Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 5:42 pm
Author: Renee Martin
In comparison to all of the other reality television games, “Survivor” continues to be the hardest. Not only must you attempt to outwit your fellow players, but you must do so while fighting the elements. After days of rain, the spirits of the castaways was decidedly broken. Oddly enough only the two Russells were dedicated to continue to work. Other castaways seemed content to find a hole to hide in and pray for mercy from Mother Nature.
It seems that the Galu tribe has finally realized that the choice of comfort over utility was a bad one. As they stood around shivering, the blankets clearly seemed of very little help. Perhaps Russell Swan realized that he had to atone for this decision because he stood in the pouring rain attempting to keep the fire lit at Galu:
“I’d rather be in the shelter, but sometimes you have to make some deposits in case you need any withdrawals later on. You know that chief thing kinda balances to the negative sometimes. I am just trying to keep the fire burning. This is buying stock low, hopefully I’ll be able to sell high later.”
Kelly was one of the few to show concern for Russell Swan at that point. While part of “Survivor” is ensuring that you are considered valuable to your team, if you push yourself beyond your boundaries, it can result in terrible consequences. Yet when a rainbow made its appearance on Galu’s beach, the survivors all seemed to be reinvigorated and ready to battle.
At the reward/elimination challenge, Probes announced that they were playing for hot piping pizza and that win or lose, both tribes would be voting someone off that night. Although this was clearly bad news, both tribes began the challenge with the determination to win. Russell Swan was aware that he was in a weakened condition; however he did not take the opportunity to withdraw from the challenge.
Alone with the camera, Russell stated, “I feel weaker as the days go on but I am the leader, I gotta for it. I can’t look back.”
Unfortunately for Swan, his desire to play the game would ultimately be his undoing. In the middle of the challenge he passed out, forcing Probes to call a halt to the game. As Russell lay in the dirt, he continued to assert that he was fine to go on. After a few minutes of rest, they attempted to sit Russell up again to take his blood pressure, only to have him once again pass out. His heart rate quickly dropped to 68, leaving him unable to communicate. It was the fluctuation of his heart beat that finally forced the medical team to decide that Russell must be removed from the game for his own good.
Tears rolled down Russell’s beaten face as he begged to remain in the game. “My family depends on me to be the strong one and is this how you would want this to end?” It was all to no avail as Probes responded,
“It’s frustrating to be pulled out of a game that you’ve wanted to be a part of for so long. You were in great shape. You were the leader of a tribe that was dominating. There was no sign that you were going home anytime soon. You pushed and pushed and pushed your body until your body said enough. There is nothing about that that is a quitter. Nothing.”
In the end, though both the tribes once again spent the afternoon plotting to see which woman would be voted off at tribal council, until Probes cancelled the voting. Even though everyone expressed concern for Russell Swan, not for one moment did anyone take their head out of the game.
What is most interesting, is that once again women were the target for elimination because they are understood to be weak. Yet two players eliminated due to medical concerns so far have been male. Even with obvious evidence that the women are able to compete with the men, the castaways refuse to let go of the idea that they need a team heavily loaded with strong men to win. “Survivor” is not for the weak at heart and that does not necessarily mean that women cannot be a force to be reckoned with, if they are given the opportunity.
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