‘Survivor 41’ Contestant: Shan Was a ‘Vulture,’ ‘Ripping My Flesh’

Shan Smith

CBS Shan Smith in "Survivor 41."

Since the season finale of “Survivor 41” in December, many of the season’s contestants have taken to post-game interviews and podcasts to expand on what happened on the island that viewers may have missed.

Shan Smith was a controversial figure of the season; though praised for her strategic acumen, she was also seen by some as a villain who occasionally went too far in their pursuit of $1,00,000. Evidently, Brad Reese, who was blindsided by Shan in episode 3 of “Survivor 41,” was one of those people, revealing his true thoughts of his former tribemate in a recent interview.

Here’s what you need to know:

Brad Was Still ‘Healing’ From Shan’s Betrayal at Ponderosa

On Monday, “Survivor 41” contestants Brad Reese, 50, and Eric Abraham, 51, both of whom were eliminated pre-merge, sat down for an interview with Lauren Ashley Beck, in which they spoke about what viewers missed about their short time on the show. Brad in particular got to speak about what it was like after being voted out, and said that getting to see Sara Wilson and Abraham in particular was quite therapeutic.

As viewers of the season will remember, Brad and his tribemate Sara Wilson ended up targeting each other in a messy and unpredictable premiere episode. Sara eventually went home in a 4-1-1 vote, though Brad ended up being blindsided by Ua’s strategic dominators, Shan and Ricard Foyé, the next time they went to Tribal.

Brad said that upon his blindside, which he described as “heart-wrenching,” he met Sara, Abraham, and David Voce at Ponderosa. There, he hugged Sara, and described that hug as “one of my top 10 best hugs ever.” His thought process, as he described it, was, “I’m accepted back, it was a game, we’re still people we still respect and love each other.”

He then got to meet Abraham, who had sequestered himself off in his own room, for the first time, which he positively described as a “healing” experience, in part because he felt so blindsided and betrayed by his tribe, mostly Shan. He elaborated:

“You want to talk about healing? Just to see Abraham in his zone, his nest, he’s got things figured out, and I’m just this raw– my heart’s been ripped out of me by Shan, she’s like this vulture that’s just been ripping my flesh [apart], and then I run into Abraham…we had our comfort zone right there, we bonded, it was healing, it was good for both of us.

Brad: Shan ‘Crossed the Line’ in the Game

Brad Reese and Shan Smith in Survivor 41

YouTubeBrad Reese and Shan Smith in episode 3 of “Survivor 41.”

When asked who their winner picks were after being voted out, Brad and Abraham had very different answers. Abraham said that he wanted to see either Xander Hastings or Liana Wallace win, describing them as the “next generation.” Xander and Liana were 20 at the time of filming, and both were on Abraham’s Yase tribe, and voted him out. Despite that, Abraham wasn’t bitter, saying:

I wanted to see either Xander or Liana win. Just because they’re the next generation, and I wanted to see them take that whole experience of knowledge that we gave them, and a blueprint of ‘Survivor’…and kind of run with it and see what direction they were going in.

Brad, on the other hand, figured that Shan was playing an excellent cutthroat game and would “crush it.” “She was so good at reading people and knowing their needs,” he said, “and she didn’t have a heart to care about what she did to them. So she had the emotion out of it, she had the calculating mind.” Referring to the rest of the cast, he predicted that she would “eat them alive…she definitely was my winner pick.”

However, whether Brad was rooting for her is a different question. When asked which contestants on the season he would prefer not to have contact with, Brad again responded Shan, who he added he hasn’t spoken with since the day he was voted out. He said that she used religion to her strategic advantage far too much for comfort, and that she even “crossed the line” as a player in the game. He said of his former tribemate:

There’s nothing Shan could say that I would believe. I gave her my everything…it’s just a game, but I feel like Shan crossed the line of religion and swearing on religion and what you can do with religion, plus…she didn’t really care about the person themselves…and so I’m like, ‘You know what? It’s gonna mess with my mind to talk to Shan and go from there,’ so no, I haven’t talked to Shan – or Ricard – since the game.

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The two-hour season 42 premiere will air on March 9.

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