He’s a survivor: While he won’t win this year’s contest, Joe Del Campo hung tough on Survivor: Kaoh Rong all season. SOURCE: ROBERT VOETS /CBS ENTERTAINMENT
Northeast native Joe Del Campo made it to the final five of Survivor: Kaoh Rong before being pulled from the game in last week’s episode because of unbearable abdominal pains.
Del Campo, 72, was one of 18 contestants — nine men and nine women — in a Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty setup, first used in 2014. He was a member of the Brains tribe.
Filming took place last year in Cambodia, and Del Campo’s theme was, “Getting it done at 71,” his age at the time.
Early in the game, Del Campo formed an alliance with a tribe mate, Aubry Bracco, and the two seemed like they had a good chance to make the final two. Throughout the show, he received just one vote against him.
On last week’s episode, Del Campo won a reward challenge that included a trip to a spa and food.
Typically, contestants have little to eat, but Del Campo ate about a pound and a half of beef at the spa. The indulgence caused great pain and resulted in him retaining fluid, and a Survivor doctor recommended that he be removed from the show.
An unprecedented three people were removed from the show for medical reasons this season.
In all, Del Campo spent 34 days on the show. He lost 20 pounds. After being medically cleared, he lived at Ponderosa, the show’s house for contestants who’ve been voted off, but remain as members of the jury.
Del Campo attended Resurrection of Our Lord Grammar School for seven years before transferring to Our Lady of Ransom when it opened in 1956. He graduated from Father Judge High School in 1961, then graduated from La Salle College.
Professionally, he spent 25 years as an FBI agent and was also a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Today, he lives in Vero Beach, Florida, and is president of the Excalibur Group, a private investigation firm.
Del Campo was the second-oldest contestant in show history. Former Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch was 72 when he was on Survivor’s first season in the summer of 2000. He returned three years later for an all-stars format. Today, Rudy is 88, and is friends with Del Campo.
The two-hour finale and one-hour reunion show will be shown tonight, Wednesday, May 18, on CBS 3, beginning at 8 p.m.
The winner will receive $1 million. ••