Tragedy has struck during the filming of the reality competition series Wipeout, as a contestant passed away immediately after completing an obstacle course. At this time, the contestant has been identified only as a man in his 30s as his name is being withheld until relatives can be properly notified. While an exact cause of death hasn't yet been revealed, Los Angeles County coroner's spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said the man was declared dead at a hospital shortly before 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
"We are devastated to have learned of his passing and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family," TBS, the network hosting the upcoming reboot of the series, said in a statement addressing the situation.
In another statement, production company Endemol Shine added, "We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them at this time."
According to sources close to the situation, the man had just successfully completed the course when he requested medical attention due to chest pains. The on-site medical staff tended to the contestant while awaiting paramedics, with TMZ reporting that the medics had already begun using a defibrillator on the man. After receiving a cardiac arrest call, first responders arrived at the scene soon after, at which point the man was transported to the hospital where he later died.
In addition to having two paramedics on-site, other safeguards and precautions had been put into place for the production. A safety producer and paramedic coordinator were also present. Each Wipeout contestant is also required to undergo medical exams before participating.
Wipeout originally aired on ABC between 2008 to 2014. The reality competition series is billed as featuring the "World's Largest" obstacle course with contestants competing through multiple rounds until a final winner is decided. The course is known for bringing its contestants to total exhaustion, but a grand prize of $50,000 was always waiting for the winner of the competition. During its run on ABC, the show was hosted by John Henson and John Anderson with Jill Wagner serving as the on-location reporter.
Earlier this year, it was announced that TBS was reviving Wipeout with plans to debut the reboot in 2021. For the new version, John Cena, Nicole Byer, and Caille Kostek were tapped as the new hosts. At the time, Cena announced his involvement in a video posted online revealing his "training" to become a host for the show. Pretending to be in the middle of an intense workout, Cena then lifts a red ball with the Wipeout logo on the front, feigning exertion before slamming the ball down.
"I couldn't be more excited for what's in store for this radically absurd show that has its own fair share of legendary faceplants." Cena also said of his role. "The power of Wipeout is its ability to gather people of all backgrounds for fast paced, physical FUN! I look forward to seeing fan responses both new and existing. This'll be a hosting experience unlike anything I've ever done! I can't wait to get started in rooting for our contestants!"
Production on Wipeout was paused following the incident, and it's not clear how the contestant's passing will affect the series moving forward. This news was first reported by TMZ.