Top Five, Baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42 recaps
Goats, idols, amulets, and unexpected popularity
By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 18, 2022
Survivor 42 Episodes 6-7 Recap/ analysis

Goats, idols, amulets, and unexpected popularity

Welcome to “Top Five Baby!” where after each episode of Survivor, Brent Sullivan will try to break apart and find the top five moments that made a lasting impact on the season or moments that could at least affect the next few episodes. Sometimes the moments are obvious and other times ... not so much, but after years of watching and analyzing this show to myself, I like to share the ones that I think stand out the most.

Merge episode, baby! I always say the merge episode is always one of the best of the season. This season stayed true to that; it did not disappoint. I am also glad they didn’t follow in the footsteps of season 41 by making us wait a whole week to see Rocksroy obviously smash the hourglass. This was perfect for a two-hour episode with the hourglass happening just during a commercial break.

How many new “alliances” were formed within a day of the tribes combining? How many new life-long friendships were created in only a few days? Definitely quite a bit to cover here this week. But first, congrats to Tori on the season’s first individual immunity win, and congrats to Jonathan for completely smashing every available piece of Applebee’s food within his reach. That was more impressive than his challenge performances.

Ok … enough with that, on to this week’s “Top Five Baby!”

1. The Tori factor

The Tori factor

Yikes, this lady certainly goes back and forth, doesn’t she? She’s on the outs with her tribe, then she’s in with them, then she’s back on the outside. It’s quite the yo-yo experience as you watch her.

During this episode, at first she was getting on Rocksroy’s nerves, then she was super excited to be “merged” so that she could talk to and work with other castaways, so she starts telling them about Rocksroy and how he wanted her out. Then before the end of the episode, she was one of the few names that had been thrown out as one of the first few boots. Her original Ika tribe were all giving her up as someone who was hard to work with and always telling lies. It looked like her fate was sealed, until Rocksroy changed everything with the hourglass and she then became an easy target. However, as her luck would have it, she pulled out the victory in the immunity challenge, and was safe going into the vote. Now that she squeaked past this initial vote, will she be able to lay low or move the target to someone else?

With this being a shorter season, someone like Tori is great to drag to the end. If no one gets along with her or thinks she’s not playing the game, that is a bigger incentive to keep her around. Let’s see how she handles the next few episodes.

2. Idol chit-chat

Idol chit-chat

Idol chit-chat … get it? Idol?

Ok, enough of my stupid jokes. I’m really talking about Idols here, and more importantly, the people who have the idols. Drea and Mike have a conversation about both of them having an idol and potentially using that as an excuse to work together. Mike later talks to Maryanne as well about her idol.

So, the big question here is will any of them really use that idol to assist one of these other two or will they just use it on themselves? Personally, I think Mike is making great connections with a lot of people in this game and I could really see him using this on another player. I really don’t think Drea would do that and Maryanne might, but I don’t think she and Mike are close enough to make that conclusion.

There are tons of great reasons to make an alliance on Survivor, but just knowing that those other two players also have idols isn’t a great one. Most people are only looking out for themselves and purposely keeping two other people in the game who can save themselves from being voted out doesn’t seem like a great plan for very long. With all of the advantages/ idols in the game, I expect some of them to start getting used very quickly or the people holding them will start to get voted out. (Especially those with more than one item … Drea and Maryanne).

3. The amulet alliance

The amulet alliance

This one has me intrigued. I honestly thought it wouldn’t amount to anything other than them going for each other earlier than they might have planned, but it came up again this week. Drea, Lindsay, and Hai met up again and discussed working together since they all three had one of the advantage amulets. 

The extra vote can be helpful for sure, but in numbers this large, it’s unlikely that any of them are going to use it in that fashion. I still think they will be trying to get one another out, so their amulet is more powerful. They may work together for another vote or two, but sooner rather than later, one of them is going to make a move to start voting the other two out.

4. Rocksroy on Exile

Rocksroy on Exile

So, is Rocksroy going to win the game since he did the same thing Erika did last season? She broke the hourglass, turned back time, and ended up winning the game. So, Rocksroy is going to do the same right?

Well, sorry for Rocksroy, I just can’t see him winning the game. Nothing really against him, but his playstyle is unlikely to thrive in this modern era of Survivor. He has a supposed alliance with Drea and Romeo, but the three of them didn’t even vote together at this last tribal council. He also has Tori who is adamantly against him and everything he does. Despite what he said about making that move to help his allies, he mostly made that move to give himself immunity for that next tribal. Heck, why not? I would do it too if I had guaranteed immunity!

So, no I don’t think he is going to win this season, but yes, I think he will be around for a while because he doesn’t seem to have anyone on his side to help him move forward.

5. Almost everybody loves Jonathan

Almost everybody loves Jonathan

We are witnessing sort of a rare feat on Survivor. The biggest, strongest guy on the beach is actually liked by almost everyone. Sure, we’ve seen others like Joey Amazing do amazing things and be liked, but then they are voted off almost instantly as soon as they are not immune.

Not only does Jonathan have other players on his side, but they are actually going to bat for him by trying to save him when his name gets thrown out as a potential person to vote off. We know the votes were momentarily swinging towards him at one point during the episode, and I don’t know how much work Omar had to do to swing them away from him, but with people like Mike loving having Jonathan around, he may not have had to do much at all to make that happen.

Jonathan seems to be in a pretty good position in the game as of now too. He was in this magic group of eight that never saw the light of day, he still has his original group with Omar and Lindsay, plus like I mentioned before, he is starting to gather a group of people that want him around, like Mike and Hai. I think Jonathan is a fun character to have around and I’m excited to see how far he can make it this season.

6. Bonus Mike

Bonus Mike

Since this was a double-packed episode … I want to throw in one more here. I just want to briefly mention that Mike is very quietly playing a nice game.

Back on Vati, he was in the majority with Daniel and Chanelle. When that fell apart, he quickly joined up with Hai and Lydia. Now that they are merged, he seems to be making friends left and right. He struck up a really good relationship with Jonathan, we see him talking to Omar at one point, plus he is in the group of players that want to work together because they have an idol.

Overall, he is in a really good position in the game, and other than that mostly throw-away vote from Chanelle last week, his name hasn’t been on anyone’s radar this whole time.

So, there you have it for this week’s double merge episode. There was so much more going on that I didn’t discuss. So many more discussions that we witnessed that could potentially be something in the next few weeks. What conversation got you the most excited? Did you like the double episode format this season as much as I did? I want to hear from you, let me know if I missed any moments or if you think I was correct in my thinking, the interaction is part of what makes this so fun!

Please catch more of me here next week where I will try to bring you more fun top five!


Brent Sullivan - Top Five, Baby!Brent Sullivan is a long-time fanatic of Survivor and has been writing about it for years. When he is not writing, talking about, or applying to be on the show, he spends his time with family, doing nerdy IT stuff, and watching movies. Follow him on twitter: @BSully_13