‘Survivor’: Danny McCray Opens Up About His Alliance Strategy

by Anna Dunn
“Truth Kamikaze” – On the twelfth episode of SURVIVOR 41, Castaways need to alter their plans after the winner of the immunity challenge throws a wrench in their next big move, on the CBS Original series SURVIVOR, Wednesday, Dec. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured L to R: Ricard Foye, Heather Aldret, Danny McCray. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Survivor star Danny McCray is the latest to go. Here’s what he says about his alliance’s strategy not to vote out Xander Hastings:

McCray, a former NFL player, managed to make it all the way to the final six on the 41st season of Survivor. He played a good game but was unfortunately ousted right before the finals. Granted, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise. The final five have to move to a new island and make their whole camp from scratch.

When it comes to his strategy and a lot of people’s strategies, viewers were particularly baffled by the decision of himself and his allies not to vote out Xander Hastings, or at least flush his idol. Hastings is now going into the final five with an idol in his pocket. And many viewers at home think he’s played a good game.

But members of the jury, and the players that remained, didn’t really see him that way. McCray told Entertainment Weekly that his allies didn’t really see him as a threat.

“If you watch the jury and you hear what people say about him, a lot of people did not respect the game that he was playing. A lot of people thought that when he stepped out of the challenges that it was for show and it wasn’t because he really cared,” he explained. So why would they bother voting out someone they don’t think could beat them in the finals?

McCray and the Other Players Saw Hastings as a Good Person to Take to the End of ‘Survivor 41’

“So as the game goes on, you’re like, “This guy is not an issue. Why are we worried about the idol? A lot of people want to go sit at the end with Xander. So they can explain how they played a better game than he did. So it just became a non-issue, which is why I went to him and [said], “Hey, we need to vote out Heather,” Danny explained. Unfortunately, this backfired on him.

“We never thought about voting Xander at this last Tribal Council because he’s a good guy to take to the end and he can also help us beat Ricard. So it would have worked out for us two times,” he said.

It’s a great example of how things can look different to viewers than it does to people playing the game. We don’t see much of Heather so she feels like someone you’d want to take to the end. But what we do see of Xander is impressive. However, the players don’t get to see what we see. They decided he would be a great person to take to the end.

If you want to see how that works out for them, tune in to CBS next Wednesday at 8/7 Central.