Bruce from Survivor 44 was forced to leave game early, and fans are pissed

Bruce Perreault, Bruce from Survivor season 44
(Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS)

The "Bruce curse" strikes again: On Wednesday night's two-hour premiere, Bruce from Survivor season 44 was medically evacuated on day one of the competition due to an injury — and his wasn't the only injury that would plague the premiere.

Like the similarly named Bruce Kanegai from Survivor: Panama, who was medically removed from the game due to stomach issues back in 2006 ("If your name is Bruce don't go on Survivor," one fan joked on Twitter), Bruce Perreault was forced to say an early goodbye to the rest of the Survivor season 44 cast after slamming his head into a wood beam during his run for the Tika tribe in the first reward challenge.

Even bleeding from the head wound, the 46-year-old Rhode Islander continued the physical challenge. (Many Survivor fans on social media criticized the production team for not pulling the player out then and there to ensure that he hadn't potentially suffered a concussion.) It was only a matter of time, however, until Bruce fell to his knees, telling Probst, "I'm a little lightheaded." 

The medical team rushed in to provide oxygen, check his vitals and clean the wound while Bruce's fellow competitors looked on, concerned. Perreault is initially given the okay to rejoin the game by the EMTs, but things take a turn for the worse that evening. 

"All of a sudden I look over and Bruce is, like, eyes closed and just becomes very quiet, and that was kind of the moment when I was like, 'He's not well,'" said Bruce's Tika tribe mate Carson Garrett. 

"My head is killing me," Bruce told a medic. "That's happened quite suddenly," the doc replied before checking the player's blood pressure and running some tests. Bruce broke down in tears as Probst came out to tell him the bad news: he would be pulled from the game.

"Bruce, you understand, we have to get this looked at. Your safety is everything," Probst told Bruce before he was taken out on a stretcher. "I know it's hard to hear but this is no doubt the only move to make." 

"I wanted this so bad," Bruce said, tearfully, before his time on Survivor season 44 came to an end. 

Bruce from Survivor medevac: fans react

Fans will be pleased to hear that Bruce has officially been invited to join a future season ("the first player of the new era invited back," Probst announced on the official Survivor podcast, "On Fire with Jeff Probst," though he did add that there was much to coordinate so they couldn't announce which season just yet.)

However, many decried the American series' lack of a "24-hour medical leave" rule à la its Australian spin-off, which could have potentially given Bruce enough time to recover and rejoin the competition. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York. 

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.