The average reality show is clearly staged. The drama is fake, the supposed “on-the-spot” dialogue, scripted; I bet the chefs aren’t even Masters. Not Survivor, though. On Wednesday’s episode of CBS’ long-running series, three contestants collapsed in what’s being called the “scariest Survivor moment ever.” The challenge: Dig for balls. Sounds simple enough, right? Except it was 118 degrees outside, and the players were digging (for fire) for nearly an hour.
Down went Debbie with heat stroke. Then Caleb. Then Cydney. Host Jeff Probst told EW it was “unprecedented” to have three people collapse during a challenge, “and it quickly became clear that this was a very serious situation.”
This was the most frightened I’ve been in all my time on Survivor. Three people down at once and one of them in very serious condition. There was no color in Caleb’s face and very little response from him for quite a while. Even for the first few moments after they put the oxygen mask on, Caleb didn’t respond. Then, out of nowhere, he took a breath and suddenly the color returned, his face filled out again, and in a matter of seconds he was back. It was very powerful to witness. I don’t imagine Caleb has any idea what he went through and watching the episode was probably very emotional for him and his family.
Luckily, everyone recovered, and they went back to their healthy Survivor diet of rice and crushed-up bugs later that evening.