Survivor 42 recap: Jonathan Young turns in all-time performance, epic Tribal Council ends episode

Survivor 42 Episode 3 Challenge
The tribes had a tough day in the ocean during Survivor 42, Episode 3. Pic credit: Robert Voets/CBS

The Survivor 42 episode from Wednesday night was absolutely packed with drama.

Among the most notable moments of the night were former firefighter Mike Turner losing his Hidden Immunity Idol, Jeff Probst halting an Immunity Challenge that was too difficult, and a Tribal Council vote like none we have ever seen before.

For any Survivor fans who needed the season to start being more dramatic or were waiting for a new Survivor villain to emerge, this episode had it all. And the fact that it was just Episode 3 of the season bodes well for what’s to come.

Survivor 42, Episode 3 debuted on Wednesday, March 23, right before the second episode of Beyond the Edge aired on CBS. To this point, three people had been eliminated, leaving 15 people battling for the $1 million prize.

Survivor 42, Episode 3 recap

A lot of time was spent with the Vati Tribe early in the episode, with Daniel Strunk working to get Mike Turner to allow him to read the note that Mike had received with his three-way Hidden Immunity Idol. Mike let Daniel read it, and Daniel did it in private, but while doing so also dropped the Idol and didn’t realize it. They searched for it later and found it near some of Daniel’s stuff.

Within the context of their search and chats about the Idol, Daniel had a one-on-one with the camera where he spoke about needing to keep Mike and the Idol around. He even insinuated that the only reason he wanted Mike to survive was to keep the Idol close by.

An overly intense Immunity Challenge

At the Immunity Challenge, the three tribes started on platforms out in the ocean. Their object was then to retrieve a ladder tied underwater and use it to get keys that were on posts also out in the ocean.

The waves immediately made the challenge really difficult and most of the castaways were having serious troubles. That is, except for Jonathan Young, who powered through retrieving the ladder by himself and dragging it out of the water, also by himself. On land, host Jeff Probst even remarked about how heavy the ladder was.

Jonathan then went back and basically carried his tribemates to the next station and then out of the water as well. It was amazing to watch, and the Taku Tribe was able to finish the challenge before anyone else was even out of the water.

With the waves crashing hard on the two tribes still struggling in the water, Jeff called them all out and had the production team go retrieve the keys for them. It was something we haven’t seen happen on the show before. The remaining tribes were then placed on the beach, allowed to rest, and then they competed to see which tribe would be going to Tribal Council.

Vati lost the challenge, meaning someone was getting voted out later.

Tribal Council and the journey beforehand

Before Vati went to Tribal Council, Omar Zaheer (Taku) and Chanelle Howell (Vati) were selected to go on their hike up the mountain where they could risk their votes. They both risked it instead of trying for safety, meaning they each lost their vote for the time being.

What this meant was that Chanelle and Mike each lacked a vote at the important Tribal Council that was about to take place. At the first vote, it was tied with two votes for Jenny Kim and two votes for Lydia Meredith.

The tribe went to a re-vote, with the only choice being Jenny and Lydia, who also couldn’t vote now. At that next vote, Daniel Strunk voted for Lydia, and Hai Giang voted for Jenny. The vote ended in a 1-1 tie, which led to a lot of confusion because Mike and Chanelle still couldn’t vote, but it wasn’t public knowledge yet. Jeff then had to have the people with no votes reveal who they were.

With another tie, Hai and Daniel either had to agree on a unanimous choice between Jenny and Lydia, or everyone not named Jenny or Lydia would have to draw rocks to see who went home. A lot of discussion took place, which included Daniel telling everyone that Chanelle had been the one who wanted to split the votes at Tribal Council. Mike was caught off guard about everything.

Hai and Daniel voted Jenny Kim off of Survivor in the final vote. There are now just 14 people left on the show, and the next episode is teasing that a lot of drama is coming to the Vati Tribe.

Survivor 42 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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