Survivor 42’s Ika Tribe. (From

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 Ika Tribe

Drea (35), Fitness Consultant from Montreal, QC
Rocksroy (44), Stay at Home Dad from Las Vegas, NV
Romeo (37), Pageant Coach from Norwalk, CA
Swati (19), Student from Palo Alto, CA
Tori (25), Therapist from Rogers, AR
Zach (22), Student from St. Louis, MO

The Ika Tribe has three of the cast’s youngest members and only one player over 40, but most probably wouldn’t find themselves cast onto a “brawn” tribe à la Survivor: Cagayan (Season 28) or Kaôh Rōng (Season 32). Geographically, there isn’t much connecting this tribe, but there are some immediate common experiences. Two members of Ika are currently students, two work in health and wellness, and three shared stories of being members of an immigrant family to the United States.

Mason’s Predictions

First off, Romeo stood out to me. He gave me Dave Wright vibes (Millennials vs Gen X, Edge of Extinction). While smaller in stature, he seems very competitive and some might underestimate him. I think that may not be the smartest move, because I believe he has a good head for the game and, much like David, will never stop playing.

Rocksroy seems like he will be really likable and be able to help the tribe while making friends along the way. He just seems like a really enjoyable person to be around. He’s calm, cool and collected and so that will help him make good decisions. Zach is a super-duper fan of the show. I think he will need to hide his anxious, always-playing-the-game demeanor, which might make him a target right away.

Then finally, we come to the two ladies on the tribe. Swati seems like she will be likable and will not be ruffling many feathers. However, I don’t believe she will resist making a big move, if she gets the chance. I think she is smart yet calculated and that will bode well for her. Tori, while she seems likable, she says her biggest flaw is that she makes decisions with her heart. If she can’t overcome that, it might cause her detriment. I think this tribe, just from what I see, might be the strongest of the three tribes for all phases of the challenges. I may be completely off base, but I don’t see them losing early on, unless they can’t figure out how to work together.

Okay, so here we go! Time to make my winner pick. First, I will make my tribe winner pick as I did in the last two previews. For this tribe I’m going to say Rocksroy. I think his cool, calm and collected attitude will make him easy to get along with and will take him far in the game, because I don’t think he will be threatening to the other “play-hard” players.

After going through this entire cast, I really think this is going to be another good season. With shorter seasons, the game definitely does speed up. However, I really think Rocksroy will fare well, because I don’t think he’s going to be playing as hard as the others. This will make him easier to get along with and make others want to work with him. He definitely still wants to win, however, I just feel like he’s going to be in it for the long haul, making him my overall winner pick!

Overall, I really think this is going to be a fun season with a lot of great characters and hopefully, a lot of these personalities will get the chance to play multiple times. I’m really looking forward to Wednesday’s premier!

Doug’s Predictions

I think Ika is a strong candidate for losing the first Immunity challenge, and I think Tori’s a strong candidate for first overall out. I don’t doubt her knowledge of the game and her drive to succeed, but if she doesn’t approach Survivor with a gentler demeanor than she did her preseason press, she will be hoisted by her own petard. I can see a world where Tori directs the first vote, but if she does, I think she’ll do so transparently and paint a quick target on her own back as a threat.

Conversely, I have a hard time imagining many scenarios where Drea is in trouble early. She feels a bit more old school than I’d typically encourage in the current era of Survivor, but I think it could work for her in this group. Folks like Rocksroy, who stresses playing one day at a time, and Swati, who may benefit from linking up with players much older than her, could be Drea’s ticket to the merge. I don’t sense much of a killer instinct from Rocksroy and Swati, but if they can get their Survivor sea legs under them quickly, they’re well-equipped to make deep runs based on their charisma and what seem like agreeable personalities.

The two folks I’m interested to see together on the Ika Tribe are Romeo and Zach. In a number of ways, the pair are similar: both appear relatively small in stature and discuss being underestimated, both are Survivor superfans, and both cite Survivor: China (Season 15) winner Todd Herzog as someone they’d like to emulate. Todd pulled off a very unique win, so to cite him offers an equally unique insight to how these two hope to be perceived.

Their differences, however, speak volumes. Zach is similar to his Ika tribemate Tori in his intense level of preparation but lacks a depth of life experience. Romeo has a wealth of life experience—specifically, I’m very excited for how coaching pageants could translate to Survivor—but he offers relatively little in pregame press about a specific game plan. I think Romeo’s inherent skills are better suited for Survivor long-term, but I think Zach could be more suited to the “new era” game’s unpredictability and rapid pace.

I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the Ika Tribe doesn’t lose half its members before the merge, so I’m guessing we’ll see a lot of them in the first few weeks. Fortunately, I think they’ll be plenty fun to watch.

The Survivor 42 Premiere

Only time will tell how the Ika 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 Ika 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+.