After sustaining a back injury ahead of the first Immunity Challenge of the season, Alex began to question how long could stay in the game. Finally, on Monday night, he begged his tribe to vote him out. When they refused, he made the difficult decision to leave the game regardless.
“I know what had happened but to watch it from a third person perspective was pretty sad again,” Alex told 10 play adding, “a few tears were shed again.”
Alex explained that as he was about to walk to the challenge he bent down and felt a shooting pain go through his back. Minutes later, his back had seized up, making it extremely painful to even walk. When he arrived at the challenge, being held up by his tribe mates, Alex explained to Jonathan that he’d be unable to participate in the challenge.
“I was worried it was a bit of a disc injury,” Alex explained. “That was what my major concern was. I’ve had a similar thing [in the past] but it wasn’t as bad, so this was out of the blue… and the worst timing ever.”
Luckily for Alex, his tribe had Mel — a chiropractor — on their tribe who was able to look at him following the injury. But having to sleep out on the ground and pushing himself to compete in the challenges he could, there was an ongoing mental strain for Alex, worried he was going to cause irreparable damage to his back by not allowing it the proper time to recover.
“I was always managing the pain, some days were better than others and I’d think yeah, I could do this,” he said. “Some days I’d wake up or it would be in the middle of the night and the pain would just be too much… it all just compounded.”
Heading into what would be his last Tribal Council, Alex admitted that he hadn’t confided in anyone on his tribe about his decision to potentially leave the game.
“I knew if I told them I was thinking about leaving they would try and do anything to make me stay and that’s such a good thing to do, but I knew I didn’t want that to cloud my decision. As hard as it was to leave them, I just didn’t want to let them down in challenges.”
During the emotional Tribal Council, Alex begged his tribe to vote for him. Be it because they had multiple strategies in place to flush idols, many of the tribe’s bigger players staunchly refused. When Jonathan asked for a show of hands of who would consider voting for Alex, no hands were raised. It was the second time his tribe practically refused to vote for Alex despite him being the easy option.
“I don’t know if I just have a likeable face or an elite social game, I don’t know what it is,” Alex said, laughing.
With this season’s twist of Blood V Water, Alex admitted that knowing Jay was still in the game also made his decision even more difficult.
“I knew it would hurt him a lot, and it would be so much harder for him to be in the game without me and that put a lot of guilt on me,” Alex continued.
“Letting my tribe down is one thing… but letting down Jay, someone who I came into the game and was so excited for this and then the next time he gets to a challenge he doesn’t see me, that was crazy hard to make the decision.”
Since leaving the game Alex said his injury has gotten much better after seeing specialists and getting the rest he needed, as well as not doing “crazy, strenuous random challenges”. While it was difficult to leave the game, he’d go back in a heartbeat.
“It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t know what to expect going in but coming out it’s just such a whirlwind and a crazy time that I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“The connections I made with everyone there I’ll have for the rest of my life and those memories of the challenges, the social game, Tribal Council, everything I’ll never forget. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be honest.”
While he had a positive experience, Alex admitted one part of Monday’s Tribal Council really was salt in the wound, when Jonathan asked him to throw his buff into the fire on his way out.
“That was the saddest part… that was the one thing I wanted to take out and show off, frame it,” Alex said, laughing.
“I was about to say… don’t worry about it, I’ll sit back down!”
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water continues Sunday - Tuesday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand