'Survivor' recap: Lydia Meredith gets voted out after Rocksroy Bailey alters the game in Exile Island twist
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/14/2022
Survivor featured Rocksroy Bailey smashing an hourglass and changing the results of a challenge, which led to Lydia Meredith getting voted out of her tribe right before the official merge during the Season 42 two-hour episode Wednesday night on CBS.
Lydia, a 22-year-old waitress from Fredericksburg, VA, who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA, was voted out of the nearly-merged tribe in a 6-3-1-1 vote at Tribal Council on Night 14 of the game.
"I got blindsided, and to be so close to the merge, it sucks for sure. But as much as I wanted to make it further, I learned a lot about myself and I hope a lot of young girls like me see that they can do it just like I did," Lydia said in her final words.
"And you don't have to get to the end to have a really meaningful experience."
TheSurvivor broadcast began on Night 11 at Vati's camp.
The Vati Tribe was made up of Daniel Strunk, a 30-year-old law clerk from Cincinnati, OH, who currently resides in New Haven, CT; Chanelle Howell, a 29-year-old executive recruiter from Hamden, CT, who currently resides in New York, NY; Mike Turner, a 58-year-old retired firefighter from Hoboken, NJ; Lydia Meredith, a 22-year-old waitress from Fredericksburg, VA, who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA; and Hai Giang, a 29-year-old data scientist from Gia Rai, Bac Lieu, Vietnam and Atlanta, GA, who currently resides in New Orleans, LA.
Chanelle revealed how she had thrown a vote Mike's way in case he played his "Shot in the Dark." She called it "a game time decision," but Mike wasn't that surprised.
Hai asked Chanelle, Mike and Lydia to stay strong come the merge with no hard feelings, and they agreed to be "Vati strong," but Mike said he no longer trusted Chanelle and would be willing to take a bullet for any of the other three.
At the Ika camp on Day 12, there was a bit of mistrust.
The Ika Tribe was comprised of Tori Meehan, a 25-year-old therapist from Tulsa, OK, who currently resides in Rogers, AR; Drea Wheeler, a 35-year-old fitness consultant from San Antonio, TX, who currently resides in Montreal, Quebec; Rocksroy, a 44-year-old stay-at-home dad from Brooklyn, NY, who currently resides in Las Vegas, NV; and Romeo Escobar, a 37-year-old pageant coach from Los Angeles, CA, who currently resides in Norwalk, CA.
Rocksroy refused to give Tori any information, which didn't make sense to her. She called it "infuriating" and wondered if Rocksroy had taken some type of advantage to advance himself in the game. She said she was "done" with him, but Rocksroy insisted he's a predictable player.
"Tori is not predictable. She's not someone I want to take far into this game," Rocksroy said in a confessional.
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Drea wished Tori would just chill and not cause a commotion, and Romeo told Drea how she didn't have an alliance to anyone except herself. Drea also didn't believe she could trust Tori going forward.
Survivor host Jeff Probst then reminded viewers how the Season 42 players had not seen Season 41 and so they could reuse the game-changing hourglass twist, which had allowed castaway Erika Casupanan to essentially go back in time and reverse the results of the merge challenge from Exile Island.
Last season, those who won immunity would have it stripped from them, and they would have to compete and one of the six of them would be voted out.
Erika and the other group of players would be safe and guaranteed a spot in the Final 11.
The three tribes then met Jeff, including the Taku Tribe, who announced they would not be officially merged until the next Tribal Council session.
The Taku Tribe consisted of Jonathan Young, a 29-year-old beach service co-owner from Gadsden, AL, who currently resides in Gulf Shores, AL; Lindsay Dolashewich, a 31-year-old dietitian from Morganville, NJ, who currently resides in Asbury Park, NJ; Maryanne Oketch, a 24-year-old seminary student from Ajax, Ontario; and Omar Zaheer, a 31-year-old veterinarian from Kitchener, Ontario, who currently resides in Whitby, Ontario.
"You are going to earn your way into the merge," Jeff declared. "So right now, you are without a buff and you are without a tribe."
Jeff explained how the castaways would draw for colored rocks and divide themselves into two teams. They had to dig up and push a massive boulder through a series of obstacles, collecting keys along the way.
Once at the end, they'd climb to the top of a tower and use those keys to unlock a 75-piece Survivor puzzle.
The first team to finish would earn their buff, the merge buff, as well as immunity at the first Tribal Council, which mean they wouldn't have to compete in the first Individual Immunity Challenge.
"Your safe and will still vote, but you won't be voted out," Jeff noted. "You will also win the biggest Reward of the season... Applebees."
The losing team would receive no buff, no immunity and no food. And they would have to compete in the first Individual Immunity Challenge for safety at the next Tribal Council.
In addition, Jeff revealed two of the "losers" would draw gray-colored rocks and not compete. Their fate would be decided by the winning five.
The cast then picked rocks and the two people who selected gray were Lindsay and Rocksroy.
The Orange Team consisted of Lydia, Jonathan, Maryanne, Hai and Tori vs the Blue Team comprised of Drea, Mike, Romeo, Omar and Chanelle.
The Orange Team ended up winning the challenge, and Jonathan appeared furious.
The winning team was able to choose Rocksroy or Lindsay to join them while the other person would be sent to Exile for two days and two nights, where they must live alone with no buff, immunity, food or shelter.
Jeff warned everyone, however, that the person to be sent away would have the power to change the game.
Hai announced, "Jeff, it was simple. One of them looks like they really need to eat. That was our reasoning for the decision today. I'm sorry, Rocksroy, but we're bringing Lindsay."
The tribe got to choose whether they wanted to send Rocksroy away or choose one of their own to take his spot. The team agreed to send Rocksroy away, and then Jeff gave the losing team only one serving of rice.
Jeff sent everyone to Vati's old beach where they would continue to live for the rest of the game. Rocksroy told the Survivor host that he looked forward to receiving an advantage in the game and actually hoped he'd have this chance.
"Maybe Tori sent me out here to weaken me, but I'm not disappointed about it. This is Survivor, this is what you want. You want it to be hard because it shouldn't be so easy to win one million dollars," Rocksroy said in a confessional.
Jonathan figured he had a big target on his back since he was a physical beast from the start and clearly a threat.
Tori aired out all of her former tribe's dirty laundry and how she didn't like Rocksroy, and she didn't have a care in the world about it. Tori was prepared to be a number for somebody else.
Meanwhile, Drea actually predicted that maybe Rocksroy would be able to change the winners of the challenge, and Mike still had a hidden Immunity Idol.
Drea therefore hoped Mike would work with her and said that she was with Romeo and Rocks. Mike in turn told Drea that he had Hai and Lydia, and Drea warned him not to trust Tori.
Once Rocksroy arrived at Exile Island, he made fire and set up a shelter.
And on Day 12, both of the tribes gathered together. Omar felt like he was vulnerable, but he acknowledged how each tribe seemed to have four people sticking together.
Drea, who received an Advantage Amulet on Day 1, then sought out Lindsay and Hai to discuss how three amulets in the game would have the power of an extra vote and two would have the power to steal a vote. One amulet in the game would have the full power of an idol.
"Do you work together or does greed take over? I have no idea how it's going to be used yet," Lindsay noted.
Lindsay, Drea and Hai decided to work together and use their amulets to further their games, but Hai was nervous the women might gun for him in order to grab more power.
Meanwhile, Mike talked to Maryanne about laying low and keeping their idols a secret.
Maryanne also had an extra vote in her back pocket, and so he strategy was to listening to someone else's plan, putting that person in the spotlight instead of herself.
After the big guys, Mike and Jonathan, were shown bonding on the beach and agreeing to look out for each other, Hai mentioned how he'd like to keep Jonathan in the game due to his physicality and how he could continue feeding everyone in the tribe with his fishing skills.
Hai and Romeo also made a friendship connection with their ties to the LGBTQ community, and then Omar realized that he wouldn't be able to vote at the next Tribal Council because of the decision he and Chanelle had made on their joint "journey."
Omar called Chanelle "sketchy" and said he wanted her gone because she never told him whether she had decided to protect or risk her vote, which of course affected him.
On Day 13, Hai told Jonathan that he felt great about Mike, Omar, Drea, and Lydia. The group discussed how they should be tight and bring Rocksroy in, and everyone got excited about their new allies.
Hai then announced how Chanelle "flip flops" and plays all side, and Drea added how Tori had been blindsiding people and would be willing to screw anyone over.
Jonathan also shared how Maryanne would be a good vote as well, although she was immune and they had been on the same tribe together.
Lydia therefore attempted to keep Chanelle comfortable, and Drea shared with Omar, Jonathan and Hai how she had an extra vote that she could play.
She wanted to build a strong connection with these men and build trust, and the guys seemed thrilled to have this knowledge.
Jeff went on to surprise Rocksroy on Exile Island with a choice.
"You can leave things as they are, or you can go back in time and change history by reversing the outcome of the challenge. They would lose their buff, they would lose their immunity, and you six would be safe -- and one of [the original winning] six would be voted out," Jeff explained, adding how there were pros and cons to this decision.
Rocksroy worried the move would put a huge target on his back but he already had Drea and Romeo in his alliance, and so he wondered if those two would protect him for a while since he had their backs before.
Jeff asked Rocksroy to think about it and then smash the hourglass if he wanted to change the game's course of events.
On Day 14, everyone gathered to meet Jeff for the season's first Individual Immunity Challenge, and Rocksroy returned from spending two nights at Exile alone.
Jeff announced to the cast that Rocksroy had a jaw-dropping power to potentially go back in time and make the previous challenge's losers new winners, and he revealed he had smashed the hourglass and opted to change history.
Hai said he respected Rocksroy's choice, but Tori confessed that she was pissed off because sending him to Exile was actually a gift, knowing he would have some power in the game.
As a result, Lydia, Tori, Maryanne, Lindsay, Hai, and Jonathan were forced to drop their buffs and not be a part of the merged tribe. One of them wouldn't even make the jury, according to Jeff.
Chanelle, Drea, Romeo, Mike and Omar became a part of the merged tribe and were guaranteed a spot in the Final 11 and could not be voted out at that evening's Tribal Council session.
For the challenge, the castaways were required to pull on a rope while balancing a wobbly table and stacking letter blocks. If at any point a player's stack dropped, he or she must start over. The first person to spell "Immunity" would win immunity and definitely earn a spot on the jury.
The next person voted out of the game would become the seventh castaway out of Survivor 42.
In the end, Tori won the first Individual Immunity Challenge. That left Maryanne, Lindsay, Lydia, Hai and Jonathan vulnerable for elimination.
Tori and Chanelle, who were both in trouble, were not declared safe, and so Lydia assumed there was going to be chaos and a mad scramble back at camp.
Rocksroy felt pretty lost once he joined everyone at camp, but Jonathan filled him in. Romeo complained about how close Jonathan and Mike had become, and so he decided that he wanted Jonathan gone. Maryanne, however, didn't want to target her former tribemate.
Lindsay knew Maryanne had "a lot of hidden ammo," and she said she wanted to work with Hai. And so Lindsay planned to throw Maryanne under the bus and keep the heat off of Jonathan and herself.
Omar, knowing he was safe and didn't have a vote, just tried to remain quiet for the most part as to not get himself in trouble.
Jonathan wanted to vote for Maryanne, while Lydia considered both Jonathan and Maryanne.
"There's eight of us who want to work with each other, but I get to this point where I just want to go with the numbers and I don't want to be the one on the bottom," Lydia told the cameras.
Omar learned Lydia was "really torn" and may not want to stick with the alliance of eight, and so he realized maybe that would be his opening to "just sacrifice little Lydia."
Omar wanted to bring Taku back together and protect Maryanne's advantages since he would need weapons and an army in the future.
Omar warned Maryanne that her name had been tossed out but he was targeting Lydia, and he told Maryanne to play her idol to save herself if he couldn't rally troops to take out Lydia.
Omar pitched to Hai and Mike how Lydia would be a good choice, but Hai determined, "That's not an option at all," especially since they had been Day 1 allies.
Hai was still going after Maryanne in order to protect the close relationships he had developed in the game.
At Tribal Council on Night 14, Hai called what was about to unfold "a defining vote."
"Everyone said, 'Let's get firewood,' but the firewood is empty!" Omar joked.
Maryanne told Jeff that she was worried about being voted out for talking too much and trying to debate a lot, as she was shown butting heads and "agreeing to disagree" with Drea. Jeff wondered if it's better for a player to quiet his or her quirks when competing on this show.
It then became time to vote and no one appeared to play an advantage or idol.
Jeff proceeded to read the votes in the following order: Jonathan, Lindsay, Jonathan, Maryanne, Maryanne, Lydia, Lydia, Lydia, Lydia, and Lydia.
Lydia was therefore voted out of Survivor with five votes, which were enough to send her packing.
After Lydia left, Jeff congratulated the officially-merged tribe.