Survivor San Juan del Sur loses two contestants

Survivor San Juan del Sur, the show’s second blood versus water season, has lost two of its contestants for medical reasons, and will start the game with 18 instead of 20 contestants. That also happened before the first blood versus water season, when RC Saint-Amour and her father were replaced at the last minute when medics pulled him from the game because of high blood pressure.

Jeff Probst revealed this on EW’s SiriusXM show Monday:

“You finally get your 20 people, and then through no fault of their own–just a medical, you know, situation–they can’tt play. In fact, it happened last time on Blood vs. Water with RC. So instead of 20, it puts us at 18. Instead of equal men and women, it puts us uneven men and women. But what I noticed yesterday when we had to tell the producers, nobody even paused in their walking forward, because that is how it goes. That’s where it’s different: You can’t recast, you can’t say let’s push the shoot a week … doesn’t work that way. We are shooting regardless.”

Probst goes on to elaborate on that last point, talking about the pressure he felt to match the excellence of the last four seasons:

“In a weird way, I felt like it was the right thing to happen because we’ve been on such a good streak, and I’ve been feeling the pressure of, man, how do you live up to the last four seasons, which seem to have gotten a little better each one. [...] I felt my body tighten, like, we’ve got to deliver, this has to work. And then I realized: Oh my god. I have to take–the show has to take–the same advice that I give to the players: You have to continue to swing for the fence. You cannot suddenly play conservatively.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.