“I Feel Like I’m the Most Loyal Player on this Season” – Caleb in his pre-game interview with Gordon Holmes.
After a tribe-shakeup left Caleb Reynolds and Hali Ford as the only two members to stay at Mana bech, forced to deal with an invasion of Nuku tribe members, former Big Brother and Survivor Kaoh Roung contestant Caleb Reynolds, was voted out. His elimination from the game clearly comes down to two things – his past relationship on Survivor Kaoh Raong with fellow castaway Tai Trang, and the tribe swap in itself that left him scrambling to survive.
A Tie with Tai Trang Too Strong For The Game
Tai went to Caleb’s wedding. Everyone on this season knows how close they are. So when the two ended up together on Mana beach it was no secret at all that they were going to be close pals. And they didn’t do any job at all at hiding it. At one point, Caleb even told Tai to kiss him on the cheek in front of everyone!
The moment they ended up on the same mat, with a 4-2 disadvantage for the former Big Brother houseguest, Caleb was instantly screwed and the only thing that could have saved him would have been a Paul and Victor styled hoax on the rest of the players in the game. Caleb and Tai pulling a Paul and Victor (Big Brother 18 houseguests who pretended they hated each other even though they were working together in an attempt to save themselves) would have been the only way of saving Caleb for this vote and that is an incredibly tall ask for two very strategically unwise players.
Pre-Season Thoughts & Prediction
Shot In The Dark Prediction: 17th place.
Thoughts: It’ll be good to have him back again. If him and Tai could reform their partnership it would be wonderful. At the same time, although Caleb is certainly entertaining, he’s not exactly cut out for the game from a strategic standpoint. It’ll be interesting to see how he does, I just hope he doesn’t hurt himself again! Judging by post-game interviews from Survivor Kaoh Rong, Caleb wasn’t willing to talk strategy in the first couple of days and in a returnee season, that just doesn’t fly. This is why I think he goes out early. I think Caleb doesn’t try hard enough to make bonds and is targeted as a result. If he can get the numbers on his side he’ll easily go to the merge but I just don’t see that happening.
I was right on the nose about when Caleb would be eliminated from the game, but the way he went home was not something I foresaw coming at all. First off, Caleb’s elimination was as a result of a tribe-swap; something he couldn’t do a whole lot about. I had predicted pre-season that he wouldn’t make enough of an effort to get to know his fellow castaways and that would be why he was voted out, but the exact opposite almost seemed to be true. Caleb was voted out because he had too good of a bond with his castaways, or at least one in particular in the form of Tai. My read on Caleb wasn’t too far off, but I can’t help but feel that if it weren’t for a tribe swap and it weren’t for being placed on the same tribe as Tai that Caleb would have been safe this round.
The Architect of His Demise
This may be giving Brad Culpepper a little bit too much credit, but he really was amazing this episode and played a massive role in sending Caleb home. Before that crucial conversation with Tai by the beach, it seemed like everyone was leaning that way anyway but Brad certainly sealed the deal. The former NFL’er approached Tai about voting off Caleb with such a cool head and just looked him in the eye and said “Having Caleb around at the merge would be bad for your game”. That very simple sentence was all it took for Tai to be on board with voting out Caleb and that is what seemed to seal the Kentucky native’s fate in the game! This makes Brad Culpepper our choice for the architect of Caleb’s demise in the game, with an honourable mention to the tribe swap as he would have always been safe without it.
Conclusion & A Caleb Sendoff
Again, you have to feel for Caleb. He went out on Day 9 thanks to almost dying back in Survivor Kaoh Rong and again goes out on Day 9 thanks to a tribe-swap and a previous relationship with another castaway. Caleb didn’t do an awful lot wrong this season and there really isn’t much more he could have done to save himself in this instance.
Caleb is not the smartest or most strategic of Survivor players but to his credit he does seem like a very loyal guy and also someone will always be able to provide for his tribe in challenges. So his elimination from the game in 18th place is a bit puzzling and quite unfortunate. However, from a TV perspective, Caleb being gone from the game so early is not the greatest of losses we could have seen at this stage. I think this will be it for Caleb’s time on Survivor and this season will certainly be one to forget for the Kentucky native as his reputation will instead forever revolve around the fact that he nearly died while trying to win salt and pepper for his tribe in Survivor Kaoh Rong. As your good buddy Zach Rance used to say, see ya never Caleb!
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