How Omar Zaheer became the betting favorite to win the game

Omar Zaheer is playing the best game of any of the remaining seven candidates. Does he do enough to convince the jury that he controls the game?

In episode 10 of Survivor 42, Omar Zaheer feels his plan to dethrone King Hai is going too well and wonders aloud if he should back off and rally the troops to get rid of Jonathan Young instead. It is unclear how serious Omar was about returning the vote to the original purpose; given Omar’s extensive knowledge of the game, it’s entirely possible he put on his producer hat, realizing an almost unanimous vote by Hai Giang wouldn’t play well on TV and contributed to the drama in considering overturning his own plan to go with another.

With seven contestants remaining in Season 42, none plays such a solid strategic game as Omar. In episode 9, he was split into a group of five and convinced Hai and Mike Turner to keep underdog Romeo Escobar and get rid of Rocksroy Bailey, who had proposed an all-male alliance which Omar didn’t want to do. part. Omar’s lie to Mike this week was a textbook: he located a weak point in Mike’s relationship with Hai and exploited it. As a result of his shrewd social maneuvers, Omar’s name was never discarded as a potential ballot. Buoyed by the Taku 4 and its inter-tribal ties, Omar need only worry about the perks he doesn’t possess that are abundant elsewhere.


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Although there are five realistic potential winners among the seven players remaining in the game, Omar has the best shot of them all. The montage portrayed Omar as being in control from the start, and he bonded strongly with the likes of Jonathan who can assume they can beat Omar in the final three. Certainly, there are possible pitfalls in front of the venerable veterinarian. If Omar takes part in the immunity challenge next week, he could be do or die out of the game. If he makes it to the last six, he could find himself in a similar position to Cirie Fields, as a one of the only people not to be immune as the idols are played simultaneously.

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Omar can, however, rely on recent history to believe that he will survive the onslaught of advantage plays. In two of the last three seasons, the winner of the game has not played a single idol or advantage (except for an hourglass). While Jeff Probst tries to make things exciting by adding a host of trinkets to the competition, old-school relationship building still proves to be the best strategy.

So far, Omar has shown his skills in the confessionals. His biggest challenge, if he finds himself in a final trio, will be to explain to the jury how much he was pulling the strings behind the scenes. Omar hasn’t been up front, taking big hits against power players. Instead, he subtly planted seeds of doubt in people’s heads, leading the orchestra without waving his arms. Omar embodied what it takes to win Survivor at present time. Will it be enough?

Next: Why The Survivor 41 & 42 ‘Shot In The Dark’ Twist Was A Flop

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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