Living in the Brazilian highlands, also known as the Tocantins, is rough. Survivor contestant Joe Dowdle found that out the hard way after a leg injury he suffered during a challenge became dangerously infected. "I knew it hurt really badly," Joe tells In Touch. When the shows' medic stopped by to take a look at his inflamed leg, Joe realized that his days in the game were numbered. "I wanted to stay really bad, but it is what it is. I needed to get out of there and get healthy," adds Joe, who became the latest contestant to leave Survivor: Tocantins.
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How bad was the injury?
Joe: It was bad enough that I went straight to the hospital and I was in surgery within a couple of hours.
Yikes. Did you have any idea it was that bad when you were limping along for a few days?
Joe: I knew it hurt really badly, but after that I didn't know what exactly was going on. I knew it was infected because it was red and really hot. I had an eye-opening moment when the medic told me that if it got in my bone it would be bad and if it got in my blood it's really bad. So, I learned there. I was relieved when I figured out what the deal was. I mean I wanted to stay really bad, but it is what it is. I needed to get out of there and get healthy.
Is it all better now?
Joe: Yeah, it's fine. I've got a million dollar scar.
Was it upsetting or disappointing to have to drop out due to an injury?
Joe: I was upset and disappointed but it's kind of cool to be able to say that I wasn't voted off.
You left not long after the tribes merged. What did you think of the new tribe during the brief time you were with them?
Joe: My initial impression was that I didn't click with any of them. I felt like they were all very selfish. Sure, it's a selfish game, but I felt like everybody was blatantly selfish when it came to securing positions within the new tribe.
Who are you rooting for now?
Joe: I would keep your eye on all of Jalapao because I love my people. And I also like Tyson.
What was the toughest part of Survivor?
Joe: The toughest thing for me was really fighting the injury, but more so than that was just focusing on all the different possibilities of the game. It was hard for me to try to stay under the radar but in front of the pack.
Would you do it all over again?
What's next for you?
Joe: I'm in Austin playing music. I realized while I was in Brazil that I wanted to try to do something that I loved with my life. So I've recorded some music and it's up on MySpace right now. You can check it out at www.myspace.com/joedowdle.