Caleb Reynolds almost died while playing Survivor: Kaoh Rong. And for what? Spices. Spices and some kitchen items. That’s because Caleb went all out in the 110-degree Cambodian heat during a reward challenge and, as a result, lost consciousness and was pulled from the game in a moment Jeff Probst called “the most frightened I’ve been” on the show.
Did Caleb learn anything from that experience? You betcha! He learned that pushing yourself past the point of dehydration is probably not worth it when you are playing for reward as opposed to immunity, and he told us on location in Fiji before the game began that he would keep that in mind when he played Survivor: Game Changers (which premieres March 8 on CBS).
Watch the video above and read the text below to see what Caleb had to say about his family’s concerns about him competing again, whether he would rather be playing Big Brother again, and if he will be engaging in round 2 of Smoochfest with Tai. (Also make sure to follow @thedaltonross on Instagram to see exclusive on-location photos, including one of Caleb casting his pre-game vote for whom he’d like to vote off first.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How nervous were your wife and family about you coming out to play again?
CALEB REYNOLDS: My family, of course they’re nervous. They don’t want what happened last time to happen again because it’s possible because I don’t have a switch. There’s not an on and off for me: I’m always on. They know that I have the heart of a lion and I’m always giving 110 percent in everything that I do, and me coming out here to play again, they are afraid that I will push myself over the limits again, given the circumstances.
Anything you can do differently to prevent that from happening again?
There is. When you go into a challenge, I believe that knowing what you’re playing for other than a win needs to be thought about during the challenge. Last time I played I didn’t separate reward from immunity, and maybe going into a reward challenge I may need to just back off a little bit and save my energy for an immunity challenge, one that’ll actually send me home.
Inquiring minds want to know: Will you let Tai kiss you again this season?
I wouldn’t be like, “Alright Tai, kiss me.” I wouldn’t be like that. But, you know, if Tai pulled a quick one on me, of course I’m not gonna be mad at him for it. I would laugh like I did last time. But if there is a stolen kiss in there, so be it.
We’re talking here in June of 2016. Would you have rather played Survivor this summer or Big Brother?
Survivor. That’s hands down for me. I have some unfinished business to take care of this summer in Survivor. I don’t really have any unfinished business with Big Brother. I went as far as I could. I done the best I could. I got the two people to the end. They needed my help to get there. I got them there. I went home fourth. I really believe that if I played that game again I wouldn’t make it as far. So, Survivor, I have unfinished business with you, so let’s get this going.
Whom do you want to align with?
I’m going to align with, for one, the people who are strong like me. Maybe not everybody, but I’m going to get one or two people that are as strong as me in challenges, that kind of have the same thinking strategies as me. And I’m going to have to get a tough girl on my side somewhere in there. So far, Sarah is probably the toughest girl here. She’s a police officer, she works out and stuff, she’s tough, she’s going to be a beast at challenges. So I may align with the toughest girl out there. And then on the side, I have to align with a strategic player. That way I have all corners met. I have strong people, I have strategic players, and then I have some girls. So that’s who I’m going to try to align with.
How would your boy Frankie Grande do at Survivor?
Uhhhh, Frankie Grande on Survivor… Uhhh, I think there’s too many bugs and no food. I don’t think Frankie would last too long out here. Although he probably wouldn’t even agree to play this game. If he did agree to it, he would give it all he had while he was here, but I don’t know how much he would have being here.
For more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.