Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Survivor Season 42.
The cast of Survivor 42 are an… eclectic bunch of strangers, to say the least. But the one whose personality is ruffling the most feathers in the game at the moment is Maryanne Oketch. She’s a 23-year-old seminary student with a chaotic and lovable kind of exuberance. In the latest episode, it took the form of Oketch proclaiming far and wide her love for fellow contestant Zach Wurtenberger on the show, and he has followed up with an equally hilarious reaction to the surprising news.
Just to recap the moment fully, Maryanne Oketch was having a chat with host Jeff Probst and revealed (not only to her tribe but all three tribes) that Zach Wurtenberger was equivalent to “every type of white guy” she’s ever had a crush on. Later, when her tribe found themselves at tribal council, the slightly awkward subject came up yet again, and she called Wurtenberger “literally picture perfect” and ruminated that God had basically ordained them to meet on Survivor 42.
Maryanne Oketch was being perfectly candid, and seemingly 100% serious. But at this point, Zach Wurtenberger had already become the first official elimination of the game right after an early medical removal of another player. Therefore, Wurtenberger never found out about his Survivor 42 castmate’s secret crush, presumably until the episode aired. He reacted to the revelation on Instagram with a photoshopped image of them as a couple, captioning it “I do.” See the post here:
Now, if you’re a true Survivor fan, you’ll know the iconic reference in Zach Wurtenberger’s post. And if you’re not, well, I’m going to tell you. Wurtenberger and Maryanne Oketch’s faces have been expertly cropped onto the 2004 reunion episode of the Survivor: All-Stars season – arguably one of the most memorable moments ever of the show – where Boston Rob Mariano proposed to Amber Brkich. The two alums would later get married and have four kids together, as well as team up again for the show in the Winners at War season.
It’s not clear if Zach Wurtenberger and Maryanne Oketch will have quite the same future as those Survivor legends, but I am genuinely rooting for Oketch to have that level of love (wherever it may come from) regardless. Despite her rapid-fire honesty rubbing some Survivor 42 contestants the wrong way, I think it was still rather brave of her to share her love life experiences, or the extreme lack thereof, so deeply on a public forum.
Survivor 42 continues on, with Maryanne Oketch narrowly avoiding elimination last night. Her romantic crush has been exposed, yet we know some of the remaining players’ secrets still being kept tightly under wraps. Stay tuned to upcoming episodes airing on Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. EST on the 2022 TV schedule!