Bruce from Survivor 44 was forced to leave game early, and fans are pissed
After Bruce from Survivor 44 was medically evacuated in the premiere, fans took to social media to beg producers to adopt 24-hour leave rule
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.
Jeff Probst: "Bruce is 100% okay."...except the mental anguish of being pulled from a game he's been watching for 22 years. 😬#Survivor should consider adopting #SurvivorAU's concept of medical immunity where players can leave the game for 24 hours before being pulled.March 2, 2023
@robcesternino really starting to agree with you that #SurvivorAU is better than #Survivor in every measurable way. Sounds like Bruce could have come back the next day with the rule of being able to be pulled for 24 hours for medical reasons in Australian Survivor.March 2, 2023
If Bruce is good, can they just bring him back now? We haven’t gone to tribal yet #SurvivorMarch 2, 2023
If Bruce was in great shape, why not bring him back?? Another thing #SurvivorAU is better at than US Survivor #survivor44 #survivorMarch 2, 2023
Bruce in no danger and sustained no damage… this is why they need the Survivor AU medical attention hold! My man Bruce could still be playing! #Survivor44 #survivorMarch 2, 2023
Bruce Is a prime example why we need to copy Australian survivor’s 24 hour rule #SurvivorMarch 2, 2023
bruce just got robbed so bad omg #survivorMarch 2, 2023
The fact that the #Survivor sleuths figured out Bruce’s medivac was coming didn’t make it any easier to watch 😭devastated doesn’t feel like a severe enough word to describe how I feel. If he doesn’t get to actually play someday, I’m going to be very bitter.March 2, 2023
Bruce 😭😭😭 how heartbreaking to get to live out your dream and then it’s just stolen from you in a painful way. I hope he made a full recovery #SurvivorMarch 2, 2023
i’m all for brining back med evacs for a second chance — again.Gimme Bruce.Gimme Neil.Gimme … Caleb? #Survivor #Survivor44March 2, 2023
i dont get why bruce cant be back in the game? in australia george left for a head injury and came back so? #survivorMarch 2, 2023
There’s always so many ideas/themes to bring players back to #survivor. What about Survivor 47: Med-evacs? For real. It would give so many people the chance to actually play the game, like my buddy Pat and Bruce.March 2, 2023
#Survivor44 casuals who were all rooting for Bruce to win #Survivor pic.twitter.com/P1fcqqsfWaMarch 2, 2023
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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.