Survivor David vs. Goliath: When is a quit a quit?

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

In Survivor: David vs. Goliath episode 4, one of the players left the game after succumbing to an injury. Why was it designated as a quit?

Warning: The rest of this post will discuss the events that took place in Survivor: David vs. Goliath episode 4, “Time to Bring About the Charmpocalypse.”

Last night’s episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath was a rollercoaster of emotion; so much so that it was easy to forget the surprising opening salvo. As the players lined up for what was clearly a challenge of some time, Bi Nguyen made the tearful announcement; “I’ve made the decision to leave the game” on account of a sprained MCL she sustained in the previous week’s challenge.

It brought tears to her eyes, as she pulled herself out of the game with the fear of sustaining even worse injuries that could debilitate, or even derail, her MMA career. She was limping around and could walk around camp, but she knew that if she pushed things further, she could risk getting medically evacuated anyway and suffer even worse consequences.

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In my opinion, it was a fairly justified quit. It was a freak accident in the form of a non-contact injury (most likely), and the consequences of pushing through another full month without proper rest and rehabilitation were not worth the minuscule shot to win a million dollars in her hobbled state so early.

That said, it was 100% a quit. Production, Jeff Probst as host and Bi herself knew the risks when she was flown out to Fiji, and production was likely aware of the possibility that a non-life-threatening injury to an active athlete in the prime of their MMA career would take this option in this scenario.

This isn’t a Kourtney Moon situation; she didn’t break her arm and require an x-ray to find the extent of her damage. This also isn’t a Pat Cusack spot, either, where his health situation was completely out of his hands, and he did nothing wrong in sustaining his injury. All scenarios are unfortunate, but Bi made the smart decision when considering her future.

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Her situation is unique to her status as an athlete, but she’s not the first person to quit due to a tough health condition with the chance to worsen. Gary Stritesky, the only applicant of Survivor Fiji, experienced chest pain, a cracked rib and, later, vertigo from an insect allergy, opting to leave the game and obtain proper medical attention and comfort.

The closest example I can think of is a player that I think was undeserved as a player who “quit.” Dana Lambert of Survivor: Philippines was keeled over for days under the harsh rain, showcasing extreme nausea and stomach pain. Medical and Jeff Probst came to the camp to check on her, with medical stating if it got worse 12 hours from when they saw her, they’d take her out of the game for a medical evacuation.

Having not been able to eat or drink properly without throwing up, shaking like a leaf and sleeping in the harsh rain with a poor shelter, Dana couldn’t wait 12 more hours. She opted to “quit” due to her extremely poor health conditions, which seemed both logical and almost mandatory an option.

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Bi’s quit is not nearly in that same boat, as even though you and I would have an MCL sprain treated immediately, it would not prevent her from living on an island with bare necessities. Had she got injured close to the end of the game like Missy Payne did and opted to quit, it would have been a different story. This time, however, the Survivor gods sigh in resigned, understanding frustration.