Top Five, Baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 42 recaps
Five people, one Survivor
By Brent Sullivan | Published: May 23, 2022
Survivor 42 Episode 12 Recap/ analysis

Five people, one Survivor

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.

Another big player gets knocked out of the game this week with Omar getting voted out. I was (and still am) a fan of Omar and the game he played this season. I was a little worried about what he would say if he made it to the end of the game to try and convince everyone to vote for him, but he was definitely playing the best game out of all the remaining players. I was also a fan of the Taku Four this season. They all had completely different stories and it was fun to watch them all make it to the final six together. Still, plenty of contenders left for the finale episode, so let’s get to the last normal week of “Top Five Baby!”

1. Jonathan


It’s the final five, what better way to break down my top five moments than to discuss how each of them could do in the final episode. I will go in alphabetical order, so let’s start with Jonathan.

Personally, I must say I am shocked to see Jonathan make the final episode. It is so rare for a big guy who can win challenges to make it this far in a season. He has had a target on his back for most of the post-merge portion of the game but has played a good enough social and physical game to keep himself safe either by winning immunities or by making friends with the right people at the right time.

I see him in sort of the Xander role, meaning if he makes it to the end, he probably won’t receive any (or many) votes to win. He has shown many times that he doesn’t say the right thing, doesn’t listen to people he is working with, or when he gets hungry, has been known to get a little grumpy. All that may add up to the perfect person to take to the end.

He has shown a few signs as of late as if he knows what is going on, this week in particular he was rightfully suspicious of Lindsay, but at this point, it may be a little too late for any sort of recovery to pull out a victory against either Lindsay, Maryanne, or Mike.

2. Lindsay


With Omar out of the way now, Lindsay may be the front runner for having the best record for great Survivor plays. Not only is she winning immunity and reward challenges, but she also seems to always finish second behind Jonathan when he is the one winning. On top of that, she had a tremendous tribal council last week when she made the right decision and stayed alive in the “Do or Die”. Finally, she has been the co-author of many big moves this season.

Starting off slow this season and then really coming on strong after the merge, she has been a part of the Taku Four this whole time, as well as having strong relationships with Drea and Hai when they all had the amulets together.

I think she can hold her own against anyone in the end. She easily beats both Romeo and Jonathan and would also edge out Mike I believe. At this point, with Omar gone, her best bet may be to try and take out Maryanne as her biggest competitor for the title of Sole Survivor this season. The problem is that both Mike and Maryanne have idols, so she will have to win immunity this next round otherwise it’s either her or Jonathan going home next.

3. Maryanne


What a season this has been for Maryanne. Early on, she was a target for being too annoying and was a potential target for elimination at Taku’s first official tribal council. Then was on the outside looking in of the majority alliance that formed after the merge. Yet, somehow, she kept making the relationships work in her favor.

Fast forward to this week and we see her making one of the biggest moves of the whole season by getting everyone (except Lindsay and Omar of course) to vote her way. With her extra vote at the ready, she and Romeo threw three votes on Omar, then she got Mike and Jonathan to put their two votes on Romeo in case an Idol was played on Omar. It was a really great play and she pulled it off by herself. It shows how far she has come since the game started.

I believe she has a chance to pull out a win here. With an idol in her pocket, she is guaranteed to survive the next vote, so she’s automatically in the top four already. At that point, it’s just one challenge win away or convincing someone to take her with them. If those two are Romeo and Jonathan, it’s an easy win for her, if it’s Mike, it would be tough, but I think she could pull it off. Lindsay is going to be her biggest obstacle to the win the game. But what a story it would be if she could end up winning this season!

4. Mike


Mike is such a fun story to talk about. When the game started and Jenny was voted out, it wasn’t looking too good for him, but he smartly tied himself to Hai and Lydia and was able to survive and move on round after round, even cutting those two in the process. Along the way, he has seemingly made multiple friends and alliances that have carried him all the way to this point.

Honestly, he may be his own worst enemy at this point. In his mind, he thinks he has played a loyal game and that he has been backstabbed by his former alliance partners he helped vote out. That mindset may hurt him in the end. As well-liked as he is if he can’t own up to some of the moves, he made then some of the jury may not appreciate how they were treated by him. He has also been a little paranoid over the last two episodes as well.

Overall, he will be in the same boat as Maryanne and Lindsay: if he is sitting in the final three against Romeo and Jonathan, then he will most likely win. But if he is up against either of the two women, he will have a tougher road ahead to pull out the victory. Since he also has a hidden immunity idol in his pocket, he is guaranteed a spot in the final four, at that point, it’s up to him to pull out an immunity challenge win against Jonathan and/or Lindsay, then choose the right people because I really don’t think anyone would choose him to go and send him to make fire. At that point, he will have to be just as good at starting fires as he was at putting them out.

5. Romeo


Well, not sure what to say here for poor Romeo. I think he is all but guaranteed a spot on the final three bench. In fact, whoever wins the final four immunity will most likely take him in that spot and send the other two to make fire. At this point, I can’t think of a single thing he could do to even pull a single jury vote either.

Ultimately, I do feel bad for him because I know this game can’t be easy, but he hasn’t been in the majority one time since the merge and is barely even told who to vote for during Tribal. So, expect to see him at the end and also expect him to get zero votes.

So, there you have it for this week’s penultimate episode. We go into the last episode of the season with the final five and still lots to figure out. Who is your pick to win out of these five?

My pick is Maryanne. I really wanted to pick Lindsay, but with both Mike and Maryanne being safe at the next vote, I think Lindsay will be the one that goes home next. After that, I feel like Jonathan will win the final four immunity, but he will put himself in the fire-making challenge against Mike. That will put Maryanne and Romeo in the final three, then Jonathan will join them when he beats Mike. From there, I think Maryanne has the win pretty easily with Jonathan taking second by receiving a couple of votes as well.

But I want to hear from you, let me know if I missed any moments or who you think will win…also, was I 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