'Fear Factor South Africa' contestant loses half her hair in show stunt
UPI News Service, 01/26/2006
A dangerous stunt on "Fear Factor South Africa" ripped out half the hair from a contestant's head and left her hospitalized with a concussion.
Disturbed viewers have been lighting up the switchboards of e.tv, which broadcast the show, as well as radio stations and writing letters to newspapers complaining about the Monday night stunt, Daily Variety reported Thursday.
Lebo Babe was injured while being dragged over sand dunes by a sport utility vehicle, Variety said.
Angry viewers suggested the show be renamed "Danger Factor," while others criticized the South Africa producers of pushing needy contestants to extreme lengths for the prize money. The winner of each round gets $42,000, Variety said.
An e.tv spokeswoman said she was "amazed" at the outpouring of criticism.
"Everyone knows that the program is about fear, and when the same stunt was performed on an international 'Fear Factor' show, no one complained," she said.
The contestants were all told to let the rope go if they were injured and Babe refused, which hurt her worse than if she had followed instructions, the e.tv spokeswoman added.