One of the things that the “Survivor” community has been blessed with over time are long lives for many of the participants. Unfortunately, there have been some assorted tragedies. Jenn Lyon was the first contestant to pass away after a battle with cancer, and she was joined later by B.B. Andersen (who was on the very first season and also died of cancer) and Caleb Bankston of “Blood vs. Water,” who was killed as a result of a railway incident.
Unfortunately, there was some more terrible news that came out last night. Dan Kay, a contestant from “Survivor: Gabon” who lasted a few weeks into the game, passed away, according to an obituary that was posted.
We’ve probably said this a few times over the years, but “Gabon” is one of our favorite seasons of the show, largely because it was a season that came on at a time when we were really engaged with the game more than ever, and also because we liked and related to many of the contestants. Dan was one of them. He was very likable, he wanted to be a part of the team, and unlikely, the decision to vote him out of the game over Susie Smith had far-reaching ramifications for the rest of the game. (Susie ended up being the runner-up for this season.)
Without “Survivor: Gabon” and its follow-up “Tocantins,” we’re not sure we would’ve picked up writing about “Survivor” extensively during “Samoa” and doing exit interviews. So, we owe a debt to this season and also to Kay, who was incredibly entertaining in the time that he was on the game. We didn’t know him personally and never spoke with him, but he seemed like a super-nice guy who had the respect of a lot of other players on the season. He wasn’t voted out for being a louse.
Below, you can see a tribute from show host Jeff Probst, who sends his love to Dan’s family. Meanwhile, fellow contestant Randy Bailey also posted a video where you can hear more about Dan in his own words. Take a look at that below.
Our thoughts go out to Dan’s family, and many of his fellow contestants who are a part of the “Survivor” community. (Photo: CBS.)
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