On Wednesday night, 43-year-old Rocksroy Bailey became the 8th person voted out of “Survivor 42,” after the ten remaining players split into two groups and voted separately. Rocksroy’s elimination, which was in large part a result of his obstinate gameplay, precipitated a larger conversation about race and cultural considerations which took place in the following group’s Tribal, leading to the unplanned elimination of Tori Meehan.
With Rocksroy joining Chanelle Howell as the second member of the jury, he will be key in deciding who will emerge victorious as the winner of “Survivor 42.” Since his exit, he has shed some light on the circumstances surrounding that Tribal, and has also revealed who the secret threat is that the other players should watch out for.
Here’s what you need to know:
Rocksroy Had a ‘Silent’ Bond With Drea
As viewers of episode 9 will remember, it was 34-year-old Drea Wheeler seeing that Rocksroy had unexpectedly been eliminated by his own group just a few minutes prior that caused her to re-think her plans entirely, soon declaring that she would play her idol regardless of the vote, sending the majority’s plans into chaos. Maryanne Oketch quickly sided with her, leading to a discussion about minority players often being disproportionately targeted.
In an exit interview with Rob Cesternino Thursday, Rocksroy spoke about how one of the things that was not shown much on-screen was the relationship between himself and Drea, which began right off the bat on Ika tribe. “We [always] kind of had an understanding like, ‘You’re good? I’m good. We’re good’,” he said.
He added that he and Drea had a “silent understanding of each other,” giving the example of when Drea told Rocksroy he needed to “tone it down” in their early days together. “We kind of made a really incredible bond that we didn’t need to talk or express to each other how we were gonna defend each other. We didn’t need to do it. That was it,” he explained.
Rocksroy added that he even insisted to his ill-fated “all men’s” alliance that Drea be a part of it, to which Mike Turner and Jonathan Young even agreed. However, obviously that never got a chance to pan out.
In his exit interview with Parade, he spoke about what it was like witnessing that dramatic Tribal. He said that the reason he wasn’t reacting much to Maryanne and Drea’s comments was because “their emotion and their reaction said it all. I did not need to say anything.”
“That rain coming down on me was like washing everything away,” he explained, saying he told himself, “‘You’re so fortunate to be a part of this community of survivors that have played the game. Just be calm.’ And that’s how I felt about it. It was amazing.”
Rocksroy on His ‘Lynze’ Vote: ‘She’s Playing a Very Good Game’
As viewers of the “fake merge” episode will remember, the only vote cast that night that was never fully explained was a mysterious vote to former Taku member Lindsay Dolashewich (iconically spelt “Lynze”), which it was later shown to be cast by Rocksroy.
In his interview with Cesternino, Rocksroy revealed his rationale behind that vote: though he did not reveal the specifics of the conversation, he explained that he and Lindsay, who drew the two gray rocks during the “fake merge” in episode 7, talked for a while as the others competed in the challenge. Amidst their conversation, Rocksroy realized that Lindsay posed a major threat. “I said, ‘Holy cow. This woman could play’,” Rocksroy said. “She could play.”
He added that he could not morally vote for Lydia Meredith, who the majority had targeted and who ended up getting eliminated, given the bond they formed on their journey to The Summit in episode 5. So he decided to vote for Lindsay, he said, because he “wanted to make it known that Lindsay was a player. I wanted her name written down [to make] just a little awareness that she is balling. She could ball.”
Rocksroy is not the first “Survivor 42” castaway to subtly warn about the threat posed by Lindsay. Chanelle, who was the first official merge boot of the season, said in her exit interviews that she was rooting hardest for Lindsay to win, while Drea and Maryanne (who are still in the game) both made social media posts after Wednesday’s episode celebrating the “allyship” shown by their tribemates, naming Lindsay in particular.
Could Lindsay really have what it takes to outwit, outplay, and outlast all the rest in “Survivor 42”? Tune in Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS to find out. The three-hour finale will air Wednesday, May 25, 2022.