Survivor season 42: winner, recaps and everything we know about the reality competition

Jonathon Young, Mike Turner, Romeo Escobar, Maryanne Oketch and Lindsay Dolashewich on Survivor
(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment)

One of the OG reality TV shows, Survivor has wrapped up its 42nd season.

Again taking place on an island in Fiji, Survivor season 42 kept the fast-pace and game-changing twists that it introduced during Survivor season 41, as well as the new format of three tribes of six. But the goal of the game remained the same, to "outwit, outplay and outlast" everyone else as they deal with the elements, each other and mental and physical games to decide who will ultimately take home the $1 million grand prize.

Here is everything we know about Survivor season 42.

Survivor season 42 recap

Episode 1: Filmed immediately after season 41, the contestants of Survivor season 42 had no idea of the new twists that laid in store for them when they arrived on the island, but soon found out. After being split into the Vati, Taku and Ika tribes, the contestants had to win a relay race challenge to earn their flint, machete and pots; and right away the game gets complicated.

One contestant, Daniel (Vati), fell and dislocated his shoulder, but after getting medical attention stayed in the game. During their part of the relay, Drea (Ika), Hai (Vati) and Lindsay (Taku) are presented with an opportunity to form an alliance despite being on different tribes and earn an advantage early in the game; the trio opted for the advantage. Back to the challenge at hand, Ika came out victorious.

The tribes go to their respective camps, Ika gets the feel of each other as they build a shelter, while Vati and Taku play another game to earn supplies, each being able to do so.

Drea, Hai and Lindsay's advantage turns out to be individual amulets. Any use of amulets must be used with all other currently in the game, but the trick is the fewer the amulets, the more power they have. Drea earns some extra advantages during the first Summit challenge, where she is able to earn an extra vote at tribal council.

The first elimination of the season did not come from a tribal council, however. Taku's Jackson left the show after it was revealed they had recently been weening off a prescription drug that could cause reactions when under physical and mental duress; Jackson did say they felt dizzy the previous day.

When it came to the first immunity challenge, even down a player, Taku was able to win, with Vati coming in second, meaning Ika was heading to the first tribal council. After struggling in the challenges, Zach became the first person voted off of Survivor season 42.

Episode 2: The Ika tribe is readjusting after losing Zach. Drea tries get an alliance going with Tori and Swati, revealing the advantage that she gained during the first task. However, Tori and Swati wonder if it this information would best be used to vote Drea out and take away her advantage.

Similarly, over with Vati, Mike discovers the Beware advantage, which requires him to say a secret phrase at the next immunity challenge ("There is such grace in a game of soccer, it makes me cry") and prevents him from voting at Tribal Council until all Beware advantages have been claimed. News spreads among the tribe about Mike's find, which worries some.

Its more about bonding with Taku, where Jonathan and Omar are forming an unlikely but potentially strong alliance. However, Marya appears to be struggling a bit, revealing she has not fully processed the death of her brother, who was among the first nurses in the US to pass away during early days of the pandemic..

At the immunity challenge, one member of each tribe will shout out instructions to their blindfolded tribe members to find puzzle pieces in an obstacle course and then put the puzzle together. Vati ends up pulling out the win (and a set of fishing gear), followed by Ika (who gets a smaller set of fishing gear), meaning Taku is heading to Tribal Council.

Maryanne and Marya seem to be the most at risk heading in to Tribal Council. While Marya attempts to protect herself with the Shot in the Dark, it doesn't work in her favor and she is ultimately voted out.

Episode 3: After earning an extra vote in last week's episode, Maryanne wasted no time to share the info with her tribe members. The next day she came across the Beware Idol and took the risk, being given the phrase "It's another classic case of the bunny rabbit having dinner in the mailbox." Again, until the Beware Idol is activated, Maryanne no longer has the ability to vote, including her extra one. She again immediately shared the info with the rest of the tribe.

At this week's immunity challenge, the tribes had to retrieve sand bags from the water and then throw them on to targets. The first two tribes to finish would get immunity plus some more tools and fruit. The ocean wasn't cooperating with the immunity challenge, however. Though Taku was able to manage the tide thanks to Jonathan, the other two tribes struggled and Jeff Probst announced that the production would bring what they needed ashore and continue the challenge ashore. In the end, Taku and Ika won and Vati would head to tribal council.

With Mike unable to vote because of the Beware Idol, the other Vati members attempted to figure out the numbers, with Jenny and Lydia appearing to be the two in the most danger of elimination. However, it was revealed in tribal council that Chanelle would also lose her vote (though her and Mike not voting wasn't initially revealed). With only four votes, it initially came out to a tie, with two votes for Jenny and two for Lydia. 

Another tie made Probst reveal that Mike and Chanelle had not been voting, revealing that the decision was up to Hai and Daniel. There was some tension, but ultimately they agreed to vote out Jenny.

Episode 4: Things are tense in the Vati camp after last week's tribal council, particularly between Daniel and Chanelle. But you have to plow ahead on Survivor. Their first chance to do so is with a reward task where three members of each tribe are roped together, must untangle themselves, pull a sled with balls toward them and then toss those balls into a basket. The winning tribe gets 10 fresh fish delivered to their camp. Taku, led by Jonathan, easily win the challenge.

At Ika's camp, the politics of the game are in full swing, as Swati, Tori, Drea and Rocksroy all try and maneuver around each other for the best possible advantage (with Drea already having that extra vote advantage).

The Immunity Challenge has two tribe members tied to a boat who must then swim and pull their fellow tribe members to a tower. They then must jump off the tower and try a grab a key suspended in midair so that they can unlock a batch of puzzle pieces they then have to put together.

Taku goes two for two with challenges in the episode, winning here, while Vati edges out Ika for second, sending Ika to tribal council.

Ahead of their vote, it appears that Tori is the main target, but Rocksroy and Romeo begin to wonder if Swait has been playing them all against each other.

At tribal council, the contestants agree that their "vibe" is off, which is confirmed as Swati and Tori blame each other as they try to convince the rest of the tribe that the other is the one who deserves to go home. But ultimately, it is Swati who is unanimously voted off.

Episode 5: After the latest tribal council, Ika takes stock. Rocksroy and Tori have differing opinions of where the tribe stands, with Rocksroy thinking the group is better off after voting out Swati while Tori is holding a grudge specifically against Rocksroy. Other members of Ika, Drea and Romeo, meanwhile, go looking for some Idols, with Drea finding the third Beware advantage (Drea has a lot of advantages in the game, with Beware added to her amulet piece and an extra vote from prisoner's dilemma).

There's some trouble in paradise with Taku and Vati. Jonathan and Maryanne appear to be getting on each others nerves at the Taku camp, while over at Vati, some are beginning to wonder why Daniel's dislocated shoulder can keep him out of challenges but he can still go snorkeling.

At the immunity challenge, all three holders of the Beware advantage (Drea, Maryanne and Mike) say their required lines, creating three new immunity idols. But back to the challenge at hand, where the tribes must climb a net ramp, untangle ropes, collect a machete and sandbags and then knock down a series of targets. The winners not only get immunity for the week, but also tarps; the losers meanwhile will have to give up their flint. End of the day, Ika and Taku get through the challenge, sending Vati to tribal council.

At tribal council, the first vote is split 2-2 for Daniel and Chanelle (the fifth vote was for Mike). On a revote, it is Daniel who is eliminated from Survivor.

Episode 6: In this double-stuffed episode, there was a lot of movement and game-changing moments. The ball gets rolling as the remaining contestants are told they are about to merge into a single tribe, but before that they are broken into two teams that will compete for immunity and some extra perks. The two teams are Lydia, Jonathan, Maryanne, Hai and Tori for team orange and Drea, Mike, Romeo, Omar and Chanelle; Rocksroy and Lindsay sit the challenge out. After rolling some boulders and solving another puzzle, team orange wins and earns immunity, with blue forced to participate in the first individual immunity challenge.

Orange has to do one other thing, choose between Rocksroy and Lindsay to go to "exile," where they will have the opportunity to "turn back time" and change the game. They pick Rocksroy. In exile, Rocksroy finds the hourglass that will allow him to change the game. Probst explains that if he smashes the hourglass he will earn himself immunity while reversing the previous result of the episode.

When Rocksroy and Probst return to the now merged tribe it's revealed that Rocksroy did smash the hourglass, meaning orange team members are now the ones having to compete in the individual immunity challenge; they are unsurprisingly not happy. 

In the actual challenge, Tori ends up winning immunity, meaning Lydia, Jonathan, Maryanne and Hai are in danger of being voted off. In tribal council, it is Lydia who is ultimately voted off. 

Episode 7: Another contentious tribal council and the official merging of the contestants into one tribe leads to some paranoia and social gamesmanship in the early part of the episode, which Jeff Probst is only happy to add to with the reward challenge.

In addition to competing for some PB&J and chips, Probst says that he has hidden a beware advantage on the sit-out beach. Though Maryanne initially draws the gray chip to sit out the reward challenge, Drea offers to switch with her. While everyone else is doing the challenge, Drea finds the beware advantage. In the challenge, Jonathan, Tori, Rocksroy, Chanelle and Mike win and get the lunchtime favorite.

The advantage Drea found was actually a clue to the real location of advantage, which she also finds. But in addition to her leg up, Drea gets herself covered in red paint, which signals to everyone else that she has found the latest beware advantage. As far as what it does, Drea can ask one other player if they have an advantage or idol and they can't lie and if so must give it Drea.

In the immunity challenge, Probst offers an individual portion of rice for anyone who sits the challenge out, but if enough people choose to sit out (six), then they will all get four days portions of rice. But only four do: Drea, Lindsay, Maryanne and Omar.

In the actual challenge, the competing contestants must balance on a perch while holding a buoy, last one standing wins. In the end, it's Tori that takes immunity for the week.

While it seems that the tribe is planning to vote out Chanelle, Tori helps Romeo believe it could be him, which makes him paranoid. Despite some of the tribes' annoyance by this, Chanelle is still the one eliminated this week. 

Episode 8: Even though Hai avoided elimination last week, he comes back from tribal council shaken for receiving a vote. He accuses Romeo of being the one to write his name, which is right but Romeo isn't going to admit it. Meanwhile, a guys alliance is pitched, but Hai has his reservations, mainly about Rocksroy.

This week's immunity challenge throws another twist into things. Though everyone is combined into a single tribe now, the challenge will split them into two teams with two people earning immunity and then the two teams going to separate tribal councils that will result in a double elimination. The blue team is made up of Drea, Jonathan, Tori, Lindsay and Maryanne. The orange team then is Mike, Rocksroy, Romeo, Omar and Hai.

The teams must balance on a triangular perch in the water, last one one wins immunity. In the end, Hai wins against the rest of team orange, while Jonathan outlasts Lindsay for team blue. In addition to immunity though, whichever team has their last person beat the other, that team then gets a feast. This side prize ends up going to Jonathan and team blue.

Before tribal council, team orange is debating whether its best to vote out Rocksroy. With team blue, Jonathan tries to angle for Drea to be voted out, but ruffles some feathers when he suggests Maryanne is used as a decoy vote.

Team orange heads to tribal council first, where despite the debate, Rocksroy is voted off. When team blue arrives, Drea, seeing that the last two eliminations have been of Black contestants, wastes little time in revealing that she is going to use one of her idols to save herself. This sparks a bit of a debate over race and what Survivor can do to combat social bias (unconscious or otherwise). Ultimately, Drea and Maryanne use the idols they have saved to protect themselves, leaving only Tori and Lindsay as possible exits. Tori is then eliminated. 

Episode 9: After a double elimination, there are some power shifts among the remaining contestants. Hai appears to be more in the driver's seat and Lindsay feels that Jonathan is a potential target after he tried to use Maryanne as a decoy vote. Maryanne won't have to worry about that in the immediacy though, as she finds a hidden immunity idol (no strings attached) early on.

Besides the strategy part of the game, the castaways also must deal with torrential downpours. That makes the reward challenge all the more enticing: a getaway with pizza, beer and a warm place to sleep. Having to work their way through an obstacle course, Lindsay is the one who takes the prize. She then gets to pick two people to come along with here, and she opts for Omar and Mike.

But the getaway isn't just about enjoying pizza and videos from home. Omar uses the opportunity to lie about how Hai's been trying to manipulate them, which Mike appears to buy.

It continues to be a good episode for Lindsay, as later she wins the immunity challenge. This makes Hai confident that he has the votes to go his way, but Mike works things behind the scene, trying to recruit Jonathan and Drea to go after Hai. It works, as the votes come back and Hai is eliminated.

Episode 10: As the remaining contestants regroup after the latest tribal council, Mike, who is relishing in Hai's removal and being a bit insufferable, and Drea look like they have an early target on their back in this episode. Meanwhile, Jonathan appears to be wearing from the game. But a twist could throw all plans on who to go for next out the window.

As part of the immunity challenge, Jeff Probst says there is a "Do or Die" risk associated with this challenge. Whoever chooses to compete in the immunity challenge and loses leaves their fate up to chance at the next tribal council. Only Jonathan and Lindsay opt to compete and Jonathan wins, gaining immunity for the week while Lindsay now has to await how the dice will fall.

Back at camp, Drea doesn't want to take any risks. She intends to use her Knowledge is Power advantage to steal Mike's idol and ensure she sticks around for another week while also angling to have Mike voted out. That is if Lindsay isn't automaticaly eliminated.

Getting a one in three chance to pick the box that will keep her in the game, Lindsay guesses correctly and is safe for this week, which means there is a vote for who is going to be eliminated. Drea attempts to use her Knowledge of Power advantage to get Mike's idol, but he says he doesn't have it as he gave it to Omar instead. This clever move results in Drea being eliminated with the official vote.

Episode 11: After the machinations of last week's tribal council, a few things immediately transpired. First, Drea's ousting means Maryanne's amulet has become an immunity idol. Then, Omar returns the immunity idol he was given to trick Drea to Mike as promised; this is good because Mike knows that Omar is a big threat he is going to have to deal with if he wants to win. Maryanne also realizes Omar is going to be tough to beat and talks with Mike about using her extra vote to try and vote out Omar. Everyone is realizing at this stage of the game past alliances mean nothing, it's all about winning.

A reward challenge gives the contestants the chance to earn some delicious treats after completing an obstacle course. Omar wins and picks Romeo, Maryanne and Mike to join him in the snack of cake and cookies.

Back at camp, Lindsay is angling to go after Mike at tribal council, while Jonathan talks with Mike and Maryanne about needing to split Lindsay and Omar up.

In the immunity challenge, the castaways have a new obstacle course and puzzle to solve. The race comes down to Lindsay and Jonathan, with Lindsay coming out on top and securing the immunity idol.

With her spot secure, Lindsay now reveals what appears to be her true plan, eliminating Jonathan. While Maryanne is confident with her extra vote they can eliminate Omar, though Romeo remains the wildcard.

At tribal council, no one plays their idol and the vote comes out as a three-way tie for Jonathan, Omar and Romeo. However, Jeff Probst reveals that there is one more vote, Maryanne's extra vote, which is for Omar, meaning he is eliminated. 

Episode 12: The final five is now set and their immediate reward is a new beach location with no shelter or tarp. But that is just one problem, as old alliances are frayed, particularly between Lindsay and Jonathan after the former voted for Jonathan at the last tribal council. Meanwhile, gamesmanship is on full display, as Romeo tries to convince everyone he has an idol ready to play, while Mike tells Romeo they should get Lindsay out, before going to Lindsay and saying he'd use his idol on her and then saying the same thing to Maryanne.

The castaways receive a coded phrase that they must unscramble to try and get an advantage in their next immunity challenge. Lindsay s the first to do so, earning a "slight advantage."

At the immunity challenge, the castaways must once again go through an obstacle course to collect puzzle pieces. Lindsay's advantage is that her bags holding the puzzle pieces only has one knot while everyone else has to untie six. In addition to immunity, a pasta dinner is up for grabs. Even with the advantage Mike edges out Lindsay in the challenge and picks Jonathan to enjoy in the meal with him.

Mike once again offers to use his idol to help Jonathan. However, Lindsay later makes a pretty convincing argument that she should be the one he supports considering they have treated each other fairly throughout the game.

When it comes to tribal council however, Mike uses his idol to protect Maryanne and Lindsay is voted out.

The second immunity challenge is a Survivor classic. Simmotion. Romeo outlasts everyone and officially earns his spot in the final three. When they get to tribal council later, Romeo brings Maryanne into the finals with him and leaves Mike and Jonathan to compete a the fire-making challenge, which Mike ultimately wins, meaning the finalists are Romeo, Maryanne and Mike.

After the jury asks their questions of the final three, they vote. Probst reads the results on location, revealing that Maryanne is the winner of Survivor season 42.

Survivor season 42 winner

Maryanne Oketch was the last person standing in Survivor season 42, claiming the title and $1 million prize.

Check out the full batch of participants from this season and where they finished below:

Jenny Kim (18th)
Lydia Meredith (17th)
Daniel Strunk (16th)
Marya Sherron (15th)
Jackson Fox (14th)
Swati Goel (13th)
Zach Wurtenberger (12th)
Chanelle Howell (11th)
Rocksroy Bailey (10th)
Tori Meehan (9th)
Hai Giang (8th)
Drea Wheeler (7th)
Omar Zaheer (6th)
Lindsay Dolashewich (5th)
Jonathan Young (4th)
Mike Turner (final 3)
Romeo Escobar (final 3)
Maryanne Oketch (winner)

Will there be a Survivor season 43?

Survivor is going to continue its run with season 43 on CBS. The reality show is expected to have a new season as part of the network's fall lineup, airing in its usual Wednesday at 8 pm ET/PT time slot. However, we do not yet have a date for when Survivor season 43 is going to premiere.

Survivor season 42 host

Survivor season 42 Jeff Probst

Jeff Probst (Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment)

Some things may change with Survivor, but one thing that has remained constant throughout its 20-plus year run is that Jeff Probst oversees everything as the host. But that doesn’t mean Probst, an Emmy-winner for his hosting duties, is sticking to the same script, at least anymore.

One of Probst’s catchphrases on Survivor has been to say “Come on in, guys!” as he welcomes the contestants to a new challenge. However, after some reflection and talking with cast members during Survivor season 41, Probst has come to the conclusion that the phrase is not entirely inclusive and is officially retiring it after season 41. What will his new catchphrase be?

How to watch Survivor season 42

Airing on CBS in the US, Survivor is easily available for anyone with a traditional pay-TV cable/satellite subscription or using a TV antenna, as both provide access to local CBS stations. CBS is also available through a number of live TV streaming services, including FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV. In addition, anyone with a subscription to a traditional pay-TV or live TV streaming service with access to CBS can watch the latest episodes of Survivor live or on-demand via the CBS website.

For those who may have cut the cord on live TV, Survivor is also available to stream with a Paramount Plus subscription. All Paramount Plus subscribers can watch the latest episode of Survivor on-demand the day after it airs, but those who are subscribed up for the Paramount Premium plan can also stream it live.

For viewers outside of the US wanting to tune into Survivor, they will need a VPN, or virtual private network.

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ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs out there. Not only because it is straightforward and easy to use, but it also has great security and, best of all, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 


ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. And it's a great way to keep up with the boxing action from anywhere in the world.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.