Survivor 42’s Taku Tribe. (From

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

The Taku Tribe

Jackson (48), Healthcare Worker from Houston, TX
Jonathan (29), Beach Service Co. Owner from Gulfshores, AL
Lindsay (31), Dietitian from Asbury Park, NJ
Marya (47), Stay at Home Mom from Noblesville, IN
Maryanne (22), Student from Ajax, ON
Omar (31), Veterinarian from Whitby, ON

The Taku Tribe has a pretty balanced geographical mix between its two American Southerners, two Central Canadians, one American Northeasterner, and one Midwesterner. The spread of professions is also a diverse one, though three could have easily been cast onto the Healers Tribe on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers (Season 35). How they break into alliances, and when they’ll be forced to, may prove difficult to predict.

Doug’s Predictions

I know Survivor’s been trying to make “orange is a cursed buff color” happen since Survivor: Ghost Island (Season 36), but I get good vibes from Taku. Or maybe just balanced ones? The mix of backgrounds feels very even, and I don’t think anyone here is going to be an obvious liability in challenges. I’m immediately gravitating toward Marya, Maryanne, and Omar for very different reasons. Marya’s go-with-the-flow brand of calm could serve her very well, especially if she makes it to the merge, and Maryanne oozes charisma. Omar’s upside? Late-game Rick Devens. Omar’s downside: early-game Jason Linden?

Jonathan also stands out, quite literally. The dude’s huge. He claims he’s been preparing to play Survivor since he was fourteen years old, and it shows. If Taku isn’t willing to cut him early—a move I believe would be prudent in such a fast-paced game—he’ll be an issue post-merge. I think his chances to win it all are very low, but his chances to ruin plans through individual challenge wins are plenty high.

Lindsay, I worry about. The vast majority of Survivor players are type A personalities, but on a tribe of two Southerners, two Canadians, and a Midwesterner, Lindsay’s forwardness and intensity could be an issue. If she doesn’t vibe with folks immediately, I could easily see her becoming an agent of discord.

And finally, Jackson. Jackson is someone I’m very excited to see on my television. The LGBTQIA+ community is rich with diverse experiences, and it’s only recently that Survivor has begun to truly explore them. Jackson’s story of being an out trans man who transitioned later in life is the latest of many queer stories we’ve never seen on Survivor, and with each new member of the LGBTQIA+ community we get to meet, the prouder I become of my favorite TV show. I am worried about Jackson, however, because he seems incredibly charming and maybe too calm. Survivor’s “new era” moves at an aggressive pace and relies heavily on advantages, and I’m worried Jackson could be left behind in the pandemonium.

Mason’s Predictions

First off, I’ve gotta say these tribe divisions are very diverse this season. The show has been really committed to putting in the effort to do that and they are succeeding. My first reaction to the tribe was that it seems like, while they are here to play the game, they’re also all on path to discovering and taking more away from the game than just getting to the end. That’s the obvious goal, but it seems like there is more than just that with this tribe. I think Lindsay is going to be a strong personality right off the bat. Maryanne seems like she will be an under-the-radar game player by calculating her moves and using more head than heart when making decisions. I think that will take her far in the game, if she can build good relationships.

Omar says he wants to play under-the-radar. I hope he doesn’t get too far ahead of himself straight out of the gate. He might be the weakest on the tribe in challenges, so if things don’t go well, he may be in trouble early. Marya will be the mother of the tribe. She’s been a super-fan and student of the game. She’s been watching the show since the beginning with both of her sons. I think she will be able to build strong alliances and relationships with other tribe-mates. Jackson is very hard for me to figure where he will land in the tribe. I think he’s got a good head for the game and has been through a lot in life. So this will be another step in the journey. Jonathan is going to stick around because the tribe will want to win. So even if the challenge performance isn’t that great, he will be a provider archetype. He says he’s really good at spearfishing. If he doesn’t ruffle too many feathers right out the gate (which he seems really laid back), he will absolutely make it to the merge and could even be the physical threat merge-boot.

All in all, this tribe feels like the strongest physically. So if they can work together and win challenges, I don’t think they’ll have much of a problem making it to the tribe swap (if there is one) pretty unscathed. I really like that the show is leaning into casting the super-fans. Personally, it makes it more interesting to me. This can also make for a really strategic and sometimes volatile game, which is fun for the viewing audience.

If I had to pick a winner from this tribe, I would definitely have to pick Marya. I think she will go far with strong relationships and the caring demeanor she seems to have. See you on Monday when we preview the Ika tribe where I will give my final tribe winner pick and overall endgame winner pick!

The Survivor 42 Premiere

Only time will tell how the Taku 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 Taku 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+.