History of the Survivor Medevac

With the recent release of information about the medevac twist for next season, everyone is out looking for either spoilers or speculation.  I provided the spoilers already (read here if you want to know who’s coming back!), so here’s a little (spoiler free) speculation: a list of every player to medevac out of Survivor ever (don’t worry, there are only 10).  If you haven’t read the spoilers, who do you think they should/will bring back?  If you have read the spoilers, did they choose the right people?I’ve put them in order by season:

1. Mike Skupin, Australia (season 2)

Fireproof. No, really. That’s the name of his book.

Skupin got off to a bit of a rocky start, but his tribe relied pretty heavily on him as a provider of food.  His most memorable moment was probably when he caught and slaughtered a wild pig and smeared its blood on his face.  What can I say? The guy was weird.  He was medevaced in episode 6, when he passed out into Kucha’s campfire.  His hands were severely burned (over 10 years later, I still can’t get the image of his dangling handskin out of my head) and he had to be airlifted out of the game.  But he will never be airlifted out of our hearts.

2. Bruce Kanegai, Panama (season 12)

Don’t fuck with his rock garden.

Bruce was a member of the most hilariously dysfunctional tribes ever, Casaya (seriously, if you don’t remember them, go watch Panama again. You won’t regret it.).  Bruce was mostly well-liked.  He was pretty subtly hilarious, especially when it came to Courtney (who desecrated his rock garden, which he built specifically to get away from her).  Bruce got severely constipated and was taken out of the game, carried to the medical team’s boat by a naked Shane in the middle of the night.  Good times.

3. Gary Stritesky, Fiji (season 14)

Gary.

Not much can be said for Gary here.  Gary appeared on what might be the worst season of Survivor ever.  Gary was on Moto, the tribe that won nearly every challenge pre-merge, so he got very little airtime in his short, 4-episode stay.  He’d complained for several days that he didn’t feel well, and finally, on day 10, he chose to leave.

4. Jonathan Penner, Micronesia (season 16)

I mean, MY ASS

Prior to Micronesia (Fans vs. Favorites), Penner had appeared in Cook Islands.  He was hilarious on both seasons, but Micronesia was his game to lose.  He had gotten himself in with a tight alliance, and he was getting plenty of airtime for busting Jeff’s balls.  He was great.  His knee was wounded in a reward challenge, and the injury got worse with time.  When he was taken out of the game, the medical team told him the infection was potentially life-threatening.  He was devastated, as were most of his fellow castmates.

5. James Clement, Micronesia (season 16)

Everyone’s favorite gravedigger

James, who had also appeared on the previous season (China), is easily one of the most popular Survivors ever.  He is very down-to-earth, and never took any bullshit from his tribemates (even when it alienated him from his team).  He was also hilarious (usually unintentionally so).  When he was taken out of Micronesia because of a finger injury that had become dangerously infected, he was pretty close to being voted out anyway.  But don’t feel too sorry for James–he returned as a hero for season 20, Heroes vs. Villains.

6. Joe Dowdle, Tocantins (season 18)

Joe, having his dreams crushed.

Joe was on the Jalapao tribe, which, despite its incessant presence in loserdom, brought us the unbreakable final 3 alliance of JT, Taj, and Stephen.  Joe was on the periphery of that alliance, and the trio spent a lot of time placating him.  But really, he just wanted to be placated by Sydney, if ya know what I mean.  Joe was a decent player, though, who always had his head in the game, and would have probably made it pretty far if it weren’t for the knee infection that took him out on day 20.

7. Mike Borassi, Samoa (season 19)

Touch this skin, honey

Mike Borassi only made it to day 5 (episode 2) of Samoa.  He was one of the less agile members of Foa Foa, not to mention on the wrong side of Russell Hantz’s reign of terror, so he probably wouldn’t have lasted too much longer anyway.  In his short stay on the island, though, he came off pretty abrasive and grouchy.  But with 99% of Samoa’s air time being dedicated to Russell Hantz, we really didn’t get enough of Mike to work off of.  What finally took him out was dangerously low blood pressure. Fun Fact: Mike was originally slated to compete in the previous season, Tocantins, but was removed from that cast right before filming began because he had high blood pressure.  Mike, get your shit straight!

8. Russell Swan, Samoa (season 19)

No, not THAT Russell.

Russell S (or as many of us called him, Black Russell) was the king of Galu during his stay in Samoa.  He was elected leader by his tribe immediately upon arriving on the island, and he fulfilled their expectations.  He was a hard worker and a level-headed guy.  While he was pretty boring television, he seemed like an excellent guy to have on your side.  On day 15, in the middle of a challenge, Black Russell collapsed. While the medical team examined him, he blacked out again multiple times, leaving them no choice but to remove him from the game.  The challenge was canceled (the only time a challenge has ever been canceled while underway) and no vote took place that night.  Prior to his medevac, he was in an excellent position in his tribe, and he was clearly devastated when he left.

9. Kourtney Moon, One World (season 24)

To add insult to injury, Kourtney spent a good chunk of her only episode wearing this stupid-ass hat.

Kourtney is the only female medevac ever.  It happened on day 3, during the very first challenge of the season.  All she had to do was jump onto a big ass net, and she managed to screw it up by fracturing her wrist in multiple places.  She really did just land on it weird, and it could probably happen to anyone, but it’s more fun to make fun of her, so I’m sticking with that.  The women lost immunity during that challenge, but thanks to Kourtney’s complete and utter failure at the game of Survivor, the women did not have to vote anyone off.  She seemed like a sweet enough girl, and maybe she would have been an excellent player if given the chance.

10. Colton Cumbie, One World (season 24)

Colton and his ever-present stinkface.

Colton was easily one of the most vile players ever on Survivor.  He was arrogant, bossy, rude, and bitchy.  He played the game much like Russell Hantz in Samoa: by intimidating people into doing his bidding.  While Russell was nothing more than a ruthless (and socially inept) player, Colton was downright cruel. He was taken out due to a severe abdominal infection on day 16, and we all secretly wished he would have dropped dead right there on our TV screens (well, I did, anyway).    To be fair, though, he always got what he wanted.  If he had stayed in the game he probably would have made it pretty far, but his gameplay basically guaranteed he had no shot whatsoever at jury votes.

 

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