Zach & Maryanne Respond to ‘Survivor 42’ Crush Revelation

Maryanne Oketch and Zach Wurtenberger

YouTube Maryanne Oketch and Zach Wurtenberger in "Survivor 42."

“Survivor” has seen its fair share of romance over the recent years; recently, “Survivor 41” saw 20-year-olds Xander Hastings and Liana Wallace share a secret scene in which the former declared his love for the latter; unfortunately, that hopeful romance didn’t end up working out in the end.

Last night’s episode of “Survivor 42,” however, saw the potential for another romance to develop – that between 21-year-old Zach Wurtenberger and 23-year-old Maryanne Oketch. Since the episode aired, both contestants have responded in jest to Maryanne’s revelation of her crush for the unlucky first boot.

Here’s what you need to know:


Maryanne Reveals Her ‘Survivor’ Crush

Taku tribe

YouTubeMaryanne Oketch reacts to the reveal of Zach Wurtenberger’s elimination in episode 2 of “Survivor 42.”

At the immunity challenge in episode 2 of “Survivor 42,” Maryanne, of the Taku tribe, made it clear she was shocked and dismayed at seeing Zach eliminated from Ika. When pressed by host Jeff Probst about why this was, Maryanne responded that “Zach is, like, every type of white guy that I have a crush on, so, there goes that.” She added that she has had a “100% rejection rate with all the guys I’ve liked,” so her hope is always alive for something to blossom. Though she did not come to “Survivor” looking for love, she was clearly open to the potential for it.

Taku lost immunity, so at Tribal that night, Maryanne reiterated her crush, saying, “I wanna do more and learn more with my tribe members, like, don’t send me to Zach, I’m not ready, please!” She added that being 23 and single has heightened insecurities about herself, saying she has worried, “Maybe there’s something wrong with [me] because no one romantically likes [me], you know?”

She went on to say of Zach, “The thing is, Zachary literally, picture perfect, and I’m like, hey God, is that you? Like, wow! … Even though the part of the game is about winning, you still think about the little things too!”

Although Maryanne did not get to meet Zach that night, Zach surely heard about Maryanne’s revelations from Marya and whoever the subsequent pre-jury boots may be. Since the episode aired, both he and Maryanne have publicly responded to Maryanne’s revelations.


Zach Posts Photo Comparing Him & Maryanne to Rob & Amber

Shortly after the episode aired, Zach reposted on Instagram a photo posted by Brian Scally on Twitter, superimposing Zach and Maryanne’s faces on Rob and Amber Mariano at the “Survivor: All-Stars” reunion show in 2004. At the time, Rob and Amber had just become engaged, and Amber was wearing an “I  Rob” t-shirt. The photo replaces “Rob” with “Zach,” and Scally jokingly referred to the saga between Maryanne and Zach as “Survivor’s next great love story.”

Zach also re-tweeted a post made by his former tribemate Swati Goel, in which she publicly asked whether Zach should “go out” with her or Maryanne. He also posted an image parodying the famous scene involving Billy Garcia and Candice Cody in “Survivor: Cook Islands,” in which the former declared his love for Candice, whom he mistakenly believed had reciprocated his feelings. At Tribal Council that night, shortly before Billy was eliminated, he declared, “My prize isn’t even the million dollars. My prize was that I fell in love in this game.” To this, Jeff responded, shocked, “Candice? From Raro tribe?!” in a scene which has become quite famous among fans.

In Zach’s post, his head is superimposed onto Billy’s body, with Billy’s famous quote subtitled beneath him. The caption reads, “Maryanne?? From Taku tribe??” One fan online humorously responded, “Bro, you’re Candice here. Don’t sell yourself short.”

Also interestingly, both Zach and Maryanne have changed the last names on their Twitter profiles to match the other’s – i.e. Zach is now “Zach Oketch,” and Maryanne is “Maryanne Wurtenberger.” Though this too is likely in jest, the two surely coordinated about this, and other posts, beforehand.

Poking fun at herself, Maryanne tweeted shortly after the episode aired, “Wait… so this WASN’T [‘Love Island’]???!????”

Clearly, this potential love story is still unresolved. Unfortunately, we will never get to see the two meet on the show – and that includes on the reunion, given that it will likely take place entirely on the island, as seen in season 41. Alas, it likely won’t be until after Maryanne is eliminated, or until after the finale, when fans get a real update as to what happened between the two young Survivors. We will keep updating the potential love story as time goes on.

“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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