Survivor 42’s Vati Tribe. (From twitter.com/survivorcbs)

Survivor‘s 42nd season is just around the corner, so before the premiere, Mason and Doug share some first impressions of the Survivor 42 cast.

The Vati Tribe

Chanelle (29), Executive Recruiter from New York, NY
Daniel (30), Law Clerk from New Haven, CT
Hai (29), Data Scientist from New Orleans, LA
Jenny (43), Creative Director from Brooklyn, NY
Lydia (22), Waitress from Fredericksburg, VA
Mike (58), Retired Firefighter from Hoboken, NJ

The Vati Tribe is an interesting mix that could break down in a number of ways. Four of the six Vati members are American Northeasterners, three of them are floating right around 30 years old, four of them could have easily been cast onto a new “white collar” tribe à la Survivor: Worlds Apart (Season 30), and three of them are queer. Everyone falls into at least one of those groupings, and without a doubt, more groupings will naturally present themselves.

Mason’s Predictions

My first reaction to this tribe was, ‘Wow! This tribe is a group of really different personalities/archetypes!’ Then I was like, ‘Oh right, that’s the wonderful thing about Survivor!’

In my opinion, Jenny and Chanelle had the strongest pre-game longevity feel. I think if they can team up on this tribe with their intuition and smarts, they will be able to run the tribe! Hai has an awesome back story and seems like he will be a very smart and calculated player as well. While I think Daniel and Lydia will bring some comic relief, if this tribe doesn’t win immunities right off the mark, I don’t think they will last very long in this game.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like the other four tribe mates are going to be really strong players. Which brings me to Mike. He, to me, is the biggest enigma. I think he could either be the first one out of this game or make it all the way to the end. His strong personality will either sink him or people will gravitate to that and he will become a natural leader on this tribe. If he comes out the gate guns blazing and ordering everyone around to get things accomplished around camp, the younger tribe mates will not respond well to that. So, if he can keep it together and prove himself as a strength to the tribe, more than winning challenges and building camp, he will do well. We’ve seen it too many times before, that the strong, older male comes out there and ends up being one of the first voted off, because the rest of the tribe just can’t stand them.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this tribe plays out. Whether they end up either splitting up or working together to get to the merge – it will, for sure, be interesting.

In this series of articles, I’m going to pick a ‘if I had to say someone would win off of this particular tribe it would be…’ so-and-so player. For the Vati tribe, I’m going to have to say that HAI could definitely come with an under-the-radar approach and run this entire game. I’m 100% rooting for that!

See you in the next tribe preview!

Doug’s Predictions

I really like what Chanelle’s offering in the preseason. She seems to have a head for the game, and she has a clear but flexible vision for success. I also really appreciate the specific brands of charisma Hai and Jenny are bringing to this group. Hai’s is a bit more subtle and Jenny’s is a bit more effervescent, but they each seem to have a sense of self-assuredness that could prove comforting in a high-intensity situation like Survivor. I can see a world where two of these three are a tight pair if not a working trio.

On a different note, Daniel seems to approach everything with an intensity and frenetic energy that comes through in each of his pregame interviews. I expect this will rub folks the wrong way, but there’s a chance it could endear him to his tribe if they aren’t first to Tribal Council. In any case, I don’t see “under the radar” as a descriptor of Daniel’s game wherever he places.

That leaves Lydia and Mike, two folks who might find eyes on them early, but… I just can’t quite place ’em. They’re the youngest and oldest members of the tribe, respectively, and they’re also the two that most clearly don’t fit that ostensible “white collar” grouping. But Lydia’s plan to be a little sister could prove valuable—like the assistant coach strategy—and Mike honestly seems like a treasure. Plus, even at 58, Mike is likely Vati’s muscle.

The Survivor 42 Premiere

Only time will tell how the Vati Tribe fares in team challenges and responds to the fast and chaotic “new era” Survivor game. Who will find their way into the merge? Will anyone from Vati be sitting at the end to plead their case for the million dollar prize and title of Sole Survivor? Tune in to the Survivor 42 premiere on March 9th and weekly on Wednesdays to find out.

Survivor 42 airs on CBS in the US and streams next-day on Paramount+.