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Survivor 41's First Eliminated Contestant Has An Interesting Theory Why It Might've Happened

screenshot survivor 41
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the premiere of Survivor 41 on CBS!

The Wednesday night premiere of Survivor 41 had a whole lot going on. The game is significantly shorter, there are a few new twists afoot and host Jeff Probst is breaking the fourth wall with fans. What hasn't changed though, and hopefully never will, is that the blindside maneuver is still in fashion. In fact, the game’s first eliminated contestant has an interesting theory as to why he was booted out the way he was.

True to Jeff Probst’s good word that Survivor is going to be a whole new game, Season 41 opened with a double tribal council for the immunity challenge’s two losing teams. From the Yase tribe, Eric Abraham was the first to be voted out, and it was surprisingly unanimous. When Entertainment Weekly asked him why it happened, Abraham theorized that it might have something to do with an all-girls alliance. He said,

You look at it and say, ‘Okay, I want to stay longer.’ So my tribe was like, ‘What's the best way for me to stay? Well, we're going to vote him out.’ It's so tricky, and Survivor, one wrong move… I said, ‘Hey, look at it and say, 'What's the best move for me? You got three guys. They got three young ladies. Let's take out one of the guys.'’ Well, the young ladies now have the upper hand and then some people just don't see what's coming.

Officially, fans didn't see the three women on the Yase tribe solidify a concrete alliance based on gender between them. But that doesn't mean Eric Abraham isn't onto something here. For one, it's simply not the norm for someone like Abraham, the strongest physically, to be eliminated first on Survivor. The perceived “weakest,” usually a woman, is typically voted out first in order to guarantee the tribe’s survival to the merge.

The only logical explanation, then, is that maybe Eric Abraham is right and the Yase women are planning to stick together long term. In the premiere, we saw Evvie Jagoda and Liana Wallace form a tentative connection, and they very clearly didn't want Tiffany Seely to be the target as Abraham wanted. Jagoda pitched to her other tribemates that Seely would be more loyal down the line. To whom and to what alliance is the question.

The prisoner’s dilemma and Shot in the Dark twist already complicated matters for Survivor 41's contestants by bestowing huge powers very early on. A strong physical threat’s elimination signals that strategy is heightened much earlier, too. For his part, Eric Abraham doesn’t regret his cards in the game:

I went in there to say, ‘Hey, look, you're wanting to be one of the strongest ones.’ This is early on. The strongest person has never gotten voted out on Survivor. I've looked at every season. So that approach to me was the best approach at that time. Now, as you get closer to the merge, I would change my strategy. But just showing that, ‘Hey, look, I'm here to work. You use me, and I need you, and let's see how these cards get played.’ But again, like Jeff [Probst] says, Survivor is changing, and that strategy didn't work.

If there is an all-girls alliance at play, per Eric Abraham's theory, it's hard to know as of yet if it will last long in a totally evolving game. (They haven't had a good track record even in the traditional circumstances.) Vote in our poll below with your thoughts! What is guaranteed, though, is that Jeff Probst isn't done yet. Tune in to Survivor 41 on Wednesdays on CBS at 8p.m. EST!

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Lauren Vanderveen

I am a vegan feminist. I'm fascinated by all things space/stars. I love film history, reality television, and my cat Bubbe.