Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 37 of The Challenge.
On MTV’s The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies, there seem to be more rookie competitors than past Challenges. Amongst them is Tommy Sheehan, winner of the 39th season of Survivor. He is also joined this season on the MTV competition show by a few other big stars of Survivor like Michaela Bradshaw and Michele Fitzgerald.
The three reality television stars are also playing alongside other rookies that are Survivor alumni from international versions of CBS’s hit show, including Survivor Romania and Survivor Spain.
Tommy is a huge fan of The Challenge and is bringing his skills to the series to see how he performs against other rookies and the vets. Unfortunately, Tommy won’t get the chance to show everyone what he’s made of because he leaves the game early.
What happens to Tommy? Was he voted into elimination and lost? Keep reading to find out why he leaves The Challenge.
Why does Tommy Sheehan leave 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'?
In the episode of 'The Challenge' that airs on Aug. 25, players are in for quite a tough challenge ahead of them. Their daily challenge starts with teams jumping off a 30-foot cliff into the rough waters below to retrieve active "bombs." Michele Fitzgerald gets injured and has blood running down her face, so it's a pretty dangerous task.
In a confessional, Michele's partner, Corey Lay, says, "All I see is this gushing blood down Michele's face. I know in this moment I cannot tell her about it because she might psych herself out. If Michele's bleeding for this thing, I cannot let her down."
Even though Michele does get hurt while competing, she's not injured severely enough to be taken out of the game, but Tommy is. Unfortunately, Tommy also gets injured during this challenge — and it's almost fatal.
Tommy ends up suffering a concussion and gets medically disqualified, so he has to leave The Challenge. "It's tough to go out that way," he shared with EW. "Personally I'd much rather have lost or gone out even in elimination, because with an injury it's always like if I didn't get injured, what could have happened?"
Tommy explained that he actually didn't remember what happened. "What I do remember from that challenge was jumping in, grabbing my bomb, swimming down, we grabbed our second bomb, and as we were turning back I was ahead of Big T."
But then, things start to get murky. "I just remember a wave coming in sideways and took me into the rocks. And then after that it kind of went blank." That's likely when he hit his head on a rock and got a concussion.
"When I came to, it was me laying on the ground without clothes, and I remember I was telling Big T I was sorry because I thought I had to get medevacked," he continued. "She was like, 'No, Tommy, we finished and we beat CT and Berna.'" It's pretty wild that with a concussion, Tommy still finished out and won their heat in the challenge.
But when he learned he had a concussion, he knew he was done on The Challenge, and it was devastating. But will he be back?
Tommy has decided to retire from reality television.
Tommy announced that The Challenge would be the last unscripted series that he will appear on. In Entertainment Weekly's quarantine questionnaire, he was asked if he would return to either show given the chance. He answered, "The Challenge and Survivor were two of the coolest experiences I've ever done, especially Survivor since I've been a fan of the show forever."
He went on to say, "However, right now, I'm taking my talents to the classroom. I love my life and career too much to leave again. This is where I officially announce my retirement from your television screens." It's possible that his concussion gave him some perspective too.
Before competing on the shows, he was a fourth-grade teacher in the Floral Park-Bellerose school district, which he clearly loves.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.