Survivor featured Matthew Grinstead-Mayle choosing to leave the game because he was in so much pain from a Day 2 shoulder injury during the Season 44 episode that aired Wednesday night on CBS.

Matthew, a 43-year-old barbershop owner from Pickerington, OH, who currently resides in Columbus, OH, departed Survivor on Day 11, leaving his "Ratu Tribe" down one member heading into the merge.


Matthew's exit allowed the "Tika Tribe" to skip Tribal Council after they had lost the Immunity Challenge.

"I came out here for the journey, and in a lot of ways, I achieved a lot of goals. Was the journey a little bit short? Absolutely," Matthew said in his final words.

"But I feel like I'm leaving the game a much stronger person, and I know I have the skills to get wherever I want to go. The only regret I have is I shouldn't have climbed that rock!"

The Survivor broadcast began at Tika on Night 9 after the tribe had voted out Sarah Wade.

The "Tika Tribe" was comprised of Carolyn Wiger, a 35-year-old drug counselor from North St. Paul, MN, who currently resides in Hugo, MN; Josh Wilder, a 34-year-old surgical podiatrist from Cincinnati, OH, who currently resides in Atlanta, GA; and Yamil "Yam Yam" Arocho, a 36-year-old salon owner from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, who currently resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Carolyn explained how she never felt comfortable with Sarah around, and Yam Yam called Tribal Council "crazy" because it didn't go as he had planned at all.

"If you saw my jaw dropping to the floor and me looking like Roger Rabbit, oh my god!... I'm happy that I survived the bullet, but I'm not happy that I didn't know how it was going to go," Yam Yam said in a confessional.

Carolyn complained to Yam Yam about how two people had been telling her what to do and she didn't want to be "the third turd," and so Yam Yam insisted that he understood. Yam Yam, however, considered Carolyn "dangerous" because he thought they had been playing the game together.

Josh, who was one of the three castaways forced to leave their old tribe and join a new one, said he was glad he trusted his gut and played his idol because Yam Yam had clearly voted for him.

Carolyn said her heart was leading her towards Yam Yam but she needed to do what was best for her game, and that would probably be working with Josh.
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Meanwhile, at Ratu on Day 10, the tribe was relaxing -- but Matthew admitted he was "in a lot of pain."

In addition to Matthew, the "Ratu Tribe" was also comprised of Brandon Cottom, a 30-year-old security specialist from Newtown, PA; Carson Garrett, a 20-year-old NASA engineering student from Rome, GA, who currently resides in Atlanta, GA; Kane Fritzler, a 25-year-old law student from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in Canada, who currently resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Lauren Harpe, a 31-year-old elementary school teacher from Port Arthur, TX, who currently resides in Mont Belvieu, TX.

On Day 2 of the game, Matthew had dislocated his shoulder by climbing a cliff and then falling onto a pile of rocks. On Day 10, he said he was still dealing with an immense amount of pain.

Kane told Matthew that he was an impressive "gladiator" and "certified legend," but Matthew was fighting back tears. Matthew, whose arm was in a sling, said it dulled his spirit to not be able to move.

Carson had only been with Ratu for a few days, but he said he was in the exact position he had hoped to be in. Carson said he developed relationships and was shown chatting with Kane.


Kane pointed out how he and Carson are both "nerds" and so nerds needed to stick together.

"Everyone in this tribe is sharing information with me, and it gives me a lot of power!" Carson boasted in a confessional, adding how he was trying to gain information yet no one viewed him as "a mastermind" yet.

"Once someone actually understands what I'm doing, they'll be gone," he added.

And the "Soka Tribe" was made up of Danny Massa, a 32-year-old NYC firefighter from Bronx, NY; Frannie Marin, a 23-year-old research coordinator from St. Paul, MN, who currently resides in Cambridge, MA; Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt, a 43-year-old engineering manager from Ponce, Puerto Rico, who currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA; Jaime Lynn Ruiz, a 35-year-old Yogi from Mesa, AZ; and Matt Blankinship, a 27-year-old security software engineer from Albany, CA, who currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

Jaime spoke to Matt about how she'd be valuable come the merge because she knew everything that was going on at Ratu. Jaime said while everyone was running a marathon, Matt was just learning to crawl.

Jaime complained to Frannie about Matt's noncommittal attitude, and Frannie told the cameras Jaime hadn't caught onto the fact she was really close with Matt.

Matt admitted his blindspot was Frannie because he really liked her a lot. The pair hugged at camp when no one was around, and Matt confirmed there was a spark between.

"I don't not have a crush on Matt," Frannie confessed with a smile.

"When this game is over, Matt and I are going to go out for Ethiopian food together, and whatever happens, happens! Matt is somebody I would date in real life, and if it comes to that after this game is over, I would be pleased as punch."

At Tika's camp on Day 10, Josh told Yam Yam to his face that he didn't trust him. Yam Yam was trying to make amends, even though Josh had also lied to him. Yam Yam thought Josh was taking things very personally and putting on "a b-tch face."

Josh said Yam Yam had been in a position of power and so since his run as a leader was over, he appeared very somber and sad, like "someone killed his dog." Neither Josh or Yam Yam felt safe.

The night before, Josh showed Yam Yam the scroll he had received on his journey when he was a member of "Soka." Hours later, Josh made a fake Immunity Idol using some beads from Tree Mail that he wove into a bracelet.

Josh therefore told Yam Yam that he had a second hidden Immunity Idol in his pocket. Yam Yam therefore worried he was going to be out at the next vote.

The two guys then talked about how they had come out to their parents as gay men. They appeared to bond over their insecurities and needing to accept themselves, and so Josh began considering keeping Yam Yam around.

Josh therefore suggested to Yam Yam that they could trust each other and so they should just take Carolyn out next. Since Josh had all the control, Yam Yam said he'd be willing to vote out his old pal.

On Day 11, the three tribes met Survivor host Jeff Probst for the season's fifth Immunity Challenge.

Jeff instructed each tribe to tie themselves together, race through a series of obstacles, fill a bucket with water, make their way over a hinge platform, and transport the water into a larger bucket until there was enough to lower a gate.


Once a tribe reached the finish, two tribe members would work together to maneuver balls through a table maze. The first two tribes to land all three balls would win immunity and be safe from the next vote.

In addition, the winning tribe would choose three players to go on a journey, just like what happened on last week's Survivor episode.

The losing tribe would vote out the sixth castaway from Survivor 44, and they'd also lose their flint.

Ratu decided to sit out Matthew, and Lauren also sat out. For Soka, the tribe sat out Jaime and Frannie.

Danny and Matt worked on the table maze for Soka, Carson and Brandon worked together for Ratu, and Josh and Yam Yam attempted the table maze for Tika.

Ratu and Soka both landed two balls around the same time, and so Tika had to catch up.

In the end, Carson and Brandon won immunity for Ratu, and then Soka finished in second place. That meant Tika would be going back to Tribal Council.

The Ratu Tribe decided that Brandon would be going on the journey as well as Danny from Soka and Carolyn from Tika. The three castaways hopped on a boat, and then Jeff told Matthew that the medical team needed to check out his injury to see if he was still cleared to compete.

"I don't want to work with Josh or Carolyn, but it's like, 'Hello, we can't vote out a coconut or a palm tree!'" Yam Yam joked.

Matthew broke down to a medic, saying that he felt very weak and it felt like gravity was going to pull his arm right out of his shoulder socket. Matthew was only eating a couple hundred calories a day, and so he was also worried about how well his body could heal under such conditions.

The medic explained that when a person pops his shoulder out, the soft tissue that holds the shoulder in place can get torn. If it's a small tear, the pain is usually short-lived. But since Matthew was in a lot of pain, the tear might have been a large one.

Jeff commended Matthew for being brave and having determination. Matthew said it was his dream to be on Survivor but he was waking up every day in incredible pain. He therefore had to figure out what he should do.

At Tika's camp following the challenge, Josh thought Yam Yam believed that he really had an idol.

Josh thought that lie was the only thing that was going to save him. Yam Yam promised that he wouldn't betray him again, and he insisted that Carolyn was playing them both. Yam Yam claimed Carolyn was "not as unaware" as she seemed to be.

Yam Yam admitted to the cameras he was willing to throw Carolyn under a bus, an airplane and a submarine in order to save himself. Yam Yam told Josh that Carolyn was "too emotional" and couldn't be trusted.

Josh was worried Carolyn would return to camp with an advantage or idol, but it's also possible she'd attend Tribal Council without a vote.


Meanwhile, the three selected castaways for the journey were asked to walk down the beach and get to know one another. They arrived at a "Sanctuary," where there was no game to play or vote to risk. Instead, the players enjoyed a break from the heat and a light snack.

Brandon, Danny and Carolyn snacked on sandwiches and fruit, and the men asked Carolyn what was happening over at Tika. Danny suggested the three of them should work together come the merge, and Danny said he was so grateful for the food and the information on this journey.

Danny and Brandon agreed to grab their "people" come the merge and join forces. While Danny tried to include Carolyn in the conversation, she felt totally left out.

"The beauty of you and I linking up right now, people like us barely win," Danny told Brandon in front of Carolyn. "Our enemies are going to be everybody who's intimidated by us and our physicality."

"That's exactly why I wanted to meet you," Brandon told Danny, suggesting they'd be shields for each other.

"I'm glad you guys worked it out," Carolyn noted.

Carolyn felt invisible at the meal and wished the two men luck.

"What the hell?! I'm already gone to them!" Carolyn vented to the cameras.

Brandon told Carolyn she had proven herself to be good in challenges, but little did the men know, she had already found an Immunity Idol and also planted a fake Immunity Idol. Carolyn also planned a successful blindside, and so she said the guys better watch out for her at the merge.

"Because I will make the merge!" Carolyn insisted in a confessional.

Once Carolyn returned to her Tika camp, she concluded that she didn't want anything to do with "the muscle bro thing" she had just witnessed on the journey. And she thought Josh was apart of that.

"I almost jumped off that boat and into Yam Yam's arms!" Carolyn said.

Carolyn mouthed and gestured to Yam Yam how everything was okay and cool. She assured him that they were fine, and Yam Yam said he had been missing this Carolyn.

Carolyn explained how the two guys were "obsessed" with each other and talked about teaming up at the merge. Josh, however, didn't really feel like he was a part of that.

Josh, feeling vulnerable in that moment, told Carolyn that he had another idol and intended to play it that evening. Yam Yam announced that Josh had shown him the note, and then Josh flashed his beaded bracelet.

Yam Yam, being very perceptive, however, immediately noticed those beads were from Tree Mail. Josh denied that was the case and said he wouldn't lie.

Carolyn also noticed the scroll was the exact same one he had used at the previous Tribal Council. Carolyn vented about how she's not stupid, and Yam Yam laughed about Josh's fake idol that apparently came apart.

Yam Yam still didn't know whom he wanted to work with, but he and Carolyn were both certain Josh didn't have an idol to play.

Josh had been through a lot of adversity in his life -- including a kidney transplant and stomach removal due to cancer -- and so he was ready to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. Josh, as a result, tried to convince Yam Yam to vote Carolyn out with him.

Carolyn swore to Yam Yam on everything that she didn't want to be in a guys' alliance. She begged for his trust back, but Yam Yam wasn't quick to give it. Regardless, Yam Yam was happy to be back on top in his tribe.

Suddenly, Jeff arrived at Tika's camp via boat and explained how they would not actually be attending Tribal Council that night.

"Matthew is no longer in the game due to his shoulder. The pain became too much and he couldn't take it anymore," Jeff announced. "And he wisely opted to take care of himself long-term."

Jeff said Matthew's bad news was Yam Yam, Carolyn and Josh's fortune -- and that neither of them would be going home.

Josh called this "a new beginning" for his game, and Jeff pointed out how Survivor can be totally unpredictable.


The trio then hugged each other, and Carolyn admitted to Josh that she had wanted to vote him out.

"I'm frustrated, I'm annoyed, I'm pissed off. Ugh! I don't want nothing to do with you, Josh," Carolyn lamented at the end of the episode.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.