Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong was a brutal one that definitely got fans talking. A lengthy and intense challenge in brutal heat led to three medical emergencies, and former Big Brother contestant Caleb Reynolds had to be taken out of the game. While Caleb was a rather controversial figure on Big Brother, he won over many viewers on Survivor and just about everybody can agree that what the castaways faced in that challenge was dangerous. Now, more information about the situation is emerging and Reynolds himself is talking about what went down.
There had been Survivor spoilers out ahead of Wednesday’s episode detailing that Caleb Reynolds would be pulled from the game due to heat exhaustion, and that two others would be affected as well. Even those viewers who knew the spoilers were stunned to watch it all play out on-screen though. As Entertainment Weekly details, Reynolds says that he got quite emotional watching the episode as it aired on CBS.
As Caleb says, he was pushing as hard as he could to help his tribe win second place in the challenge, and he succeeded. While the adrenaline kept him going for a moment, he quickly realized that he was dizzy and had stopped sweating, things he knew were very bad signs. Reynolds notes that he really doesn’t remember much after finding a bit of shade other than that his eyesight was getting blurry and he had a headache.
In talking about the incident with Parade, Reynolds details that even as his team was still digging for the bags of balls, he could tell he was in trouble. He notes that his breathing was getting difficult and he had even stopped sweating at that point, so he knew he was dehydrated. He had a tough time during the next phase of the challenge, rolling the balls, but kept pushing forward as he refused to let his team down.
Caleb woke up in the helicopter during his evacuation briefly, then was out again, and regained consciousness in the ambulance. It was then that he started to piece together how he was now officially out of Survivor and he stayed in the ICU for about five days as his body recovered. Reynolds notes that his heart, liver, and lungs all suffered damage, and he was told that had he not had so much muscle heading into the competition, he may not have survived.
Sadly, Caleb’s family endured an unexpected loss right at the same time back in the states. While Reynolds did head to Ponderosa after the hospital, the place where all eliminated contestants stay until filming wraps, the show felt it was best if he left Survivor entirely and headed home. While he will surely be at the finale this spring, viewers will not be seeing him during the weekly episodes as the rest of the season plays out.
The Survivor contestant says that he didn’t even fully know what he had gone through during that incident on the show, so his family was very emotional watching it play out during Wednesday’s episode. It will surprise nobody to know that he hates how he went out of the game, but he knows he gave it everything he had. He says he is fully recovered now, luckily.
As hard as this experience was for Caleb, few Survivor fans will be surprised to hear that he would love the chance to compete on the show again. He’s a longtime fan of the show and many are betting that he’ll be back as a castaway on another season soon.
“I was in a good spot when I was there. I planned on being in a good spot all the way up to the end and just win every immunity challenge they threw at me. So it was unexpected, I wasn’t happy about it, and if they give me a chance to come back for a second chance or an all-stars [season], or whatever it may be, my bags will be packed as soon as they call me.”
As much of a tough guy as Reynolds may typically be, he had moments of intense emotion talking about the experience and it is clear that this Survivor castaway was in very bad shape when he was pulled from the game. Show fans are definitely buzzing about how extreme things got in this challenge, wondering where the line is that says things have gone too far. Luckily, in this case, Caleb and the other affected castaways recovered with no lasting damage.
Survivor host Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly that he is quite proud of how their crew came together to tend to the castaways in the midst of this crisis, and he says that Caleb was in the air just 22 minutes after his collapse. That said, Probst indicates that this was the most frightened he has ever been throughout the history of the show. There have been some intense medical situations in past seasons, but this one was the most unsettling.
Did the producers push the castaways too far? Probst says that the challenge itself wasn’t the issue, but that it became a perfect storm of issues when the heat and castaway competitiveness were factored into the equation.
While this was clearly an intense and dangerous situation for Caleb Reynolds and the other castaways, everybody has recovered and the episode most definitely has Survivor fans talking. Do you think the challenge should have continued in the heat they were experiencing or should producers have modified it?
[Photo by Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment]