Recently, an infamous Survivor castaway opened up about the “massive blunder” he committed during his season. Erik Reichenbach will go down in history as the guy who gave away his immunity necklace to the women’s alliance and was then promptly voted out. Here is what he had to say about the incident — and why he was actually more annoyed with how his second Survivor season was handled.
Reichenbach Says He’s ‘Proud’ Of How He Played the Game
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reichenbach said that he’s proud every day of the way he interacts with fans and other contestants and he’s definitely proud of how he played the game — even if he admits he lost “disgracefully” on the show.
“My proudest Survivor moment is every day when I talk to fans and with other Survivor contestants online and in person. I am proud of myself, in how I played Survivor, and am very humbled by how much the community has embraced me despite my massive blunder on Survivor: Micronesia in 2008,” said Reichenbach.
He added, “The feeling of completion and success from having lost twice, once somewhat disgracefully, and still having people come up and explain how inspired they were by my time on the show, or enjoyed watching my fateful last episode, or even screaming NOOOOOO at the TV when they first saw what happened… it is a real joy to know I have some kind of legacy on a game show I grew up idolizing as a kid.”
He’s Actually More Upset About How His Second Season Was Handled
When Reichenbach returned to Survivor five years after his first appearance, he again made it to the final five in “Caramoan.” But he was medically evacuated in a way that left viewers confused as to what had happened because it wasn’t really addressed on the show. That’s something that really bothered him.
“I wasn’t very happy with the finale in a lot of ways … I was pretty much left out,” Reichenbach told Entertainment Weekly at the time, adding, “No explanation was given [for my evacuation] and I remember Jeff Probst before when we were shooting the dress rehearsal, I only exchanged maybe two words with Jeff.
“He said ‘I haven’t talked to you. Where are you living now?’ And that’s about it. There was no discussion of anything of any sort. And I know a lot of viewers are saying to me, ‘Hey, you got evacuated. What happened with that?’ Everyone is confused. Nobody really knows what happened. I feel like my entire storyline was just kind of left unended. Nobody really understood what happened.”
Earlier this year, Reichenbach took to his YouTube channel to explain more about his injury and what led to his evacuation.
“When I was medically evacuated, I actually had a reaction to penicillin combined with dehydration and malnourishment,” said Reichenbach, adding, “When a wave hit me, it pushed me over and it cut my leg open … and it seemed OK and medical checked it out … they said it looked OK, but they were going to watch it for infection.”
Long story short — his leg ended up getting infected and the show’s doctor gave him penicillin. Well, it turns out Reichenbach is intolerant or allergic to penicillin, and combined with the malnourishment and dehydration, he had a severe reaction to it. Reichenbach said he started to get really dizzy at Tribal Council, trying not to collapse and fall off his stool. He managed to hold it together long enough to get through Tribal, but afterward, he collapsed and had to be evacuated.
Survivor season 41 begins filming soon with an expected premiere date of late September 2021.