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Survivor 41: Why The Shot In The Dark Wasn't Played At All After Yet Another Wild Tribal

survivor 41
(Image credit: CBS)

On Survivor, everything that follows the merge is notoriously very hectic. It's the point in the game when the strengths of old alliances/loyalties are tested and, ultimately, lines are drawn in the sand. With this new season, though, post-merge tribal councils are as “live” as they have ever been. Like, so live that the votes are literally coming down to the last second – so why wasn't the Shot in the Dark advantage attempted at the very least by those in trouble at the last tribal? Well, the player who drew the short end of the stick has an explanation why.

To summarize, the Shot in the Dark advantage is such that any contestant feeling scared/uncertain/spooked about their position can draw a 1-in-6 rock for safety at tribal – in exchange for sacrificing their vote. It’s a Russian roulette that has only been played once so far, and not successfully. But from my seat on my couch, it looked like at least four people should have been very, very scared and mobilized into action, including Tiffany Seely, who did ultimately get her torch snuffed out. For her part, Seely told Entertainment Weekly,

I might have used the Shot in the Dark, but to be honest with you, I totally forgot about it because it was such a fractured, messy Tribal that the lines were not clear enough for me to put myself out like Sydney did. I did kick myself about that on the island, but in hindsight, I wouldn't have used it. So the vote was just a mess and nothing was flushed.

She forgot? She forgot! She forgot... Tiffany Seely’s revelation here is honestly pretty astounding. There were quite a few names being thrown around at this past tribal council. Along with Seely, contestants Xander Hastings, Naseer Muttalif and Heather Aldret were also being openly discussed. It would have only taken the two guys to play their hidden immunity idols for Seely and Aldret to be sent home. Now, to be fair, Aldret did at least try to flip the vote last minute (and was very clearly failing). However, they should have both still made the Hail Mary pass!

It just goes to show how keyed up Surviving 41 is, if players can forget in the middle of a genuine voting crisis that there's an advantage at their fingertips. David Voce, a previously eliminated contestant, actually claimed that the parameters around the new advantages and twists were very confusing to those playing at the time, which ultimately affected the vote. So maybe I shouldn't be too harsh about Tiffany Seely not wanting to risk her vote with the Shot in the Dark.

With just ten days left, tribal councils will likely only get wilder from here on out. The Survivor 41 “Cookout” alliance has the numbers at the moment, but possibly not for long, what with the ongoing Shan Smith-Deshawn Radden power struggle. Check out new episodes of Survivor 41 on CBS on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

Lauren Vanderveen

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