Erik Reichenbach is not happy. It doesn’t have so much to do with the fact that he had to be medically evacuated from last night’s Survivor: Caramoan finale, but rather that there was no proper explanation as to the injury that led to him being pulled from the game. And he could not give one at the reunion show because he was not even allowed to speak. At least Erik got to sit on the stage. In a Survivor first, anybody voted out before the jury was forced to sit and watch from the audience. Whether this was done to mask the fact that Brandon Hantz was not invited to the reunion show remains unclear, but the rest of the cast was certainly not happy with the demotion. We spoke with Erik today and he cleared up everything regarding his evacuation and pulled no bunches with his take on the reunion, describing it as a “farce,” “disrespectful,” “ridiculous,” and “insane.” [NOTE: Read through both pages for the complete interview, and also check out our interview with winner John Cochran as well as our chat with Dawn Meehan, who talks all about her reaction to Toothgate.]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, Erik. How are you doing today?
ERIK REICHENBACH: All right.
EW: Just all right?
ERIK: Yeah, just all right.
ERIK: Well, I wasn’t very happy with the finale in a lot of ways.
EW: The finale or the reunion show and the fact that they didn’t even let you speak?
ERIK: I suppose the reunion. Probably more the reunion than the finale.
EW: I was going to ask you about that. You were the only Favorite on stage that didn’t even get to say a single word.
ERIK: Right, I was pretty much left out.
EW: What was that all about? I don’t understand that at all, especially because we just saw you evacuated at the start of the episode with only three days left in the game and really got no sort of update or answers as to that. Was any sort of explanation given to you as to why you weren’t asked to speak?
ERIK: Uh, no explanation was given and I remember Jeff Probst before when we were shooting the dress rehearsal, I only exchanged maybe two words with Jeff. He said “I haven’t talked to you. Where are you living now?” And that’s about it. There was no discussion of anything of any sort. And I know a lot of viewers are saying to me, “Hey, you got evacuated. What happened with that?” Everyone is confused. Nobody really knows what happened. I feel like my entire storyline was just kind of left unended. Nobody really understood what happened.
EW: So let’s try to give people some answers. Let’s back up and take it from that Brenda Tribal Council. When did you start to not feel well and notice that something was seriously amiss?
ERIK: So something was actually amiss the day before the Tribal Council when Brenda went home. I saw my older brother and he was looking me up and down and said “Dude, what’s wrong with your leg?” And I looked at my right leg and I had injured it previously in the game. I had a big scar on it. And I thought it had been healing. My brother had noticed that underneath all the dirt some kind of infection was happening and it was all over my leg. I really didn’t even notice it until that moment. So we started to talk to the Survivor doctors that day and they said just drink water, and eat as much food as you can. They can do everything but give you what you need basically. So we were playing it by ear.
We got to the Brenda Tribal Council and as I’m walking in I started to feel very dizzy and sick to my stomach. I was aware that I was at a Tribal Council and that people were answering questions, but other than that I was completely out of it. I remember thinking, if you fall off your stool now you’ll go home before whoever ends up getting voted out today.
EW: So you had to keep it together. The Tribal ends and the cameras are usually off when you guys leave Tribal to be transported back to you camp. What happened there? Did you tell a producer you weren’t doing well, so they quickly moved you guys in front of a bush, turned on the cameras and brought Probst in?
ERIK: What basically happened was, the vote went down, I was still dizzy. When the vote is being read I ended up thinking Sherri went home. It was really Brenda but I thought it was Sherri. I thought there were seven votes instead of six, so that was also off. If you go back and watch the episode you can see me waving at Brenda and smiling. At that moment I just saw Brenda and was like “Oh, it’s my friend Brenda, so I waved.” But that was the moment where she was getting her torch snuffed and I wasn’t really aware of that. So we leave Tribal Council, and immediately I go, “I need a doctor. I need some help.” And I lay down. And at that point they brought in medical. And the rest of that is what you basically saw.
EW: What happened next? Where did they take you? What did they do to you? And how soon until you felt better?
ERIK: I remember the events that happened but they’re all kind of fuzzy. We go to the medical center [at the Survivor crew’s base camp] and immediately there’s people all around putting IVs in my arms. They didn’t feed me right away which I was very angry about. Different producers starting come in to visit me. I didn’t recognize some of them. After about 10 hours, in the morning I woke up and was like “Whoa. What the hell happened last night? Did Sherri get voted off?” and they were like, no Brenda got voted off. And it confused me. And then I was like, oh, crap, Dawn just voted off Brenda.