Season 41 of Survivor has been a little quiet in terms of big emotional blowups. Mostly, the players seem caught up in the confusion of the new advantages and orchestrating low-key blindsides. But contestant Genie Chen, in the wake of an ally going home, had a pretty big reaction at one point. Unbeknownst to fans, though, some of it was left on CBS’ cutting room floor and Chen is revealing more of the details of the apparent F-bomb meltdown.
If we rewind the clocks back to three tribal councils ago, we will be back at Brad Keese’s unfortunate vote out. Fans know the old song: he had multiple advantages but just didn’t have the numbers or the sway. Later at camp, his confidante Genie Chen was clearly pissed about the blindside. She even told her tribemates that, beyond challenges, she wasn’t going to work with them. Looking back now, Chen told Entertainment Weekly that her meltdown was actually a lot worse than fans saw:
Apparently, Genie Chen continued with the taunts that night on Survivor, too. She shared that she watched her remaining tribe helplessly attempt to make a fire while she laughed and goaded everyone about how they all probably wished Brad Keese was there still. She also essentially told everyone that she wasn’t going to work around camp anymore, either, which seemingly triggered some responses:
Genie Chen’s Survivor meltdown isn’t quite as bad as, say, J’Tia Taylor famously throwing the rice into the fire or Russell Hantz hiding the machete. But the actual extent of it does kind of explain her precarious position in the tribe and Shan Smith opting to send her home this week over Ricard Foyé. Chen probably couldn’t shake the perception that she was now a wild card and not to be fully trusted. So when it came time to vote, it wasn’t so much choosing between a “strategist” and a “loyalist,” as Smith said, but choosing the least emotional player. Which is typically the best bet.
Nevertheless, Shan Smith’s last vote for Genie Chen was still kind of disappointing to see. Smith has been steadily building a villain’s resume by way of gaining information and advantages from quite a few players before sending them home. When Ricard Foyé refused to give Smith back the extra vote advantage and basically claimed credit for their strategic moves, Smith had the power and the means to still send him home. It would have been the villain’s play to do so, and she ultimately copped out.
The teaser for next week on Survivor 41 indicates that a twisty merge or possible swap is on the way. Only then will fans see if Shan Smith’s choice to keep Ricard Foyé over Genie Chen was the right move after all.
I am a vegan feminist. I’m fascinated by all things space/stars. I love film history, reality television, and my cat Bubbe.