A contestant on 'Koh-Lanta,' a French reality competition similar to the USA's 'Survivor,' tragically passed away of a heart attack on the set of the show. Production of the series was immediately halted and the contestants have been flown back to Paris, France; reportedly, the entire season of 'Koh-Lanta' has been scrapped out of respect for the fallen contestant.
Gérald Babin, a twenty-five year old French male, died of a heart attack after taking part in a "shipwreck challenge" on the 'Koh-Lanta' set in Cambodia, the location selected for the next season of the series. Babin's death occured on the first day of shooting on location in Cambodia and the entire season slated to follow was canceled immediately. Confirming that decision was a spokesperson for TF1, the network that airs 'Koh-Lanta,' who said "the show will not take place in 2013." Direct and to the point.
'Koh-Lanta' has been hosted by Denis Brogniart for fifteen seasons; this marks the first year since the series debuted that a season will not be completed. It is almost a wonder that this sort of tragedy doesn't happen more often. No matter how careful a crew is on set, 'Koh-Lanta' and similar shows like 'Survivor' feature physical challenges and real risks being undertaken by the contestants. Babin's passing is an horrible accident stemming from the sort of exciting competition that made these programs so popular in the first place.
TF1's statement continued: "The teams from ALP, TF1 and (host) Denis Brogniart are devastated and join in the profound sadness of Gérald’s family. All of their thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his girlfriend and all those close to him."