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This season of Survivor has many new twists. But it also has more diversity after CBS promised to increase diversity in its reality shows. Shan Smith talked about using this to her advantage with other Black castaways and secretly working together.

[Spoiler alert: Survivor Season 41 Episode 6 spoilers ahead.]

‘Survivor 41’ had a merge twist

Castaways usually have to make it to a point, and they automatically make it into the merge if they haven’t been voted out. Survivor 41 put a new twist on this.

“Ready to Play Like a Lion” showed Jeff Probst announcing to the cast that the merge is here…kind of. They had to draw stones, and two people with grey stones had to sit out. Everyone else was split into teams and competed to get the merge feast. 

The people who lost had to go back and not get any food. In the end, they also had to pick someone to send away, and that person will get a lot of power.

Black castaways agree to an alliance after the merge

Shantel Smith and Liana Wallace on 'SURVIVOR 41' stand next to each other in a field.
Shantel Smith and Liana Wallace on ‘SURVIVOR 41’ | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Danny McCray, Deshawn Radden, Liana Wallace, and Shantel “Shan” Smith have managed to make it this far. Once the winners and losers reunited after the merge feast, they started to come up with a strategy. The Black castaways started to talk about working together.

“I’m just really, really nervous, and the only person that really seems reliable is Liana,” Shan said in her confessional. “Liana and I really bonded on the journey and the excursion, so I feel like I can trust her. And then I do really like Danny and Deshawn. More than any other season that I ever watched on Survivor, I think season 41’s been the most diverse and most like inclusive and representative of America.”

Shan talked to Liana, Danny, and Deshawn about working together. “Listen, I want us to be on the front page just like ‘Look at what we did,” she said. “After this year, we need that,” Liana added. 

“You’re making my heart sing ring now,” Danny told them. “Let’s do it and keep it really low,” Deshawn said. 

The episode ended with a big cliffhanger. But it looks like there is a new alliance in the game.

Erika Casupanan has a new power


‘Survivor 41’: Shan Jokes About J.D.’s Awkward Exit and Compares It to a ‘Big Brother 23’ Eviction

Erika Capsupanan and Naseer Muttalif had the bad luck of sitting out the merge challenge. The people who won had to pick one of them to go to exile.

Most of the winners came from Erika and Naseer’s former tribe, Luvu. They did rock, paper, scissors, and Erika was sent away.

Erika said this confirmed she was at the bottom of her tribe. But Probst later joined her in exile, saying she had a choice to make. She can decide to keep the game the same or turn back time. If she turns back time, then reverse the outcome of the challenge. She would be safe along with the other five who previously lost. The episode ended with Erika still considering her options.