When you look back at the finale for “Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites” on Sunday night, it’s almost sad just how much Erik Reichenbach was treated as an afterthought. The moment that he left the final six tribal council where Brenda was voted off, he went down and medical pulled him from the game moments later. This was after some weird montages earlier in the season where we saw the guy struggle with staying on the beach, and this package left us with a bad taste in our mouths. There was something missing, but we didn’t quite know what.
Luckily, this is where interview calls come into play. In a chat, the man formerly known as ice-cream-scooper-Erik took us through what really happened, and how long he had been suffering from symptoms that led to his eventual removal from the game.
CarterMatt – First of all, how are you feeling now?
Erik Reichenbach – I’m doing fine. Everything medical is done. We didn’t get to see what happened a lot on the show, so it was kind of a surprise to everybody. It was just like ‘oh, Erik’s out of here.’
Since we didn’t see a lot of it, can you take us through what really happened?
I’ll give you the short version, since it’s kind of a long story. My brother came to visit during the family visit, and he was checking me out to see how skinny I was. He said ‘dude, there’s something wrong with your leg.’ I then looked at my leg, where I have a scar from from a [previous injury], and there was an infection that you could see under the dirt that was on me. I was all of a sudden really concerned: The infection was really gnarly.
Flash forward to the vote in which Brenda went home. The ‘Survivor’ medical team was telling me ‘you need to hydrate, you need to eat as much as you can,’ but when you’re starving on an island there’s not much of either of those things. I started to feel dizzy at the tribal council; I knew I was at a tribal council, but I was not aware of much else other than that. When the vote came through, according to what I saw there were seven votes, and half of them were for Sherri. I thought she was actually voted off at that point. I was just trying to stay on my stool, because if I fell off or showed any sign that I was starting to crash, then I would probably go home in sixth place instead of fifth place.
After Brenda was voted off we started walking off. I fell down immediately and said ‘I need a doctor,’ and they started to take blood pressure and I had a fever. It got really bad, and they had to pull me from the game.
All season long, there has been a huge debate when it comes to you. Was it sort of your plan all along to not really do anything to be a threat, and just let the larger threats pick each other off until the point where you could become the threat? Obviously, you left the game before we saw for sure what would have happened.
Yeah. My strategy was basically that. As soon as we landed on the beach, I saw Phillip, I saw Corinne, I saw Brenda, who I thought was going to play a much more aggressive game. I thought ‘these are some big personalities. They’ll all rip each other apart and target each other based on ego.’ It was much easier I thought to get far percentage-wise if I just chilled out and laid low, not focusing on finding hidden idols since those put a bigger target on you. Then towards the end of the game, if there are a few women left or Cochran’s left, trying to have an immunity run of some kind.
Want more “Survivor” finale coverage? We’ve got an interesting look at next season here; or, if you want a comprehensive look at all of our articles on the show, including other interviews, this link is for you.