‘Survivor’: Why Post-Game Was an All-Time Low for Ryan Ulrich

As Jeff Probst will eagerly tell you at the drop of a hat, Survivor is one of the most challenging reality shows on television. It’s not just a matter of physical fitness — castaways need to be able to strategize on the fly, and are forced into a social game of cat and mouse that can be both draining and alienating. And, according to Ryan Ulrich, these challenges don’t end when the show ends either. The Survivor castaway revealed that his anxiety actually got worse following his season’s end. 

Ryan Ulrich’s biggest ‘Survivor’ regret

 Chrissy Hofbeck, Ben Driebergen, Ryan Ulrich on Survivor
Chrissy Hofbeck, Ben Driebergen, Ryan Ulrich on Survivor | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

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Surely almost every Survivor castaway has one decision — or series of decisions — they’ve made that they truly regret. Naturally, Ryan Ulrich is no exception to the rule. 

According to Ulrich, who appeared on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers and earned himself the runner-up position, he allowed Ben to break up his alliance. 

“Devon and I were [in] lockstep. However, Ben managed to put a wedge between Devon and I — losing the trust, albeit for a short amount of time, was not good,” he told Entertainment Weekly

Ulrich explained that allowing that wedge to form probably gave Ben the opportunity to bounce between alliances at will. Ulrich also added that he regrets not trying to “go for broke” by making fire against Ben.

“With that being said, I should have gone for broke and tried to take Ben in fire. I figured that I had a better shot at outtalking Ben on day 39, then I did in beating him in a fire contest on day 38. It turned out to be a miscalculation on my end,” he explained.

Why the time after ‘Survivor’ was so hard on Ryan Ulrich

Ryan Ulrich and Ben Driebergen on Survivor
Ryan Ulrich and Ben Driebergen on Survivor | CBS via Getty Images

According to Ryan Ulrich, the final four wasn’t even the most emotionally challenging part of the show, however. He claims that the biggest mental challenge for him came after Survivor finished. Waiting for results put Ulrich in a bad place. 

“I could not stop thinking about Survivor, but it was no longer in a way that brought me joy,” he explained to EW.

“Not knowing definitively how I placed was absolutely terrible. I spent all of my time thinking about if I made the right decisions, what I should have done differently, and what the final vote was going to be. I felt very alone, and it was unequivocally the worst time in my life,” added Ulrich.

‘Survivor’ is canceled for the fall 

Chrissy Hofbeck, Ben Driebergen and Ryan Ulrich of Survivor | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Unfortunately, Survivor fans will have to settle for reruns during the upcoming CBS lineup. Survivor is officially off the schedule for fall, with Jeff Probst and CBS aiming to keep the cast and crew healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Probst penned a letter to the crew, explaining the decision to forego filming until things seem safer than they are now. 

“Though Fiji has no reported cases and is beautifully remote, our crew numbers over 400 and are flying in from over 20 different countries, creating a need for more time to fully analyze and create our new production safety plan. The situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day. It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step,” wrote Probst, as reported by CBS News.

“We are the most experienced international television team in the world and for 20 years we have calmly and successfully managed a variety of production issues. We will navigate this one the same way,” he added.