April 29, 2011
'Survivor' Update: Hat Tip to the Almighty
When we interviewed Survivor: Redemption Island contestant Matt Elrod, an outspoken Christian, earlier this week, he talked about wanting to proclaim God's glory while on the show.
He also said, "I would love for Survivor to start a revival, but if God is planting seeds into non-believers and encouraging Christians, that's enough for me."
That prayer, at least, has already been answered. One of Elrod's fellow contestants, Julie Wolfe, lost a three-way competition on Wednesday's episode that eliminated her from the game. Before walking away, though, she told host Jeff Probst that she had participated mainly to win the million-dollar grand prize, "but I'm walking away with something bigger." She glanced at Elrod and said, "I see Matt’s story with God, and I am looking forward to going back home and finding a church and getting involved."
In recent interviews, Wolfe, a firefighter, has said that Elrod's outspoken faith showed her "that I was on Survivor for a reason and I have had a rebirth, a relationship with God." In another interview, she said, "I went there . . . to win that million and I left with a bigger prize. There's no price tag on it. I went home and found a great church. I have a renewed relationship with God. All that financial stress that was on me has been lifted. That million dollars ... what money? I got so much more out of the game. I'm very grateful."
Meanwhile, Elrod, in his 28th day in the game and his 21st as a "castaway" on Redemption Island, made it clear in this week's Episode 11 that he was ready to go home. Weeping, he told the viewing audience, “I’m out here wasting away . . . God has me here for a reason. I said from the beginning that God wanted me here. I don’t know what the reason is for; I can’t see that yet. He has literally been carrying me the past four days. I know I’m still in the game, but I’m just so over this game.”
When it came time for a 3-way duel that would send one contestant home, Elrod told Probst that if he ended up going home, he was okay with that. But he added, "I'm going to do the best I can in today’s challenge, but yeah, I’m ready to go home."
When Elrod ended up placing second in the duel and staying in the game, Probst pointedly asked, "So Matt, are you frustrated with your God right now?" Elrod answered, "I guess he still wants me here for some reason. I told him I’d stay here as long as he wanted me to."