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Shantel Smith 34, Washington, D.C.


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Name: Shantel Smith

Age: 34


Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Current Residence: Washington, DC

Occupation: Pastor


Hobbies: Running, improv, acting, comedy, dancing


3 Words to Describe You: Passionate, authentic, resilient


Pet Peeves: Bad breath, second-hand embarrassment and slow talkers


What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? The accomplishment that I am MOST proud of is doing the hard work in therapy and confronting my demons, working through the pain and the feelings of injustice, and then being willing to cultivate a relationship with those who let me down when I was little.


What is something we would never know from looking at you? I was in a gang.


Who is your hero and why? My mom, because I saw her fight her demons until her dying breath. She experienced so much pain in her life, and my childhood was dark, twisted and complicated, but she was an extremely hard-working Italian woman. She always made sure I had a roof over my head and lunch money in my pockets. She did the best she could and I'm grateful. She gave me the best life she knew how and loved me with all the love she had in her. She is my image of beauty and strength. Also, Xena: WarriorPrincess. Lucy Lawless taught me so much about how to be a strong, assertive woman and how to stand up for yourself in a world full of men. She was my childhood hero, posters all over my wall. I even had a Xena: Warrior Princess-themed birthday party…last year.


Which past Survivor will you play the game most like? I think I am probably going to play the game most like Kim; strategically and relationally like Tai when it comes to idols, but I got some Parv in me too.


Why do you believe you can win Survivor? I believe I have what it takes to win. I think living on the streets, developing a strong work ethic, practicing excellence in all that I do and put out into the world, having a high threshold for pain and suffering, endurance, perseverance, knowing that nothing comes easily but everything must be earned and worked for, rigorous self-examination, zero entitlement, trusting that self discipline is self love, believing in others and making them feel capable of accomplishing anything, my interpersonal skills, my wit and my grit, my reverence for God in others, my heart to serve, and an attitude of gratefulness and celebration for the small wins all make me believe that I will be the final Survivor.



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