Last night’s episode of “Survivor 42” saw strategic powerhouse Omar Zaheer get blindsided after his ally, 23-year-old fellow Canadian Maryanne Oketch, after the latter realized she needed to get rid of her top ally if she had any chance of winning.
Omar would have been able to save himself had he kept his idol, however, but he gave it back to Mike Turner (who originally gave it to him due to Drea Wheeler’s Knowledge Is Power advantage) at the beginning of the episode. This had fans wondering, why did he decide to give up such a powerful weapon in the game, especially when he ended up being blindsided that night? Well, turns out the answer is due to a pretty significant element of the show that didn’t make the cut.
Here’s what you need to know:
Omar Reveals He and Jonathan Found an Idol Nullifier in Episode 4
On Thursday, Omar sat down with Rob Cesternino to discuss his time on “Survivor 42,” as well as the circumstances behind his elimination. When asked by Cesternino about why he decided to give his idol back to Mike at the beginning of the episode, Omar revealed that he did so largely because he had a secret idol nullifier which he found all the way back in episode 4, in an event which was not broadcast.
Omar explained that after the fish reward in episode 4 – which Taku won – tribemate Jonathan Young suggested he and Omar go for a walk, due to the former’s annoyance with their female tribemates, Maryanne and Lindsay Dolashewich. “There was an advantage sitting right by the water well,” Omar explained, “and I have never moved faster than Jonathan in my life except for that moment. And then it was an idol nullifier, and we decided to keep it a secret from the girls.”
However, Omar eventually told Lindsay about the advantage, which set in motion the events which led to his own downfall. “[Telling Lindsay was] really the domino that set the blindside in motion, because [Jonathan] told Mike, Mike turned on me, and Maryanne turned on me, and it was just, they had their pitchforks, coming for me.”
Though he did not say so in the podcast, he implied in an exit interview with EW that he told Lindsay about the nullifier shortly after he learned of Drea’s Knowledge Is Power advantage, which would have been around Day 21, two days before his own elimination.
Omar Made a Final 3 Pact With Lindsay & Mike
When it came to why the nullifier played a role in Omar’s decision to return Mike’s hidden immunity idol to him, he explained that it was in preparation of a “big move,” aka a blindside, against Mike.
He revealed that he, Mike, and Lindsay had a “very tight final 3 alliance” which they formed in their “Pizza Under the Stars” reward in episode 10 (in which the castaways got to see videos of their loved ones). Omar was always wary about trusting Mike, but it was when Omar suggested voting out Jonathan, and Mike hedged, that Omar realized he definitely couldn’t trust him. “When it came to voting out Jonathan,” Omar said, “Mr. Mike didn’t want to do it. So I thought, ‘Okay I don’t believe a word you say anymore’.”
From that point on, he planned on blindsiding Mike at the final 5, in what he called “a big move” (Mike playing his idol would have been likely, since the final 5 is the last time you can play the idol anyway). Hence, he gave the idol to Mike essentially in order to betray him down the line. As he explained in EW, “I was so focused on idol nullifying Mike out at five that I should have just in hindsight maybe let [Drea] take it and nullified her, or taken it and voted him out.” Well, hindsight is 20/20, and never is that more so the case than in “Survivor.”
Be sure to tune in next week to catch the three-hour finale, airing Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.