Survivor season 35 finale: What is under Ben’s bandage?

Photo: Screen GrabCBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen GrabCBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

One of the most burning questions we’ve received throughout the entirety of Survivor season 35 is “What is under Ben’s bandage?” We finally got an answer!

“What was under bens bandage on his shoulder? Thanks.”

“Do you have any idea what that bandage is on Ben’s shoulder? It’s been killing me since the first episode.”

“Why does Ben wear a band-aid over his tattoo on his right shoulder?”

“Why does Ben have a bandage over a tattoo on his right shoulder. Are they hiding something?”

I’ve only been writing about live Survivor coverage for two full seasons of the show, yet there has never been a question more asked of me from the Surviving Tribal community than what’s under Ben’s bandage on his right shoulder. The answer I had given people who asked me was my best guess; that it was a copyrighted image that would present problems to CBS should they decide to air it.

The reason I made that logical guess was due to the fact that a Big Brother 19 player from this past summer, Matt Clines, had to wear a bandage over his tattoo because it had lyrics for a Boyz II Men song, “Mama,” clearly visible when he wore his orange tank top (something he wore almost as often as he ate cereal).

As Ben made it to the Survivor season 35 finale, he was barred from giving interviews about his game. Now that he has won the game outright, interview outlets got to ask him the most burning question of our community on behalf of the fandom at large, with former player Rob Cesternino capping off his interview asking “what was underneath that band-aid that was on your back this season?”

In typical fashion, Ben gave an honest answer tinged with a bit of playfulness. Underneath Ben’s bandage is a tattoo paying homage to his grandpa, depicting his favorite tractor that his grandkids (including Ben) liked to play around with. The “logo” being a copyrighted image was the problem, as I expected, with Ben not outright saying which one it was (It’s definitely a John Deere tattoo).

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So there you have it; it was copyrighted material after all! Who knew that a Marine with so many tattoos on his body would create a problem for production only because one of them was for a farm tractor company?