‘Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X’ castoff Zeke Smith: ‘My biggest mistake was losing Hannah’

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” said goodbye to ace player Zeke Smith Wednesday night after 18-year-old Will Wahl decided to play like “an adult” and blindside him (read our episode recap). Loyalist Ken McNickle threw a wrench in Will’s plan by outing him, but Zeke was still sent packing nonetheless. What does Zeke think about his elimination? Check out Gold Derby’s exit interview Q&A with Zeke below and then make your “Survivor 33” predictions for a chance to top our famous leaderboards. It’s fun and easy, so start now by predicting who will be voted out next.

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Were you aware that Jay Starrett had a hidden idol, and do you wish he’d used it on you like Adam Klein used his on Hannah Shapiro?

Yes, in fact, I had heard that Jay had an idol. Jay’s idol was the hot gossip around camp. While I would’ve loved Jay to save me with his idol, I never held any hope that he would. Jay and I knew our alliance was temporary, and that he needed it for himself.

Fess up — what was the biggest mistake you made in the game?

My biggest mistake was losing Hannah. I don’t really understand why she flipped on me away from the numbers – if she stuck with me, we would’ve had the numbers 6-4. By flipping, the numbers became 5-5, forcing the rock draw. Hannah and I were very close; we spent hours discussing strategy every night during what we called “cocktails.” But, as much strategy talk as we did, I think I failed to bond with Hannah on an emotional level. Emotional bonds are much stronger than strategic bonds. David was able to form a connection with Hannah emotionally and sway her to his side.

What savvy game move did you make that you think could’ve helped you win the $1 million?

Persuading four people I previously blindsided to go to rocks for me was hands down my best move. It was a tricky sell. I had to get them emotionally fired up. I prepared them for rocks, but might’ve neglected to mention that I didn’t have to draw a rock in the case of a tie. I prepared everyone with Ken’s name as a decoy, in order to get the idol misplayed. Sunday Burquest executed perfectly! I ensured the idol was misplayed and that my army stuck by my side, ensuring my safety. After we won the rock draw, I was sure we wouldn’t desert each other. I was ready to stick to my five. Will, clearly, had other ideas.

What was the most shocking eye-opener that you learned by watching the season on TV?

I was most surprised seeing how the hidden immunity idols were hidden! I spent so much time combing the beach and looking in trees. I feel so foolish seeing where they were planted, because I walked by those spots a hundred times.

Who are your dream male and female castaways that you’d love to play with if you could do it again?

Dream male castaway to play with would easily be Stephen Fishbach. I’ve spent so much time studying his thoughts on “Survivor” strategy and respect his mind for the game. Dream female castaway, no question, is Parvati Shallow. She’s Parvati.

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