Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 42 recaps
"Caterpillar to a Butterfly"
By Damnbueno | Published: May 19, 2022
Survivor 42 Episode 12 Recap/ analysis

Caterpillar to a Butterfly

Entering this week’s final 6 episode, there are several questions to ponder.

1) Can Jonathan win another Immunity Challenge? Of course he can. But the more interesting question is does he even need to win? Usually someone capable of going on an Immunity winning streak gets booted around final 10. But in these last two seasons, the obvious challenge beast (Jonathan and Xander) has had no trouble sticking around, even if they didn’t have immunity. Yeah, Naseer was also a beast and went out in 10th place, but one could argue he got votes because he held an idol, and only 6 people were voting. The only post-merge votes Jonathan and Xander got were from the outnumbered minority. So while everyone recognizes the physical threat Jonathan is, they’re not worried about him winning the million — just like last season’s players felt about Xander.

2) Can Maryanne improve her chances of winning by using her idol? I’d say probably not. She’s likable to some jurors, and annoying to others. She’s done a great job of keeping her idol a secret, but with four much more threatening targets around, its unlikely she’d save herself with an idol play. Who wants to vote her out next? I could see her playing her idol, joyously shouting “You can’t get me tonight,” then watching exactly zero votes coming her way.

3) Can Lindsay improve her chances by playing her idol? I’d say definitely yes, IF she sniffs out a plan to blindside her with it. However, Lindsay is aware both Omar and Mike know she’s got an idol, so it seems unlikely she’d get 4 votes this time around. She could however negate a 3-3 tie if Jonathan, Maryanne and Romeo go after her.

4) Is there anything Romeo can do to improve his chances? Nope. But $85,000 for third place ain’t bad for 26 days’ work.

Who am I kidding? There’s only one truly interesting question entering this episode: Will Omar give the idol back to Mike?

I think Omar’s decision is the most important one of the season. If he keeps the idol, he of course risks losing Mike’s jury vote. It would make the most sense for Omar to follow through and get Mike voted out next, because after seeing Mike turn against Chanelle and Hai, Omar would know there’s no way Mike would work with Omar for the rest of the game. The risk of course is Omar would be sending Mike to the jury with a fresh mouthful of Bitter Juror Juice. Hai and Drea seemed like they were good sports about their blindsides, but the potential remains they could be bitter after thinking about it too. Mike’s presence would only enhance that feeling. I think it’s a risk worth taking because if Omar returns the idol, he could face a vote where 4 of the other 5 players (Mike, Lindsay, Maryanne and Jonathan if he wins immunity) could be safe. They’d be choosing between booting Omar or Romeo. That’s a no-brainer.

But if Omar keeps the idol, he’d know Lindsay, the Immunity winner, and he would be safe. Its most likely Omar will make this decision without knowledge of Maryanne’s idol, but if she makes the same mistake Drea made, tells someone about her idol, and Omar finds out, his decision becomes much easier. Then again, if Omar can also put Lindsay on the jury right after Mike, any bad press generated from Mike might not matter at all. Omar would be a huge favorite over Jonathan, Maryanne or Romeo, and would only have to find a way past the fire challenge.

I think Omar is facing a “Keep the idol or join the jury” decision.

And away we go…

*Ok, Lindsay is safe tonight. She knows her idol expires at final 6. Bad news for Omar #1.

*Omar gives the idol back. Bad news for Omar #2.

The idol handoff

*Omar’s Mike vs Jonathan plan is a good one, unless Jonathan wins Immunity. Did Omar forget about that possibility?

*Mike wants Omar gone. Bad news for Omar #3.

*Maryanne confirms that Drea’s statement was both the best endorsement and biggest curse for Omar.

*Maryanne tells Mike about her Extra Vote. When will she spill the info about her idol?

*Maryanne to Mike: “Let me think about it.” Bad move. You should say yes immediately. She’s running the risk Mike will make plans that don’t include her. Indecisive players often get themselves voted out (Gabriel in Marquesas, Christy in The Amazon, Dolly in Vanuatu, Tijuana in Pearl Islands, Penner in Philippines, Sarah in Cagayan, Roarke in HHH). Many times, someone thinks “If you’re not sure you’re voting with me, I can’t count on you, so you’ve got to go.”

*Jonathan also confirms the impact of Drea’s statement.

Reward challenge

*Yet another repeat challenge. This one was used in I of I, and Survivor 41.

*Omar wins Reward. Now he gets to piss someone off by leaving them behind. Bad news for Omar #4. Its not a hard, set-in-stone rule, but deep into the merge, you probably don’t want to win rewards. Jonathan is likely upset with him, and Mike, Maryanne and Romeo are all smart enough to suspect Omar is pandering to them.

*I think this reward win is a lose/lose for Omar — almost as big as Brenda’s Loved Ones Reward win in Caramoan.

Reward winner and guests

*Mike is gonna tell Jonathan and Maryanne about Lindsay’s idol. I’ll say it again, when you have an idol, keep your mouth shut about it! But in this case, its bad news for Omar #5. Now they all know they can’t vote for Lindsay.

*Does Maryanne actually believe Mike will play his idol for her?

*Maryanne realizing she’s the last to find out about Lindsay’s idol looked like she knows she’s not gonna win. How many times has she realized she’s out of the loop?

Sad Maryanne

*He doesn’t know it, but nobody needs Immunity more than Omar.

*Yawn, yet another repeat Immunity Challenge. Maybe they changed one part in the middle, but we’ve seen all of these elements before.


*I hate it when Probst says “Everybody is dead even” when that’s not even close to being true. This is why I often watch challenges with the mute on.

*Lindsay wins Immunity. Omar is about to be mini-Advantagegeddoned … unless she gives her idol to Omar. But Lindsay is pretty smart. She should know Omar can beat her. She should do like Russell did and keep her idol as a souvenir.

Keeping the idol

*But Lindsay fearing the idol might return is a good reason to keep it too. But she could have used the Jury publicity.

*Maryanne to Mike: “This is what you’re going to do.” Maryanne hasn’t been very observant. Mike doesn’t like being told what to do. And Maryanne being so indecisive is a very bad look, especially if Mike ends up on the Jury.

*Mike and Jonathan aren’t listening to Maryanne, and she’s frustrated. She doesn’t realize she should have addressed this a long time ago. She’s been voting how someone else told her to for too long.

Frustrated Maryanne

*Omar at Tribal Council: “I don’t have an idol.” That’s the worst statement he could have made at Tribal Council. Bad news for Omar #6.

*Omar endorses Maryanne’s move before the last vote is read. Did he just do to Maryanne what Drea did to him last week?

Maryanne did

*The jurors seemed impressed with Maryanne, but is it a case of too little, too late? They already know how disconnected she was for most of the game, and she has told them herself she’s been on the bottom. I think she has to take out both Mike and Lindsay to get a win. That’s gonna be tough if she can’t win Immunity, or make a fire quickly.

*I read a lot of comments about Omar’s “Winner’s edit.” I still don’t know what a “Winner’s edit” is, ‘cause we sure didn’t see one for Omar this season.


Well, I was right about Omar’s “Keep the idol or join the jury” position, but it really sucks for him. Once again, the season’s best player comes up a little short. But this time, Omar had a chance to control his fate. Ultimately, he played a team game when he should have played a 100% individual game, and it cost him. Props to Trixie 02 for making that call a few weeks ago.

Mike has spoken with great confidence in confessionals before Chanelle, Hai, Drea and Omar left. He absolutely believes he pulled all the strings at several votes. I think he’ll be in for a surprise if he claims ownership for those votes, and the jurors don’t act as impressed as he thinks they should be. Mike will have no idea Omar gave the jurors the straight story. Will Mike end up looking too foolish to get the win, or will his likability overcome that possible setback?

So the next vote is a little anti-climactic. We already know Mike and Maryanne are safe, and nobody wants Romeo gone. So once again the drama at final 5 is who wins Immunity between Lindsay and Jonathan. The loser joins the jury. I’m a strategy nut, so I’m team Lindsay here. I think Romeo and Jonathan have played themselves into losing positions, so the most interesting final has Lindsay, Mike and Maryanne in it. The least interesting for me is Romeo, Jonathan and Maryanne.


Even though I’m notoriously bad at handicapping juries, I’m gonna take another shot at it.

Chanelle – She had a blind spot in thinking the other players would use the same logic she was using, and she made a few very bizarre moves. I think she’ll hold the finalists to her standards, and none of them will know what she’s talking about. But Lindsay is the best at reading other people, and has the best chance of talking her way into Chanelle’s vote. Chanelle wasn’t crazy about Jonathan when he said “You ARE being aggressive” to Drea. So I’ll guess Chanelle votes (in order) Lindsay, Maryanne, Romeo, Mike, Jonathan.

Rocksroy – He’s about as inflexible as they come. As he left the game, he believed it was Hai and Romeo’s plan that got him out. Omar might set him straight and explain how it was actually Omar’s doing. If Rocksroy listens, that’s probably good news for Mike, who saw eye-to-eye with Rocksroy more than anyone else. Rocksroy votes Mike, Lindsay, Maryanne, Jonathan, Romeo.

Tori – This is mostly a blind guess, but Tori seems pretty self-centered. Her vote might be cast purely to validate her own predictions. But I think she’ll be impressed that Lindsay beat Jonathan twice for Immunity, held an idol, and was very strategically involved (thanks to info Omar gives her). Tori votes Lindsay, Mike, Maryanne, Jonathan, Romeo.

Hai – Hmm … I can’t really tell if he was smiling on the outside, but bitter on the inside, or if he was truly a good sport. If he’s bitter, he’s not voting for Jonathan. If he’s a “game respects game” guy, he’ll respect the move. But of course, Omar and Drea could tell Hai that Mike’s vote for him was purely emotional, which Hai likely won’t respect. Hai already believes he was leading Mike around by the nose. Omar could also tell Hai how easily he manipulated Mike into getting angry at Hai. I don’t think Hai buys into the Alpha Male mindset at all, so that’s bad news for Mike and Jonathan. Hai votes Lindsay, Maryanne, Romeo, Mike, Jonathan.

Drea – To me, Drea is all about “Game respects game.” While its possible she could be bitter, I think that’s very unlikely. If Omar tells Drea the role Lindsay played in her blindside, Drea votes for Lindsay. In fact, I think Lindsay has Drea’s vote no matter what. And Drea won’t forget when Jonathan said “You ARE being aggressive.” Drea votes Lindsay, Mike, Maryanne, Romeo, Jonathan.

Omar – I think Omar is all about strategy. He knows Lindsay’s ideas and observations were spot on most of the game, and she was also his closest partner who came up with as many good ideas as he did. Omar is most likely to campaign for Lindsay too. If Lindsay ends up on the Jury, Omar will have the most respect for Maryanne getting him out. Omar has expressed little respect for Mike’s strategic brain, no respect for Jonathan’s strategy, and hasn’t noticed ANY strategic brain from Romeo. Omar votes Lindsay, Maryanne, Mike, Jonathan, Romeo.

Of course, we have at least two more jurors’ votes to account for, as well as the random element of the fire challenge. Omar’s game was very stealth to the Jury, but now that he’ll be joining them, their eyes are gonna be opened up wide. I think they’ll be very well-informed entering the final 5. Omar will have a very strong influence on this jury because they all like and respect him. Omar is very humble (except in his recent confessionals), and I think that will go a long way with this jury.

What do you think? Like I said, I’m very bad at handicapping juries, so I’d love to know your thoughts.

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.