'Survivor' Castaway Bi Nguyen Says She Couldn't 'Walk for a Couple Days' After Devastating Injury (Exclusive)
Bi Nguyen had to put her career first.
The MMA fighter headed out to Fiji in the hopes of winning a million dollars onSurvivor: David vs. Goliath, but only lasted 10 days after an injury caused her to quit the game on Wednesday's episode.
"I realized my knee was hurt after going through the [challenge] that I had with Alec in the beginning, we went through those poles. As soon as the team got to the puzzle, I realized something was wrong, because I stood up, and it buckled. And that's why you'll see me sitting down during that part," Bi recalled while chatting with ET. "So we had the medical team come look at it. Dr. Joe said it was a sprain... and it was hyperextended."
Bi didn't tear her knee, so the team decided that a medical evacuation wasn't necessary. But having suffered through the injury before, she knew it was going to get worse. "We wrapped it up, I went back to camp, spent hours thinking about how I could possibly stay, and how really bad the sprain was. Even walking around camp was tough," she said. "I slept on it, and I woke up, and it was inflamed, and the next day, it was so painful."
It was that morning that she decided to withdraw from the game. "I told [the David tribe], 'This is it. I know my knee, and I know this could be a career-ending injury if I stay.' Of course, they were sad, but they were really supportive, and when we got to the mats, I announced it to Jeff [Probst]," she shared. "I didn't decide to leave until the very end."
Bi took some time to recover at Ponderosa, where she said she "couldn't walk for a couple days," but with the help of physical therapy, she said she's almost back to "100 percent." While Bi's injury could have been another blow to the David tribe, who lost castaway Pat Cusack to a medical evacuation on day three (he also recovered from his injury at Ponderosa), fate was on their side in the form of a tribe swap.
The remaining contestants were divided into three new tribes, and the next day, former Goliath member Natalia Azoqa found herself voted out. Her departure was emotional, captivating, and may, in fact, go down as one of the most dramatic exits in Survivor history. She didn't exactly mince words -- or her anger towards Alec.
"There definitely is raw emotions there. I was not happy at the time, and I’m still not happy now. I don’t think it was the right time for me to go home," she told ET on Thursday, explaining that she had tried to work with Alec, but knew "immediately" at tribal council that he was going to try to get her out. His whispers to their tribemates only made things worse.
"When he whispered to Elizabeth, I was really angry," Natalia expressed. "Clearly you want me gone. Why don’t you say, 'I’m voting for Natalia, are you with me or not?'"
The Irvine, California, native couldn't reveal whether or not she had since cleared the air with Alec, but she's definitely still fired up. "I couldn't get over what had happened to me," she said of her time at Ponderosa post-elimination. "I talked about it a lot. I was just so mad."
Amid the anger, Natalia did recognize that she could have done things differently. "Maybe I should have been more calm with Alec. It was clear I was reading him the wrong way," she confessed. As for her blindside? According to Natalia, it's still "absolutely stupid."
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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