French Survivor contestant dies during first challenge

A contestant on Koh-Lanta, which is France’s version of Survivor, died on the first day of production in Cambodia. Gérald Babin had a heart attack during the first challenge. Production of its 16th season was suspended and the other contestants have returned to Paris.

A statement from the network and production company, translated from French, said,

“Gerald Babin, 25, a participant in the 16th season of Koh-Lanta died today of cardiac arrest during the first day of filming in Cambodia. … All their thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his girlfriend and his family. He was immediately decided to stop filming and repatriate as soon as possible all the teams in Paris.”

France’s Adventure Line Productions said in another statement, according to Le Monde, that he had a heart attack during the first challenge and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

In 2009, a contestant in Bulgaria’s version of the show also died after suffering a heart attack during a challenge.

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.