After what many Survivor fans are calling a "Top Ten" season, the finale is finally approaching. Whoever wins Survivor 42 could make history: In the final five, we have Maryanne, Mike, Jonathan, Lindsay, and Romeo. If Maryanne wins, she'll be the first Black woman to win since Season 4, more than 20 years ago. If Lindsay wins, she'll be the first Jewish woman ever to win Survivor.
Now that we’re down to the final five contestants, fans everywhere are predicting who will win and how it will happen. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 42's finale may look very similar to Season 41's. We already know the season is only 26 days long, but what will the finale be like? When is it airing and will there be a reunion? Will anything change from last season to the current season?
The ‘Survivor 42’ finale is airing on May 25, although it was filmed earlier.
Thirty-nine out of the previous 41 seasons finished with a live finale. Season 41 was the first season since Season 1 in Borneo during which Jeff Probst read the final votes out on the island, immediately after final tribal. Because of COVID-19 restrictions and the inability to film in front of a live audience, Survivor producers made the call to film the reading of the final votes on the spot in Fiji. In an interview with EW, Jeff explained that it was a decision made by weighing risks.
“Should we risk it and do what we always do in the hopes we can do a live finale back in the States?” he wondered. “Or do we risk it and announce the winner in the jungles of Fiji and hope the secret stays a secret? What would you do?”
As many fans already know, Seasons 41 and 42 were filmed back to back, so very few changes were made between the two seasons. So it's likely that the finale could look almost identical to the prior season's.
Even still, what we do know about the Season 42 finale is that we will not only learn who the winner is of this historic season, but we'll also see a few more challenges and twists.
With only five players left in the game, there will be at least two more immunity challenges and two more tribal councils before the final tribal in May 25's three-hour finale. We'll likely find out who the winner is about two and a half hours into the episode, followed by a "reunion" to close out the finale.
There likely will not be a reunion in the ‘Survivor 42’ finale in the traditional sense.
Traditionally, the Survivor finale is filmed after the season has aired. So contestants have had a chance to watch the series before learning who wins and celebrating all together. One of our favorite parts of a typical Survivor season is getting to see the players' transformations after a few months back home. But in the "new era" of Survivor, the traditional reunion is seemingly no longer.
In Season 41, Jeff simply kept the players around after reading the winning vote while the crew did a live "scene change," bringing pizza to the very hungry finalists, as well as to the jury to celebrate the end of the season. However, losing players won’t have as much time to move past the events of the game, so if anyone in the jury is still feeling bitter, that may affect the mood of the "reunion."
Survivor podcaster Rob Cesternino and Mike Bloom shared their predictions for the Survivor 42 finale on the Rob Has a Podcast "Feedback Show." They predict that while a live reunion might have spurred a potential question about Maryanne and Zach's unrequited romance, this "new era" format will sadly leave Zach off the table.
In addition, Jeff spent a lot of time during the Season 41 finale discussing all the extra twists, especially the hidden immunity idols with the funny phrases. Will as much time be spent on that this season? We believe that Jeff could spend more time talking about the hourglass twist, the amulets (which never actually came into play as an advantage), and hopefully Maryanne's big move with her extra vote.
While we'd love to see the Survivor 42 players reunite today, at least we'll get to see the players talk about the game. And thanks to many of their very active Twitter presences, we might be lucky enough to get a modern-day take anyway.
Tune into the special three-hour finale of Survivor 42 on Wednesday, May 25, at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.