Unfortunately for Smith, his choice was taken away by fellow castaway, Jeff Varner, who outed him on the April 12th episode of the show.
In last night's episode, Varner — an openly gay former news anchor from North Carolina — revealed Smith's gender identity in the hopes of getting Smith voted off instead of himself.
Almost 17 years ago to the day, 16 men and women traveled to the South China Sea to play out the adventure of a lifetime. I really do believe that a lot of people who don't watch Survivor would love it.
Nearly two full decades later, Survivor rages on, albeit a long way away from Borneo. In the last two years, I've probably had five new friends who have come into my life and have decided to watch Survivor, having never watched before.
contestant Zeke Smith as transgender in this week's episode.
“An odd sentiment, I realize, for someone who signed up for two seasons of the CBS reality giant, ‘Survivor.'”Smith explained he never expected to make it has far as he did; he expected to return home and continue his life, “casually trans in the same way that Zac Efron is casually Jewish.”Smith went on to describe what he felt when Varner uttered those words.The cutthroat competition has played out all over the world, has featured hundreds of competitors across 34 seasons, and has seen more than a few twists thrown in along the way. Fair questions for the uninitiated, but for the Survivor faithful, the proof of the twisting-and-turning social strategy experiment lies in the hundreds of episodes that have come before. I have it from people who genuinely don't know it's still on. I don't watch TV." Then I'll say, "Right, OK." When [The Daily Show With Jon Stewart] was still on, I used to say, "Do you watch Jon Stewart? I imagine it must be like listening to someone speaking in a foreign language. Across it all, through multiple schools of thought on how to approach the game, at least one constant remains: Jeff Probst, who has hosted Survivor since the days of Rowdy Rudy's Diner. As Survivor hits the impressive (and rare) milestone 500, Probst sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for a candid conversation about the show, including his explanation for its longevity, the creative approach to arcing out each episode of the series, what to expect from Every Survivor fan has at least one story in common: the time when somebody who doesn't watch the show came up and asked, "Is that show still on? And then I have it from people you can tell are trying to take a shot at me. " And they would go, "Oh, I love that show." And I would go, "Oh, so you do watch TV! Do you view it at all as Survivor: The Movie, or in any other way that acknowledges the achievement? It's monumental to us on the creative side because we're proud. When it came down to Day 1 of Season 34, it was, "Let's maroon them in an interesting way. When you know that your season premiere is the 500th episode of the series, does that add any extra heft to the episode? We're really proud that we've done what we think is a really good television show, going on two decades now.