For one night, “Survivor” became “quitter.”
Two contestants quit the CBS game in an episode aired on Wednesday. That’s a first for the show, which has had only four others leave of their own choice in a history that goes back a decade.
NaOnka Mixon, a 27-year-old gym teacher from Los Angeles, said relentless rain at the show’s Nicaragua setting made her joints ache. Mixon hasn’t been a fan favorite, since cameras once caught her stealing food from her fellow players.
She left with one head-shaking act of selfishness. After being part of a winning team in a reward challenge where the prize was a movie screening with popcorn and hot dogs to eat, host Jeff Probst asked for one volunteer to give up the prize in order to give the losers extra rice and a tarp. Even though she had already said she was going home, Mixon wouldn’t volunteer — leaving the hero turn to Holly Hoffman, a 44-year-old swim coach from Eureka, S.D.
The other quitter was 20-year-old Kelly Shinn, a nursing student from Mesa, Ariz. Shinn said: “I just feel like I’m breaking down.”
Hoffman tried to talk her out of it, saying she’ll face tougher things in life, and that she’ll always be known as the girl who quit “Survivor.”
She quit anyway, leaving seven contestants in the running for a $1 million prize.
The women leaving didn’t get much sympathy.
“Get out,” Probst said as he snuffed out Shinn’s torch.