In an interview, “Survivor: China” castaway Courtney Yates has revealed that production was performing special medical tests on her and told her not to tell anyone about it. She also said that Tyson Apostol basically voted himself out of “Heroes vs. Villains.” Read on for all the juicy details.
Production Took Courtney Off Into the Jungle to Take Her Blood
If you’ll recall, Courtney is a noticeably thin castaway — even more so than most of the women cast on the show. And during “Survivor: China,” she suspects that production thought her health was in danger, so they took her off in secret to take vials of her blood and then told her not to tell anyone, she revealed to “Entertainment Weekly” in an interview.
“In China, the medical team took blood from me in the woods during the game. They told me they were doing it to everyone, which was a lie,” said Courtney. “I’m pretty sure they did it because they thought that I was anorexic (I’m not) and dying … and so in the middle of the filthy jungle away from everyone, they swabbed my elbow and took vials of blood. And then I was like, ‘What is this for? Are you doing this to everyone?’ And they’re like, ‘Well, it’s only some people. And if you tell anyone, they’re going to think you’re weak. So don’t say anything.'”
She said that their playing on her paranoia totally worked because she didn’t say anything until the end of the game.
“At the end of the game, I asked, ‘How many times did they take your blood, you guys?’ And everybody was really shocked like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So, yeah, they took blood from me in the woods, and then they straight up lied to me and said they were doing it to other players too,” said Courtney.
The Tyson Vote Flip
During “Heroes vs. Villains,” there was a rather famous Tribal Council where the majority of the tribe split their votes between Russell Hantz and Parvati Shallow in the hopes to flush out Hantz’s hidden immunity idol and send Shallow home.
But before Tribal, Russell convinced Tyson Apostol to switch his vote to Parvati — Tyson was supposed to vote for Russell, tying Russell and Parvati at three votes apiece. But Tyson switched his vote to Parvati and then Russell played his hidden immunity idol for Parvati instead of himself. With the four votes for Parvati suddenly negated because of the idol, Russell only had two votes cast against him and Tyson had three (Russell, Parvati, and Danielle DiLorenzo).
It sent Tyson home in what was a huge blindside to seemingly everyone — except, it turns out, Courtney. Her explanation to “Entertainment Weekly” of what happened is kind of amazing:
I knew that Tyson was going to vote himself out in “Heroes vs. Villains.” The original plan was me, Rob, Sandra, Jerri, Coach, and Tyson split the vote 3-3 between Russell and Parvati (because of an idol). We each had which name we were supposed to write down. Tyson confided to me that he was going to change his assigned Russell vote to Parvati because for whatever reason it wasn’t necessary to split the vote. At first I’m like, “Okay cool, forcing ties and revotes seems complicated.” But then from how everyone was acting, I just knew it was a mistake to change our plan and told him to keep his Russell vote and stick with the 3-3 plan.
This all happened right before they locked us down to go to Tribal. I do a quick straight-to-camera after trying to talk to him because my vibe was he wasn’t listening to me. So I panic and am like, Should I flip my assigned Parvati vote to Russell to keep it 3-3? But now I’ve told him and what if he does listen to me in the end and keeps his original vote? Then I’m the one who messes it up and it would be my fault he went home, and I would have to explain all this nonsense to everyone.
So after the votes are read and Tyson is voted out, we’re sitting having hot dogs and listening to the Heroes Tribal as our reward, and Rob and Sandra are like, “WTF happened?? Who flipped on him?” And to myself, I’m like, “Well, actually, no, he technically flipped on himself.” But I just sat and ate my food and pretended to be mystified like everyone else.
Hearing that is such a reminder of what an absolutely amazing season of “Survivor” “Heroes vs. Villains” was. Truly epic.
“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!