With just one episode to go, Survivor season 42 hasn’t ever felt more up in the air. Outside of one player who has struggled to get any foothold in the post-merge, everyone feels they have a legitimate chance of picking up a victory.
In general, we’ve tried to use our power rankings to highlight which players have the best chance at winning instead of trying to pick who was the next player to go. Those things do cross over from time to time, but it’s never a perfect science.
With this week being the finale, we’re going to focus even more on each player’s chances to win the game, highlighting what we think is their best path to become the Sole Survivor.
Survivor season 42 episode 11 power rankings: Who could win Survivor?
Out) Omar Zaheer (Last: 1) – Apparently, you can only hold the top spot in our rankings for three weeks in a row before you get voted out. It happened to Hai Giang a few weeks ago and now Omar is the latest person to be hit by our curse. It was a great run from the veterinarian, who played one of the more masterful social/strategic games we’ve seen in the last few seasons.
For a while, we’ve worried that he wasn’t visible enough to win, but him being voted out at the Final Six seems to prove that he was more on the radar than we thought. It’s hard to keep up that level of gameplay and not become a target. Omar might’ve just peaked a little too early.
5) Romeo Escobar (Last: 6) – Romeo is the person we mentioned at the top that seems to have no chance of winning. He would need to really come on strong and just dominate the finale, and even that probably isn’t enough. That said, he’s probably making the final tribal council and becoming the next zero-vote finalist.
4) Jonathan Young (Last: 3) – Jonathan really needed to drive the vote at Final Six and have a move that he could call his own to have a shot here. He’s just not a strategic player, and it’s hard to see players like Hai and Omar respecting his game even if he does win the rest of the season’s immunities.
Jonathan’s best path at this point is to win immunity as often as possible and figure out how to sit next to Romeo and Maryanne Oketch at the end. Romeo isn’t winning against anybody and there’s a universe where people don’t want to give the million to a young player without the “life experience” some players look for. We’d still bet on Jonathan to lose in that scenario, but it’s his best chance.
3) Mike Turner (Last: 4) – Mike is making the Final Four because he has an idol. That means he can play the next vote a little fast and loose. If we were him, we’d target Lindsay Dolashewich. Maryanne also has an idol so she’s out and we think Mike can beat Jonathan at the end.
Regardless, Mike has a real shot to at least make it to the final tribal council because he’ll get the chance to make fire. That will be a tall test against someone like Jonathan, but he could certainly do it. If Mike makes it to the end, he absolutely could win just based on the strength of his social game. He also doesn’t seem as easily rattled in front of the group as other players, which could play into his hand when the jury starts to pepper the Final Three with questions.
2) Lindsay Dolashewich (Last: 2) – We consider these last two to be something of a toss-up. Lindsay has played a very consistent game, with great strategic moves, solid social bonds, and a few immunity wins in her locker. However, she definitely doesn’t have the edit you would traditionally expect out of a Survivor winner.
That said, we saw how much the editors buried Erika Casupanan last year to hide her eventual win. Plus, Lindsay has really come on over the last three weeks to be a more visible threat. That’s something that Erika didn’t really get until the finale. We’re slotting her just below Maryanne because Maryanne does have that idol, making her path just a bit simpler to trace.
1) Maryanne Oketch (Last: 5) – Last week, we said Maryanne needed to drive a move to give herself the strategic clout her game was lacking. Well, she certainly did that with the biggest move of the game so far: getting out Omar.
With that behind her (and that aforementioned idol), Maryanne’s path to the end is very clear and we think she has the substance behind her game to actually win this thing. The one issue, of course, is that she might have to make fire depending on how things shake out. We haven’t seen her doing that this season, which gives us some pause, especially if she’s going up against someone like Jonathan. That said, she’s currently our odds-on favorite to win, if she can get to final tribal council.