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12 Times Jeff Came To Camp And Everything Changed: Game-Changing Survivor Moments

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 | 04:10pm

Watching Survivor, we’re used to seeing Jeff as a blunt commentator during challenges, a life-saver with luxurious rewards, and a cut-throat torch-snuffer. On very few occasions over the seasons, Jeff has showed up at the campsite. Always the bearer of greatly-important news, it’s safe to say that once he appears, things are never the same. Here are 12 times throughout Survivor history where Jeff has made an appearance and nothing was the same after that.

1. When Jonathan Penner’s severe leg infection had him removed from the game in Survivor: Micronesia

Jonathan is no stranger to Survivor fans as he has participated in three separate seasons. On two of his tours of play he made it incredibly far into the game, getting voted off only in the last few days. Micronesia was an entirely different story. Like any true Survivor, he was determined to stay, but when Jeff called the medics in, the risk of losing his leg due to a severe infection outweighed his lust for a win. He was helicoptered out immediately and, ultimately, returned to play in Survivor: Philippines.

2. When Julie McGee simply threw in the towel in Survivor: San Juan del Sur


Right after the merge, Julie made a series of pretty terrible choices. After hoarding food and hiding it from the others and spending the day sunning herself on the beach, she pulled Jeff aside to let him know that she just couldn’t hack it. Her choice obviously upset many players, especially those that were depending on her to be a part of their alliance. Though after hiding food, Julie’s probably a lot safer being away from the rest of the Tribe.

3. When Colton Cumbie’s stomach sent him packing on Survivor: One World

During Survivor: One World, Colton was diagnosed with acute appendicitis, which forced him to leave the game. Never one to avoid drama, Colton chose to keep his Hidden Immunity Idol as a souvenir instead of handing it off to a survivor that actually needed it. It wouldn’t be the last time he quit, either. On Blood vs. Water, Colton decided to quit once more.

4. When James Clement’s funky finger forced his finish on Survivor: Micronesia

James played a mean game, but was taken down by one of the tiniest of enemies: a clam. James did his best to play down the injury, but Jeff demanded it be seen by medical. It’s a good thing he did because that shellfish did some serious damage: James was evacuated immediately because the infection had moved to the joint and needed surgery. 

5. When Gary Stritesky couldn’t catch a break, or a breath, on Survivor: Fiji

If anything tells you how tough Survivor is, this is the perfect example: Gary is a Vietnam Vet and he admitted that this was worse. He initially felt dizzy and experienced severe chest pains after a challenge and thought he had cracked a rib. Medics deemed him fit to stay only to take him out a day later due to a severe insect allergy attack.

6. When Lindsey Ogle decided during Survivor: Cagayan that a million dollars wasn’t worth fighting over.. literally

In what was seen as a mature decision for Lindsey to leave to game to avoid getting into a physical altercation with Trish, Lindsay gave up both a fight with Trish, and, ultimately, the fight for a million dollars.

7. When Dana Lambert’s stomach forced her to surrender on Survivor: Philippines

After suffering severe stomach pains and nausea, Dana was checked out by medics and cleared to stay. A few challenges later, Dana couldn’t take it anymore. Jeff appeared at camp with the medics, who determined that due to dehydration, she was experiencing stomach issues as well as blackouts. She gave the game her all -- but sometimes the stomach wants what it wants, and it wanted to go home.

8. When Michael Skupin’s burns made him bow out of Survivor: Outback

As the first person to ever be medically evacuated in the history of Survivor, Michael was so exhausted that he fainted and fell into his tribe’s fire. He immediately tried to soothe himself in the nearby water, but he was immediately evacuated via helicopter to be treated for severe burns.

 9. When Jeff’s shelter challenge on Survivor: All Stars inspired Rupert to build a shelter… out of sand.

The challenge was simple: build a sturdy shelter. Jeff brought along a carpenter to judge the three camps, two of which featured amenities like porch swings and tribe-made gameboards. Saboga’s leader Rupert made a bold move, digging an underground shelter in the sand. The carpenter was not impressed, and neither were Rupert’s teammates when the storm hit later that night and their hole in the ground suddenly became a well.

10. When Joe Dowdle’s leg infection caused him to lose Survivor: Tocantins

Joe fought the good fight, but after a challenge Jeff called him aside for medic to take a look at his increasingly-damaged leg. As badly as Joe wanted to stay in the game, the doctors insisted that he leave for proper, and incredibly necessary, medical care.

11. When a grain of sand forced Shamar Thomas to surrender on Survivor: Caramoan

Sand has a tacky tendency to get stuck in the worst places. In this case, Shemar got one grain in his eye. His teammates were skeptical to the seriousness of his situation, but when Jeff showed up unannounced to have the medics take a look, it was clear Shamar needed to leave. Without treatment, he could have lost sight in the eye from a corneal abrasion. In order to win, you need to keep both eyes on the prize. 

12. When Jeff bled Hunahpu dry on Survivor: San Juan del Sur

As if the tribe switches weren’t dramatic enough, you can imagine the disappointment of the old Coyopa tribe when they found that the Hunahpu tribe had eaten all of their rations, forcing them to appeal to Jeff for food. He gave them food -- but for a price. He traded a bag of rice for, well, everything, leaving the tribe to start from scratch.