‘Survivor 41’: Shan Smith Reveals Why She Didn’t Play an Idol Last Round

by Anna Dunn
“Baby with a Machine Gun” — Shantel Smith at Tribal Council on the tenth episode of SURVIVOR 41, airing Wednesday, November 24 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Survivor 41 contestant Shan Smith revealed why she decided not to play her immunity idol in the round where she was sent home. Shan’s exit from Survivor was a huge blow to tons of fans, who were rooting for her to get to the end.

Shan became the second person this season to leave without using their immunity idol. The group as a whole has been particularly good at pulling off blindsided, and it looks like that’s exactly what happened here. But unlike Naseer, who says he really was tricked through and through, Shan had a bit of a disadvantage the day that tribal went down.

“What they didn’t show was, after the challenge, I was actually really sick. I had that one conversation, and I was with the medics the rest of the afternoon. I came back maybe ten minutes before Tribal,” she admitted. That gap in time really allowed people to fully plan out her demise.

“I really wasn’t anywhere on the beach. So when I got to Tribal, I was trying to recover from my visit to medical. I wasn’t trying to read the room. I know people are asking, “Did she not play her idol because of ego?” No! If I had been on that beach that day, I probably would have played my idol,” she continued.

Shan Isn’t Mad at the ‘Survivor’ Edit

However, she’s not mad that the edit didn’t factor in the fact that she was sick. Like most people, Shan thinks that last week’s episode of Survivor was fantastic. It truly encapsulated a ton of the connections that have made this season so special and Shan’s sendoff, while bittersweet, has really set the tone for the rest of the season.

“But I wasn’t around. It was a fantastic episode! It made me weep. I’m still in my feels about it! (Laughs.) They didn’t air me being sick, and that’s fine,” Shan said. “I still feel the episode was very true and authentic to what took place. But I wasn’t there for any of it, and at Tribal, I was feeling very dizzy and not at my best.”

Thanks to Ricard, DeShawn, and Erica, Shan was sent packing. It took two of her closest allies to turn on her and blindside her to get it to happen, but now everyone’s biggest obstacle to that prize money is out of reach. Many fans are hoping to see Shan get to play again.

Now, there are many people who could take the win and only one immunity idol left currently with Xander.

If you want to catch the next episode of Survivor and see how castaways like Ricard and Erica will fare after last week’s major sendoff, you can tune in on Wednesday at 8/7 CT.