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Survivor Caramoan – Interview With Erik Reichenbach And He Was Not Happy About The Reunion

Erik Reichenbach on the favourites tribe on Survivor Caramoan and he had the very bad luck of being medically evacuated from the game just after he made the top 5. He was in a solid alliance and had never been targeted for elimination.

We talk about his medical evacuation, how he was unhappy with the reunion show, and his non-strategy strategy.

Reality Raver: Erik in your first season you were known as Erik the ice-cream scooper. Is that what you are still doing?

Erik Reichenbach: No that was four years ago. I have moved from Michigan to California and am studying graphic arts.

RR: I was just reading on EW that you were not happy about how the reunion went down and how the pre-jury contestants were sat off stage and the fact Jeff Prosbst did not ask you a question. Was this new seating arrangement to do with Brandon Hantz not being invited to the finale?

ER: I would have been fine to meet Brandon if he had been there, either way. I was a little displeased with the way the reunion went. It is because the people were voted off early were not allowed to be on the stage which might seem like a small superficial thing but to me if you are the first person voted off or you are the winner of the game everybody was apart of that adventure together. All those twenty people were there at the same time. They were not happy. They had invited their family to see them. It is an accomplishment to be on this show even to be chosen to be on Survivor in the first place and a lot of them were very displeased with what happened with the fact they had to be in the audience and not onstage. There is all these loose ends, everybody was there and people want to know what happened and to know what they are doing now. We did not really get to see a lot of that there was more of a focus just on more controversial people that played the game rather than “hey let’s find out what’s happened”. If someone gets medically evacuated in the final five you would at least like to hear a little about that. “Are you OK? What happened?”.

RR: Speaking of the medical evacuation, it was quite heart wrenching to see you removed from the game. What happened had you been ill for a long time?

ER: I’d been getting worse and worse and it had culminated that day. I actually had a cut on my leg from awhile ago which I got 11 or 12 days into the game. The Survivor medical team had been great they helped me and said “Keep an eye on it, do these certain things and you can take care of it” and it began to heal. Fast forward to when my brother came on the family visit and my older brother was looking me up and down and noticing I had been starving. He said “Man I think your leg is infected” and when we looked at it it was it was starting to get a lot worse. Leading up to the tribal council when Brenda went home I started feeling very dizzy and I realised this was getting bad really fast. I don’t know if you have seen online but I talk about this as well in other interviews. I started getting pretty dizzy and I did not know who was getting voted out. I thought Sherri had been voted out. I tried to keep it together as I knew if I fell down or showed any signs of fainting there I might be out in sixth instead of fifth place.

RR: One thing about the scene last night they put in an IV fluid while you were lying there and then Jeff Probst gave you the option or talk about whether you’d stay in the game or not. My understanding is that as a player that once you got that much medical interference you were just automatically pulled from the game. Was there at any stage any likelihood of you staying in the game?

ER: I understand what you are saying and I know that the rules are very specific in that you can’t have any extreme medical assistance. You would have an unfair advantage. If I had gotten that IV then gone back into the game there is a huge advantage for me as I got all that medical care. The actual editing of that was a little different as I know that Jeff actually said that prior to me having an IV in my arm. They did give me the option. “What do you want to do Erik? How do you feel?” In a half daze I don’t really know what was going on I remember saying “we can wait it out let’s just wait here in the middle of this jungle”. That was not an option I was pretty loopy at the point.

RR: I was talking to Andrea and we were discussing whether you having no strategy was actually a strategy. What was your strategy going into the game?

ER: My strategy was no strategy. It was a little different then that. There is so much information that you have to process when you play a game like Survivor and I there was no way I could process all that information. I didn’t want to know what people were thinking or saying an hour or two before tribal council. I wanted to know what they were thinking right before they were going to tribal council. I basically told everyone to don’t talk strategy with me just tell me who to vote for right before we go. I told that to everybody as I was trying to limit the amount of information I would have had to process and what would have happened is that I became a pretty valuable swing vote. What would happen people would come to me with a proposal. They would say this is who we are voting for and this is who is voting this way and then I could decide whether Sherri would really vote for Eddie in that situation, would that person really vote for that person. I could at least process that information easier. In a way it was a no strategy strategy.

RR: If you had not been medically evacuated it is a pretty high chance you would have made final three. Do you think you could won?

ER: I think I would have had a shot at it. I know that Sherri was not was not well liked by a lot of people just because of the way she was around camp. The big dilemma for me was to convince people I actually played a strategy. They would think I was not playing strategy and they would say I specifically asked them not to know what they were thinking.

RR: Why was there no fishing this season? Were there no fish around?

ER: We were trying to catch fish and from time to time we would find giant clams that we would eat. Other then that a lot of what we ate were coconuts as they were easy to find and they are on the ground and you don’t have to climb a huge tree to find them. Coconuts are plentiful and they don’t take a lot of energy to get. To catch fish takes quite a bit of energy. People would go fishing but it was not successful. We did not have anybody on our team who were like an Ozzy or Rupert player that can really hunt down fish so we were not successful at it.

RR: Would you go on another reality TV show and if so what would it be?

ER: Anthony Bourdain has this awesome show No Reservations. Come on you can’t get any better then going around and eating food all over the world.


1 Sioux Denim { 05.15.13 at 3:48 pm }

I agree with him about the re-union show, very disappointing!
I reckon he could have won without Cochrane in the Final 3…….but thems the breaks heh!

2 Andrea { 05.15.13 at 4:08 pm }

I don’t blame him about being bitter, he definitely should have been asked a question at least, and not letting the pre jury contestants on the stage was very rude.
Boston Rob, Rudy and Richard did not need to be there at all, and even the young girl with the braces had more air time than Erik did.
The reunion show was poorly done.

3 Techhater { 05.15.13 at 4:21 pm }

RR once again a great interview. Thanks for asking about the fishing issue. It leads of to wonder why contestants, especially the favourites, who had done it before, did not brush up on survival skills. I remember the lady a couple of years ago who learnt how to make fire with her glasses among other skills. Don’t understand why they were not more prepared. It is called SURVIVOR.

4 Culinary Boner { 05.15.13 at 5:14 pm }

Surely he could’ve eaten clam.
I would’ve.

5 Weeezza { 05.15.13 at 5:24 pm }

The reunion was bad but I don’t care for the opinion of someone who gets on survivor and their strategy is no strategy.
Waste of space.

6 Carole { 05.15.13 at 6:56 pm }

Interesting interview, yeah glad you asked about the fishing. How devastating to get medically evacuated so close to the end, but I doubt he would have won.

I agree about the reunion, it was really unfair to the pre jury contestants. Probst explanation that they were in a new venue and the stage wasn’t big enough is bullshit. It’s the 26th season for God’s sake. They know how many people need to be on the stage and in the audience. Poor Allie took 3 dresses and they said neither of them were acceptable and she had to rush around trying to find a new dress, then wasn’t even sitting on the stage.

7 JStar { 05.15.13 at 7:07 pm }

RR – I think your ten minutes with Erik was almost equal to the entire time we saw of Erik on the season. I get that the big personalities got a lot of airtime but the editing the last few years have been atrocious and basically ignored many people who made it deep. Purple Kelly (Nicaragua), Rick (who grabbed his wife’s ass in the family reunion on South Pacific), Brett (Samoa until he went on that immunity run at the very end), Angry Artis and Stoner Carter from last season, and now Brenda and Erik this season – surely they all could have been thrown a bone. Brenda and Erik were “favourites”! Come on! They deserved some air time. Francesca got more airtime than Erik and she was the first boot!

At least Erik owned up to his “non-strategy” strategy. It kind of makes sense in a tribe full of major egos (Phillip, Brandon, Corrine) and schemers (Cochran, Brenda, Andrea, Dawn, Malcolm) to just pull back and let them eliminate one another. It is quite “clever” but I doubt that Erik would have won mainly because returning players tend to reward people who actually made moves.

Also don’t forget that last season, there was also no one who could fish. Remember Penner’s deal with Skupin in that notoriously homo-erotic muddy ball reward challenge (aka 50 Shades of Gay challenge) where he agreed to trade the tribe’s rice in order to win the reward as he was confident in catching fish? He ended up triumphantly catching three goldfish – nothing more.

Erik is 100% correct about the absolute travesty of a finale. Pre-jury boots don’t deserve the contempt that the producers and Dimples displayed to them. Let’s not forget that Dimples is one of the producers of the show. He should be rightly chastised. No Emmy nod for you this year after your sycophantic chit-chat with Rudy and number one mancrush, Boston Rob! Big fail for the reunion.

8 Carole { 05.15.13 at 7:49 pm }

Yeah JStar, a lot of people have been saying on Twitter & Facebook that since Probst has become execute producer it has been going down hill. Dalton Ross from EW hates the advantage being given in the final challenge, he brought it up with Probst, but he said it is here to stay. 2 of the challenges Cochran won, he had the advantage, doubt he would have won them without it, but we’ll never know.

9 JStar { 05.15.13 at 8:09 pm }

@Carole – I live in hope that the advantage for the Final Immunity Challenge will be dispensed off soon. Remember the hate directed towards the Redemption Island “twist” by the fans? That was dispensed of after two seasons. I get that things need to be introduced to keep the series evolving by seriously, for a million dollars, you’re giving an unfair advantage at the very last challenge? It will blow up in their faces one day when someone that Dimples does not like will win the final immunity challenge, due to that advantage, and then be an undeserving winner. That is when we will see that advantage quietly removed before the start of the next season.

Even if Cochran did not win that final immunity challenge, he had already sewn up Final Three deals with Sherri and Eddie. Remember, they both thought Dawn was a threat to win and wanted to get rid of her. I know. Being observant weren’t their strong suits.

10 Culinary Boner { 05.15.13 at 8:41 pm }

In support of Eric’s fishing-would-be-waste-of-time policy:

11 Reality Raver { 05.15.13 at 9:00 pm }

Here is the EW interview Jeff says that there was not enough room on the stage for the pre-jury and that Brandon agreed that it was best that he did not come.

12 a non { 05.16.13 at 11:37 am }

Jeff is a bit of a fibber.

Allie’s take on all of this is interesting:

13 q { 05.17.13 at 9:25 am }

@carole I don’t think it ended up mattering if cochran won that final challenge or not, it looked like dawn/sherri/cochran were solid for final three cos they were scared of eddie (lots of favor with jury) and eddie was no chance in the puzzles

I’m looking forward to seeing how ‘blood vs water’ is going to turn out, even if it’s a trainwreck – apparently past survivors compete with family members/partners

14 Sioux Denim { 05.20.13 at 3:56 pm }

Heh RR – just wondering will you be posting interviews from the final 3?
Thanks x