‘Survivor 42’ spoilers find that 6’4” Johnathan Young is one of the best challenge beasts to ever compete in 42 seasons of the show.
If you don’t believe me or his fellow castaways who have labelled the weighted chin0up world record holder Thor or Goliath, you only need to hear the praise being heaped upon him by host with the most, Jeff Probst.
After episode 3’s terrifying challenge, the first to be modified part way through due to the tribes’ inability to safely navigate through the rough ocean, Jeff Probst was practically laying at Young’s feet hoping for some belly rubs as he announced, “This is an amazing performance to watch” and “I’ve rarely seen an individual performance like that.”
‘Survivor 42’ Spoilers: Jonathan Young – Just Another “Merge boot”?
The performance was, of course, Young acting as lifeguard, swim coach, human raft and becoming actual scaffolding as his was the only tribe to make it through the first half of the challenge (before it was called off). It wasn’t a tribe win, it was a Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman Johnathon Young win.
Episode four saw Young’s tribe dominate once more. This time in two challenges, one for reward where Taku were untangled, shooting hoops and grilling their awarded fish before the other tribes seems to understand how to unbraid some rope and again where Young pulled his tribe in a boat across the ocean (with Maryanne Oketch dogpaddling after) like a one-man speedboat.
Yet again Probst gave the credit where credit is due, clearly impressed by Young’s strength and ability to do pretty much any physical challenge, but is all the praise actually to the castaway’s detriment?
‘Survivor 42’ Spoilers: Multiply Ozzy by Joe and add Malcolm
Already a competitor with such strength is usually seen as a “merge boot”, a castaway kept around to get his tribe through the first half of the game, keeping them away from tribal council until all the players come together and the game becomes every man and woman for themselves.
Like challenge beasts Ozzy Lusth, Joe Anglim and Malcolm Freberg before him, will Young become threat number 1 as soon as the buffs are dropped (even if not for the regular fear of domination from the other players, but the amount of the tribe’s scarce food he must need just to operate)?
Or…will Young be the first absolute physical dominator to win the title of Sole Survivor? Breaking the oft (not always) common mold of lacking social game, Young is likable and charismatic, inclusive and…not the brightest crayon (he doesn’t pretend to be). Best of all, he seems humbled by the Probst Praise (or just trying to shirk the target Probst is painting on his back) and has a serious lack of ego, happily taking on board the criticism from his tribe for giving away Taku secrets.
It’s refreshing and it’s seeing Young earn quite the fanbase from viewers and Survivor alum alike.
Oh yeah, he’s a threat, alright!
What do you think of Johnathan’s performance so far and do you think he can go all the way? Perhaps you think he will be picked off immediately after the merge (provided he loses individual immunity…ever).
Let us know your thoughts below and watch Survivor, Wednesdays on CBS
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