Zeke Smith ‘Survivor 34’ exit interview: Will he play again? What’s his status with Jeff Varner? [PODCAST]

“‘Survivor’ has I think really expanded my horizons and I’m excited to embark upon some new adventures, but I don’t know if another trip on ‘Survivor’ is in the cards,” confesses “Survivor: Game Changers” castoff Zeke Smith after being blindsided by frenemy Andrea Boehlke in Wednesday’s episode, titled “Reinventing How This Game Is Played.” It makes sense that Zeke would want to take a break from “Survivor,” as this was his second consecutive time playing after finishing ninth place just last year in “Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X” (Season 33).

Listen to our full exit interview above and then make your “Survivor 34” 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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Speaking about the infamous moment at tribal council when Jeff Varner outed Zeke for being transgender, Zeke now says, “What Jeff Varner did had the potential to be a really dark moment. But it wasn’t and for one reason, and that’s the response of my tribe mates. They really showed what tremendous humans they were in that moment. That they responded so quickly and so passionately and came to my defense, that’s a case study in how you should respond to injustice. I think their humanity spoke volumes. One of my hopes for that moment has always been that this can mark a change in how transgender people are treated.”

It’s been about 11 months since that incident happened, so what is the current status today between Zeke and Varner? “We’ve spoken a few times,” Zeke confirms. “I would say our relationship is a work in progress and I think at this point best kept between the two of us.” The pair will likely meet up in person at the live reunion show later this month where host Jeff Probst, who Zeke calls “dreamy,” will undoubtedly address the issue live on air.

‘Survivor’ Game Changers: Predictions, News, Photos & Odds

Zeke’s parting words in last night’s episode were, “I will forever be a better person because I played ‘Survivor.'” We ask Zeke if he can expand on that thought, to which he details, “‘Survivor’ really strengthened these qualities of adaptability and resilience in me. It taught me to believe in myself in a way that I hadn’t believed in myself in a long time. Transitioning was really difficult and it knocked me down a peg … and ‘Survivor’ taught me that I have all the strength I need to knock down any doors which might stand in my way.”

Also in our “Survivor” podcast, Zeke praises Probst for how he handled the moment in which he was outed, he gives his theory as to why Sarah Lacina is leading Gold Derby’s winner predictions, and he explains why he and Andrea just couldn’t work together on the island.

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Get a closer look at the Season 34 contestants by clicking through our cast photo gallery. In our “Survivor” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on CBS every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:

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