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Survivor 41 Player Explains Exactly How Pastor Shan Smith Duped Him

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(Image credit: CBS)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Survivor 41!

Survivor 41 is pulling out all the stops when it comes to new twists and turns. In the latest episode, it was double elimination night – again. Not only that, but the recently merged castaways were divided into two separate “tribes” once more for the vote-offs. Evvie Jagoda was the first casualty, and she has a pretty good idea why it all happened. Likewise, the second ousted player knows why he is on jury now or, should we say, who put him there: Pastor Shan Smith.

To be fair, he was doing as well as could be expected: he had a hidden immunity idol, he was playing the middle of two locked-in pairs, and he kept up a positive attitude (amidst starving). In other words, Naseer Muttalif had power in more ways than one, yet he still ended up being voted out on the Survivor 41 double. Muttalif explained to Entertainment Weekly that the merge brought with it chaos and confusion over who was really with who and, evidently as a result, Pastor Shan Smith was able to dupe him – big time. He said:

So when Evie and Tiffany came, yeah, that's great, but at the same time, they're still trying to work out their stuff from Yase tribe. So they're confused as a goat! [Laughs] Then I do not trust anybody in Luvu, so finally I felt like I was connected with Shan because I had a pretty good relationship with [my] religious leaders. She talked about religion a lot. So I'm like, ‘You know, that is how I grew up. Religious leaders sometimes have to have a little bit of [loyalty].’ So I'm like, ‘That's a great person to trust.’ But I think that was the biggest mistake. But we are on Survivor. Anybody can do anything, right? So you had to take it as fun, enjoy, and keep moving forward.

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(Image credit: CBS)

Shan Smith has been upfront, with the audience, that she isn't against shirking or playing up her religious persona in order to win the game. Over the past few weeks, the pastor from Washington, D.C. has been honing a beautiful villain’s game of betrayal and blindsides. She has personally sent home not one, not two, but three Survivor 41 players with advantages in their pocket or by taking them: which includes Brad Keese, JD Robinson and now Naseer Muttalif. And, to top it off, she has her own hidden immunity idol to still do some damage with.

However, Naseer Muttalif shouldn’t totally blame the pastor for his untimely vote-out. The strategy for Shan Smith to use her extra vote advantage to create a tie between Muttalif and Heather Aldret (a fail safe in case Muttalif did play his idol), which forced the revote that sent him packing, was actually the brainchild of her wingman, Ricard Foye. Smith really did want Aldret out, as Muttalif believed, until she was directed elsewhere. The pastor might therefore want to consider if keeping Foye around is in her best interests for winning Survivor.

Regardless, it's plain to see that Shan Smith’s golden resume is only building. Her beef with Deshawn Radden will apparently come to figurative/strategic blows next week. I hope she plays her cards right, because I'm getting the inkling that she might just be one of the best contestants to ever play the game of Survivor.

Survivor 41 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS!

Lauren Vanderveen

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