‘Survivor’ Season 42 Episodes 6 & 7: [SPOILER] Plays Smash or Pass (RECAP)

Survivor S 42 E6
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Survivor Season 42’s two-hour event, “You Can’t Hide on Survivor”/“The Devil You Do or The Devil You Don’t.”]

Survivor Season 42 Episodes 6 and 7 delivered two hours of Survivor goodness. Each tribe only has four members left following Daniel’s elimination from Vati in Episode 5.

The episode aired April 13 on CBS, and it brought back one of Season 41’s best changes: the merge twist. Viewers will recall Erika got the chance to “go back in time” and change history last season. She did make that choice, changing the tide of the entire season that eventually led to her winning the entire game.

In the two-parter “You Can’t Hide on Survivor”/”The Devil You Do or The Devil You Don’t,” Jeff Probst makes the players think it’s time for the merge, but what they’re actually facing is much more dramatic. Here, we break down everything that happened in Survivor Season 42 Episodes 6 and 7. Hold onto your buffs, everyone.

Survivor Season 42 Episode 6

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After Tribal Council

Back at Vati, Mike calls Chanelle out for voting for him. She said it was strategy and nothing personal, and she had no desire to get Mike out, nor did she think he had any chance of being eliminated. Mike pretends to make amends.

“I will never trust Chanelle ever again. Hai and Lydia, I would take a bullet for,” he says in solo commentary.

At Ika, Tori tries to pry what happened at the Summit Challenge out of Rocksroy, and honestly, you’d think a therapist would have better communication skills. Rocksroy isn’t budging, but assures her repeatedly that his choices there were in the tribe’s best interests. (He’s not lying! He protected his vote, making sure he and the tribe weren’t down one.)

“I’m predictable,” Rocksroy says to the camera, adding that Tori’s obnoxiously not.

“It’s never calm with Tori,” Drea says in her own commentary as she and Romeo listen to Tori pester Rocksroy incessantly.

“She’ll work with anyone as long as it’s not her. She has no alliance to anyone,” Romeo says. Things aren’t looking great for Tori.

Immunity Challenge: Merge Twist!

Remember when we said “hold onto your buffs?” Just kidding! Drop them. It’s every player for themselves now, but it’s not merge time quite yet. The Season 42 contestants are the only ones who have no idea what changes were made in Season 41, since the seasons were filmed back-to-back. But they’re learning a lot today, that’s for sure.

Jeff reveals the merge will officially take place after the next Tribal Council. Until then, no one is on any team, and they have to earn their place in the merge. The players will draw from colored rocks and split into two teams. The challenge will begin with each team digging up a massive boulder and pushing it through a series of obstacles, collecting keys as they go. At the end, they climb to the top of a tower and use the keys to unlock a whopping 75-piece puzzle.

The first team to finish earns their merge buff. They’ll also earn immunity at the first Tribal Council, meaning they don’t have to compete in the first individual immunity challenge. They’ll still vote, but none of them can be voted out. The winning team also gets a big Applebee’s meal.

WINGS!” Chanelle cries. We feel you, girl.

Losers get no buff, no immunity, and no Applebee’s. And of course, there’s one more twist: two players will draw a grey rock. They will not compete, and their fates will be decided by the winning five players. The unlucky (or possibly lucky!) players are Lindsay and Rocksroy. On the Orange team are Lydia, Jonathan, Maryanne, Hai, and Tori. On Blue, it’s Drea, Mike, Romeo, Chanelle, and Omar.

Orange gets an early lead thanks to Jonathan’s strength again, but Blue isn’t far behind. The players are feeling the pressure to perform well with these new teams, as the biggest rewards of the season are at stake. Jonathan keeps on knocking himself against the boulder, and like, be careful? His teammates cheer him on, calling him Goliath again. Over on the benches, Rocksroy and Lindsay try to bond.

Survivor S 42 E6

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Lydia and Maryanne get started on the puzzle, but it’s so large, the Blue team has time to catch up. As Mike tries to help Drea get up the boulder, she accidentally gets kicked in the face. Mike, a firefighter, leads the strategy on how to get her up, using his body as a ladder. Jonathan isn’t the only one who can impress in the challenges! Chanelle and Omar get started on the puzzle, and it’s anyone’s game.

In the end, Lydia and Maryanne win the game for Orange. But now, it’s time to change the game forever. Orange has to decide who will join them in the reward and who will be exiled for two days between Lindsay and Rocksroy. But they’re told the exiled player will have the power to change the course of the game. They choose Lindsay for the reward, and they send Rocksroy into exile. They could have chosen one of themselves to go in order to keep power. Time will tell if that decision works out in their favor.

Rocksroy thinks Tori sent him into exile to weaken him. Little does Orange know, they just sent Rocksroy on a possible path to the $1 million.

Survivor S 42 E5

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Back at the Beaches: It’s Dinner Time

Team Orange indulges themselves in the Applebee’s meal, and Tori spills all of Ika’s tea. The Blue team got a small reward with some rice, so they got to replenish themselves a bit after that difficult challenge.

The players discuss Rocksroy’s exile and start to connect with the new teammates. Drea and Mike bond over their advantage idols. Mike notes he made it through three Tribal Councils without a vote, and they both share who their alliances are with in a telling moment of truth. For Drea, it’s Romeo and Rocksroy. For Mike, it’s Hai and Lydia. Drea says Tori can’t be trusted, and Mike says the same about Chanelle.

“The war’s about to begin, and I’m not going home with an idol in my pocket,” Mike says.

Rocksroy’s Exile

Rocksroy is more accustom to the exile’s survival requirements than Erika was in Season 41. He struggles a bit with getting his fire started, but he then enjoys the process of building a shelter, cutting firewood, and gathering coconuts. All that, and time for a gorgeous, little hike!

He soaks in the island’s beauty, feeling like he’s “getting a little bit of a reward because” of it. The sunset with a full moon over the horizon brings him to tears. It’s clearly a pivotal and recharging experience for him.

The Tribes Merge… Kind Of

Make new friends, but keep the old. Or completely leave the people you don’t like behind. All’s fair in love and Survivor. As the tribes come together and get to know each other, new strategies and alliances develop. Keep in mind, only half of the people on the beach have made it through the merge. Everyone not wearing a purple buff can be eliminated.

Hai offers his amulet in an alliance with Lindsay and Drea, who first made an alliance in the season premiere’s first challenge. They said if they made it to the merge, they’d help each other out. And look at them now! Love that for them.

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The other players learn more about Jonathan’s strength, which he and Mike bonded over. The men forged a strong bond, connecting through their shared experiences of having their feelings disregarded because of their physical strength.

Hai and Romeo, two of the LGBTQIA+ players, bond over their shared experiences as well. Romeo fears his family members who don’t know he’s out will reject him when they see the show.

“You should be the proud gay man that you are out here,” Hai says.

Omar joins them, and then Hai reveals Chanelle lost her vote because of the Summit Challenge she and Omar took part in. Omar had no idea of this, and it also means he lost his vote. When Chanelle catches up with him, she doesn’t reveal that she already knows she lost her vote. And now, his trust in her is lost.

Survivor S 42 E6

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Other alliances formed: Mike and Omar, Maryanne and Lydia, Hai and Jonathan, and Drea, Hai, Omar, Jonathan, and maybe Lydia as a group. Lydia wasn’t there when Drea shared her extra vote with the guys, but she’s a bit of a package deal with Hai. The four of them want either Tori or Chanelle out, but Tori is safe from the first elimination. Chanelle can’t seem to make any friends.

Rocksroy Learns His Power

Jeff interrupts Rocksroy’s days of “zen” to inform him of his superpower. And oh boy, is this advantage powerful.

Rocksroy can change the outcome of the challenge that sent him into exile. If he so chooses, he can reverse Team Orange’s victory and immunity, putting Team Blue in the safety zone. Or he can leave things as they are.

The pros of this are it would protect his Ika allies, Drea and Romeo, and put Tori on the chopping block, who he’s been trying to eliminate for weeks. The cons are him angering Team Orange, most of whom he hasn’t gotten to connect with yet. On Orange, he only has a nemesis. Who would protect him? On Blue, he has two allies, one of whom has an extra vote.

“With one swing of a hammer, [Tori] is vulnerable. It’s tremendous power,” he says. Meanwhile, I’m screaming through the screen telling him Erika won because she changed history.

If he decides to uproot the game, he has to smash the hourglass before he’s picked up from exile the next morning before the first individual immunity challenge.

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Individual Immunity Challenge

And now, the moment of truth. Jeff tells the players the power they gave their fellow competitor. And in this high-stakes game of Smash or Pass… he smashed. Good for you, Rocks! Tori, you’re in danger, girl.

His justification was that Orange got the advantage of a huge meal, giving their bodies more fuel to better handle the physical challenge ahead of them. Tori says the exile was a gift to Rocksroy, and many laugh in response.

Whoever’s eliminated now will not be part of the jury. Drea, Chanelle, Mike, Rocksroy, Romeo, and Omar are now safe from elimination and guaranteed spots in the final 11. Jonathan, Maryanne, Lydia, Lindsay, and Tori can be voted out.

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Just kidding! Tori won individual immunity. The challenge required expert balance from each of the six players. They had to spell “immunity” with individual blocks on a swinging platform connected to a rope. That rope led back to where the blocks were kept. One by one, the blocks had to be stacked. And Tori won when she got both of her feet back on the starting platform without her “immunity” tower falling.

“Thank you, now I love you!” she says to Rocksroy as they hug. I don’t buy it, but social game, right? Tori, Rocksroy, Drea, Omar, Mike, Romeo, and Chanelle are now all guaranteed spots on the jury if eliminated. And everyone’s plan to vote out Tori or Chanelle is down the drain.

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Before Tribal Council: Quick! Change the plans!

Rocksroy gets his delayed start on building alliances with the Vati and Taku players. While fishing, Jonathan groups him into their eight-person alliance right away, saying Drea advocated for him while he was gone.

Right away, Romeo tells Tori he wants Jonathan out because of his physical strength and performance so far. And their conversation is… rather shady! Romeo says he’s “power hungry” now that he’s safe, and he wants Jonathan out. Maryanne has an extra vote and an idol, but she isn’t safe. She considers voting out Jonathan, but doesn’t really want to. Still, she’ll save herself over him, naturally.

Lydia, Lindsay, and Chanelle talk about nixing Jonathan, and Lindsay sneakily defends him by sharing his weaknesses (puzzles), proving he has them, and highlighting his non-physical strengths (food gathering). Instead, she offers up Maryanne, saying she’s more strategic than Jonathan and has all of her “hidden ammo.”

“I need people to be more fearful of the power that she has versus a threat of me and Jonathan, because that’s what it seems like it’s coming down to,” she says in solo commentary. Separately, Chanelle doesn’t buy it.

Survivor S 42 E6

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Over on the other alliance, Jonathan campaigns to vote out Maryanne, trusting Omar (who can’t vote) to help swing votes in his favor, which Omar agrees to do.

Lydia tells Omar she wants to stick with the eight-person alliance, but will go with whatever the majority says. Omar sees this as his in to get Lydia out, and he hits the ground running with his plan. His argument: Maryanne has two powerful advantages. Lydia has none.

“I’m trying to bring Taku back together,” he says in solo commentary, “because at this point Maryanne has an extra vote and a hidden immunity idol. I don’t want either one of those things going out of the game, because I’m gonna need weapons, I’m gonna need an arsenal, I’m gonna need an army.”

He warns Maryanne she’s on the chopping block, advising her to keep her emotions controlled (most of the time, I’d say stop picking on Maryanne, but Omar’s right on this one) and to play her idol if his Lydia campaign fails. If Maryanne ends up safe, that’s an alliance the voteless Omar just strengthened.

Omar pitches to Hai and Mike, Lydia’s OG alliance. Mike says he’ll vote for Lydia if Hai does. “Not an option at all,” Hai says in solo remarks. Hai then starts campaigning to get Maryanne out.

“Moments like these are where good players fold and great players prevail,” he says. Is anyone else sweating?!

Survivor S 42 E5

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Tribal Council

It’s the last Tribal Council before the merge. Anyone who makes it out of tonight is guaranteed a spot in the jury if eliminated. After the usual back and forth with Jeff, the voting begins.

“This is the biggest risk I’ve ever made in my life,” Maryanne says in the voting booth. She doesn’t play her idol.

First vote goes to Jonathan, second to Lindsay, third to Jonathan, fourth and fifth to Maryanne. And then the first vote for Lydia comes in, and they don’t stop. After five consecutive votes, Lydia is voted out. And Omar just became the strategic leader of the game.

The credits revealed Jonathan, Lindsay, Drea, and — shockingly — Mike and Hai voted for Lydia. It seems her once unshakable Vati alliance didn’t protect her after all. And with that, consider these tribes merged.

Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS