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Maryanne Oketch is the Sole Survivor of Survivor 42.

Early on, Maryanne's unbridled exuberance and larger-than-life personality alienated her from her tribemates on the dominant Taku tribe, which caused her to become an outsider in the merged tribe despite being in the Taku Four. After actively using her emotions as a strategic weapon and downplaying her threat level, Maryanne capitalized on an opportune moment at the final six to emerge as a late-game power player when she orchestrated the blindside of Omar Zaheer by successfully using her Extra Vote. Her season-long metamorphosis, which she confidently articulated at the Final Tribal Council, allowed her to become the second Black woman to win the game.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Age: 24
Hometown: Ajax, Ontario
Current Residence: Ajax, Ontario
Occupation: Seminary Student
Favorite Hobbies: Tabletop / video games, reading and snowboarding
3 Words to Describe You: Energetic, empathetic, and chaotic
Pet Peeves: When people don't listen to me, people who walk slowly in front of me, anything that disrupts my sleep, hypocrites, and people who don't apologize.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Writing an article for my school newspaper that led to me being invited to consult with my university's Equity and Inclusion officer on creating a better framework and support for Black students at McMaster University. Being able to use my voice for change that not only benefitted me was so empowering.
What is something we would never know from looking at you? I am a great listener! Just because I talk a lot, it does not mean I am not listening. People are so used to hearing me when I am there, so when I am quiet, people usually don't think I'm there and I can take notice on what they are saying. Also, I check in on people and let them vent to me, which gives me more context about them that can help guide my future decisions.
Who is your hero and why? My hero is my mother. She was born into poverty in a village in Kenya as the youngest of five. My mother is so hardworking and managed to get herself out of poverty and became a doctor in Kenya and was able to provide for her mom. She then gave that all up to support my father's dreams, but then became a doctor in Canada while having three young children while dealing with the systemic racism in academic medicine. My mom sacrificed and worked so hard to give her family a better life and never faltered from her dreams. I aspire to be like her. She changed my life.
Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? Davie. Davie was someone who had loyalty to many people, had a strong core alliance and was social. Not only that but he was able to find idols and win challenges and play idols correctly to further his game. But most of all, Davie had so much fun when he was on the island, no matter if he was on the top or bottom of his tribe. Davie had the path to 6th place, and I will perfect it to 1st.
Why do you believe you can be the Sole Survivor? I believe I will win Survivor because I am a social person, and Survivor at its core is a numbers game. I have lived in diverse cities and also been in situations where I was the only black person. But in every situation, I thrived and Survivor is another place where my resilience and personality will shine. Also, I never go down without a fight. When all hope is lost, I will be searching for idols, talking to people, and convincing them that me staying is best for everyone. I am going on Survivor to win and I will do everything in my power to do so.[2]

Survivor

Maryanne's journey began on the Taku tribe. Describing herself as an awkward and openly emotional person, Maryanne sought to use her empathy as a weapon. After Taku lost the opening Reward Challenge, Maryanne assisted Omar Zaheer in winning the tribe flint in the "Savvy" puzzle. The next day, she volunteered to go on the summit, where she met Drea Wheeler and Jenny Kim. While Jenny protected her vote, Drea and Maryanne both decided to "risk" their votes, thus gaining an Extra Vote at their next Tribal Council. On Day 3, following Jackson Fox's evacuation, Maryanne had an outburst of emotion bemoaning Jackson's departure. Down in numbers, Maryanne helped Taku to win their first Immunity Challenge by helping with the puzzle.

Although her tribemates generally enjoyed her presence, because of her relative immaturity, Maryanne began to grate on her tribemates, particularly the quieter Marya Sherron. However, she continued to be an affable person around camp, notably offering to weave Omar a prayer mat for his daily prayers. When Taku lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 5, the majority alliance of Omar, Jonathan Young, and Lindsay Dolashewich had to decide whether to keep Marya or Maryanne. Believing that she had bonded better with the tribe, the trio kept Maryanne, and the Taku Four formalized their alliance. Maryanne also received the Extra Vote and shared this with her tribe, swearing her allegiance to them.

The next day, when Taku went on an idol hunt, Maryanne found and opened the Beware Advantage, losing her vote in the process. Maryanne eagerly tried to activate her idol, but was met with frustration when nobody from the other tribes responded with their phrase. Though Taku continued their winning streak, Maryanne began to get in frequent disagreements with Jonathan, further alienating her from the tribe. However, Omar pushed for her to stay because she had an Extra Vote that could benefit the alliance. Ultimately, the Taku Four never had to turn on each other as the tribe won every remaining challenge, and Maryanne finally activated her idol on Day 11.

When Taku merged with Ika and Vati on Day 12, Maryanne was part of the team that won the first Reward/Immunity Challenge. After returning to camp from gorging on Applebee's, Maryanne bonded with her new tribemates, especially Lydia Meredith. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, Jonathan had recruited Lindsay and Omar into a supermajority alliance and exposed that Maryanne was the outsider on the Taku tribe. Things got worse with the introduction of the Hourglass twist, which revoked Maryanne's immunity and left her as a target due to the tribe's knowledge that she had an idol. Fortunately, Omar campaigned against Lydia instead, protecting the Taku Four and ensuring that his allies entered the jury phase. Despite being saved with her idol intact, Maryanne grew worried that she had become an outsider because of her quirks.

At the team Reward Challenge on Day 15, Maryanne drew the odd rock and had to sit out with no chance of winning. However, Drea Wheeler agreed to take Maryanne's place, and she promised to repay Drea's generosity. After the challenge, Tori Meehan caught Drea with red paint on her hands and suspected something amiss; she shared this information with Maryanne and wondered if it was time to take Drea out. At the next individual Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst agreed to give the tribe abundant rice if four people agreed to sit out. In a confessional, Maryanne admitted to using her emotions to manipulate her tribemates to sit out. Maryanne's association with the Taku Four continued to protect her heading into the Double Elimination, where she would attend Tribal Council with Drea, Jonathan, Lindsay, and Tori. Initially, Maryanne agreed to target Drea to flush her idol; however, when the two women saw that Rocksroy Bailey had been voted out at the previous Tribal Council, Drea and Maryanne made a statement by both playing their Hidden Immunity Idols, asserting that they did not want to continue the pattern of Black contestants becoming early jurors. This resulted in Tori's elimination.

Though Maryanne initially questioned whether she had made the right move, her actions at the previous Tribal Council were validated when she found her second idol, this time with no strings attached. Under Omar's lead, Maryanne then joined her Taku Four in blindsiding Hai Giang and Drea before realizing that Omar had become a power player who needed to go. Maryanne was glad that Mike Turner shared this sentiment; Mike promised Maryanne that he would give her his idol at the final five if they remained loyal to each other, whereas Maryanne revealed her Extra Vote to him to solidify trust. After Lindsay won the next Immunity Challenge, Mike was worried that she would play her Advantage Amulet on Omar, so he and Jonathan insisted to vote against Romeo Escobar instead. However, Maryanne insisted that she wanted Omar gone. She spoke to Romeo and the two of them agreed to pile their votes on Omar. At Tribal Council, Lindsay held on to her amulet while Maryanne played her Extra Vote, blindsiding Omar in a 3-2-2 plurality vote.

Maryanne reassured Lindsay that she wanted to be in the Final Three with her and Romeo, and contemplated giving her the idol after she lost the Immunity Challenge. At the same time, both women wondered what Mike would do with the idol since he had the Immunity Necklace, claiming that he had promised both of them the idol. Mike kept his promise to Maryanne and played his idol on her at Tribal Council. Realizing that Lindsay was too strong to take to the end, Maryanne held on to her idol and joined the tribe in voting her out unanimously. Maryanne's ally Romeo then won the Final Immunity Challenge and had to decide between pitting her or Jonathan in the fire-making challenge against Mike. Putting their friendship first, Romeo decided to take Maryanne to the end. Mike then joined the pair in the Final Three with Jonathan being eliminated.

Coming into the Final Tribal Council, Maryanne's game was poorly understood by the jury. She took the opportunity to flesh out her narrative from start to end, explaining that she had to downplay her strategy to not be targeted like the other younger players like Tori, Swati Goel, and Zach Wurtenberger, who all met their early downfalls. Maryanne explained that she bided her time and waited until the final six to make a move when she had the backing of Jonathan and Mike, and impressed the jury by revealing the idol that she had kept secret all-season long. Maryanne's confident display won the jury over as they awarded her the win in a 7-1-0 vote, allowing her to become the second Black woman to win the title of Sole Survivor.

Voting History

Episode Maryanne's
Votes
Voted Against
Maryanne
1 Taku Tribe Immune
2 Marya -
3 Taku Tribe Immune
4 Taku Tribe Immune
5 Taku Tribe Immune
7 Lydia Lydia, Romeo
8 Romeo -
9 Tori -1
10 Hai -
11 Drea -
12 Omar +
Omar2
-
13 Lindsay -3
Jury Votes
for Maryanne
Chanelle, Drea, Hai,
Lindsay, Omar, Rocksroy, Tori
Sole Survivor, Day 26

^1 In "Game of Chicken", Maryanne used a Hidden Immunity Idol before the vote, making her ineligible to receive votes.
^2 In "Caterpillar to a Butterfly", Maryanne used an Extra Vote advantage, allowing her to vote twice at Tribal Council.
^3 In "It Comes Down to This", Mike used a Hidden Immunity Idol on Maryanne, but did not negate any votes against her.

Post-Survivor

  • On November 11, 2021, between the filming and airing of Survivor 42, Maryanne attended her castmate Mike Turner's wedding, where she introduced Mike and his bride Staci's first public appearance as a wedded couple.
  • Maryanne is currently in a relationship with video game designer Konnor Howell, which started after she shared about her crush on "skinny, white guys" on the show.[3]
  • After the conclusion of Survivor 42, Maryanne and castmates Lydia Meredith and Swati Goel did an interview for Teen Vogue speaking about their experiences as young women on the show.[4]

Trivia

  • Maryanne is the youngest member of the Taku tribe.
  • Maryanne is currently the youngest winner by date of birth.
  • Maryanne is the first female winner since Denise Stapley to win after a season that was also won by a woman.
  • Maryanne is the second Black female winner, following Vecepia Towery.
    • Maryanne is the first Kenyan and African-Canadian winner and the second consecutive Canadian winner, following Erika Casupanan. Erika and Maryanne are also the first pair of women of color to win consecutive seasons.
  • Maryanne is tied with Natalie White, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, Sarah Lacina, and Erika Casupanan for the most jury votes received by a woman, with seven.
    • Erika and Maryanne achieved this with the smallest juries of the group, as Survivor 41 and 42 only had eight jurors.
    • Erika and Maryanne also have the highest percent of jury votes received among female contestants, with 7 of 8 or 87.5%.
  • Maryanne is the first female winner to start on an orange tribe.
    • She is also the first female winner to be a member of a purple merged tribe.
    • She is the first winner since Tony Vlachos and first female winner since Jenna Morasca to have never been a member of a blue tribe.
  • Maryanne is the third contestant to have been born in Germany, after Jerri Manthey and Gabby Pascuzzi.[5]
  • Maryanne is the third Sole Survivor to be born on January 1, after Denise Stapley and Ben Driebergen.
  • Maryanne is one of six Black women to have found a Hidden Immunity Idol, along with Taj Johnson-George, NaOnka Mixon, Sabrina Thompson, Shan Smith, and Drea Wheeler.
    • Maryanne is the first Black woman to find multiple idols.
    • Maryanne and Drea are the first two Black women to find and play an idol.
  • Maryanne and Drea are the first women to play idols before the votes were cast.
  • Maryanne is the first woman to have an idol played on her while she was in possession of an idol herself.
  • Maryanne is the second person on Survivor 42 to allow her idol to expire unused, after Lindsay Dolashewich.
    • Lindsay and Maryanne join Kim as the second and third women to be immune at the last time their idols could be played; Maryanne achieved this when Mike played an idol for her.
  • Maryanne is the first person whose Extra Vote contributed to a plurality vote.
    • Maryanne is tied with Xander Hastings for the longest time in continuous possession of an Extra Vote, at 18 days.
  • In Survivor 42, Maryanne shared that she had watched every episode of Survivor except six episodes of Tocantins. After returning home, she finished those episodes with her mother.[6]
  • During the airing of Survivor 42, Maryanne and castmate Zach Wurtenberger changed their respective Twitter display names to "Maryanne Wurtenberger" and "Zach Oketch" after she revealed she had a crush on him in "Good and Guilty".[7]
    • After the season, Maryanne confirmed that she and Zach had previously interacted with each other on the Survivor Reddit forum before being cast on the show.[8] Prior to and during the airing of Survivor 42, Maryanne made several posts without divulging her identity, secretly alluding to her participation in the season.
  • Maryanne owns the Taku tribe banner, which she purchased from the Survivor 42 prop auction.[9]

References

Preceded by
Survivor 41
S41 erika t.png
Erika Casupanan
Sole Survivor Titleholder
Survivor 42
S42 maryanne t.png
Maryanne Oketch
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Survivor 42 Castaways
 Chanelle
Vati
S42 chanelle t.png
 Daniel
Vati
S42 daniel t.png
 Drea
Ika
S42 drea t.png
 Hai
Vati
S42 hai t.png
 Jackson
Taku
S42 jackson t.png
 Jenny
Vati
S42 jenny t.png
 Jonathan
Taku
S42 jonathan t.png
 Lindsay
Taku
S42 lindsay t.png
 Lydia
Vati
S42 lydia t.png
 Marya
Taku
S42 marya t.png
 Maryanne
Taku
S42 maryanne t.png
 Mike
Vati
S42 mike t.png
 Omar
Taku
S42 omar t.png
S42 rocksroy t.png
 Romeo
Ika
S42 romeo t.png
 Swati
Ika
S42 swati t.png
 Tori
Ika
S42 tori t.png
 Zach
Ika
S42 zach t.png
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