History Channel’s Alone has been testing the mettle of survivalists since 2015 and the competition hasn’t gotten any easier for its participants. After being dropped off in the remote wilderness, individuals must survive on their own for as long as possible, with a limited amount of survival equipment.
Contestants can tap out at any time or be removed due to failing a medical check-in, which viewers see happen in Season 9. The latest unfortunate contestant to drop out of Alone due to medical reasons is Benji (real name: Benjamin James Hill). So, what illness or medical ailment causes him to leave Labrador, Canada?
What is Benji’s illness in 'Alone' Season 9?
Alone is an outdoor survival reality show unlike any other on television and in Season 9, contestants face a threat they’ve never had to deal with before. Not only do the survivalists have to hunt for their food for the first time on the competition series, they also have to deal with the unique threat of being hunted themselves by the polar bears of Labrador.
However, it isn't the dangerous polar bears that force Benji out of the televised competition. He gets taken down by a beaver or grouse (it’s unconfirmed exactly whether the rodent or the bird was the culprit).
On Day 24, after spending some time sharpening and cleaning his tools, Benji gets to work on a fleshing beam, a tool that allows one to remove the fat and meat from the skin of an animal. He uses the beam to get as much meat off his beaver hide as he can, and plans to render the fat to preserve it.
Despite already having the beaver meat and fat on hand, Benji also decides to shoot a grouse. After missing with his bow twice, he manages to hit the bird on his third try. Benji acknowledges to his camera that he’s been very fortunate, as he never thought that he would be able to catch so many things with his bow.
That night, he cooks up the grouse meat with some beaver fat. He enjoys his meal and describes the fat as a flavor explosion in his mouth. However, Benji wakes up to pay the price the next day.
In the morning, he complains of a major stomach ache. After performing a quick Qigong session on himself to restore the flow of energy in his body, Benji assumes he’s just overeaten the previous night and sets off in search of some yarrow to help settle his stomach.
He finds some at the river, but after a short nap, Benji wakes up still feeling unwell. By the time he goes to bed that night, he has a fever, chills, stomach cramps, and nausea. He doesn’t throw up though, which makes him hopeful that he will feel better by the following morning.
However, that night, Benji wakes up at 2 a.m. and vomits. His stomach cramps continue through the night and he provides all the painful details to the camera. As 6 a.m. comes around, Benji hasn’t slept at all, feels weak, and can barely move around.
At this point, the survivalist recognizes it's the end of his time on the competition. Although he has to tap out, he expresses his gratitude for having been able to experience the changing of the seasons in Labrador and for having been able to learn as much as he did from participating in Alone.
Alone airs on the History Channel on Thursday at 9 p.m. EST.