‘Survivor’ Season 42 Episode 9: [SPOILERS] Refuse To Let History Repeat (RECAP)
Game of Chicken
Season 42 • Episode 9
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Survivor Season 42, Episode 9, “Game of Chicken.”]
Survivor Season 42 Episode 9 shows the newly merged tribes, now called Kula Kula, facing double the risk and double the reward.
Two players are eliminated in two separate Tribal Councils by the end of the episode, which aired Wednesday, April 27, at 8/7c on CBS. And in it, a group of players take a powerful stand against one of the reality competition series’ most pervasive patterns.
Here, we break down everything that happened in Survivor Season 42 Episode 9, “Game of Chicken,” hosted by Jeff Probst.
After Tribal Council: Beware the Boys Club
Following Chanelle’s elimination last week, Romeo is bitter about his three votes, and Hai investigates who delivered his first. His gut correctly tells him it was Romeo, but Romeo lies when pressed about it. A cut back to the last episode shows Romeo holding up his vote for Hai, saying, “Even if this is my last vote, I just want to see you squirm.” Hai publicly calls Romeo out, who’s determined to “cause a little chaos.”
Rocksroy suggests an all-male alliance with Jonathan and Mike, and they make plans to bring in Omar and Hai, but not Romeo. Rocksroy pitches the idea to Omar, saying male alliances never happen on the show. Which is… a bit silly to hear. But moving on. In solo commentary, Omar thinks the alliance is random and a bad idea, plus he doesn’t take too kindly to it given that it’s the first time Rocksroy has tried to build a relationship. Next, Rocksroy pitches to Hai, who somehow thinks an openly gay man would be eager to bro out.
“I don’t know where they got the idea that I would vote with all the boys,” Hai says in solo commentary. “I’m not part of the misogyny club here.” Hai also notes he dislikes Rocksroy’s communication style, and this interaction has now moved Rocksroy up his list of people to vote out.
Immunity Challenge: Two Teams, Two Winners, Two Rewards
It’s another balance challenge for this week’s individual immunity. Will Tori finally face defeat? Regardless of her outcome, there will be two individual immunity winners this week.
In the challenge, players balance on a triangular platform in rough water with their feet perched on narrow footholds. If they touch the platform with their hands or fall off, they’re out. Another twist: players will be divided into two teams, and there will be one immunity winner from each team. Both teams will go to separate Tribal Councils, where two people will be voted out by the end of the night.
And another twist: the person who stays on the platform the longest wins beef and veggie kabobs for their team, and that team will go second at Tribal, giving them the advantage of knowing who joins Chanelle in the jury.
On Team Blue is Lindsay, Tori, Jonathan, Drea, and Maryanne. On Team Orange is Hai, Romeo, Mike, Omar, and Rocksroy. No one sits out. The rough winds and choppy waters make for a quick string of eliminations. Maryanne, Rocksroy, Mike, and Omar are out first. Then down go Drea and Tori, all of this happening in under one minute.
Romeo is out next, making Hai the immunity winner for Team Orange. But he has to stay on to win the food reward. After some impressive balancing feats, Lindsay falls into the water, delivering Jonathan individual immunity. Jonathan ends up staying on just seconds longer than Hai, giving Team Blue the food.
Back at the Beaches: “Easy” Decisions
Team Orange spends the day at the former Taku camp, and things aren’t looking good for Romeo.
“This is my worst nightmare,” Romeo says, detailing his lack of alliances among Rocksroy, Omar, Mike, and especially Hai. “I’m going home,” he adds. “There’s not really a question about it. There’s nothing I can do.” Not with that attitude! But, like… yeah. It’s looking grim, bud.
Mike and Rocksroy talk strategy, both seeming strong in their resolve to not vote for each other.
“I think guys are more rigid when making a decision, so I’m banking on that,” Rocksroy tells the cameras. Omar, on the other hand, thinks that rigidity is a threat to his game.
“[Romeo’s] loyal to me, whereas Rocksroy, I feel like there’s less room to maneuver with him,” Omar says. “He’s immovable, he’s unshakeable. I’m trying to eliminate people, at this stage of the game, that I can’t shape or mold to what I want.”
It’s all about balance this week.⚖️👀 Catch an all new #Survivor tomorrow at 8/7c on @CBS!🙌🏽 pic.twitter.com/pk988z4oDB
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) April 26, 2022
Omar spills the tea on the male alliance to Romeo, confirming Romeo’s instincts that they’re coming for him at Tribal. Omar wants to get Hai on his and Romeo’s side to get Rocksroy out, but Romeo fears their sour relationship will prevent any joint efforts. Romeo admits to the cameras that his safety in the game is all in Hai’s hands.
Omar and Hai discuss a Rocksroy blindside, and Hai notes his strong alliance with Mike could be ruined if he sends home Mike’s other ally without telling him first. Interestingly enough, Hai is more interested in strategically nixing Rocksroy than he is emotionally voting out Romeo. So, he goes to Mike to keep the trust going. Mike brings up the other team, saying that voting out Rocksroy instead of the obvious choice would be a massive red flag to the other players.
“Here’s the truth: Rocksroy’s not a hard vote for me,” Mike says in solo commentary. “But I gave my word already, so Hai’s putting me in a bad position.”
Back at Kula Kula, Maryanne, Jonathan, Lindsay, Drea, and Tori enjoy their food. Immediately, Tori seems like the easy target. Jonathan sees this time as his first opportunity to lead strategy, given his immunity. He starts campaigning to knock Drea out because of her advantage (little does he know she has lots more), but annoys Maryanne in the process when he says they should tell Drea to vote for her as part of the scheme.
Two people win immunity, two tribal councils, two people going home!😅 Catch it all go down tonight at 8/7c on @CBS!💥 #Survivor pic.twitter.com/68SoqYXtnm
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) April 27, 2022
Maryanne doesn’t like that part of the plan, nor the fact that Jonathan treats her like a child. She’s down to vote out Drea, but isn’t down to keep Jonathan’s secret like he asked. She goes and tells Tori the plan immediately.
Jonathan continues his scheme, and Drea agrees to vote Maryanne, but she’s concerned they’re starting to come for people with idols. Jonathan then brings Lindsay in on the Drea plan. They want to flush her idol out and keep Maryanne’s extra vote, completely unaware of the fact that Drea has an extra vote, an amulet, an idol, and a Beware Advantage that could help her steal Maryanne’s idol. If Drea catches wind of this plot to eliminate her, she has more ways to protect herself than anyone else competing. It’s just a matter of whether or not she realizes now’s the time to use them.
“Jonathan is not very strategic,” Lindsay tells the cameras. “He’s not thinking things all the way through, because if Drea plays her idol, Maryanne’s gone. So how are we gonna keep the Taku Four? And if you’re really trying to be Taku strong, we need a contingency plan.”
Lindsay suggests Tori instead, saying she and Drea should vote for her, leaving the remaining three — Jonathan, Maryanne, and Tori — to vote for Drea. Jonathan believes Tori would tell Drea the plan and won’t believe Lindsay when she says there are relationships between the women he’s not aware of. (Guess it doesn’t pay to have an only male alliance, huh?)
“Being an only man, he feels like a top dog right now. And he’s not listening!” Tori says.
Jonathan then gushes about how much he’s loving being the strategic leader of the day in solo commentary, and it’s pretty comical seeing this unfounded display of confidence. Jonathan, dude, you’ve annoyed almost every woman in your group today. You’re leading a party of one, baby. If he was campaigning like this without immunity, I have no doubt all four of the women would turn against him at Tribal. The women will undoubtedly keep this day in mind in the future, which spells trouble for “Goliath.”
First Tribal Council: Chanelle Gets a Jury Mate
It’s night 17, and it’s time for the dual Tribal Council. Omar, Hai, Rocksroy, Romeo, and Mike head into the vote and reminisce on their time so far. With Chanelle sitting solo in the jury, the men talk about the “boys club” and how it made strategy easy that day. We’ll see just how strong that boys club is.
In a very quick process, the first vote goes to Romeo, and the second and third go to Rocksroy. With one more vote, Rocksroy becomes the second member of the jury. Unfortunately, he didn’t follow in Erika’s Season 41 footsteps, where she changed the history of the game and eventually won the season.
“Hai and Romeo got together and did this,” Rocksroy whispers to Chanelle as he joins the jury panel. “I hope they freeze.”
Second Tribal Council: Drea Changes Course
In comes Team Blue, who immediately learns Orange’s decision when they see Rocksroy on the jury. All of their jaws drop in response. Drea expresses her shock, and Lindsay says it does alter their plan a bit. Drea is questioning everything now.
“I see this whole twist as good news, because it frees people up,” Tori tells Jeff. “And now you get a chance to work with people who might not have worked with you before because there was this bigger majority. It’s terrifying, don’t get me wrong. Because the odds are now one in four. That is terrifying.”
“Survivor players who are great need to look a step ahead,” Maryanne chimes in. “Just because we’re isolated in the five, doesn’t mean that we’re always going to be isolated in the five.”
Drea then points out the accurate Survivor pattern, where at some point in the game, Black contestants start getting eliminated one after the other. She doesn’t know this, because the seasons were filmed back-to-back, but that did happen in Season 41.
“I’m pissed,” Drea says, as Maryanne nods. It’s all the more pointed of a statement with Rocksroy and Chanelle, the only other Black players in the game, sitting just steps away from them. Jeff asks if she thinks the votes are racially motivated, and Drea says she believes it’s an unfortunately subconscious thing.
“I see now I have to play the game a little hard now,” she adds. “I can tell you right now, I’m playing my idol tonight so I can stay in this game. I’m not going to let that happen to another one of us, point blank. It’s a reset for me. This was a game-changer.”
Maryanne publicly refuses to vote for Drea and allow the “perpetuating problem” of Black players being eliminated in close succession to continue. Jonathan puts his foot in his mouth, saying Drea and Maryanne are accusing him, Tori, and Lindsay of being racist, which is not what happened at all. And then, he makes matters worse by saying Drea is being “aggressive” for taking a stand — a harmful stereotype Black people (Black women, in particular) are unjustly faced with.
“Just because I’m saying how I feel at this moment, does not mean that you can make that your problem,” Drea rightly says after Maryanne defends her. “This is my situation, my problem. I’m addressing it the way I want to address it.”
Jeff defends Drea further, explaining that her strategic move is one made outside of the context of the game and made for a bigger purpose, and her idol allows her to make that move. Drea starts to cry and further explains why representation matters, and then Maryanne announces she’s playing her idol as well to keep the last two Black players in the game. Lindsay vocally supports them both, saying neither of them are being aggressive in the slightest. Jonathan tries to backtrack, and Tori doesn’t contribute much, but she doesn’t shoot down Drea and Maryanne’s perspectives.
Given the difficult emotions, everyone felt uncomfortable walking into the voting booth. Jeff lets them do the vote in their seats instead, and it begins with Drea and Maryanne protecting themselves with their idols. With Jonathan’s immunity, it’s now between Lindsay and Tori. And everyone comes clean about who they want to vote for and why. All four of them say they’re voting for Tori, so she plays her shot in the dark — the only thing that will save her.
It doesn’t. Tori becomes the third member of the jury.
Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS