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Survivor 41's Double Elimination Proved Wild Card Players Are Willing To Make Big Moves

survivor 41
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoiler warning for Survivor 41 ahead!

Apparently, it was time for Survivor 41 to throw yet another monkey wrench into carefully laid plans. Day 17 was another double elimination. Not only that but the just recently merged group of ten was split into two groups, with each holding separate tribal councils. The result? Blindsides, obviously. But more importantly, it proved that certain wild card players are much more willing to make big moves than was previously believed.

Your honor, we begin with contestant Ricard Foyé. So far as we've seen of him in Survivor 41, he has appeared mostly as a knight in Queen Shan Smith's court. He even attempted at certain points to take credit for some of Smith's game moves and to not give back her vote advantage. The two are still technically working together post-merge – albeit with a shaky sense of trust – but Foye just demonstrated that he's willing to play hard ball with the big players. 

At the first of two tribal councils, it was miraculously Shan Smith and Ricard Foyé together still, accompanied by Naseer Muttalif, Heather Aldret and Erika Casupanan. The latter two had all but given up hope of making any moves whatsoever and Smith was dead set on getting out Aldret, who she trusted the least. But Foyé pushed for a much bigger and riskier move: convincing Smith to use her extra vote advantage to split the votes on Aldret and Muttalif to ultimately get out Muttalif. And, amazingly, it worked.

It was a very calculated strategy that Shan Smith should be wary of in the future. Not only can Ricard Foyé rightfully claim the most ownership for the move, but it is one easily replicated down the line in Survivor 41. Naseer Muttalif was voted out with a hidden immunity idol in his pocket, and Smith’s own idol could face the same fate soon.

Over on the other group, it wasn't so much who was voted out as what was said prior to it that revealed another wild card player’s bid for power. I'm speaking of Deshawn Radden, whose only move to speak of thus far had been to wildly throw an immunity challenge in the early stages of the game. Since the merge, his animosity toward Shan Smith’s leadership has been steadily growing. But it became super obvious last week when Smith wanted to flip on Heather Aldret and Radden was very vocal in his dissent about it.

And I’m almost 99.9999% sure that if Shan Smith had landed in Deshawn Radden’s tribal group tonight, he would have taken a shot at her. Before Jeff Probst dropped the double elimination twist, Radden all but swore he was flipping. Alas, Smith wasn't in his designated group and he needs the two other members of their “Cookout” alliance to do damage, hence Evvie Jagoda’s easy vote-out. However, the teaser for next week’s episode suggests that an all-out war is happening between Smith and Radden as a result of all that’s come to pass. And I’m really, really starting to worry for Smith and her longevity.

Whichever way it shakes out, it's certainly coming down to the wire in Survivor 41. So many people left in the game now have a legitimate shot of winning and deserving to win. Shan Smith, Deshawn Radden, Ricard Foyé, Xander Hastings and maybe Liana Wallace a little bit, too – that's over half the players left and there's not much time left to go... To find out what happens, tune into CBS on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST!

Lauren Vanderveen

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