Survivor Season 37 Spoilers: Who Went Home In The Premiere Episode?
The first castoff of Survivor: David Vs. Goliath recounts their tragic exit from the game.
There's no easy way to exit the game of Survivor early, let alone as the first castoff of the season, especially when your tribe wins the very first Reward Challenge and starts things off on a high note.
This season, the tribes are divided into the Davids, those who have scratched and clawed their way through life to prove themselves, and the Goliaths, those who come from a place of privilege.
Right from the get-go, the Goliaths underestimated the Davids, but were humbled when the underdogs won themselves a shelter building kit before being marooned. Though the Davids weren't as lucky when it came to the season's first Immunity Challenge, the manner in which they said goodbye to one of their own wasn't a typical Survivor farewell.
STREAM: The Epic Season Premiere Of Survivor: David Vs. Goliath
Despite the gruff and strong-headed Pat Cusack hitting it off with the David Tribe by leading the construction of their shelter and connecting with them on a personal level as they huddled underneath it, hiding from the pouring rain and extreme winds, he found himself the first castaway eliminated.
Except it wasn't a wrong move or misplaced trust that ended his game in the season premiere of Survivor: David Vs. Goliath; it was the elements.
On a boat ride back from the Immunity Challenge, the tribe's boat hit choppy waters and Pat suffered a back injury that resulted in host Jeff Probst and the show's physicians pulling him from the game for this own safety. While the Davids were spared also going to Tribal Council, when we last left them, the group was shaken to their core by the sudden departure of Pat.
We caught up with the 40-year-old New Yorker about watching his fate play out on screen, and chillingly, how he doesn't remember any of it.
First and foremost, how are you feeling?
Pat Cusack: I'm good. A little emotional rollercoaster last night. But I'm doing good.
Let's talk about that. Take us through watching back the footage of your injury last night. What was going through your head?
Pat: It was a lot of emotions. I don't have any recollection of the whole situation. From the time the accident happened on the boat to the time I woke up in a helicopter. I have no memory of anything.
Pat: So to see myself in that position, it was a tough one to swallow. To see myself in that state and not having any recollection of it, it kind of closed some doors for me. At the same time, it's something that I probably could've went without seeing. But it is what it is.
That's really hard. Watching it back last night, was there any consolation when Jeff clarified that it wasn't that you were quitting, but that you were being removed from the game? Does that provide any solace?
Pat: It does give a little bit of closure but either way, I'm out of the game, you know? I didn't want to be out of the game regardless of the situation. Unfortunately I didn't get voted off and unfortunately, I didn't quit, Mother Nature had different plans and the situation turned out to be what it was.
I didn't have any recollection of Jeff saying that on the island when it was actually going on, but to hear it last night on the show, it truly showed me that they were just looking out for my best interests and the future of my health.
Going back to the beginning, you arrive on that boat, and you learn it's David vs. Goliath—can you describe that feeling of your tribe winning the very first Reward Challenge after being underestimated?
Pat: Yeah! The Goliaths, you know, they had that stigma that just because we may not have had all the brawn that they had, and that we had the nerds, and that we had some people that looked a little different—they didn't fit into the "model" standards.
Then for Christian and Lyrsa to put their foot on the chest of the Goliaths, so to speak, and we come out with the shelter building kit, it was a super high for us. We're the underdogs and everybody's expecting the Goliaths to destroy us.
And to come out and win that very first challenge right off the bat, it was a great feeling for us. It put us on a high that we rode right to camp and got busy building our shelter.
You took charge on that shelter when you got to camp, which in Survivor seasons past has rubbed people the wrong way or put a target on their back, is that something you worried about at all?
Pat: In that moment I wasn't thinking about how my tribemates were going to perceive me taking charge, so to speak. However, when we were still on the boat and we had won, I turned to my tribe and said, "I can tell you one thing, we're gonna have one hell of a shelter because I'm a contractor."
They were grateful for that because probably most of them never even swung a hammer in their day. For them to know that with the materials we'd gained through winning the shelter building kit, we were going to have somewhere to rest our head at night. I felt that they were happy about that.
I figured that if I could put everybody up in the air and not on the ground, sleeping in the dirt with the bugs and everything, and put a canopy over their heads with the weather that was coming to fend that off as much as we could, I was hoping they would take liking to that.
Now that I watched some of the confessionals last night, Christian and them saying, "Oh well, he's a little bossy, this, that and the third," I wasn't thinking about that at the time. I was thinking about making sure we had somewhere to rest our heads and get out of the elements. I just took charge. I'm a contractor. When it comes to building, I build. [Laughs]
It is putting the tribe first. At the moment it's probably easy for them to forget that, but that really is what you were doing. Also, it seems like the tribe really bonded in those early nights, telling deeply personal stories about their lives.
Pat: I don't think any of us going into it expected that. Had it been different weather, I don't think it would've played out like that, but given that we were all in the shelter for three or four days, every minute of the day, because the rain is coming down two to three inches an hour and the winds are blowing 70 or 80 miles per hour...
So it ain't like we could go out and sit by the fire because there's nothing dry to start a fire. And it's not like we could go down and swim in the ocean and mingle on our own and do our own thing.
We were basically forced to live in unison in what was probably a 15x20 structure that we built. What else is there to do but talk? I don't think going into the game anybody planned on discussing the things we discussed so early in the game.
It was a really great moment to watch as a viewer. So if given the chance, would you go back out there and play again?
Pat: Absolutely. I'd leave tomorrow.
What did you learn about yourself during your time on Survivor?
Pat: In situations that you wouldn't normally be in when you're thrust into a position where you're surrounded by nine complete strangers... People that, other than in this game, I probably never would've come in contact with, and open up as much as I have—or as much as they have. I normally wouldn't open myself up to anybody like that, that quick.
So if I learned anything about myself, it's that it's not a bad thing to put yourself out there. People are either going to like you, or they're gonna hate you. It's their perception of you, it may not be the right perception, but open the book before you judge it. Read a couple of pages before you go judging a book by its cover.
Watch all-new episodes of Survivor: David vs. Goliath on Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.