Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” was an emotional one for Utahn Rachel Foulger to watch.
Foulger narrowly lost the Redemption Island duel and was eliminated from the 39-day game on Day 7.
Her boyfriend, Tyson Apostol, 34, who is also playing the game but on a different tribe, got emotional talking about her elimination on the show. It’s one of the first times Foulger said she’s seen him get emotional in the five years they’ve been dating.
“It was sad for me to see him crying on television,” the 33-year-old graphic designer and waitress from Provo said of Apostol.
And then Apostol was injured during the Immunity/Reward Challenge.
“It was an intense episode,” Foulger said in a phone interview on Thursday.
The Tadhana Tribe’s strategy for voting her out during last week’s episode didn’t work out.
In this season of “Survivor,” the castaways are 10 returning players and a loved one, including children, siblings, significant others, spouses or a relative. The returning players are in one tribe, the Galang Tribe, and the loved ones are in another tribe, the Tadhana Tribe.
When a tribe loses the Immunity/Reward Challenge, it goes to Tribal Council where it has to vote out a fellow tribe member. The voted-out castaway goes to Redemption Island where that person competes in individual duels with others on Redemption Island for a spot to get back in the game.
And once voted out, their loved ones can switch with them on Redemption Island.
Foulger’s Tadhana tribe mates targeted her to get her boyfriend, Apostol, off the other tribe to weaken the tribe of returning players.
And they saw the strategy.
“It’s not a bad move, Jeff,” Apostol said during the show Wednesday. “They must have assumed I would at least highly consider switching places with her, pulling me off the tribe and making it easier for them to win.”
And Apostol had the chance to switch with Foulger.
“You have a better chance in this game right now than I do,” Foulger told Apostol. “You need to stay there with your tribe. They need you.”
And Foulger said by phone that there was some pride involved in not giving her former tribe mates what they wanted. “I was there to help Galang now.”
The duel was lining up planks on a slanted platform so they fall like dominos and release a ball. The platform is on springs attached to trip bars. It was 114 degrees in the arena.
It was one of the hardest challenges she did while on the island, Foulger said. In addition to the heat, it was humid, the sun was beating down on them and it took at least an hour for the challenge.
Candice Cody, 30, won the duel and Marissa Peterson, 21, barely edged out Foulger.
Host Jeff Probst called it one of the most hard-fought games he had seen.
“Did you have fun while you were here?” Apostol asked Foulger before she put her buff in the fire and left. “Yes,” she said.
Foulger said Thursday that the experience brought them much closer together than she expected, even if they didn’t see each other except for a few moments at the Immunity/Reward Challenges.
“It’s something we can talk about and relate to,” she said. Apostol, who has been on both "Survivor: Tocantins" and "Heroes vs. Villains," played the game the first time four months after they first met.
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