Top Five, Baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42 recaps
Power, knowledge, and Knowledge is Power
By Brent Sullivan | Published: April 18, 2022
Survivor 42 Episode 8 Recap/ analysis

Power, knowledge, and Knowledge is Power

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.

So there goes my winner pick this year. Chanelle started strong this season but really struggled to recover from that infamous tribal where she didn’t get a vote a few weeks ago. Other than that, the second half of the game has officially begun.

From here on out (starting with the aforementioned Chanelle) every one of these castaways will get to grace our screens every week until the end of the season as they sit on the jury.  I also want to mention Mike again this week even though I talked about him last week as well. His social game really does seem to be top-notch as everyone seems to genuinely like him and want to work with him. That scene between him and Omar was powerful and was fun to watch. But, now on to the big stuff with this week’s “Top Five Baby!”

1. Who's on the outs?

Who's on the outs?

So, I’m still not exactly sure how this new group of seven came together so fast, especially on a shortened season like this, they didn’t have the time to make the bonds needed to pull something like this together, but here we are with a big group made up of players from all three original tribes working together with four (well, only three now) other players on the outside looking in. Chanelle was the first victim of this group, which surprised me since Lydia went home last week.

But now Tori, Romeo, and Maryanne are the last three left. Tori has been lucky to win the last two immunity challenges, otherwise, she might already have been voted out. Romeo probably shouldn’t even be in this conversation with his relationship with Drea, but somehow, they made him an outsider, and now he is super paranoid about everything, and it almost cost him his spot in the game this week. Finally, we have poor Maryanne who seems to only be on the outside because the original Taku members had to have somebody on their side to throw out as bait.

Moving forward, I feel like Maryanne is probably in the safest spot out of all of these players. Tori most likely goes home next regardless of anything else that happens, unless she wins immunity again of course. Romeo will most likely be the backup vote in this case again too. Plus, with two tribal councils happening next, this may work out a little differently. I also feel like whichever one of these three players is the last one left, they will be in a good position to work with three or four of the remaining players so they can start picking off the other part of that seven-player group.

2. Jonathan eats

Jonathan eats

During the reward challenge, they were randomly split up into two groups and whoever won, was going to get to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The team of Tori, Rocksroy, Chanelle, Mike, and Jonathan won the very close challenge and got to go back to camp and eat the sandwiches.

This is huge for Jonathan who is used to consuming an inhuman number of calories every day. I think he said something like 4,000 calories a day! That is crazy, but he obviously uses that much looking at what shape he is in. He has been fortunate that his teams have been winning the rewards, so he has been able to eat semi-regularly … at least semi-regularly in modern Survivor terms. So, all this food is helping Jonathan perform better at the challenges and it’s helping him think straight and make smart gameplay decisions.

I’ve talked about him before and his ability to be a social player, well as long as he keeps eating rewards, he will continue being a smart social player.

3. Drea has everything

Drea has everything

I can’t believe how many items Drea actually has in her possession right now. She got the “Advantage Amulet” during the very first challenge along with Hai and Lindsay. Then she was able to say the phrase to activate the hidden immunity idol at the immunity challenge. Next, she earned an extra vote from “Ship Wheel Island”. Then finally this week she acquired the awful “Knowledge is Power” advantage from the beware advantage she took when she sat out the challenge. At this point, she is stock-piling Survivor advantages like she’s saving up toilet paper for another pandemic.

So, the big question for her is when is she going to start using them? She definitely seems like the kind of player that won’t play them for someone else, but I would be curious to see if she tries to use at least one of them as a bargaining chip for something else. I am excited to see how this plays out for her … and her evil (but fun) laugh.

4. To play or not to play

To play or not to play

It seems like this happens every season where one or more people will sit out a challenge and I always go back and forth in my head about whether it was a good game move or not. On one hand, Omar, Maryanne, Lindsay, and Drea just got four days’ worth of food for their tribe. However, on the other hand, this is Survivor and, on this show, normally no good deed goes unpunished. The rest of the tribe could easily vote them out and blame it on the fact they felt too comfortable to compete in the challenge.

This go around, the early consensus was that no one was going to vote for anyone who had decided to sit out, but let’s see if it comes up again in a later episode.

5. Hai the narrator

Hai the narrator

So, I was looking through my notes to try and decide what my fifth and final point was going to be this week. Then something popped in my head that I thought about writing about two weeks ago. Is it just me or does Hai seem to be sort of the narrator of the season?

Pretty much everything that is going on, either he knows about it or has something to say about it. He appears to be an important cog in the large group of seven and lots of different people come to him and ask about what is going on. Including that great scene this week when he is telling Chanelle that he was with her and why he didn’t get to tell her about the vote before tribal council. What does this mean?

Does it mean that he will be long for this season, so he gets to narrate the entire thing, or does it mean he just has such good confessionals early on, he is put into this role just so we get to hear all his spot-on commentaries before he gets voted off? Either way, he has been the first-half voice of Survivor 42.

So, there you have it for this week’s episode. They are officially merged, and we have our first member of the jury. Who will be joining Chanelle on the jury next? What do you think of Drea holding all that power? Does Romeo have a reason to be paranoid? 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