Survivor 42

Episode 8 – The Edit Bay

What is the edit telling us after Episode 8?

Photo: CBS

Hello all, welcome back to the Edit Bay! This weekly feature takes a dive into the edit of the latest Survivor episode, analyzing the key stories, main characters, and top winner contenders.

While intended as a condensed version of Edgic, for this season, I will be including my ratings for each castaway at the end of the article.


This was definitely the most low-key episode of the season so far. With its repetitive twists and predictable boot, it didn’t offer much in the way of new narratives or editing shifts. Instead, the status quo pretty much remained.

Chanelle’s elimination took one of the outliers off the board, and it made sense, given how much her edit stock had dropped since the Daniel boot. Her main story was tied up in the alliance-turned-feud with Daniel, and she didn’t really have her own narrative outside of that, other than as a foil for Mike. So, as stated, her vote-off in this episode wasn’t unexpected.

Photo: CBS

Other than that, this episode further established the majority alliance as the group in control while continuing to hammer that Maryanne, Romeo, and Tori are on the outs. Omar continued to run things behind the scenes; Jonathan was still talking about his food intake; Drea was still stacking up advantages; Mike was still flexing his social game. There was nothing truly out of the ordinary.

But let’s take a deeper look into the remaining characters and their edits as the game moves towards the finish line. Can we begin to narrow down the top contenders?


The Intro Crew

Reminder, the nine players that received intro confessionals in the first episode were: Jonathan, Drea, Omar, Lydia (full confessionals), Daniel, Marya, Lindsay, Hai, and Mike (one line confessionals).

Jonathan — After a more rounded edit the previous week, I felt like this week Jonathan’s edit was rather one-note. It essentially just reemphasized his challenge beast persona. His one confessional was related to the reward and his daily calories intake.

There’s almost this suggestion that if Jonathan doesn’t eat, he will get hangry, as we’ve seen hinted at previously in his minor argument with Maryanne. So while right now Jonathan is still the Herculean golden boy, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Drea — Drea’s edit was also more of the same, advantage talk and tension with Tori. Most of her content in this episode revolved around her finding the advantage, so a lot of basic narration. But she did tie this back into her game towards the end of the scene. “With all this power, now it’s about strategizing how to utilize the items so that it best fits my game and so that I don’t become a threat,” she said. “That’s really important to me.”

So Drea’s story right now is about managing her threat level. However, she was immediately caught by Tori, who noticed the red paint on Drea’s arm and the package in her pants. This continues the running story arc of Tori being a thorn in Drea’s side. Drea had the chance to get rid of Tori earlier in the season but chose to keep her; now, that is coming back to haunt her.

Photo: CBS

I see the “managing her threat level” and feud with Tori as part of the same narrative. For Drea to manage her threat level, she will need to deal with Tori, and I expect that to come to a head soon. Either Drea will succeed in removing the thorn from her side, protecting her secrets and keeping her threat level low. Or Tori will expose Drea as a major threat leading to her downfall.

A positive for Drea is that the edit this week allowed her to explain her relationship with Romeo. I thought it was odd last week that this pairing was suddenly at odds for no real reason. Here, Drea explained that while Romeo was a close ally of hers, things changed at the merge because he became too paranoid, and his Paranoia wasn’t helping her game.

I still maintain that Drea has the best edit of the former Ika tribe members. But I do worry that her edit is too tied up in advantages and lacking in overall personal content.

Omar — I said that this would be a very telling episode for Omar, and I still believe that to be the case. And it’s good news for Omar because I thought his edit here was another positive outlook. Not only did he have a scene expanding on his relationship with Mike, but he continued to influence the direction of the game behind the scenes without being caught.

Omar continues to live out the theme and gameplay he presented in his season premiere intro confessional. He is the non-threatening pigeon who is really an owl searching for his prey. But the others won’t see him coming. That is very much what we’re seeing play out at the moment. Omar has found himself with multiple options, being a part of the majority alliance but still trusted by the outliers. He is at the center of the flow of information, allowing him to make the best move for his game.

There is always a danger this type of strategy could blow up at any moment, but that’s not what the edit is showing us currently. We haven’t seen anyone questioning Omar or suspecting him of playing a double agent. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite of that, with players such as Mike growing even closer to Omar. We’re being told that Omar’s strategy is working, and it’s working well.

Photo: CBS

While Omar didn’t directly call the shot on Chanelle, he was a key part of the decision-making process, as we saw him in group strategy scenes. He was also the one to bring Romeo’s scrambling to Hai’s attention. This almost caused Hai to flip the vote on Romeo. But the result didn’t matter for Omar; as he said himself, he was happy either way.

The question moving forward is, how long can Omar keep this up before he’s exposed? Will he even be exposed? Or will his words from his intro confessional come true: “You’re not gonna hear or see me coming until you’re dead and Jeff is snuffing your torch.”

Lindsay — Another nothing episode for Lindsay. Her only real content was her post-challenge loss positivity at camp and a couple of quotes at Tribal Council. Other than that, we just don’t know much about Lindsay at all, other than the fact she’s included in the majority alliance. Yes, she’s often seen in strategy conversations, but we’re not seeing the game from her perspective.

I suppose I should at least highlight what she said at Tribal, as it could have some relevance to the overarching narrative. During the elaborate car analogy, Jeff asked Lindsay whether she wanted to be behind the steering wheel or a passenger. “I think that answer changes throughout the game,” she said. “There’s times where it’s like, you wanna be in the driver’s seat, and then there’s other times where you’re like, ‘Y’know what, passenger’s fine, we’re still gonna get there, I don’t need to be the one driving the whole time, I might wanna take a nap.”

That kind of quote could be seen as a positive sign for the more under-the-radar edits. It suggests that those currently in the driver’s seat will end up crashing and burning, while the passengers will take over when the time is right. But if we were to put weight into that, who could it even be referencing? At this stage, the only quieter edits are Rocksroy and Lindsay herself. Unless they have a sudden upswing in these last few episodes, it’s hard to see them as winners. I think that result would be even wilder than Erika winning last season.

Hai — Hai is firmly positioned as a strategic force in the game at this point. He is presented as part of the top of the majority alliance, outlaying his plans and ideas at camp and in confessional. However, where Omar is a strategic player operating in the background, Hai feels very much in the forefront and spells danger to me.

Firstly, Hai not getting to explain his Lydia vote was a significant red flag. I said last week that this might have been neglected to create Tribal Council tension. But for there to be no follow-up this week was worrying. In fact, there was a follow-up, except it came from Mike, not Hai. Mike got the first post-TC confessional, where he explained what happened and why he voted the way he did. Meanwhile, Hai was taking all the heat at camp from Chanelle.

Photo: CBS

Secondly, as much as Hai was concerned about Romeo, the edit suggested that Hai himself was becoming a tad paranoid. He was set on Chanelle as the target for most of the episode, rightly stating he couldn’t trust her from their days on Vati. However, when Omar clued Hai in on Romeo’s scrambling, he suddenly wanted to switch the vote. But not everybody was on board, especially Mike, who said, “Paranoia’s a crazy thing. Hai panicked because he heard something and wanted to change the plan.” So, after folding on the Lydia vote last week and now showing some paranoid tendencies, Hai continues on his trajectory of becoming the next Daniel.

On the positive, Hai’s “folding” could also be read as adapting and acquiescing as a good ally. He even said at Tribal, “If you’re in the driver’s position, you need to know when to let someone else drive, and if you don’t know how to let someone else drive, you better be wearing a seatbelt.” This could be read one of two ways. It could be Hai showing he is a loyal ally by stepping back and letting others have their say, like with the Lydia vote last week and Mike wanting out Chanelle this week. Or, you could perceive it as a threat, as if Hai is warning us that he is ready to take control of the wheel, and you better step aside.

Mike — Right off the bat, Mike got to comment on the last Tribal and his part in voting out Lydia. As has been the case throughout the season, Mike always offers his perspective on the game and his decisions. So this was a perfect start for the episode as far as Mike was concerned.

His positive edit continued with a really sweet personal scene with Omar, where Mike was open to learning about Omar’s religion. This was very much a scene about Mike. It focused on his age and how that makes him “somebody they can talk to, somebody they can trust.” But he also stated that he wants to learn from others too. “Mike is such an interesting, lovely human being. He’s an older gentleman, but when he experiences new things, he doesn’t run away from it,” said Omar, who praised Mike’s empathy and confirmed that he could align with Mike long-term.

All of this follows Mike’s recurring theme of being a social player who continues to break down stereotypes. Since the first episode, he’s told us that he wants to show he is not this mean, hardy guy; “It’s my job to soften that blow because that’s not who I am,” he said in the premiere. He is definitely succeeding at that based on everything we’ve seen across the season until this point.

Now, I’m still unsure what to make of Mike’s edit in the second half of this episode. On the surface, he got his way with the Chanelle vote. He wanted her out, and he made sure to use his social game to keep his allies voting that way, even after Hai wanted to switch to Romeo. Mike succeeded as Chanelle was voted out. However, the fact that he made it such a personal vote was a little concerning. He straight up said, “It’s personal for me with Chanelle.” This suggests Mike is putting his emotions and personal vendettas above his strategy.

It will be interesting to see if Mike’s edit continues on that personal vs. strategy theme or if this beef with Chanelle was just a one-off side story in his overall narrative. I certainly don’t see it as a major hit on his edit at this stage, as he still ticks lots of the boxes. And it’s not as if he received even negativity from his fellow castaways regarding the Chanelle vote.

The Outliers

Maryanne — Maryanne’s edit is still in need of some new relationships, but overall, I thought this was another solid episode for the science student. And, to be perfectly honest, even the lack of relationships isn’t a huge detriment given Maryanne’s current place in the narrative.

A prominent theme for Maryanne has been her outsider status; she’s talked about being the weird kid at school that didn’t fit in. And we saw her rubbing her tribemates the wrong way back on Taku, which kept her at a distance from the core alliance, even if she was technically considered part of it. That all came back to the surface in this episode. However, Maryanne is fully aware of her position in the game.

“The people in the Taku tribe are telling me, “Don’t worry. I have your back,” but I know that I’m basically at the bottom of the tribe,” she said. We know that to be true, given that she was kept out of the new majority and put forward as one of the potential targets. “It’s like I flashback all the way back to elementary school,” she continued, noting how she feels “too weird to be part of the cool kids.” Interestingly, when she said “cool kids,” the scene cut to Jonathan, Mike, and Rocksroy. That’s not a trio that has received direct focus, though we have had separate scenes of them bonding in various paired configurations.

Photo: CBS

What does this mean? To me, it implies that Maryanne will eventually unsettle the “cool kids” at some point. In previous episodes, we’ve been told that Maryanne has power that others are underestimating and that she could cause trouble down the line. This seems like intentional foreshadowing. Supporting that is how Maryanne is shown to be aware of her position. If she was presented as clueless and out of the loop, we could write her off. But that is not the case.

This was most evident before the Immunity Challenge when Maryanne chose to sit out for rice. She gave a teary speech about the sacrifice she was making, urging one of the more comfortable players to also sit out. “I’m an emotional person, and I’m tearing up, I’m getting sad, and I’m really trying to ramp it up, making people feel bad about trying to vote me out,” she revealed in confessional. “People say you can’t play this game with emotion, but look at me, using emotions as a weapon.”

Maryanne’s strategy worked, not only in convincing Omar to sit out of the challenge but in making sure she wasn’t an option to be voted out. Both Hai and Jonathan talked of how much they appreciated Maryanne’s sacrifice, and the tribe as a whole agreed not to go after any of those that sat out. So she’s definitely smarter than many players are giving her credit for, and this has been a consistent theme. Remember back at the merge, Tori told her, “Wow, there’s so much more to you than just a bubbly personality.” The only person that has seemed consistently aware of Maryanne’s threat is Lindsay, who tried to turn the vote on Maryanne last week with no success.

I’m still not sure whether this means Maryanne is going to win. But I feel confident she has got at least a big move or two up her sleeve that will upset the majority, and particularly those mentioned in the “cool kids” group.

Tori — Again, not a lot of change with Tori’s edit. By now, we know her story well, the cockroach that can’t be killed and the constant thorn in Ika’s side. Once again, she won Immunity, saving herself from impending doom.

Her rivalry with Rocksroy took a backseat this week as her back-and-forth relationship with Drea returned to the forefront. Tori spotted the red paint on Drea’s arm and realized something fishy was going on. Drea realized that Tori was on to her and stated yet again that Tori can’t be trusted and needs to be voted out. This Tori vs. Drea showdown is definitely coming to a head soon. But who will come out on top?

If we were to look at both women’s edits across the season so far, Tori definitely has a more negative vibe. So one would suspect that Drea will ultimately prevail, even if Tori causes some chaos before all is said and done. But there is undoubtedly enough foreshadowing of Tori ruining Drea’s game to suggest it might go the other way. I lean towards Drea winning the battle, but I wouldn’t be shocked at the other outcome.

Photo: CBS

Romeo — Poor Romeo got a bad rep from his tribemates this week for being an overly paranoid player. But I don’t think Romeo did anything out of the ordinary. He knew he was on the bottom and that his name had been floated; it made sense for him to talk to people. He was also right that Drea had cut ties with him, as she basically said so herself in confessional.

This comes back to what I said last week, how Romeo’s edit is that of a player who is technically right in his reads but unable to gain traction. He wasn’t wrong about Chanelle acting too chilled, as that was an intentional strategy on her part. And he wasn’t incorrect about his name being in the mix, even if it was as an idol/Shot in the Dark precaution. But the perception of Romeo at camp is that of a scattered, paranoid player that can’t be trusted.

It’s kind of hard to see a way back for Romeo from here. It’s not like a Maryanne, where his strategies have been shown to work, or where his edit foreshadows him causing damage later. He is a true outlier with no allies and no trust.

The Exiled

Rocksroy — I’m keeping Rocksroy over here on his own island for now, as that is basically what his edit feels like. After the massive spotlight on Rocksroy in last week’s double episode, he was back to near-invisible here. He was involved in a few camp scenes and, as I pointed out earlier, was shown in that “cool kids” shot. But we didn’t get anything from his perspective, whether on the vote or his alliances. So all is still the same in Rocksroy’s world.


The Seven — The majority of Drea, Hai, Jonathan, Omar, Mike, Lindsay, and Rocksroy are still holding tight for now. But with Hai and Mike having differences about this week’s vote and Omar keeping his options open, I don’t expect this group to last too much longer.

Taku 4 — All four are still in the game, but Maryanne is clearly on the outs, and she knows it.

Omar & Mike — They had a brief bonding scene last week and a more significant scene this week. Omar outright said he could see himself aligning with Mike in the long term. So this is definitely a relationship to keep our eyes on.

Omar & the Outliers — Less of an alliance and more a tenuous connection as part of Omar’s strategy to keep his options open.


Omar — My worries of Omar rising too soon and getting caught out this week were assuaged. He continues to fulfill the strategy he laid out in the premiere of playing a social game that allows him to control the votes behind the scenes. We know his gameplay, where he stands, and his various relationships. And he continues to receive great personal content. That’s enough for me to bump Omar up the contender’s list this week.

Mike — I’m slightly concerned that Mike became too revenge-orientated in this episode; that’s why I’ve knocked him down a place. Also, being tied to that “cool kids” group during Maryanne’s emotional scene, something felt ominous about that. Other than that, though, Mike’s edit is still very good. He continues to share his perspective and make social connections and, on top of that, is getting his way with the votes.

Photo: CBS

Maryanne — While I think Maryanne’s edit is pointing more towards a big move than a winner, I can’t completely rule her out. Yes, she has been OTT at various points of the season, but she has also been presented as an aware player that is underestimated. She has a clear theme and underdog story arc that sets her apart from the other outliers.

Jonathan — Jonathan’s edit becoming one-note again this episode lowered him in my rankings. And, similar to Mike, being shown in that “cool kids” shot has me concerned. If Maryanne does make a strike against that group, Jonathan will make sense as a target based on their relationship and story pre-merge. There are still plus points, however, in that Jonathan has been shown in a mostly positive light and has made social connections.

Drea — While Drea is still the best of the former Ika tribe, I can’t quite justify putting her any higher in the rankings until this story with Tori is wrapped up. I would also feel more confident if she had some personal content to counterbalance her heavy advantage and strategy-based edit.



Name EP 1 EP 2 EP 3 EP 4 EP 5 EP 6 EP 7 EP 8 EP 9 EP 10 EP 11 EP 12 EP 13 EP 14
Jonathan2Jonathan MOR2 CPP4 OTTP2 OTTM2 OTTM3 MORP3 MOR3 UTR2
Lindsay2Lindsay UTR3 MOR4 MOR2 UTR2 UTR2 UTR2 MOR2 UTR2
Maryanne2Maryanne OTTP4 OTTM5 MOR4 MOR3 OTTN3 MOR2 MOR3 CPP2
Mike2Mike CPP4 CP5 CP5 CP3 CP4 CP4 UTR2 CPP5
Rocksroy2Rocksroy OTTM3 UTR1 INV OTTM4 MOR3 OTTP5 MOR4 UTR1
Chanelle2Chanelle UTR2 MORP3 CPN5 UTR2 MOR3 MORN2 MOR3 MORN
Lydia2Lydia OTT3 UTR1 MOR3 UTR1 CPP4 UTR2 MOR3
Daniel2Daniel OTTP3 CP3 OTTN5 OTTN3 OTTN5
Swati2Swati MORP2 MOR2 INV CPM4
Jenny2Jenny MOR3 UTR2 UTR2
Marya2Marya UTR1 OTTP4
Zach2Zach OTTM4
Jackson2Jackson OTTP3

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

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