Survivor Season 42 Episode 3, “Go for the Gusto,” will go down as one of Survivor‘s most intense episodes ever.
Following Marya’s elimination from Tribe Taku in Episode 2, the tribes worked on their social games at the camps before meeting host Jeff Probst for a physically daunting immunity challenge that threatened the safety of two tribes. The results of that overwhelmingly difficult challenge led to a Tribal Council for the history books.
Here, we break down everything that happened in Survivor 42 Episode 3, which debuted March 23 on CBS.
On the Beaches: Idols Found, Trust Tested
The morning after Maryanne tells her tribe she got an extra vote at Tribal Council, she found an advantage idol that took all of her voting power away. So much for that! Now she can’t vote until both of the other two idols are found and all three are activated. Mike found the first advantage idol in Episode 2.
At Vati, Mike lets Daniel read his idol in private. He had told Jenny about it to build on that alliance. Danny says he and Chanelle had plans to backstab Mike, but he didn’t read the fine print of the idol saying it would still be in play if the person who found it is voted out. Daniel loses the other pieces of Mike’s idol, testing Mike’s trust in him, but all of the pieces are found.
Maryanne recites her idol phrase at the immunity challenge, but Mike stays mum on his. He instead toys with the idea of keeping his idol secret and taking it with him to the merge.
Immunity Challenge: Rough Waters Ahead
For the challenge, tribes race out and retrieve a ladder off the bottom of the ocean floor. The ladder will help reach a key. That key will unlock a set of sandbags. The tribes will attempt to land those sandbags on a series of small targets. The first two tribes to finish win immunity. First place wins a tool kit and fruit. Second wins a smaller tool kit and a smaller collection of fruit. Losing tribe goes to Tribal Council and surrenders their flint. Romeo sits out for Ika. Lydia and Daniel sit out for Vati.
Right off the bat, the water’s current made it hard to swim to the ladders. Jonathan powers through and gets Taku’s ladder free first. Vati and Ika struggle to get their ladder. Jonathan got the Taku ladder on shore by himself, and then went back to bring help in his tribe struggling members.
His display of physical strength proved to be the team’s only asset for the first half of the game. Vati and Ika struggled against the current to get their ladders to shore. Before Ika and Vati even got out of the water, Jonathan landed all five sandbags, single handedly winning the challenge for Taku.
The current was so overpowering for the other players, Jeff paused the game and instructed Vati and Ika to come to shore with the ladders. The crew retrieved their keys for them and the challenge continued, marking a Survivor first.
Jenny gets the bags for Vati; Swati gets the bags for Ika. Rocksroy throws the bags for Ika solo. Everyone on Vati takes turns. The last bags are down to Chanelle on Vati and Drea on Ika, and Drea gets it. Taku and Ika are safe, and Vati is going to Tribal Council.
Taku decides to swap its fruit reward for fishing gear. They were the only team not to win that gear in Episode 2. Jeff compliments Jonathan’s individual performance as a Survivor rarity, and then tells Taku to pick someone from Vati to go on a journey who hasn’t before. They choose Chanelle, and then are told to choose another from their own team or Ika. They send their own teammate, Omar.
Before Tribal Council: A Summit Journey Changes the Game Forever
Chanelle and Omar are then sent on a summit challenge. Chanelle is worried she’s missing out on the tribal chatter before going to council.
At Vati, Jenny (who took the summit challenge in Episode 1) is worried about Chanelle possibly losing her vote, since Mike has lost his. She and Mike want to vote out Lydia. Daniel, Hai, and Lydia want to vote out Jenny. This is Vati’s first tribal, so the stakes are high. Daniel tells Mike and Jenny he’s with them, revealing the others’ plan to vote out Jenny. Daniel prefers Lydia to go home, but Mike and Jenny only have one vote collectively. So he’s dancing the line.
“Chanelle very much is the deciding vote right now,” says Daniel.
Omar and Chanelle agree they should both come out of their journey with an advantage. If both players choose to protect their vote, they will keep their votes. If they both vote to risk, they both lose their votes. If it’s split, the protect-the-vote player keeps their vote, and the risk-the-vote player gets an extra vote.
Omar votes to risk his vote, because he believes Chanelle will protect hers. So risking him both doesn’t hurt Chanelle’s much needed vote and gives him an extra one. Unfortunately, Chanelle risked her vote too. Chanelle and Omar will learn at their next Tribal Councils that they have lost their votes.
Back at Vati, Chanelle tells Daniel they need to try to split the vote to get Lydia out, and then tells Hai they should try to get Jenny out. Hai doesn’t know if he can trust Chanelle. Chanelle has told everyone on the tribe different things about who she’s voting for, but she doesn’t know she doesn’t have a vote. She’s keeping her cards close to her chest, and you can tell who she trusts based on who she shares her voting issue with.
“I’ve set up a great foundation in the days leading up to this tribal, so I think going into Tribal Council tonight is my call. And I might not even have a vote, ”she says. “That is the power of my social game. I can direct the votes without even having one. “
Tribal Council: Expect the Unexpected
In the Tribal, the team starts united. But Daniel makes a comment about Mike and Chanelle helping him feel calm that catches Hai’s attention. He sees Chanelle and Daniel whisper about Lydia and continues to quietly question things more. In the booth, Chanelle learns about her lost vote, and Hai struggles with indecision. With only four votes made, Lydia and Jenny were tied with two each. This is where things go haywire.
This leads to a revote, in which Lydia and Jenny can’t vote at all. Unbeknownst to almost everyone else, neither can Mike and Chanelle. The vote is down to just Daniel and Hai, and they can only vote for Lydia and Jenny. The two votes are split again between the two women, making Hai realize there are multiple people on the tribe who can’t vote.
Per Survivor rules, Mike, Chanelle, Hai, and Daniel have to make an unanimous decision on who to eliminate. If they can’t all agree, Jenny and Lydia will be safe, the other four will draw rocks, and the odd rock out gets sent home.
“Before we get to that though,” says Jeff Survivor first. There were only two votes cast, which means two people did not vote. “
This forces Mike and Chanelle to reveal they didn’t vote. They can try to influence Hai and Daniel, but they have no say in the final decision. It’s still down to Hai and Daniel. Even though Mike and Chanelle can’t vote, they could still be sent home when drawing rocks.
Daniel leads the conversation by saying they should avoid drawing rocks, and then tries to put everything on Chanelle. He says he only voted for Lydia because Chanelle made him, which broke any trust they had. Chanelle did say to vote Lydia, but she never laid on heavy pressure to do so. She calls out Daniel – a self-proclaimed lifelong Survivor fanatic – for pretending like he would let someone else control his decisions. Daniel still blames everything on Chanelle to save face.
After some debate, Mike says they should put feelings aside and decide who’s best for the tribe between Jenny and Lydia to avoid drawing rocks. Hai reveals he voted for Jenny and is sticking with that vote. Trying to save herself, Jenny tells Hai voting for her would fracture the entire tribe, but voting for Lydia wouldn’t. Hai says he’s willing to draw rocks, but won’t change his vote from Jenny to save his alliances.
Daniel, refusing to go to rocks, votes Jenny as well. And Jenny is the fourth person voted out, leaving Vati fractured just like she said. Hai made a bet that he could get a majority alliance in this process, and it paid off. Daniel’s strategy, while a winning one in the end (for this single Tribal Council, at least), may have proven he’s not to be trusted by anyone.
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