Survivor’s Kellyn Bechtold trusted her gut, found parasites

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Some trust their head, others trust their heart. Others, like Survivor Ghost Island’s Kellyn Bechtold, trust their gut, and it knew something was wrong.

Due to the fact that some within the Survivor fandom searched for basically any excuse to exacerbate anything wrong with Kellyn Bechtold during her Ghost Island run, her “trust my gut” monologue became a lynchpin of her in-game identity. She mixes both head and heart in order to guide her gameplay, and it certainly got her far in spite of Dom and Wendell’s otherwise dominant play.

The thing about playing Survivor that is glossed over a lot of the time is that the players bring home more than just hard-fought memories that just a few hundred people in the world have experienced. For Kellyn Bechtold, more than a year after returning from the Fijian islands, trusting her gut meant trusting that something was wrong, and it certainly was correct.

As she tweeted out earlier this week, Kellyn was diagnosed with hookworms and parasites. She joins a long line of people to have become sick months after playing Survivor, as well as those who have been medically evacuated during the game. The most extreme cases seem to have been during the Cambodia seasons of Second Chances and Kaoh Rong, though.

This post isn’t to dunk on Kellyn, who did an amicable job of getting far in Survivor Ghost Island. Instead, this is a reminder of just how hard it is to play this game, as well as the sacrifices that come with it. Even basic necessities provided by production (such as well water) cannot be taken for granted, as even after taking necessary precautions to stay safe, players can still become sick.

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It’s something to consider as fans and interested parties apply for Survivor seasons 39 and 40 in the coming months, as one thing you’ll need to take into consideration before sending in your application is if you’re okay with the risk of catching tropical viruses and parasites during your journey.