October 24, 2009 01:41 PM by Ryan Haidet
It was a very emotional episode of Survivor: Samoa this week when Russell Swan was removed from the game for medical reasons.Â In a conference call with reporters, Russell explained what he remembers from that moment, the terrible feeling he felt for being removed from the game on a stretcher and who he wants to see win the whole game.
Reliving His Collapse
During the challenge, Russell had hobbled over to the puzzle maze where he passed out and fell to the ground.Â But he said that he had no knowledge of how bad it truly was.Â Â “What I remember is being winded; I took a knee.Â I pulled the puzzle up to my face, hit myself in the chin — maybe knocked myself out.Â Just needed a moment to kind of like catch my breath.Â Maybe get a drink of water and then, ‘All right.Â Game on, let’s continue.’”
And he says when the decision was made to remove him from the game, he was extremely angry with Jeff Probst and the medical team.Â “I’m laying there and I’m like, ‘Jeff, do not let these people pull me out.Â I’m just a little tired.’Â I had applied eight times to get on the show and the last thing I wanted to do was be carried off on my back.Â To be carried out at all was not what I wanted, and to be carried out on my back was just horrible.Â I’m like, ‘Dude, tell them not to take me out.’Â He’s like, ‘It’s not even a discussion.’”
He said that he truly had no clue how dangerous the situation was at the time.Â “Of course, I’m looking at it in the respect that I’ve only been down there for 10 minutes and I’m just thirsty.Â I hadn’t seen the eyes roll back up in the head and me hanging on the puzzle and all that kind of stuff.Â So, in hindsight, they made the absolute right decision.Â But at the time, I was pissed off at him (Probst) and anybody else that made the decision to take me out.Â I thought it was bogus and I thought they were losers.”
Surprised To See It
When he watched the episode and saw how everything actually unfolded, Russell said it was a real eye-opening experience.Â “It was wild because I had to sort of prepare for different things, but I really didn’t know it was that bad at all.Â It was really tough to watch.Â It was tough to watch especially since my wife was so upset, because, in her eyes, I looked like I died.”
Tarp Vs. Comfort
Although his removal was a major event this season, Russell also made some big decisions as chief of the Galu tribe.Â After winning one challenge, he was given the option to choose either comfort (blankets, pillows and towels) or a tarp.Â He chose the comfort over the tarp, which may have seemed like a good idea — until it rained for five days straight.Â But even then, Russell said he has no regret in the decision. “The tarp vs. the comfort — that was a game decision.Â If it was in life, I would’ve chose the tarp.Â It’s not life, it’s a game.Â I thought choosing comfort would get me further in the game — strategically at that point when I made that decision.”
Surprisingly, Russell said that after he was elected chief of Galu, that he threw his strategy out the window and made no alliances with anybody.Â “I was just too busy worrying about the target on my back.Â So rather than walking down the beach and enjoying the contact with a few people and talking who is who and what is what — I’m collecting firewood.”Â He said he didn’t feel like he had a choice as chief other than tending to the fire and keeping work up around the camp to hold his role as the leader.
But now with his elimination, Galu will have to choose a new chief.Â Who does Russell think it should be?Â “I would probably pick Laura only because I was beginning to speculate that maybe she’s running the game.Â I don’t know.Â So I would want to make her a little vulnerable so I can sit back and watch her run around and collect the firewood.Â And me saying, ‘chief’ to her every five seconds.”
His Pick To Win
And when it’s all said and done, Russell wants to see one person in particular walk away with the $1 million prize.Â “I want Shambo in the worst way.Â She’s been vulnerable since day 1, but she’s just so her.Â Everybody else is playing the game lying about what they do and who they are.Â Shambo is just all over the place and she’s fumbling.Â I think she would be our season’s JT.”
Images courtesy of CBS.