'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' recap: Joseph "Joe" Del Campo medically evacuated heading into finale
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/12/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty's merged Dara tribe lost Joseph "Joe" Del Campo and determined the Final 4 castaways during Wednesday night's broadcast on CBS.
Joe, a 72-year-old former FBI agent from Vero Beach, FL, was medically evacuated from the game on Day 34 due to an enlarged prostate and severe stomach issues which followed a Reward Challenge victory in which he gorged himself with red meat.
This marks the third medical evacuation of Season 32, which has boasted the show's harshest conditions yet. Because of Joe's early and unexpected departure, the episode did not feature a Tribal Council.
"Crashing and burning and having the final say by Doctor Joe, 'Yes, we're pulling you from the game,' that was tough. But particularly at this stage in my life, I always need challenges. This was a huge challenge, suffering under the heat and the rain. And I wanted to prove to myself that, 'You said you could do it, can you do it?' And I did. So for me, that was a great satisfaction," Joe said in his final words.
The Survivor broadcast began on Night 32 with Tai Trang in shock after Kyle Jason's vote-off. Tai was led to believe his alliance was going to vote out Michele Fitzgerald instead, but Joe explained the majority wanted Jason gone sooner rather than later. Tai just wished he had been informed, especially because he wasted his extra-vote advantage.
Michele barked at Tai for having flipped on an alliance three times now this season. Tai told her that he was confused about where she fit into the tribe, but Michele argued she became a part of this alliance with Aubry Bracco, Joe and Cydney Gillon before he did.
Michele didn't know where she stood, and neither did Tai, who felt really alone. Tai's feelings were hurt because he believed Aubry was his closest ally and she had betrayed him. Tai had trusted Aubry, and she pulled a fast one on him.
Aubry admitted to Tai she should've let him in on the plan, however, she told the cameras that she wanted to keep the power and not give Tai more control over the game than he already had before Jason's exit.
Aubry wanted to work with Tai going forward but worried he wouldn't be interested since he's a very emotional person and felt betrayed. Aubry told Tai that the alliance didn't feel they had a voice when strategizing with him, and he didn't think that made sense.
For the challenge, each castaway was required to race into the jungle to a large wooden ladder, climb up the ladder, retrieve sandbags, race back, and then attempt to launch one sandbag at a time into a series of five targets.
The first person to land one sandbag in each target would win aSurvivor spa day complete with a bath, massage, chicken, beef, and cheesecake. The winner would also get to spend the night at the spa, sleeping in a bed for the first time in over a month. The winner would return to camp refreshed and rejuvenated.
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In the end, Joe won Reward by nailing two targets back to back with his last two sandbags at the end of the first round. If he had missed either one, all of the castaways would be allowed to start over.
Joe got to choose one person to join him on the Reward, and he picked his loyal Brains ally Aubry. The pair were then given the opportunity to select one more person to enjoy the spa. Joe allowed Aubry to make the call, and she picked Cydney since everything was up in the air in terms of where she stood with Tai.
Michele thought the Reward decisions signified that Cydney, Aubry and Joe assumed they were going to the Final 3 together. Michele was desperate to change the pecking order as Aubry weighed her options of whom to potentially take to the end with herself and Joe.
During the Reward, Joe was so happy to eat because he had been running out of fuel. The group then discussed taking out Michele next because Tai had a hidden Immunity Idol to play. Cydney intended to keep her options open but agreed to the plan. While they were talking about the endgame, Aubry realized Cydney was a bigger threat to win the million that Tai.
Aubry explained to the cameras that Cydney had been a part of some key blindsides and she also won challenges and was more likeable. Aubry started thinking Tai would be a better person to go to the Final 3 with.
Meanwhile, back at camp, Tai and Michele bonded over being on the outs of the tribe. Tai was genuinely hurt and didn't know where Aubry's heart was. Tai therefore offered to give Michele a massage and then feed her mangoes. Tai let his guard down around her and the pair planned to work together going forward.
Michele laughed about how they were very unlikely allies after the drama that unfolded at the prior Tribal Council and nobody would see it coming. The couple brainstormed whom to target next, and they were up for making a shocking move, as long as Cydney would be onboard as well.
On Day 34, Tai was emotionally exhausted, saying the most difficult part of this game was deciphering whom he could and could not trust. He actually said the social game was the hardest thing he's ever done in his life.
Once Aubry, Joe and Cydney returned to camp, Aubry acknowledged there was "no question" about wanting Tai in her Final 3 instead of Cydney, so she fought hard to regain his trust and companionship. Aubry told Tai the only way they could make it to the end is if they stuck together. She made it seem like she truly needed Tai in this game, and he was overjoyed to hear such news.
Tai bawled in Aubry's arms, thankful she still wanted to play with him and that they were still friends. Tai felt a massive amount of relief because he had a tender spot in his heart for Aubry since they ended up on the same tribe.
Cydney watched Aubry and Tai get comfortable with each other and close again, and she certainly didn't like it. Cydney and Michele appeared solid but needed to convince the person to lose Individual Immunity next to work with them. Michele noted it would be great to take out Joe or Aubry, and after bonding with Tai, she was convinced he was on her side.
Meanwhile, Joe was suffering from a stomach ache after eating so much red meat. He couldn't pass urine and was constipated. Aubry was worried about him because he was her "anchor" in this game. Michele felt bad for Joe but knew it would be beneficial for her game if he got medically evacuated. Tai didn't want to lose Joe.
The show's medics then checked on Joe. They gave him medicine, saying if that didn't work, the problem was serious and could potentially damage his kidneys. Joe was clearly in significant pain, enough that he was starting to feel nauseous. After getting worse every hour and calling the pain "unbearable," Joe asked the doctors to return.
Joe was bloated, and the doctor explained that if he stopped urinating, his kidneys could become backed up. Because of Joe's age, he also had an enlarged prostate, which made the condition worse. In order to avoid permanent long-term issues, the doctor pulled Joe from the game.
"Getting it done at 71 for 34 days," Jeff told Joe.
Joe was not surprised about his medical evacuation because he knew he wouldn't last another night in the game feeling that way.
Joe was definitely disappointed, as he would've liked to get further in the game. However, he's always looking forward to his next adventure. It was important not to jeopardize his years ahead health-wise. The tribe cried as Joe left the game, because they cared for him like a grandfather -- not to mention his departure could potentially ruin Aubry and Tai's game.