Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 42 recaps
Keep your mouth shut
By Damnbueno | Published: May 12, 2022
Survivor 42 Episode 11 Recap/ analysis

Keep your mouth shut

Whether or not Omar wins this season, I think he’s the best player. He has pulled off the trifecta of Survivor elite players. Omar has 1) Manipulated the voting effectively enough to keep himself in a strong position without standing out as any kind of “leader.” 2) Maintained a strong level of trust and respect from the other players – both on the jury and yet to leave the game. And 3) Maintained the status as ”not too big of a threat.” He has a way to go of course, but based on what I’ve seen from him so far, he’s a definite contender for Top 50 player status to me.

There are of course many ways things could play out for Omar. He could see his game tragically end in a wild twist of fate like 3 of Cirie’s excellent seasons (Panama, Micronesia, and Game Changers). He could find himself suddenly helpless when an otherwise apathetic or disconnected player pulls off an Immunity win (Rob C. in Amazon, Lex in Africa, Aubry in Kaoh Rong). Or he could think quickly on his feet and overcome a late-game obstacle (Tommy in I of I, Denise in Philippines, Natalie A. in San Juan Del Sur), reach the finals, and get the win.

Just because I think Omar is this season’s best player doesn’t mean I think he’ll get the win. Survivor has a cruel way of pulling the rug from under the strategic frontrunner. So no, I don’t think Omar is getting a “winner’s edit,” (whatever that is), so I’ll take a moment to explore everyone’s chances of winning.

I think above everything else, jurors want to give the win to someone they’ll feel good about. Some do it to please themselves (cough, RC), others do it to justify their vote in post-finale interviews. That’s why I like to say “Anger your jurors at your own risk.”  During Blood vs. Water, former winner Tina Wesson sat on the Jury. In her Ponderosa video (And hey CBS, why aren’t there any Ponderosa videos this season?), Tina said “For me, being a juror is more than rewarding the one who played a great game, I want to reward someone who’ll do something good with the money.”  Jurors can cast their votes for any reason they want. We as fans should remember this. They don’t have to vote for the reasons WE would use. Instead, the finalists should figure out what THEIR JURORS want in a winner … and they should have started doing that before the merge.

A lot of fans hate bitter jurors, but guess what? Jurors are allowed to be bitter. Its each player’s responsibility to make sure they’re not creating bitter jurors. Out of the remaining players, Omar and Lindsay are the only ones who don’t appear to have angered anyone, or lost anyone’s respect. I don’t think there’s anyone currently on the Jury or still in the game who’d flat out say “I won’t vote for Omar/Lindsay.” I can’t say that about anyone else. They both need to shine a little down the stretch so their jurors aren’t wondering how they got themselves to the finals, but to me Omar and Lindsay are in the best position.

Five in power

Jonathan has had run-ins with Maryanne and Lindsay. I think he’s already lost any shot at Drea’s possible vote (“You ARE being aggressive”), and that moment didn’t go over well with Chanelle & Rocksroy either. His physical game is amazing of course, but do these Jurors care about physical accomplishments?  We’ve also seen Lindsay, Maryanne and Omar express a lack of respect for Jonathan’s strategic game.

Maryanne is both adorable and adorably annoying. There’s a reason she ended up on the outs too. It’s a tough call, but her chances don’t appear to be a slam dunk either way. She had a run-in with Drea, which was followed by a bigger-than-the-game bonding moment.

Drea has clashed with Maryanne and Jonathan, but I think her biggest problem is that nobody has noticed her taking any kind of active role. She can change that with some of her Advantages, but of course, she’d have to start using them to do that. She should let everyone know she wants Mike gone, then take his Idol at Tribal Council. At a minimum, she’ll be able to exclusively own that move.

Maryanne and Romeo

Romeo is a curious case because I still don’t understand how or why he ended up on the outs with everyone. But that might not matter. He’s on the outside, and hasn’t shown any ability to get on the inside. He publicly clashed with Hai, and there’s got to be a very compelling reason why Drea disconnected from him at the merge. But he hasn’t angered anybody else.

That leaves us with Mike. Everybody likes Mike, and that’s enough to get a win. But does everybody respect Mike’s game? I can’t really tell. He’s probably closer to being perceived as a follower more than a leader. He hasn’t fought with anyone, but that doesn’t mean Chanelle or Hai won’t be bitter towards him for helping vote them out. Mike’s problem is he probably thinks his game is much better than it actually is. Will he try to take credit for moves his jurors don’t think are his?  Will his jurors laugh like they did at Sherri in Caramoan? Or will they say “I like him better” like they did with Fabio in Nicaragua? Who knows, but how these next 3 players join the Jury will probably make the difference.

And away we go…

*Mike is telling everyone why he was so angry at Hai.  He’s also telling future jurors he’s been playing emotionally instead of strategically.

*Mike: “I orchestrated it right from the beginning.” Yeah, the beginning was when Omar dropped the idea into your head.

*Romeo: “I can sit back and let these egos eat each other up.” True, but you’ll also have to find a way to convince those egos to give you their votes. I don’t think you’re doing that.

*Maryanne’s toenails fall off 2-3 times a year?  That woman needs to change her diet.

*Romeo and Maryanne are getting pretty cocky for two players who haven’t been very involved strategically … and when the other 5 players are sitting together plotting against them. That’s basic Survivor. If you have 7 people left, and 3 want to go sit by the water, YOU should sit by the water with them.

*And sure enough, the other 5 are complaining about Romeo.

*Mike pitches a final 5 deal. Didn’t he have a final 3 deal with Daniel, and another one with Hai, and a third one with Rocksroy? It seems like making a deal with Mike is a good way to get voted out.

Just missed

*Omar misses a lot of fist bumps. He bumped Mike’s thumb in last week’s episode.

*Hey look at that! Mike wants Drea out because he knows about her Extra Vote. I guess it was a bad idea for Drea to share that information, wasn’t it?

*Drea screaming across camp that she needs her water is not a good look.

*Omar: “Mike has become what he was accusing Hai of doing.” True, but Mike has the right idea in wanting Drea gone. Too bad she’s gonna steal his Idol.


*Is it just me, or is Drea sitting in the same spot Hai was sitting in a lot of his confessionals?

*These players are getting on each others’ nerves. I don’t blame them at all. I’d be in a foul mood after one day of no food or sleep.  This goes to show how the absolute best Survivor players are the one who can control their emotions the best under stress … like Omar and Lindsay.

*Does Probst really believe the audience will support the Do or Die twist? Especially at final 7, which is usually the most important vote of each season?

*I’m REALLY hoping Jonathan is the only one to compete, but after hearing Lindsay’s confessional, I fear she’s gonna make the mistake of competing.

*Ahh, the Christian Hubicki Challenge! Erika won this challenge last season too. Come on Mr. Kirhoffer, give us some new challenges.

*Dammit. Lindsay hung in and is gonna compete. I was really wanted to laugh at the Producers. I think we’re losing Lindsay tonight. But all that talk about how weak Jonathan is was included in the broadcast for a reason. Then again, we haven’t seen Lindsay’s “personal moment” montage yet.


*Where is Christian to talk about Reuben sandwiches when you need him?

*Maryanne cheering for Lindsay isn’t gonna help her get Jonathan’s possible Jury vote.

*Lindsay took an unnecessary risk, and she knows it. 

Lindsay knows it

*And right on cue, there’s Lindsay’s “personal moment” sequence.

*No matter what happens with Lindsay, Drea should still take Mike’s Idol.

*Jonathan: “Drea has more on her résumé than me?” Like what?

*Everyone except Romeo thinks Drea is playing a great game, but I haven’t seen it. Her game has mostly confused me. I’d really like to know what the current jurors think of her game. Oh wait, no Ponderosa videos this season. Dammit again!

*Drea just told Omar she’s got the KIP. I hate to brag (not really), but I knew she couldn’t keep her mouth shut about it. Drea just handed Omar control of this vote if Lindsay is safe.

Omar and Lindsay

*10 seconds later, Lindsay knows about the KIP.

*Imagine how much better this Tribal Council would have been if Do or Die was never a factor?

*Hai: “You always swap.” I wish I was sitting next to him when he watched Deshawn making this choice last season.

*Nope, watching Hai’s reaction this season was entertaining enough.

Hai and the jury

*This was exciting, but I still hate this twist.  I’d much rather watch the players making their own decisions.

*Drea: “Mike, do you have an Idol?”  Mike: “No.” This is why you should keep your mouth shut when you find an Idol or an Advantage.

*This was a great move by Lindsay and Omar, but they still have the same problem. Most of the Jury has no idea they’re pulling the strings.

*Drea: “Omar, you’re the only person I told my secret to, and I want everyone to know that.” Drea just helped Omar own his game BIG TIME! If Omar makes it to the finals, this statement is probably why he’ll win.

Drea's exit

*Drea’s exit was the most fun I’ve ever seen. Even more fun than when Dawson kissed Probst on her way out of Philippines.


Wow, what are the odds that two people would survive the Do or Die twist in the exact same manner? I still hate the twist, but I have no doubt it will be back again. I just hope they do it earlier, like maybe final 9 or 10, and use it to replace the Turn Back Time twist.  So heading into the final turn, Lindsay, Omar and Maryanne are all holding Idols. The biggest question is will Omar return Mike’s Idol. Since Drea just gave him the biggest endorsement, and everyone knows he was behind the game’s biggest move, he should keep Mike’s Idol. Yes, he’ll risk losing Mike’s jury vote, but giving it back could cost him everyone else’s vote. Its probably a risk worth taking. Omar also knows Maryanne still has an Extra vote, and Lindsay now has an Idol. Too many players can protect themselves.  Returning Mike’s Idol sets Omar up to be an Advantageddon victim at the next vote when most of the trinkets expire.  

Lindsay snuck by after making a bonehead move. That decision could cost her a vote or two, especially if she faces Omar in the finals. But at least she knows she’s got a seat in the final 5 if she plays her Idol at the next vote.

The most interesting final 3 to me is Omar/Lindsay/Mike. I just don’t see that Jonathan, Romeo or Maryanne have enough respect among these jurors to get a win against any of those three. But I don’t see a realistic scenario that puts Omar and Mike in the finals. If Omar keeps Mike’s Idol, Mike won’t forgive him and will want him gone. Omar will of course see Mike’s reaction coming, and know he’s got to remove Mike, who is likeable enough to get a win anyway. Omar has to figure out if he can win without getting Mike’s jury vote. I think he can. Drea certainly wasn’t angry at Omar, and she’s gonna tell the four existing jurors all about how Omar outsmarted her.

If by chance, anyone who has been selected for Season 43 or 44 is reading this, please heed my advice. If you find an Advantage or Idol, don’t tell anyone. Maybe we can call this the “Drea rule.”

What are your thoughts? Do you like Do or Die now? What do you think of everyone’s chances to get the win? I’m notoriously bad at handicapping juries, so I could use all the help I can get now.

damnbuenoDamnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.