Last night, after a highly fractured pre-merge Tribal Council, Lydia Meredith became the 6th person voted out of “Survivor 42.” Shortly after she left, it was announced that the eleven remaining castaways had officially made the merge.
However, some viewers were left a little confused at the splintered 6-2-2-1 vote, and especially as to why Lydia’s closest allies Hai Giang and Mike Turner ended up voting for her, despite Hai’s apparent best efforts to save her before Tribal. In recent exit interviews, Lydia revealed her thoughts on last night’s episode that ultimately culminated with her messy elimination, including how her elimination helped to solidify a certain alliance of four.
Here’s what you need to know:
Lydia on the Taku 4: ‘There Was No Way That I Could Have Broken That’
In her exit interview with Rob Cesternino, Lydia, who turned 22 during her time on the show, said that she felt like the edit accurately portrayed what happened in the frantic two days leading up to the fateful Tribal. “The people that were kind of on the outs were definitely on the outs,” Lydia said. “I was very much in the know of all of that.”
Things changed, however, in the “later half of the day, right before Tribal,” when “King Omar,” as she put it, decided to shake things up to protect his alliance. “[The plan] was switched by King Omar, [he] totally flipped the script – he was not gonna let his alliance go home. And good for him.”
Lydia confirmed in an interview with TVLine that that Taku 4 are indeed quite strong, and that their bond was only strengthened once it was she who went home and not Jonathan Young or Maryanne Oketch.
“I don’t think [Taku] was going anywhere,” she told the outlet. “Those four were very tight, and I think they were trying to make it seem like they weren’t. After that vote, it really solidified them as a four.”
She added in her exit interview with Parade that “obviously, watching it back, Taku was very strong. There was no way that I could have broken that.”
Lydia added that things became confusing within the “alliance of eight” that we saw last night. In the episode, Hai, Jonathan, Omar, and Drea Wheeler were shown coordinating and discussing their “alliance of eight;” the other four were presumably Lydia, Lindsay Dolashewich, Maryanne Oketch, and Romeo Escobar, all of whom (minus Lydia, and Omar, who couldn’t vote) voted united in last night’s Tribal Council.
Lydia, however, seemed to be as confused about the eight as much of the audience, saying in the interview that she “couldn’t tell you who the eight was at [that] point.”
Lydia Recalls Her Confusion at Hai’s Betrayal: ‘I Could Have Easily Just Been an Easy Goat’
In the episode, it seemed fairly clear that Lydia would be protected by Hai, her #1 ally who was determined to go to rocks for her back on Day 7, and Mike Turner, who said last night that he would “take a bullet” for Lydia. However, by Tribal Council, both of them ended up voting for her, in an apparent strategic decision which was not shown to the audience.
When asked in her interview with Cesternino whether she felt betrayed by her Vati tribemates, Lydia replied that, despite her closeness with Mike, who she said was “like my dad out there,” she didn’t feel betrayed by him, as they “weren’t really working together strategically.”
When it came to Hai, however, Lydia said that she was more confused after being voted out by him than she was bitter. “I was just like, ‘I truly don’t understand’,” she explained. “‘I could have easily just been an easy goat…[an] easy number … But not any hard feelings, because it’s a game and he was playing his own game.”
Whether Hai’s decision to sacrifice Lydia will prove to be the right one will only be seen in future episodes.
“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The three-hour finale airs Wednesday, May 25, 2022.