Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday’s series finale of Survivor 42.
Five people — Lindsay Dolashewich, Romeo Escobar, Maryanne Oketch, Mike Turner, and Jonathan Young — entered Wednesday’s Survivor 42 finale on CBS with a shot at the title of Sole Survivor and the million-dollar check that goes along with it, but after three Tribal Councils, two immunity challenges, and one toe-themed advantage hunt, a victor emerged in almost unanimous fashion, and that victor was… Maryanne.
Maryanne secured seven out of the eight jury votes, with Mike receiving the one other vote courtesy of Jonathan, whom he defeated at the fire-making final four to make it the end.
For the ebullient and emotional Maryanne, it was a triumphant finish for a player who was dismissed earlier in the season by her tribemates as an often annoying afterthought, yet managed to put her mark on the game by helping to orchestrate the blindside of master manipulator Omar Zaheer. That move, coupled with her revelation at the final Tribal Council of a secret immunity idol that nobody ever knew about, sealed the deal for the jury, who then rewarded the 24-year seminary student from Ontario for her efforts.
Maryanne makes the second straight Canadian woman of color to win Survivor after Erika Casupanan was crowned the champion of Survivor 41. Canadians were only first allowed on the show in season 39, meaning they have now won two of the three seasons in which they have been eligible. (Season 40 was all previous winners from the United States.)
The finale began with challenge beast Lindsay needing to win the first immunity competition to stay alive, and after she solved a word scramble and secured an advantage in said competition, she appeared to be a good bet to do exactly that. But Mike out-dueled her on the puzzle, and when Maryanne chose not to use her immunity idol to save her, Lindsay was sent to the jury.
In one of the shockers of the season, Romeo then beat everybody out in the final immunity challenge, giving him the power to pick one of the people to sit next to him at the end. He chose Maryanne, which meant the island’s two best fire-makers in Mike and Jonathan would have to face off against each other, with one moving on to the final three and the other to the jury.
Mike’s confidence at going to fire was rewarded when he easily defeated Jonathan (who also had a nice flame going) to become a finalist. But if he thought that additional notch on his belt would win him points with the jury, he was mistaken. When the jury pushed back against Mike’s claims of playing a game based on integrity, he was unable to pivot to a more effective argument, opening the door for the affable Maryanne (who never made integrity her platform) to run away with the victory.
Stay tuned for plenty of Survivor 42 finale coverage, including our full episode recap and interviews with the final five. In the meantime, enjoy our pre-finale interview with the final five, our Q&A with the jury, and Jeff Probst weighing in on the future of the franchise.
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Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to “DIG DEEP!”