Spencer and Heidi Pratt have left the reality show "I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!" for good after Heidi fell ill in the Costa Rican jungle over the weekend and had to be taken to a hospital.
Monday night's episode also cleared up conflicting reports about whether the married couple had been "tortured" while spending the night in an isolation chamber, as Spencer's sister Stephanie Pratt had claimed, and that led to Heidi's illness.
NBC had released a statement to ABCNews.com earlier on Monday denying such reports:
"ITV Studios, producers of the series, state that press reports at this time are untrue," the statement said. "ITV has been producing this format around the world for many years and the health of the celebrity participants are of the utmost importance. A medic and a doctor are present at the location at all times for all participants. All allegations of the celebrities being deprived of food and water are completely untrue."
As it turned out, the Pratts survived the night lying side-by-side, dozing and praying in the dark room that appeared riddled with spiders. "The only way we got through it was praying," Spencer said on the show. "Jesus delivered us." They left the chamber cheering.
But Heidi took a turn for the worse later that day when she began throwing up and continued vomiting through the night and into the next day. At firs t, the avowed Christian told her husband it was the "evil coming out of me…I feel like my soul is cleansed."
By the next day, Heidi was doubled over in pain, crying, "It hurts so bad." And Spencer declared, "This isn't worth it for us anymore." The couple crossed the bridge leading from the camp to get Heidi medical attention.
After a doctor administered an IV and pain medication, it was decided that Heidi would be transferred to the hospital in the capital city San Jose for further tests.
The show's other contestants were skeptical about whether this was an act the couple was putting on. Last week, the Pratts first quit the show then begged to come back. Their night in the so-called "Lost Chamber" was supposed to be punishment for quitting.
But after running tests on Heidi, a doctor in San Jose determined that she was suffering from either a gastric ulcer or gastritis and would need several days rest to fully recover. That's when the couple decided to end their bid for king of the jungle.
Camp leader Lou Diamond Phillips broke the news to their fellow contestants, announcing that Speidi would "no longer be part of this competition."
But in a tease for Wednesday's show, a new contestant showed up and introduced herself as Holly Montag, Heidi's sister, making it clear that "I'm a Celebrity" will continue to milk the Speidi drama for as long as it can.
Leading up to Monday night's show had been a flurry of media reports and speculation about the couple's health and continued involvement in the show, along with questions about whether they were involved in some sort of publicity stunt with or without the producers' knowledge.
"Is there publicity involved? Of course," E! Online's Marc Malkin told ABCNews.com Monday. "Heidi and Spencer, no matter what you think of them, are absolute pros at the publicity game."
The couple, who became famous after starring in the MTV hit reality show "The Hills," have a reputation for publicity-driven stunts that are more "show" than "reality." They scored an Us Weekly cover story for their supposed Mexican elopment and then basked in even more headline speculation over whether they were really married or not. It turned out they were not, and they generated another round of coverage when they made it legal in California months later.
This latest Speidi development begs the question whether the Pratts and the "I'm a Celebrity" producers are working together to pull one over on the audience.
"Who's in on this? It's not clear," Malkin said. "Are Heidi and Spencer in bed with the producers?"
Longtime Hollywood publicist Michael Levine hated to think the shows' producer would be so devious.
"God, I hope not," he said. "But I'm afraid to say I think not. In today's media world, I'm reluctant to say it's impossible.
"If it were true, it would be pretty contemptible," Levine added. "Playing on viewers' sympathy over someone's health is just contemptible. It opens the door to what do we do next? Threaten to shoot a dog? It's a contemptible slippery slope."
If Heidi is feigning illness to win viewers' sympathy and generate publicity, is that wrong in the context of the show's rules, which allow viewers to vote on who should remain in the Costa Rican jungle where the show is filmed? If that's the case, the underhanded tactics would at least be for a good cause. All the celebrities on the show are competing for charity, and any winnings the couple collects will go to Feed The Children.
Malkin is also not sure who or what to believe. He spoke to Stephanie Pratt Sunday after she posted a message on her Twitter account saying her sister was "rushed to the hospital and has an IV in her arm after being locked in a dark room for 3 days w no food or water. Pls pray she will be ok."
Stephanie Pratt also accused NBC of taking the show "too far." "Im really saddened to hear that nbc felt it was ok to punish speidi so harshly-and torture them as if they were criminals," she wrote on Twitter.
Malkin said Stephanie was "dead serious" when she told E! Online that her sister "was throwing up 30 times with nothing in her stomach. She was really sick. She thought she was dying ... It's insane!"
But Malkin also spoke to a source from the show who contradicted Stephanie Pratt's account. The source told Malkin that the Pratts were in the isolation chamber for about 14 hours, were given food rations and slept and prayed the time away. The insider said not only was Heidi not vomiting, but they were "in happy spirits when they came out of the chamber."
Regardless of the latest twist in the Speidi experience, Levine believes we will look back at Heidi and Spencer 50 years from now and wonder what the big deal was.
"They are a goofy pair in a goofy age," he said. "It's easy to condemn them. But the audience is also ridiculous for partnering in their absurdity."