HOLLYWOOD—Well, I must say season 42 of “Survivor” has been far more entertaining than its predecessor. It felt like people were actually playing to win this time around compared to last season. With that said, a winner was crowned this week as “Survivor 42” came to an end. We really don’t need Jeff Probst explaining to us how the finale works. I think after 42 seasons, most fans of the series know how things operate. Our remaining five, Romeo, Mike, Jonathan, Maryanne and Lindsay found themselves living their final days in the game on a new beach with no tarp, no shelter, and Maryanne was ecstatic that she made a move that the jury will appreciate.

Jonathan and Mike lied about the plan being Omar, which Lindsay called her former ally out on. Jonathan is quite arrogant so I can see why if he got to the end he would have NO CHANCE at winning against anyone in the final three people. Romeo lied that he had an idol and he was planning to use it to make it to the final four. Wow, that was ballsy, and Jonathan seemed flabbergasted by that lie. It was quite genius to say the least. He crafted a fake idol to prove it people. Mike and Jonathan wanted to target Lindsay, but Maryanne wanted to leverage Lindsay in her final three.

Mike is double dealing big time people, telling Maryanne that he plans to give her the idol, then telling Lindsay he plans to save her, while Lindsay knows she is in danger people. The contestants received a clue to an advantage to help them in upcoming Immunity Challenge which was a word scramble people. Lindsay solved that riddle immediately as the others decided to align to try to solve the clue. Lindsay was frantic looking for the advantage people that was hidden in a massive rock that looks exactly like a toe people. As a viewer, you’re rooting for Lindsay; the underdog always wins the heart of the viewer. This was an epic IC people, where Lindsay ONLY had to untie 1 knot, everyone else had to do 6. Yeah, that is quite big people.

It was down to Mike and Lindsay on the puzzle, and Mike edged Lindsay out just by seconds. I swear if Mike uses that idol on Jonathan I think the jury is going to roll their eyes at the move. Mike could choose one person and of course his bromance Jonathan was chosen. Mike started off really likeable in the season, but at this point he’s not someone I want to see win the game. Maryanne, Romeo and Lindsay all realized that Mike was full of lies, but as the audience expected, Mike told Jonathan he was playing his idol for an ally that he probably could beat in the end, but as a jury I just wouldn’t expect it.

Lindsay played the emotional card on Mike, who I think has not realized that his lies will impact how the jury perceives him. Maryanne chatted with Mike and still kept her secret about her idol, as Romeo had the right mentally, emotionally (yes), strategically (not a good idea to keep Lindsay). Time for the Final Five Tribal Council, and Lindsay argued that she knew she was a threat to the others remaining in the game. Drea and Omar realized Maryanne was fishing for jury votes. Longer TC than this needed to be people and it was a snore for me.

Wow, that was indeed a moment for Mike to play his idol for Maryanne, and Romeo acknowledged his fake idol which I don’t think the jury bought. However, why didn’t Maryanne play her idol for Lindsay? It would have been a move I think the jury would have respected. Mike playing that idol for Maryanne I believe was quite huge. Jeez, I hate this challenge because it has transpired at the final four more times than I can count people. Mike being out with just one ball was hilarious people. Wow, Maryanne is out after only 2 balls in the game. Which means it’s down to Jonathan and Romeo, could we see Romeo win his first IC of the game.

This challenge is all about pacing, timing and perception. Keep your eye on the prize; if you blink you’re out. We got to a total of four balls and as I expected Romeo holds all the power with only four people remaining in the game people. Romeo who everyone has been wanting to take out for weeks is in the most powerful position of the game and it is fun to see Jonathan and Mike squirm a bit people. Mike is very arrogant and I think that is his problem. As the audience discovered, Jonathan was very good at making fire, and Maryanne wanted to sway Romeo to force Mike and Jonathan to practice fire, as Maryanne realizes that Mike could be difficult to defeat in the end.

Mike was a bit unnerved about possibly having to make fire, and Maryanne also realized she needed to practice making fire because anything could happen. Mike is so arrogant and that became apparent during the Tribal Council. Romeo decided to take Maryanne and force Mike and Jonathan to make fire. Both Mike and Jonathan had their fires built, but it looked like Mike’s fire was a bit stronger as it started to burn the rope and he was victorious, sending Jonathan to the jury people.

Interesting: we heard from the jury about how they might vote that has never happened before people. Like I noted, the jury wanted Mike to own that he played a deceptive game. Intriguing, I like hearing that. Chanelle and Rocksroy pointed out that Romeo’s strategy to play under the radar could be a winning strategy if he proves how. As for Maryanne, the jury was looking for her to explain her game, with Tori cheering her on, but Lindsay and Drea wanted Maryanne to explain her game.

Time for the Final Tribal Council and the jury Q/Q which kicked off with Omar telling the contestants to fight for their life, but Tori took the social aspect explaining her perception of each of the three (was it accurate or not). It was a loaded question and Romeo explainer his social bonds throughout the game.

Hai placed Romeo in the hot seat about gaslighting him during the Chanelle boot and it was a bit of tension there and that was quite fun. Omar called Mike out on his lies in the game and Chanelle called him out on the lies in the game that he made. Mike got defensive when the jury called him out and it was a fatal flaw in Mike’s game people. If you own your game, the jury respects you more people. Jonathan, Omar being booted was Maryanne’s move; she utilized Romeo and her extra vote to send Omar to the jury. The physical element I don’t really understand it or care for that argument.

Drea made it clear her vote was being determined by strategy, with Romeo arguing it was always about self-preservation. Mike you did not blindside Hai that was Omar, but take the credit if you will. Maryanne explained to Drea her strategy and how she had an IDOL that she told no one about and everyone on the jury was stunned with her reveal and her explanation BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER. Hands down, that explanation Maryanne gave earned her the win people. Romeo won some points from me pouring his emotion to the jury; it was powerful people.

Maryanne also poured her heart to the jury and damn these people are ripping at my heart. Maryanne confessing that she almost used her idol to save Lindsay, but realized in doing that she would be making a move that would cost her the game was powerful. That definitely was one of the better Final TC that I have witnessed in quite a few seasons people. The votes are about to be cast people and Jeff revealed the votes right at the TC and left the jury stunned.

Maryanne was victorious and was in literal tears as after 5 votes she was announced the winner of “Survivor 42.” Maryanne earned a total of 7 votes against Mike’s 1 vote. This reunion is revealing that many of the jury were considering Mike, but if he owned his game a bit more he may have had the win, but Maryanne had a strong argument that was pivotal in her victory. Wow, Lindsay was to be on “Survivor 41” hmm that could have been a different game had she played people. Well that’s it people, we’ll be back in the fall when “Survivor 43” is certain to kick-off.