‘Survivor’: New Season 41 Preview Focuses on Ex-Dallas Cowboys Player and a ‘Cutthroat’ Pastor

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Maybe playing defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys will prove to be the perfect Survivor training for Danny McCray.

Survivor released a clip, Thursday, to showcase six of the 18 contestants who will contend to be the last person on the island.

One of the chosen six was McCray, the 33-year-old Texan who played collegiately for LSU, then spent five seasons with the Cowboys. McCray went undrafted, yet scrapped his way to play safety and dominate on special teams.

On the Survivor clip, McCray is introduced as part of the Luvu tribe. He and the other 17 contestants are seen on boats headed to the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. Then there are the interviews.

McCray confessed that he spent all of the Covid-19 quarantine binge-watching past Survivor seasons. He said he watched day and night. Did the binge-watching prep him enough? Or will he be a favorite because of the athletic skills he needed to survive and thrive in the NFL?

“I’m looking forward to seeing competition,” McCray says in the Survivor clip. “I’m a former NFL player — the competitive spirit never leaves. You’re always trying to win at something. This is the ultimate test for me.”

However, McCray said the other contestants may pay more attention to his athletic skills and underestimate what will really make him a terrific candidate to win.

“I think my fellow players will underestimate my intelligence,” McCray told Parade.com. “Sometimes you look at people, and you create this idea of what they are. I think that happens to me often, and I don’t think it’ll be that much different on the island.

Survivor Clip Shows Most Competitive Could be ‘Mafia Pastor’ From D.C.

From the clip, the most competitive person in the cast may be a self-described “Mafia pastor” named Shantel Smith. She’s from Washington, D.C.

“I am half Italian, half Jamaican,” Shantel says in the video. “That means I’m cut throat, OK? Like, I will pray for you, and walk you out the door at the same time. I have no problem doing that!”

Smith told Parade.com that she spent part of her childhood in foster homes. And she’d always watch Survivor, which provided more than just entertainment.

“I didn’t really have a lot of parenting voices in my life,’ the Survivor contestant said. “And (host) Jeff Probst kind of became that parenting voice. When he encouraged the players to dig deep, “there’s more in you than you know, you can do this,” those were the messages I carried with me. And that eventually put myself through high school, college, grad school and my doctoral work. And so the show has had a really big impact on me, not just surviving, but winning and thriving in life.”

Survivor premieres, Sept. 22. It’s been 16 months since the show last was on the air.

Outsider.com