where he reveals that he has keratoconus – a medical condition that may result in the loss of his eyesight down the line. So of course he’s very grateful for the beautiful Fijian landscape he is presented with while he can still appreciate it, despite it being on Exile.

8:50 – Orange comes back from their reward, and the final 12 (minus Rocksroy) finally get to know each other. Omar notes (perhaps significantly) that they’re all getting along pretty well, despite the potential preconception that it may be 4 vs. 4 vs. 4.

Lindsay, Drea, and Hai rendezvous about the Advantage Amulet. On the surface, they pledge loyalty to each other in order to prevent themselves from being targeted, but Hai, at least, is understandably a bit suspicious.

Also worth noting how Maryanne is surprising people with her secret strategic mind: “Because, like, a problem [now] is a shield in the future,” she says about Drea to Tori, much to Tori’s surprise.

Later, Jonathan and Mike – probably the two biggest guys on the beach – bond over their personal lives in a pretty touching scene. “A Jersey guy and an Alabama dude talking,” Mike says. “Is that amazing? Only on Survivor.”

9:00 – Romeo is inspired by Hai’s openness when it comes to his sexuality, and has a private conversation with him about it, where he reveals that some of his family back in El Salvador will only find out that he’s gay through the show. He wonders in a confessional if some of his family back home will “love me less or not want to be around me” due to his sexuality. Hai, however, reassures him that he has nothing but support out here.

Then, Omar joins them, and he finds out through Hai that Chanelle is highly untrustworthy. He also learns that she chose to “Risk” her vote back in episode 3, meaning that he’s only learning now that he doesn’t have his vote in the upcoming Tribal. “This girl is sketchy!” Omar says. “I don’t want to be around her – I want her gone!”

9:10 – A lot of personal connections developing. Mike and Omar are sharing their backstories, and Mike is impressed that Omar has chosen to remain a virgin until marriage. Maryanne and Lydia bond as the “youngin’s with the old grandma names,” as Maryanne describes it. Hai and Jonathan are connecting strategically – though I have no idea where that came from.

There seems to be a very cross-tribal alliance forming between Drea (and presumably Romeo and Rocksroy) of Ika; Jonathan of Taku, and Hai and Lydia of Vati. Jonathan, however, reveals in a confessional that he’s only throwing Maryanne’s name out there to gain the trust of the others, and because he knows (or thinks he knows) that she’s safe at the next Tribal.

It’s pretty clear that Chanelle is really on the outs. “No one trusts her,” Lydia says. To be honest, it seems like she’s the next to go. Or, if she becomes immune, I’d be surprised if she’s not still the #1 target next week. Hai tells Drea of Omar’s lost vote by saying “Chanelle screwed him.” It’s pretty clear the so-called Vati four is no more (or never was).

There seems to be an “eight” that is forming: Drea, Hai, Jonathan, Omar, Lindsay, Lydia, Mike, and Rocksroy. Tori and Chanelle are the #1 targets, and both are (pretty humorously) being targeted most vociferously by their former tribemates.

9:15 – Jeff and his dimples arrive at Exile, and we all know what’s about to happen. Jeff tells Rocksroy that he has the chance to turn back time and reverse the outcome of the challenge, rendering himself and the five losers immune at the next Tribal – all he has to do is break the glass. Though Rocksroy likes to see himself as an honorable player, he sees significant pros and cons to either choice, and has a hard time weighing his options.

“And then there’s the Tori factor,” he says. He wonders where she stands, considering she’s such a “loose cannon.” Truer words have never been spoken, Rocksroy…if it were me, I’d smash that hourglass so hard those shards would become ingrown to the rock. But Rocksroy’s no Erika, so it’s possible we may see our first intact Hourglass.

9:30 – We’ve jumped forward in time, and we’re now at the immunity challenge, Day 14. Rocksroy reveals that, like Erika, he broke the Hourglass. “Sometimes everyone deserves a do-over,” he said before smashing it. Unlike last season, this season’s contestants (minus Tori) more or less understand that a twist like this would be coming, and are accepting of it.

Tori, though, is actually trying to spin Rocksroy as the villain here, claiming that she selflessly decided to send him to Exile to give him power, so is disappointed that he decided to use the power to benefit himself. Yeah…I don’t think I can even conjure up the words to express what a ridiculous argument this is. Tori, just admit you’re pissed you’re no longer immune. If this girl actually manages to gets to the end, I’d be shocked if she got a single jury vote.

Anyhow, onto the challenge. Although it’s only partly physical, my money’s still on Jonathan. After Hai loses everything, it’s between Tori and Jonathan. And Jonathan’s collapses!! It’s now between Tori and Lindsay…and Lindsay drops it!!! WOW…honestly, everyone seems to be fumbling in this challenge except for Tori.

And Tori wins it. Well, that means that the last person voted out before the merge – and jury – will be either Lydia, Hai, Jonathan, Maryanne, or Lindsay.

Basically, Tori’s immunity puts a wrench in everyone’s plans, given that she and Chanelle were pretty much unanimously agreed upon as the first to go, and now they’re both immune. So looks like the next half hour is going to be preeeety chaotic back at camp…let’s see how it all turns out.

9:40 – Rocksroy, who’s been absent the past two days, is confused about what alliances have been made and basically doesn’t know what’s going on. Romeo borderline hates Jonathan and desperately wants to see him gone. Lindsay’s targeting Maryanne, since she knows how loyal Hai and Lydia are to each other and she herself is too close to Jonathan. Jonathan tells former Ika that he’s targeting Maryanne.

Omar, who previously said he should just remain quiet since he didn’t have a vote and was immune, is now actively targeting Lydia since she’s already wobbling on the “eight” after she casually tossed Jonathan’s name out there. Now that Hai’s heard her name tossed around, he’s doing everything he can to scramble and save her. “Moments like these are where good players fold and great players prevail,” he says. Well, if he can pull off a salvation of Lydia here, he could definitely be considered one of the greats. Let’s see how it turns out.

9:55 – At Tribal Council, there’s a lot of talk about authenticity. Hai talks about how he wants to be the most confident version of himself he can be coming into the game. Lydia talks about how her manufactured confidence became real as she grew older, and how it’s best to be your “full, authentic self,” especially on the island. Maryanne also isn’t worried about showing her true self, but is interrupted by a flying beetle.

Well, it’s time to vote. With only five targets, the selections are slim. “This is the biggest risk I’ve ever made in my life,” says Maryanne. Wow – it’ll be interesting to see who that vote was for.

Here’s how the votes come down: Jonathan, Lindsay (spelt “Lynze;” lol), Jonathan, Maryanne, Maryanne…uh-oh. Not looking good for Taku. Then: Lydia. Another for Lydia. Three for Lydia. Four votes for Lydia. And, the seventh person voted out of “Survivor 42” is: Lydia. That’s a shame. Wish we could have gotten to see more of her. Well, the rest are officially merged. Tune in next week for the first real merge episode of “Survivor 42.”

“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CBS. The three-hour finale airs Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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