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Survivor 41 Contestant Reveals Whether They Would've Taken Shan Smith To The End

survivor 41
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for Survivor 41!

Pastor Shan Smith definitely gave new meaning to the villain trope in Season 41 of Survivor. If it wasn't for some of her own allies turning on her in the last minute, mere days before the final tribal, there's no question that her resume could have won her the $1 million prize and the title of Sole Survivor. Smith herself said she has no regrets about how she played, only some gripes on gender double standards. But would her one loyal comrade have stuck to her guns and taken Smith to the end, if it really had come down to it? Liana Wallace opened up.

Technically, they were in an alliance together while on separate tribes, long before the merge. They bonded and cried together on their trek up the prisoner’s dilemma mountain. There were even promises of loyalty until the Survivor finale night. Unfortunately, not long after Shan Smith was voted out, Liana Wallace quickly followed her to the jury in the latest episode of Survivor 41. In a post-elimination interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wallace was asked to play devil's advocate about how far her loyalty to Smith would have gone – and her answer might surprise some fans:

I did want to sit with Shan at the end. Like when I was talking to her, I said, ‘I don't care if people might think you're the better player than I am — I would take that challenge. That's a risk I'm willing to take sitting with you at the end.’ And so I did want to go to the end with her. At that point in time, it was a decision I made. I was like, ‘Well, by telling you this, I'm resolidifying our bond, and I want to go to the end with you.’

liana wallace shan smith survivor 41

(Image credit: CBS)

Reneging on final two deals is part and parcel of Survivor, even in hindsight. But Liana Wallace’s dedication to Shan Smith is understandable given how their alliance seemed to genuinely go beyond the game itself. Wallace was committed to represent their culture with their all-Black, four-person alliance and, when the group turned on Smith, it was Wallace who gave the pastor a head’s up that she and her ally Ricard Foye were on the chopping block. The move was in direct opposition of the majority and typical Survivor strategy, and it ultimately backfired on them both in the long run. When discussing her decision, Wallace revealed that it really came down to how she wanted to play Survivor, saying,

So I think you go into this game and you're like, ‘I'm not gonna tell anyone anything.’ But when you get out there, it's a different beast entirely. I really wanted to build this sense of trust with her, and I did trust her and thought that was a way to do it. That's the way I played the game, and I wanted to have that authenticity. That's something that, again, I gambled with.

It was actually Ricard Foye who ended up flipping on Shan Smith and being the catalyst for her elimination (and likewise Liana Wallace’s). So now he is taking the reins as possible frontrunner to win Survivor 41 – if he can somehow trump Xander Hastings in the coming weeks. To find out what happens, keep watching Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. EST!

Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.