Australian Survivor has already seen two contestants leave the game for medical reasons, raising the question of whether or not the show is too tough this year.
Jenna injured her ankle in an early challenge, but was supported by her tribe and continued to play the game. However, after she further damaged it in another challenge, the producers insisted that she be helicoptered to a nearby hospital for a proper scan.
Jenna was allowed to return to the game on crutches, but her tribe promptly voted her out in a tearful Tribal Council.
"I had partially torn a tendon in my ankle" Jenna told Ten Daily after her final episode aired. "I had to wear a moon boot for another seven weeks, but it's good now. I'm back in the swing of things."
Moana was plagued by illness in her last episode, and was unable to keep any food down. After progressively getting weaker and weaker, at Tribal Council she announced that she wanted to go. The rest of the tribe listened to her wishes and decided to vote her out.
"In eight days I lost five kilos," Moana told Ten Daily. "Being stuck on an island with no doctors, you can't just go to Chemist Warehouse... it was getting worse and worse."
"I just started to get pretty depressed, I had to put my physical and mental health first. I knew if I stayed the best experience of my life could become the worst."
While both Jenna and Moana were voted out at Tribal Council, it’s undeniable that their medical issues led to their departures from the game. Both were strong physical competitors, who were playing a good strategic game as well. Moana had even found an idol early in the game.
So is the show too tough? As a fan, I would argue that it’s not too tough. Both Jenna and Moana were unlucky to have such serious issues, but the contestants are closely monitored by a medical team throughout their time in the game. Dealing with the elements is part of Survivor, and the contestants do know what they’re getting into when they choose to sign up.
We’ve never seen a true medical evacuation in Australian Survivor. Medical evacuations are much more common in US Survivor. There have been fourteen medical evacuations in the show’s 36 seasons, beginning with Michael Skupin falling in the fire in the show’s Australian season, to three evacuations in Survivor: Kaoh Rong.
Zoe, Shannon and Julia from Game On Moles: Get Snuffed, The Australian Survivor Podcast talked all about Moana and Jenna's medical emergencies, and how they would have been dealt with in US Survivor. Listen here and don't forget to subscribe!