If there was ever an episode of Survivor to prove it’s real life, it was this week’s. There is no way these people aren’t really putting their lives on the line. I don’t remember ever watching this show and feeling as much fear as I did this time.
While the episodes thus far this season have all had just one challenge that provided both reward and immunity, tonight’s show was designed to have two separate challenges. Even still, the reward challenge started earlier in the episode than it normally would, so we should have known something was up.
For the challenge, the teams needed to dig under a log to get everyone on the team through, then they needed to dig in a big circle to find three bags of balls that they would use in the end to roll up a slide hoping for them to land in one of six holes. When they hit all six holes they’d win.
The problem with this is that it was unbelievably hot out there. They never indicated what the temperature was, but by the sunburns everyone is sporting, it’s obvious that it’s a really hot location.
First Survivor Down
All the teams had a really difficult time digging, and it’s clear they were starting to get too hot in the sun. The Brains tribe completed the challenge first and won the better of the two rewards, but right after that Debbie collapsed. The medical team was brought in, and they poured cold water on her to bring her temperature down.
Second Survivor Down
As medical was tending to Deb, the Beauty tribe won second place. The Brawn tribe lost, but now Cydney was having a difficult time pulling herself together. After Caleb won the challenge, he walked off and collapsed.
Third Survivor Down
Jeff Probst looked over and realized Caleb was in trouble. He called medical over to Caleb. But he wasn’t bouncing right back like Debbie. And now as they tended to him, Cydney finally collapsed. They had three people down. Deb was curled up in a fetal position, Caleb was played out flat, and Cydney was shaking terribly.
There weren’t enough medics to go around apparently. Luckily Deb recovered and wandered away from her spot looking like she’d just been through a natural disaster. All medical was focused on Caleb while Jason tended to Cydney.
Cydney started to come back just like Deb, so we were expecting Caleb to do the same. But he didn’t. And in my mind I was thinking, they aren’t going to show a guy dying on TV. He has to be okay. But it was still the scariest thing I have ever seen on the show.
Still One Survivor Down
There wasn’t anyone whose spirit was in the right place after this. Everyone was worried. When the water wasn’t helping they put ice on him and some type of blanket on his lower half. They eventually had to give him some oxygen. He was still struggling, so they started an IV right there to give him fluids, and Jeff called for an evacuation.
Jeff explained to Caleb that other than being voted out, there are only two ways to leave, and he definitely wasn’t quitting, but he was going to have to be removed for medical reasons. Caleb shook his head very weakly, but it wasn’t up to him. It was clear he couldn’t continue.
Concern for Their Family Member
With Caleb removed from the game, Jeff regrouped everyone, and Tai just could not control his emotions. He talked about cuddling with Caleb on the first night and said how much he would miss him. Sure, he may have a crush on Caleb, but I think there was a friendship there behind all that.
Lastly, Jeff asked Jason if he could still vote out Cydney after spending his time taking care of her. He said all that goes to the side, and it reminded him of being in the military. For the most part right now, he said they were like family out there. In the end he didn’t vote her out. They finally got rid of “Blondie” which is what they should have done the first week.
Some might think it wasn’t the scariest episode ever and might think that award should go to the episode when Michael Skupin fell in the fire. But that was the grossest episode. I didn’t have any fears of his survival. I knew his hands were burned, but I didn’t fear that he wasn’t going to make it. I feared for Caleb tonight and sat her crying with my jaw on the floor.
And that’s what makes Survivor one of the best shows out there. They ran a slide during a commercial break that said Caleb is recovered and well and that he hopes to play again. That’s how we know he belonged there. This game attracts a certain type of person, and only one of them would want to go back and do it all over again.
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