Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 42 recaps
Ep.9: "Game of Chicken"
By Damnbueno | Published: April 28, 2022
Survivor 42 Episode 9 Recap/ analysis

Game of Chicken

So what did I learn after rewatching last week’s episode? Mike pitched a final 3 deal to Hai and Jonathan … but we didn’t see their reaction. Neither of those two are dumb players, and I’m sure at a minimum, they’d give a lip-service “yes” to Mike, but it caught my attention that their reactions weren’t part of the broadcast. Do they want to go to the end with Mike? I also learned Hai can be a control freak. He got so upset at Romeo because he was threatening Hai’s ability to control other players. Mike, Drea and Tori didn’t know how to spell Chanelle’s name. And nobody used any of their Advantages or Idols. I’m fearing another Advantagegeddon is in our future, and we’re gonna see an unarmed and untargeted victim (Lindsay? Rocksroy?) soon.

And away we go…

*Hai is upset someone voted for him? Is he the new Lex? The new Rupert? This isn’t a good sign for Hai. Then he calls Romeo out publicly? I wonder how Hai thinks he’ll get Romeo’s Jury vote? I’m team Romeo on this one.

*Now Hai is copping an attitude with Rocksroy, Jonathan and Mike? Hai is bringing heat on himself.

Rocksroy's men's alliance

*Rocksroy is pitching a guys’ alliance? My bet is everyone will say yes, but one guy will take an early shot at another to blow it up.

*And right on cue, Omar and Hai say in confessional they’re not feeling it.

*Now Hai wants to go after Rocksroy? Hai is a control freak, and emotionally decides to target anyone who threatens his ability to control. Everyone he has targeted (Daniel, Chanelle, Romeo and Rocksroy) have fit that profile. Yeah, I was right last week when I said Hai always wants to drive.

*An Immunity Challenge at the 10 minute mark? Oh yeah, 2 people are leaving tonight.

*We’ve seen this balance challenge several times before – Caramoan, Cagayan, Cambodia, HHH, and WAW.

Immunity challenge

*This is probably the only time the biggest guy could win this challenge — on a rough sea that takes out most of the more slender players who traditionally have better balance. The bigger guys have no shot when they move up to the higher notches. Previous winners include Andrea, Woo, Joey Amazing, Ashley, and Kim.

*Romeo talks about how scared he is a lot. He’s reminding me of Sierra in Game Changers.

*This guys’ group of 5 is a good example of how difficult it can be to work with inflexible people like Mike and Rocksroy, even if they’re predictable.

*Hmm … Jonathan wants to boot Drea purely because he knows Drea has an Idol? This is why it’s a disadvantage when people know you’ve got trinkets.

Lindsay and Jonathan

*Yo Jonathan, shutting Lindsay down over and over is a BAD move. You should probably NEVER say “You’re not listening to me.” Both ideas are solid, but its clear Lindsay thought hers through more than Jonathan did.

*But of course, if Lindsay never knew Drea had an Idol in the first place, she wouldn’t be strategizing around it, would she?

*Yeah, I know Drea was supposed to say the phrase that pays to activate her Idol, but as Mike showed us, the Producers didn’t really know how to enforce that rule. She could have reached the merge with nobody knowing about her Idol.

*With his hair slicked back, Probst looks a little like legendary Lakers Coach Pat Riley.

Probst Riley

*And by the way, “Winning Time” is entertaining, but is NOT an accurate portrayal of how the Lakers’ ‘80s basketball dynasty was built.

*Rocksroy talking about how he’s so sure how things will go is coming off as very naïve. I sense a blindside coming.

*Bye Rocksroy. I think this is the 2nd time Omar incepted an idea into Hai’s head. Hai thinks it was his move, and Rocksroy does too. Omar needs Hai gone to fully own this move for himself. If he can do that, he’ll probably lock up Rocskroy and Hai’s jury votes.

*Drea is shocked. She should use one of her trinkets no matter what her plan was. Can she do the math fast enough to see how her Extra Vote could tip the balance here?

*Ok, Drea touched on the subject I was staying away from for now. She thinks the Black players are being targeted. Would now be a bad time to mention how none of this season’s Black players have aligned together?

Second Tribal

*Now Maryanne is blabbing again. Tori should know exactly what she should do now, thanks to Maryanne.

*My knee jerk reaction is to say race wasn’t playing a factor in the game at all, but this visual was just too compelling. I don’t see how Maryanne or Drea could vote for each other after seeing this. And there’s no way Jonathan, Lindsay or Tori could be prepared for their subsequent reactions.

Chanelle and Rocksroy

*Jonathan: “You ARE being aggressive.” Jonathan just lost Drea’s Jury vote.

*Drea:“A lot of times, minorities get voted off first.” Sorry, but I gotta say it. This season, Zach went out first. Daniel and Lydia went out before the merge. This season had four Black players, and they all made the merge. Drea is wrong here (See the numbers at the bottom).

*And the funny part of it, is Rocksroy’s boot had nothing to do with race.

*Tori’s days were numbered, but it sucks that she might go out under these circumstances. I fear some will say she only got booted because she’s White. How in the world could she try to save herself now?


Please keep in mind these comments are only my spur of the moment, gut reactions. I was considering addressing the “Race in Survivor” subject, and was gonna wait until the off season to go in depth. I didn’t want to take too much focus off of this season’s game. But fate intervened. I need to think about this a lot more before deciding how I really feel about it. But WOW, a lot went down in such a short time.

But this much is clear:

*Chanelle wasn’t voted out because she’s Black. She was booted because she lost too much trust pre-merge. She also made the mistake of assuming the other players used the same logic she was using.

*Rocksroy wasn’t voted out because he’s Black. He got booted because he got too strategically aggressive with players (Omar and Hai) without earning their trust first. He tried to take the wheel from those who were already driving.

*Tori wasn’t booted because she’s White. She excelled at losing trust from the moment she disappeared from camp on day 1. She just exposed too many secrets. Nobody even wanted to carry her to the end as a goat because it would be too much work. She was more of an Advantagegeddon victim, but ultimately was chosen because Lindsay was more trustworthy.

Why Drea is wrong:
Including this season, 50 Black women have played Survivor. 25 made the merge, 25 left before the merge.

48 Black men have played Survivor. 29 made the merge, 19 did not.

Yes, I know the merge has come at different points in the game, including several recent seasons with 10-member juries. But the numbers are close enough to 50% to conclusively say that “a lot of times, minorities get voted off first” just isn’t true. Missy said the same thing in Island of the Idols — as the only two Black women that season (Missy and Lauren) were sitting at a post-merge Tribal Council. I’m a firm believer in the theory that says HOW you play Survivor will always play a bigger role in your success or failure than how you look.

Like I said earlier, I’ll likely tackle this topic in the off season. I’ve got breakdowns for every race. But we can cover anything you’d like to cover in the comments.

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.