“Survivor 42’s” Maryanne Oketch not only won $1,000,000 in last night’s big finale, but, after much searching, she has apparently also won one man’s heart.
Early episodes of the season saw a bit of a one-sided love story between Maryanne and first boot Zach Wurtenberger, who had already been voted out when Maryanne revealed to the rest of the cast (and audience) that the 21-year-old Zach was “every type of white guy that I have a crush on,” and even had a little bit of hope that there could be a budding romance later on. Naturally, then, she was quite disappointed to see him be the first boot.
Nonetheless, Maryanne has revealed since her win that there has been an update on her love life, and it is good news for the girl who, up until “Survivor,” had never had a relationship.
Zach Teased the Possibility of a Relationship for a While
As soon as Maryanne revealed her crush for Zach in episode 2 of “Survivor 42,” Zach (who apparently “loved it” upon finding out at Ponderosa) immediately started responding in jest, making numerous social media posts hinting at the possibility of a budding relationship between the two. He even switched his Twitter profile to read “Zach Oketch” (Maryanne followed suit, changing hers to “Maryanne Wurtenberger” the same day; both profiles remain that way to this day).
Shortly after episode 10 aired, Zach posted a video (below) in which he made a fake video diary addressed to Maryanne from the pre-jury Ponderosa, in which he said, “I love you and can’t wait to meet you one day.” This was in response to Maryanne implying that her loved one message at the “Pizza Under the Stars” reward that episode would have been from Zach.
Nonetheless, despite much promotion of their potential romance, and even some fan engagement – and excitement – about the possibility of the first boot and winner becoming a couple in the end, that ended up not being the case.
Maryanne Reveals She Has Found a Boyfriend
In her exit interview with EW, the latest “Survivor” winner revealed that she has indeed begun a relationship since coming back from Fiji…but not with Zachary Wurtenberger. Despite a photo posted by Zach on his Instagram account (above) showing the two youngsters holding hands on a beach from behind, as well as numerous tweets from Zach celebrating her win, Maryanne confirmed that the two are sadly not dating, and that Zach’s posts were simply in jest. “Zach is a very sweet person,” she said of her former crush, “[but] we are just friends.”
However, she did reveal that she did meet another boy (who apparently fits Zach’s profile in being a “skinny white guy”) while the season was airing. Coincidentally, she explained, the crush reveal episode actually led to her meeting her boyfriend, because after it aired in mid-March, the boy, a fan of the show, reached out to her. “So I guess I have to thank Zach about that,” she said.
She also revealed that this boy “reached out before kind of, but nothing happened. And after I confessed my love for skinny white guys, he reached out again.” That time, she explained, he was “more personable, so we got to chatting. And then, you know, we basically started talking and we never stopped.” She also revealed that this boy was actually at her finale party which she watched with the rest of her family. So although Maryanne didn’t find love on the island, it appears as though “Survivor” has set up yet another match.
However, in case fans are hoping for another “Survivor” wedding, it would behoove them not to get their hopes up. “It’s a new relationship, so I think it’s a little too far ahead to thinking about that,” Maryanne said. “So no, the winnings will not be paying for any wedding.”
“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Season 43 will be premiering in September 2022.