This week, we saw Aneesa leave another Challenge season due to an injury. It’s not the first time a competitor had to leave due to an injury. It’s become very common on recent seasons, but it wasn’t always so common. In fact, there was a time when injured competitors got to stick around.
In the past, we’ve seen a lot of people play through injuries. Sometimes the injury was their downfall, other times they were massively successful in the game. Regardless, production didn’t decide their fate.
I’m ranking injuries based on their severity, but I am omitting some that were more creative decisions by production. For example, they knew Kaycee would get purged out of the Double Agents final, so they let her hop along at Fessy’s expense. I am also omitting people who withdrew themselves, as we don’t have true evidence production would have let them continue.
15. Kenny Santucci (The Gauntlet 3)- Frank pulled his ankle, he needed a brace, but he wasn’t slowed down.
14. Natalie Negrotti (Final Reckoning)- The That’s the Number elimination scraped her up pretty badly. It may have just been flesh wounds, but they were pretty gnarly.
13. Kyle Christie (War of the Worlds)- Hurt his knee and toe during the Day of Wreckoning challenge. Still got to compete in Hall Braw.
12. Ashley Mitchell (Rivals 3)- She got a nasty rope burn, but the real issue is the fact that she got wrapped in a rope while falling.
11. Leroy Garrett (Vendettas)- He took a hard fall on the Car Crash challenge. It knocked the wind out of him, but it didn’t stop him from playing after he got checked out by medics.
10. Aneesa Ferreira (Battle of the Exes)
There’s a reason people hate being thrown from heights into the water, and Aneesa might be one of the worst victims. On Battle of the Exes she was thrown into the water and split her lip open. She needed stitches, claims she had pieces of her teeth in her mouth, but got to play another day.
9. Melissa Reeves (Vendettas)
For some reason, Melissa thought it would be wise to play cheerleader. While doing a flip, she smashed open a lightbulb with her toe. She had to get stitched up, and it forced her to sit out of the #Vendettas challenge. This meant she’d automatically go into elimination, but it didn’t mean she’d be sent home. She won, elimination and continued to compete.
8. Colin Mortensen (Battle of the Sexes)
Early into Battle of the Sexes, Colin rolled his ankle on a foam Lincoln Log. He was on crutches, but his teammates couldn’t vote him out. He lived in the inner circle all season, and his sprained ankle didn’t derail his game. He ran the final, won the season, and did it all with an injury.
7. Melinda Stolp (The Gauntlet 3)
During the Push It mission, Melinda got bumped in the head by a wooden plank. She kept playing, but felt delirious after the mission was over. This could be equated to Tommy’s injury on Spies, Lies and Allies, but Melinda got to stay. Perhaps we know more about concussions now, or maybe it wasn’t as severe as we thought, but she’s lucky this didn’t take her out of the game.
6. Tonya Cooley (The Gauntlet)
After the Mud Pit mission, a lot of competitors on The Gauntlet got hurt. However, Tonya returned home with a leg that resembled The Terminator. This got her sent into The Gauntlet, as she claimed she tore her meniscus. She immediately lost in a Gauntlet, but that was her doing, not production’s.
5. Cara Maria Sorbello (Free Agents)
Remember when Jessica McCain was so close to winning an elimination that she hurt Cara Maria in the process? It seems like a fictional story, but Cara Maria knows it’s true. As a result, she received a fracture in her hand. She continue to compete on Free Agents, but a Wrecking Wall elimination was her downfall.
4. Hunter Barfield (Dirty Thirty)
If you ever had any doubts about facing Leroy in elimination, let Hunter convince you otherwise. He faced Leroy in a Hall Brawl-like elimination called Body Check. Leroy broke a bone in Hunter’s hand, even though Hunter got the win in the end. He was able to throw a cast on it, but it eventually let to him getting purged from the game. After this season, he needed surgery before he could come back and compete.
3. Evan Starkman (Fresh Meat)
Early into Fresh Meat, Evan sustained a sport’s hernia. As the season progressed, he continued to push through it. Each week, it would get worse and worse, but the Human Ox Pull mission was too much for him. Coral also dislocated her knee during the mission, and this led the team to get pulled from the game. The onset of the injury didn’t result in his departure, and it took Coral getting injured for the two to leave.
2. Jordan Wiseley (Dirty Thirty)
A lot of people are afraid to jump from the sky, but Jordan wasn’t. However, he probably should have been. He literally fell from the sky and landed on his leg. Initially he had a hard time walking, but he was able to shake it off and complete the final fueled by adrenaline. He won, but he allegedly sustained a hairline fracture in his tibia in the process.
1. Trishelle Cannatella (The Gauntlet)
While going on a bike ride, Trishelle flipped over the handlebars and landed on her face. Apparently she was concussed, sustained many scabs and cuts, and was bruised badly. Just looking at her, you can tell this was a hard fall. By today’s standards, she would have been a goner. In 2003, she had to sit out of a few missions, but she can thank her teammates for sending her home, not production.