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Survivor Alum Recalls Wild Experience With A Dead Chicken, And Now I’ll Never Look At One The Same Way Again

survivor camodia second chance cast

monica padilla in survivor camodia second chance

(Image credit: CBS)

Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance is easily one of the top best seasons of Survivor in its 20-year history. The number of blindsides, hidden immunity idols played, and that one double-vote impasse only solidifies it as such. But one of the alums from that Survivor season recalled an even wilder experience – with a dead chicken – and it honestly sounds so gross.

Living and surviving on some deserted beach or far-off country is the basic premise of the CBS reality show. In the past 40 seasons (soon-to-be 41) of Survivor, we have seen it all when it comes to what it takes to physically survive. Contestants have eaten slugs, been bitten by sharks and in Cambodia – Second Chance, faced extreme heat that even got one player airlifted out of the game. But I have never heard something like what was revealed by Monica Padilla (who played in both Survivor: Samoa and Cambodia – Second Chance). In her EW questionnaire, she said:

In Samoa, I had to defeather a chicken after the boys beheaded it, and in the middle of defeathering it - mind you it was now headless - it freaking clucked! I was so shocked! Even the camera guy looked at me like, ‘What the HECK?!’ And they aren't really supposed to interact with us or react to anything.

Likely the dead chicken clucking in Monica Padilla’s hands in Survivor: Samoa was just an involuntary reflex of nerves, but still. I, personally, would have been freaking out. I guess, I'll just add it to the long list of reasons why I'm better off sitting at home watching Survivor, rather than playing it. These alums are certainly apt at painting a vivid picture of what really happens outside the purview of a screen.

Apparently though, Monica Padilla had to contend with something even wilder and grosser than that dead chicken. This time it was during Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, where Padilla's body was “attacked” by sand fleas. At one point, she even counted them in a moment of boredom – more than 600 bites! She said:

They were so itchy and painful! I guess they started to lay eggs in my skin, and it was getting infected because production gave me an antihistamine and they rarely give you anything. They try to keep the game intact and stay true to ‘surviving the elements.’

Ouch. Dead chickens and swarms of sand fleas aside, Survivor: Cambodia still gave a second wind to some of the best players to ever do it. Monica Padilla was voted out early after she was exposed for wanting to save numbers for a female alliance. But Joey Amazing, Tasha Fox, Spencer Bledsoe... I mean, c’mon, Jeremy Collins playing an idol for Stephen Fishbach, effectively saving him. Collins playing another idol (as well as Kelley Wentworth) with his head on the chopping block. Collins’ final tribal speech? I'll never forget it.

Meanwhile, Monica Padilla will never forget that dead chicken or those sand flea bites from Survivor. And I guess now I can't either.

Lauren Vanderveen

I am a vegan feminist. I'm fascinated by all things space/stars. I love film history, reality television, and my cat Bubbe.