Survivor 42 Episode 11 Recap: Knowledge Is Powerless

Wow! And also dang it! I’m a ball of emotions this week after another stellar episode of Survivor. About halfway through this week’s episode, I realized that I didn’t want anyone to go home! Not Lindsay, not Jonathan and definitely not Drea. And it ended with Jeff Probst summarizing just why Survivor 42 is actually registering as a top-tier Survivor season: This cast seems to have a great mix of competitiveness and camaraderie. I mean there is still a lot of game left to be played and it is a bit too early to announce this jury as “not bitter,” but this is how you want the game to be played!

We ultimately had to say goodbye to Drea after quite the roller coaster of an episode. And I’m mad! Drea was my pick to win from the start (she lasted way further than most of my picks!), and she had played such a good game, accumulating a number of advantages that I thought would stretch her much further than the point she ended up getting to. She was of course a huge threat and everybody knew it…tonight we heard more than one person mention that they could not possibly let Drea reach the end if they wanted any chance of winning. Her fatal flaw, as it turns out, was to put her trust in Omar, who might have very well scored himself Mike‘s Idol (we’ll have to wait until next week to see what he does with it) in the process of stabbing Drea in the back.

Like a baseball team that scores 10 runs in the final inning for a come-from-behind win, the odds were in Drea‘s favor to survive this week but things took an improbable turn. Lindsay was NOT supposed to make it through the “Do or Die” twist, a twist that has been made to look easy now that it has been overcome both times that it has now appeared! When selecting her “Do or Die” box, at that precise moment, there was a 66% chance of Drea NOT going home AND having her amulet turn into an Immunity Idol once Lindsay left the game. On the flipside, Lindsay was the underdog of the century, and not only picked the right box and earned Immunity, but her amulet is the one that is now an Immunity Idol! I say “wow” again because there were so many ups, downs and turns at Tribal Council this week that it was just amazing to watch.

But a player like Drea doesn’t just get voted out. Oh no. After essentially telling her castmates “good game” and giving out hugs, she one-by-one had a parting message for each person. She made sure to do what she could – from beyond the Survivor grave! – to ruin both Mike and Omar‘s game. Her comment to Mike – that he called the “kiss of death” – was Drea trying to lob Mike under the bus, but it also was a pretty obvious statement for anyone who has been following the game. Mike is and has always been a stand-up guy and a strong candidate to win the game should he make it to the end. But throwing Omar under the bus was brilliant! Omar, to his credit, has been dominating this game, quietly pulling the strings while never, ever surfacing on anyone else’s radar. That all changes after Drea’s comments. There would be nothing sweeter for Drea’s final words to end up leading to Omar’s downfall should it happen. And kudos to Drea…that’s how you get voted out if it’s going to happen!

It will be interesting to see where the pieces fall. You would think that Mike would get his Idol back, because if Omar were to really hang on to it permanently, wouldn’t that be a terrible social move? It definitely would piss off Mike.

I must say that it’s been great to see Lindsay emerge these last two weeks…up until last week she had been mostly given a quiet edit, but we really feel like we know a lot about her in the game at this point. And she’s great, right? What’s not to love? She is a fierce competitor, super likable in the game, and she is in it to win it. With an Idol now in her possession, one that I don’t believe anyone else will know about, she is maybe the most dangerous person remaining in the game.

And while Jonathan may have bested her in their two-person Immunity Challenge showdown, Lindsay is winning that social game against Jonathan. With Jonathan winning his second individual Immunity, all of their worst fears are beginning to come true, if Jonathan were to go on an Immunity run and make it to the end. Lindsay remaining in the game is not only their best chance of beating Jonathan in a challenge, but his social game is starting to tank, maybe to the point where he couldn’t win anyways at the end. While their relationship has been tumultuous as of late, it might be in both of their best interests to ride out their alliance to the end. Lindsay would win at the end against Jonathan I think, given that she seems to be much more well-liked. But Lindsay staying in the game could also benefit Jonathan, as he is not the sole physical threat remaining.  Dang it’s getting so interesting!

Beneath all of the strategy and the battling, little Maryanne is still there, lying in wait and looking for her chance to strike. From the looks of the preview for next week’s episode, she may be ready to do just that. We saw tonight that Maryanne and Romeo were outside of the larger alliance within the tribe (even though Drea ended up being the one to go home), but the difference between this season and others is that these so-called “bottom-feeders” actually have some power to play with. Don’t forget that Maryanne has an extra vote AND an Immunity Idol, so while everybody at the “top” is battling one another, wouldn’t it be impressive if Maryanne flipped this game on its head.

With how unpredictable this season has been, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least!

Episode Take-Away. What an episode! The “Do or Die” twist actually sounds like a bad idea on paper to me, but for two straight-seasons it has delivered some incredible drama. With six players and just one more episode left next week before the Finale Episode on May 25th, it really feels like it could be anyone’s game…and more impressive than that, is that no matter who wins, I feel like they would be a deserving winner.

Erik Reichenbach DabuDoodles Art. In case you didn’t know (and how could you not?), each week Survivor legend Erik Reichenbach contributes a brand-new, original piece of artwork relating to the new week’s episode. It will appear here usually in the days after the show’s airing, so if his latest work does not appear here now, check back usually by the weekend following an episode and give this page a refresh. All of Erik’s work can be found and purchased on his site,, and I urge you to support this amazingly talented former Survivor player!

“Omar Considering His Options”

Art by Erik Reichenbach –

Out this week: Drea

Won Immunity: Jonathan (2)

Vote Result: Lindsay successfully played the “Do or Die” challenge, staying in the game and earning Immunity. Drea unsuccessfully used her “Knowledge is Power” advantage, as Mike had given his Idol away to Omar. Drea also used her “extra vote’ advantage. 5 – Drea (Omar, Mike, Lindsay, Maryanne, Jonathan), 3 – Mike (Drea Vote #1, Drea Vote #2, Romeo)

Current Advantage List:

  • Lindsay – Amulet Immunity Idol
  • Maryanne – 1 Immunity Idol, 1 Extra Vote
  • Omar – 1 Immunity Idol (given to him by Mike)

Next Week’s Episode: Drea‘s parting shots seem to have made an impact, as Omar is shown being discussed as a possible target. Is Lindsay still targeting Jonathan? And Maryanne looks to take control, with the help of Romeo.

Quick Note! I appreciate that you are reading this recap! Those that have followed me also know that I am also a RottenTomatoes-approved film critic and I encourage you to check out my past movie reviews and my movie show (episodes are also available online at the website, As always, the easiest way to get all of my Survivor coverage and movie reviews is to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – or on Facebook.


[Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe/David M. Russell]