Survivor Insights 42: Someone Nearly Died!


Episode 6 of Survivor Samoa was certainly one of those gripping moments you could not forget. Russel S. nearly died because of too much exhaustion (dehydration to be specific) and I kept wondering why he still chose to participate in the challenge when he was already feeling ill.

As I see it, Russel S was too hard of himself that moment. He’s the leader and he’s probably too concern what his other tribematess thought when he chose not to play. I don’t know how this episode turned out if Russel S chose to sat out and gave the responsibility to Dave instead.

What do you think?

Jeff Probst wrote a lengthy post about this event and you can read its entirety in PopWatch.

“During the early stage of the challenge when they were pushing the sphere, I was completely unaware that Russell was struggling. I noticed he was tired but that is not unusual during a challenge and so I thought nothing much of it.”

Probst wrote.

“As a result, I had no idea that he actually had already passed out for the first time while he was standing at the maze, but that is exactly what our doctors think happened. They think he had already passed out once before I even got to him.”

“When a Survivor appears to be in trouble, our first rule is to give them the chance to save themselves or see if one of their tribemates can help them before we make any decision about sending in medical, safety, or our water rescue team. We do this because it is their game, their adventure and whenever possible we want them to make the decisions about their fate.”

“But in this case, it happened so fast that I didn’t even consider waiting. I just instinctively called for medical to come in and get to work. Because our medical team is so well run they were prepared for someone to pass out or get injured even before the challenge began. That’s what they do, they prep before the challenge about what could possibly go wrong so they are ready for it. They knew dehydration could be a factor and so when Russell went down they had a plan in place and were helping Russell within seconds of me calling them in.”


“For the next 45 minutes we monitored Russell’s vital signs. We gave him water from his canteen. We gave him oxygen. We propped him up and gave him time to try to relax and get calm.”

“I explained to him that he had already passed out two times, but his recollection at that point was so foggy he didn’t understand. He thought he was fine and was demanding to be put back into the challenge. In fact, I don’t think he even realized that everybody else had already been sent back to camp and the challenge called off.”

“After Russell was removed we then had to make a decision whether to continue with our double tribal council or cancel it.”

I salute Jeff Probst. He remained calm and choose to approach this terrifying event with professionalism. He was afraid when he saw Russel just fell on his knees but Jeff kept the series of events under his control. He made the right decision to stop the challenge and ruled that Russel S needed to leave the game for good.

Some televiewers would probably not agree with what he did but I still give Jeff my respect. Not all reality TV hosts can equal the intensity of what he did. There were no scripts in there and you could not sense a shake in his voice. Maybe there were some we did not see behind the scenes but Jeff was still there and hosting.

Allow me to quote what Jeff said during the Tribal Council,

“It was the scariest moment I ever had on this show.  Nineteen seasons, I have never been more afraid in my life at how bad things were.  Russell was in terrible shape.”

I was glad the crew decided to cancel the double tribal council. Galu Men (Erik, Brett, Dave and John) wanted to oust Monica and I did not absolutely understand why.

They kept saying Monica was a weakling in challenges. OK, let me say Monica was probably weak at some physical aspects of the game but did she fail the group during the gross food challenge? Was she annoying in the camp? Did she regularly complain “It’s very COLD here” when it was raining hard for more than 24 hours?

Sometimes, I find it hard to understand how other people think. They completely think they are in power over the others. This can be very dangerous eh?

Plain and simple folks, I want to be one of those alpha males when I join SURVIVOR but it does not mean I will not be overconfident of my position.

That’s why; it’s quite a shock to see Erik talked a lot during the Tribal Council. His words were way out of the line. He’s becoming a bit overbearing person.

During the tribal council, the competition between Foa Foa and Galu were heating up. Erik was aggressive in exchanging words with Foa Foa and it was not a good sign at all. If Erik thought he’s in a better position that others, that was a big mistake. I wanted Erik to go farther in this game but geez, he’s making some things complicated. And when things gone wrong on your side, everyone wants you out.

Russel S RNO INTERVIEW

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