Keith Nale was a contestant on “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” and returned for “Survivor: Cambodia.”
Keith Nale’s legacy
Nale first appeared on “Survivor: San Juan del Sur,” the reality competition show’s 29th season, in 2014. The season’s focus was bringing together family pairs, and Nale competed alongside his son, Wes Nale. A fan favorite for his folksy humor, Nale was an underdog who struggled with collaborative competition and making alliances. Later, he noted in interviews that he hadn’t been a superfan of the show and didn’t know the ins and outs of playing strategically. Yet he made it to the season’s final four, surprising his fellow contestants as he skated through week after week without being eliminated. However, he was voted out on day 38.
The following year, Nale was one of 20 contestants for whom fans voted to appear in the 31st season, “Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance.” Again, Nale did well and lasted well into the season, altering his strategy this time to strategically collaborate with other contestants. He was voted out on day 37.
In his life outside “Survivor,” Nale was a fire captain who enjoyed hunting and fishing. In both of his “Survivor” seasons, he was the second oldest contestant, competing at age 53 in San Juan del Sur and 54 in Cambodia.
“I was kind of going in blind. They threw this on us quick and I said, ‘Man, I’ve got to get my ducks in a row real quick and start watching some episodes or something, you know, something I missed through the years.’ But it was fun. You never have an experience like that again. I’m just telling you it’s crazy, crazy, crazy.” —from a 2014 interview for Uproxx
Tributes to Keith Nale
Full obituary: Entertainment Tonight