3. Russell passing out during a challenge (Samoa, Season 19)
Most of you are probably already confused and wondering when this happened to Russell Hantz, but strangely there were two Russells on Samoa, with the other one being Russell Swan, who was on the Galu tribe. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the story.
Russell was elected the tribe leader of Galu on Day 1 and had his team off to a great start. They had only lost one immunity challenge in the 15 days that he was the tribe leader and voted off one team member as a result.
During an intense rain storm, most of Russell’s tribe mates were huddled in the shelter while he insisted on getting work done. This led to a scary moment on Day 15 during a reward challenge.
Russell was one of the blindfolded players for Galu in that challenge and part of his duties was to help move a large puzzle table around while the caller navigated. Russell ended up passing out onto the table and at first no one really knew what to think. The tribe mates sitting out hollered at him to get off the table, but it was in that moment that Jeff Probst noticed what was happening and put a stop to the challenge.
It turns out that Russell’s increased workload had caused his heart rate to plunge and it was nearly fatal for the leader of Galu. He was evacuated from the game in what was one of the scariest med evacs ever.
While there have been other players who have passed out or collapsed during a challenge, Russell’s was fatal and that’s why this is the one I picked for the list.