Survivor 46 host Jeff Probst explains decision to medically evacuate Randen from island

Survivor 46 host Jeff Probst explains decision to medically evacuate Randen from island

Survivor 46 host Jeff Probst has opened up about the difficult decision to pull Randen Montalvo from the game after he suffered an injury to his hand and wrist in the latest episode.

CBS’s long-running reality game show sees contestants compete in gruelling mental and physical challenges for the chance to win the $1m (£794,000) prize. Each week, they are progressively eliminated by way of popular vote, until one remains and is crowned the Sole Survivor.

During week three of the show, which aired on Wednesday (13 March), team Nami (purple) lost its first member, 41-year-old Randen.

The Brooklyn, New York native had woken up with a numb hand and wrist, and after undergoing a medical evaluation by the on-site doctor, it was determined that he had suffered nerve damage to his arm.

“Because we never want to pull a player from the game unless we truly believe it is urgent, Dr Will allowed Randen to stay in the game for the time being,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview.

“We continued to monitor him as Dr Will quickly started making calls to other doctors who specialise in the field of nerve damage. After these consultations, Dr Will made the decision that there was the possibility this could be more serious, and for those reasons we pulled Randen from the game.”

In the episode, Probst and Dr Will are seen approaching Randen and the rest of his tribe to deliver the bad news.

“The thing that’s been concerning me is this worsening pain and tenderness in your neck. And when I consulted my colleague who’s a neurosurgeon, her big concern was this could be a bulging disk in your neck, which presses on the nerve, and that’s, I’m afraid, a different beast,” Dr Will says, adding that that kind of injury “may need surgery”.

“And the obvious problem is that Will can’t do that with the kind of assessment he can do out here, you need an MRI,” Probst says. “And so Randen, for those reasons, out of being cautious of your health, we are pulling you from the game.”

Offering an update on Randen’s condition, Probst told EW: “He was immediately taken for further testing and we are happy to report that it was not more serious and he has fully recovered.

“Situations like this are really unfortunate because even though it may only be a slight risk, the health of the player is always our number one concern. And while we do have an impressive emergency medical team on site, we don’t have access to things like an MRI, so we always have to err on the side of caution.”

Randen was the third contestant to be sent home, following David “Jelinsky” Jelinsy and Jess Chong, who were eliminated in week one and two, respectively.

Survivor 46 airs Wednesdays at 8pm PT/ET on CBS, with episodes available to stream on Paramount+ the next day.