Matthew Grinstead-Mayle (‘Survivor 44’ exit interview): ‘Was the journey a little bit short? Absolutely’

On Wednesday’s fifth episode of “Survivor 44,” Matthew Grinstead-Mayle woke up on Day 10 following what he called one of his hardest nights in the game due to pain from his shoulder injury from Day 2. Later on, Matthew met with the medical team and Jeff Probst where he decided to remove himself from the game. Read on for his “Survivor 44” exit interview from the end of the episode.

Back on Day 2 of the season, Matthew decided that he’d climb a rock close to the shore, but nearing the top of the rock, he fell into a shallow bit of water among other rocks. He cut up his foot and dislocated his shoulder, but was cleared to remain in the game under the guidance of taking it easy until it naturally healed. By Day 10, the pain had not subsided, only increased, and reached an unbearable level that made Matthew to make the tough decision.

Part of the reason Matthew wanted to climb the rock was out of sheer excitement for entering the experience of the show that he had dreamed about for so long. Like Carson Garrett, who after a mini tribe swap had gotten close to him, Matthew practiced challenges and trained his body in order to fully prepare for playing the game. “I came out here for the journey and in a lot of ways I achieved a lot of goals,” he said in his interview. “Was the journey a little bit short? Absolutely.”

One of Matthew’s achievements was finding a hidden immunity idol in the new birdcage twist and then successfully planting a fake idol that was found and is still believed to be real by Jaime Lynn Ruiz. Matthew himself exited the game with a real idol in his pocket, narrowing down the amount of real idols in the game to an even balance with the two fake idols still in the game. Danny Massa and Carolyn Wiger hold real Birdcage Idols while Jaime and Matt Blankinship are in possession of the fake idols placed by Danny and Matthew. The fake idol Carolyn put into play left the game when she voted Sarah Wade out.

Though he never got to exercise the playing of his idol, or see the fallout of giving his ally Jaime a fake one, Matthew had a positive attitude about what he did take away from the experience. “I feel like I’m leaving the game a much strong person,” he said. “And I know I have the skills to get wherever I wanna go.” Laughing to the camera, Matthew ended his interview by admitting that, “The only regret I have is I shouldn’t have climbed that rock.”

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