Survivor is a brutal game, and every castaway that signs up to play knows the risks that come along with it. Producers thrust them into dangerous conditions, including unfamiliar species, limited resources, and harsh weather. Sadly, sometimes the CBS reality competition series’ circumstances result in medical evacuations from the show. And that’s what happened to Caleb Reynolds in Survivor Season 32, aka Survivor: Kaôh Rōng — Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty.
Caleb had to be medically evacuated from ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng — Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty’
Fans of the CBS reality competition series know that Caleb Reynolds appeared on Big Brother before he competed on Survivor. Caleb was a part of the Big Brother 16 cast and ultimately came in fourth place. And a couple of years later, Caleb joined the Beauty tribe in Survivor Season 32.
He immediately made connections with his tribemates and notably formed an unexpected bond with Tai Trang. Caleb was also significant in the Beauty tribe’s early challenge wins. However, his time in Cambodia would soon come to an abrupt end on Day 9.
At the Reward Challenge in episode 4, the castaways had to run through a series of obstacles. They had to then dig into the sand under a log until they had created a big enough hole to fit through. Once they pulled themselves through, the three tribes had to run to a sandy pit, where they had to find three buried bags of balls. Finally, the players had to roll the balls and land them in designated holes on a platform.
While this seemed like a standard Survivor challenge, the weather was not on the castaways’ side that day. The heat was grueling, and the sand was scorching hot. After more than 45 minutes of trying to find the bags, the Brains tribe and Beauty tribe won the reward. Following the challenge, the medical team, headed by Dr. Joe Rowles, treated Caleb, Debbie Wanner, and Cydney Gillon for a heat stroke. Debbie and Cydney recovered, but Caleb wasn’t so lucky.
Caleb sealed the win for his tribe but collapsed once the pressure was off. The medical team rushed to his side, placed an oxygen mask on him, and gave him fluids. Ultimately, the Survivor medical team deemed that Caleb’s case was too extreme, and he had to be medically evacuated.
Without a doubt, Day 9 of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng — Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty was one of the most brutal days in the show’s history.
What happened to Caleb after he left the game?
Following Caleb’s exit from Survivor Season 32, he reflected on his medical evacuation with Entertainment Weekly. And he shared what happened after the helicopter took him off the island.
“I woke up … Well, I didn’t wake up, but I was in and out throughout the helicopter ride,” Caleb explained. “I was like, ‘Why am I here?’ And [Dr. Joe] goes, ‘I had to pull you from the game.’ And I was like, ‘No. I don’t want to go back. I’m not done.’”
He added, “I ended up in the hospital, and I was in ICU for about five days until my muscle density, and everything else that was going on and all my vitals that were low or high just got back to somewhere normal, and they released me.”
After leaving the hospital, Caleb “came back to Ponderosa for a short time. But due to the heat out there, it was just best to not leave me out in the heat with that having just happened. Also, I had another family emergency back home, so they just felt it was better that I came home early.”
So Caleb was in the hospital for five days after his evacuation from Survivor Season 32. And then he flew back home and was better than ever. But Caleb had unfinished business to attend to.
Caleb returned in ‘Survivor: Game Changers’
A couple of seasons later, CBS cast Caleb for Survivor: Game Changers, which featured all returning players. Producers placed him on the Mana tribe, which didn’t have great luck during the first few challenges.
Mana attended Tribal Council three times in a row to begin the game. And unfortunately, Caleb was the third person voted out of Survivor Season 34.
Survivor: Kaôh Rōng — Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, starring Caleb Reynolds, is now available to stream on Netflix.