To Outwit and Outlast, Survivor‘s Spencer Stays in the Closet

VOTE BELOW — On every reality show, we immediately check out the cast to see “WHO’S THE GAY ONE?!” There’s almost always an answer on The Real World — and Survivor too. This season it was Spencer Duhm, who’s already been on your radar for the pre-show interview where he explained how he didn’t want to be known as the “gay contestant.” Or, rather, a screaming queen, as he so eloquently put it, like past contestants Charlie, Coby, or Todd. Nevermind that Spencer and Todd are now dating. But it was on last night’s show where we saw Spencer’s true colors. Supposedly an openly gay man, Spencer led teammate Sydney Wheeler into believing he was straight, as a measure of strategy. Explained 19-year-old Spencer to the camera: “I haven’t told them only because I feel like in the culture that we live in, there’s nothing really to gain, or not much to gain, by people finding out you are gay.” We already thought the kid was naive; then he went and branded himself on national TV as self-hating. We won’t spoil anything, but let’s see how that strategy worked out for him. SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Well, he was voted out. Not for being gay, but because he anchored the blame for his team losing the immunity challenge.

Now, you tell us: When it comes to playing a game (for $1 million!) involving physical strength as well as social skills, is hiding your sexuality a kosher strategic move? Does it — in grandiose terms — set “the community” back? Past contestants have hid their celebrity status, their real careers, and plenty of other personal details — is it the same when Spencer hides his sexuality? He never explicitly lied about it, but he certainly didn’t correct anyone’s assumptions.