Gus and Ali, a real-life couple and fans of Survivor, will be individually ranking the Survivor 42 castaways into two categories, Hot or Not, based on who they think has potential longevity in the game. Hots are indicative of castaways who we think played well this week or who are setting themselves up for success; Nots are indicative of castaways who we think didn’t and aren’t.
GUS – DREA – HOT
A surprisingly light week for Drea. She benefited from Hai’s elimination in the strengthening of her Amulet, and she announced a shift in her strategy in that she plans on playing less with her heart and more with her head. I worry that Lindsay will target her next to turn her own Amulet into an Idol, and I worry that Drea won’t have the votes to prevent that from happening. But considering the breadth of her advantages at the moment, I’m willing to bet on her in the short term.
ALI – DREA – HOT
Not a ton from Drea this week, but the woman still has a boatload of advantages, so I’m gonna say she’s fine for now unless something goes egregiously wrong.
GUS – MARYANNE – HOT
I’m really impressed with how Maryanne has managed to play in the back half of this game. I fully expected her to lose her luster and crash out or for the rest of the tribe to grow fatigued of her nonstop high-energy attitude. But thus far, neither has happened. Indeed, she appears to have grown on the remaining members of her tribe, with Lindsay lambasting Jonathan after the fact for throwing Maryanne’s name out as the decoy boot for fear that Maryanne would be eliminated.
On top of all of that, she’s managed to secure a second idol! I don’t know whether Maryanne will be able to secure a win—she’s got several tribemates with far more gameplay acumen than her and her “resumé” is pretty thin, all things considered. But she seems to be extremely well-liked.
ALI – MARYANNE – HOT
At last! Someone in this game has found a hidden immunity idol and plans to keep it a secret. It feels like I haven’t seen this kind of game smarts all season. To top it all off, Maryanne has an extra vote. Things were looking quite rough for Maryanne at the beginning of the season, but now it’s looking like she’s not going anywhere any time soon. My one worry for Maryanne is that she’s annoyed a few people in the game. I also think she’s going to really need to start making moves to have an argument to win at the end, but I can see a path to the end for her.
GUS – MIKE – NOT
I’m sad to be giving Mike a Not this week, but he’s not been doing very well the past couple of weeks. After ceding ground for the Rocksroy tribal, he was utterly hoodwinked by Omar’s positively devious lie this week. Mike’s apparently still having a great time out there on the island, and I’d love to continue rooting for him as our only remaining draft pick after a truly devastating double-loss last week. But he’s quickly losing control of the game.
ALI – MIKE – NOT
This week wasn’t the best look for Mike. First, it looks like Rocksroy is a bit resentful toward him for going against his word and ousting him. I don’t think any amount of getting rid of Hai will repair that wound. But Mike went from being used by Hai to being used by Omar. Unless Mike can get out from under everyone’s thumb and visibly start playing his own game, I fear he will not get much credit from the jury. Don’t get me wrong, I think Mike’s playing a great game, but does he look like he’s playing a good game? I’m getting concerned that he may be a final tribal loser who looks great up until mid-merge, like Ken from Millenials vs. Gen X.
GUS – JONATHAN – NOT
Jonathan’s Achilles heel is making itself clearer each day: he lacks strategic acumen. Jonathan remains friendly with his tribemates and maintains his strength in challenges, and he’s clearly still considered enough of a threat that his losing one Immunity challenge was considered a rare opportunity to get him out. But he was one of two boot options this week, and he seems to be gradually wearing on his tribemates. I’m happy that he saw through Hai’s poorly thought out idol lie, but that’s not enough to turn his game around in my eyes.
ALI – JONATHAN – NOT
I’ve been saying for a bit now that Jonathan’s inability to listen to people is a problem. Now, Lindsay’s looking to dump him for just that reason. This week, Jonathan’s name was on the chopping block, and I’m thinking he may not be long for this game, especially now that Lindsay is coming out of her shell. Maybe this will be the thing that convinces men to listen to women in this game, but probably not.
GUS – LINDSAY – HOT
This was a breakout week for Lindsay. Between winning all of the challenges and forging a bright new alliance with Omar and Mike, and taking part in the Hai sniping to strengthen her Amulet, this may well have been her best week thus far.
ALI – LINDSAY – HOT
Lindsay missed out on an advantage this week, but that was just about the only opportunity that Lindsay missed out on. She won reward and used it to talk strategy with Omar and Mike, which is a great use of a reward win. Then, she goes and wins immunity without making herself more of a threat. Lindsay’s now got some momentum going, right after I’ve said that she needs to come out from under Jonathan’s shadow. I must admit, I feel rather proud of Lindsay right now. Keep it up!
GUS – ROMEO – NOT
If anyone is getting buried by the editors, it’s Romeo. He’s done very little the past few weeks except being on the bottom and speaking to how difficult Survivor is. Admittedly, Survivor is EXTREMELY difficult, but it seems like it’s all Romeo can do to survive right now, and in Survivor, survival is insufficient.
ALI – ROMEO – NOT
Not much from Romeo this week, but he hasn’t had much sway in the game for a while. Rather than him carrying his game, it appears that the game is carrying him. Hope he can turn it around soon.
GUS – OMAR – HOT
Omar is on top of the world right now. He’s entrenched himself so deeply in everyone else’s trust that he’s able to feed Mike a BALD FACED LIE that THREW HAI RIGHT OUT OF THE GAME, and nobody batted an eye. Omar has been getting what he wants week after week and staying well and truly out of the spotlight. My only concern is that he might be playing too much of an under-the-radar game and that all of his accomplishments will go unnoticed in the end.
ALI – OMAR – HOT
I’m living for Omar’s newfound villain arc. Omar is quickly emerging to be my winner pick, and I’d love to see the first Muslim winner. He lied to Mike very successfully and in a way where it really can’t come back to bite him. Everyone seems to like him, and his name hasn’t been on the chopping block once, yet he’s still a power player. Omar doesn’t even need his meat shield Jonathan at this point because he has so much going for him. Well done, Omar!
GUS: We’ve been agreeing a lot lately and I’m not sure how to feel about that. I feel like it goes against the spirit of the thing.
ALI: We’ll have to find something else to disagree on.
GUS: I was on the fence with Drea. I almost gave her a Not because I’m worried that Lindsay will go after her to give herself an Idol with her Amulet. Any thoughts there?
ALI: That’s a good thought, but I think that Drea’s a good enough player to see that move coming and has things in her arsenal to protect herself. If she didn’t have things at her disposal, I’d probably be more inclined to give her a Not.
Well, I think this little nice moment of agreement isn’t going to last much longer. It’s getting toward the end and that’s when the fireworks really go. And if the Next Time On is to be believed, things are about to get chaotic.
GUS: I normally don’t trust the NTO, but, yeah, we’re down to the wire now. And it sounds like next week is going to be the Do Or Die twist—a very controversial twist from last year and one that I’m not sure how I feel about. As a reminder, that’s the twist where, if you’re the first person out, you have to do a Price Is Right guessing game to determine whether or not you go home.
ALI: Oh yes… that ol’ chestnut.
GUS: I’m getting nightmare flashforwards of Jonathan tripping and getting eliminated on a technicality after challenge-beasting the first two-thirds of the game. I hope that doesn’t happen. And I hope that nobody goes home as a result of the twist.
ALI: If that’s true, Jeff’ll never do the twist again. Lol.
GUS: Would his sacrifice be worth it? I’m not sure. Anyway, supposing that Do Or Die doesn’t strike, who’s going home this week?
ALI: Either way, I’m betting Jonathan or Romeo in some freak something.
GUS: Makes sense to me. Anyway, see you next week!