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Survivor 41 Contestant Sets The Record Straight On Alleged Argument With Jeff Probst About The Hourglass Twist



(Image credit: CBS)

Warning: Some spoilers from the current season of Survivor below!

After being left to the mercy of exile island just prior to the Survivor 41 merge, Erika Casupanan was given a powerful advantage by Jeff Probst. Half the cast had won safety and half were up on the chopping block, but Casupanan could smash an hourglass and flip the teams (and therefore who had immunity). And she did. The hourglass twist, as a result, engendered divided reactions at the time. There has even been talk that one contestant got into a heated, unaired argument with Jeff Probst about the switch-up, which they are now setting the record straight for.

For context, Sydney Segal ended up being the fallout at tribal on the night of the hourglass twist – after straight-up madness ensued. She talked a lot of post-elimination smack about the role reversals that sent her home. But she also revealed to TV Line that what didn’t get aired from the episode was how Danny McCray “reamed Jeff out” for the hourglass decision being a “lie.” Apparently, Jeff Probst acquiesced that they would “make it better for future seasons.”

During the most recent wild night of Survivor 41, Danny McCray was unfortunately eliminated himself. He explained why the remaining contestants weren’t trying at all to get Xander Hastings and his idol out of the game, and now he’s clearing up this alleged confrontation with the show’s host. The former NFL player followed up with TV Line that Sydney Segal’s claims were indeed true but less dramatic than she indicated. He said:

[Laughs] Listen, I’m not a confrontational type, and I love Sydney, but I wouldn’t say I was yelling at Jeff or anything like that. But it was very important for me to let him know that the integrity of the game is at risk when you are the host and you’re able to lie to the contestants. If you go out there and say, ‘Hey man, this is what’s happening,’ kind of like the Do or Die twist, then I can accept that. But when you are the person that says, ‘Work hard, dig hard, you have to earn everything this season on Survivor,’ and then you earn it, really just to not earn it, it didn’t sit well with me. Being a competitor, it was difficult for me to process.

There have been a lot of complaints from fans about the new twists being too plentiful and too complicated, which I have to agree with. The Super Idol one took three contestants from three different tribes risking their vote by saying silly code words prior to challenges. Then there’s the seriously underused Shot in The Dark twist and the now seemingly defunct prisoner’s dilemma hill climb. Add on the hourglass and the Do-or-Die gamble, and our heads are collectively spinning.

For us fans, the new Survivor twists haven’t allowed much screen time for hearing strategy and really getting to know the players actually playing. But that’s not Danny McCray’s gripe. For him, it’s more about the integrity of what players are promised. He stated:

I stand by saying this was not a ‘twist.’ Everybody wants to compare it to idols and every other thing that happened, and I say, ‘Listen, Jeff has never looked at anybody in their face and lied to them. Blatantly.’ Erika had no choice but to do it, but I feel like it was a really, really forced moment.

Danny McCray has to admit, though, that the hourglass twist succeeded in shaking up what was left of the game’s predictability. It changed the entire trajectory of Survivor 41, in fact. If it hadn’t happened, then Xander Hastings would most likely have been out of the game a long time ago.

Everything is all said and done now. But I wonder if Danny McCray really would have felt so strongly against the hourglass twist if he had landed on the immune team. Perhaps we’ll find out at the reunion on finale night. Tune into the remaining episodes of Survivor 41 on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST!

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.

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