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| Filed under: R.I.P.Reality TV



A young man who was a contestant on the hit competition show Wipeout has died after suffering a stroke. The 33 year old graduate of USC was said to have injured himself while performing a stunt on the show.

The man, Tom Sparks, was quickly rushed to a local hospital for further examination. He was later transferred to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where doctors performed several brain surgeries.

Sadly, the doctors found that the damage was too extreme and he couldn't be saved. He died on Nov. 5th.


We hope ABC is ready for a MAJOR lawsuit!

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35 comments to “R.I.P.”

  1. 1

    I'm sure the contestants sign their lives away literally in this case, when they do the show. There was a show a while back called Dog Eat Dog where a contestant suffered brain damage after being left under water too long. He was never able to sue because of the contract he signed.

  2. 2

    By the sounds of things, he never specified his condition anywhere - SO - I'm pretty sure ABC is covered with whatever 'lawsuit' that's thrown at them.

    Shows like this have everything clear cut in the contract that even if you die, you cannot sue them.

  3. 3

    I agree, Satanika. The waivers they sign basically cover any and everything that could possibly ever happen on these kinds of shows. It's very sad, though. 33 is far too young to die.

  4. 4

    bad reporting…he had an underlying condition….your new interns kinda suck lately! I miss when Perez actually did the writing! You can tell!!

  5. 5

    "Problems first arose when Sparks complained of knee pain on the first part of the obstacle course, and producers instructed him to stop his run, an individual close to the production told TheWrap. Medics noticed that he was experiencing shortness of breath, and he was taken to a local hospital for further examination."

  6. 6

    very sad, but like #1 said, i'm sure an extensive waiver was signed before her participated in the show… and i used to watch Dog Eat Dog too!

  7. 7

    its tradjic and i wish his family all the best but competing on those tyoe of shows anything can happen r.i.p

  8. 8

    It was a matter of time

  9. 9

    I am surprised this is the only fatality on that show. RIP, Mr. Sparks.
    ABC must make contestants sign some waiver to prevent them from suing.

  10. 10

    they cant sue anybody. they sign saying abc isnt responsible for anything. you take the chance going on a show like that.

  11. 11

    So sad. I just knew something like that would happen sooner or later. I have always thought that some of the stunts on that show look like they could be very dangerous.

  12. 12

    Now there is a perfect example of all that is wrong in America these days… the writer (we'll blame Internet cockroach Perez Hilton, although it couldn't have been him because there are no spelling mistakes) chose to write about lawsuit potential instead of acknowledging the grieving family and offering condolences.

  13. 13

    I read on AP that he had a condition that caused blood clots.

  14. 14

    Uhm, why should they be sued? The guy had health issues. That's not their fault. It's people like you that cause this country to be in the state it is in. Greed. Always wanting to place blame elsewhere.

  15. 15

    To the friends and family…my condolences. I am very sorry your loss.
    Satanika is right…believe that there is a major part of the contract clearly stating…WIPEOUT at your own risk.
    Also, if the man failed to mention health issues he was well aware of, then ABC has nothing to worry about.
    However, I wouldnt doubt that ABC will see some legal action for this…as well as some safer stunts maybe?!
    The beauty of the show was it did look torturous to get to the wipeout zone…I would expect many walked away with broken noses, sprained ankles and a massive headache. And the zone looked down right impossible…making the winner well worthy of the grand prize.
    I am genuinely sorry this man lost his life. I hope that if it was a mistake, people allow it pass as just news.
    If the stunt or ABC had any part in this mans death, then I hope its handled appropriately.

  16. vanie says – reply to this


    please get your facts straight when you are reporting on somebodys death. he had an underlying condition that nobody knew about which cause him to have a stroke. He wasnt injured… he through a clot. Cmon Perez… Be better than that.

  17. 17

    I was a contestant on the show from the second season and we do sign a pretty extensive contract. More like contracts. Its sad to hear He died but it wasn't from the obstacles it was his pre-existing conditions.

  18. 18

    Perez you really need to actually read the articles you link to. His father said he suffered from a blood clotting disease. AND when the guy was complaining about a hurt knee, they made him stop.

    Not the shows fault, it's just an unfortuante coincidence that he was on the show. The guy was a ticking timebomb. If he hadn't died then, it wouldn't only been a matter of time.

  19. 19

    i'm sure he signed something before he did the show…and i'm sure it included a lot of horrible scenarios, including death

  20. 20

    abc isn't get sued for shit. that guy signed a waiver.

  21. leo32 says – reply to this


    This show was an accident waiting to happen. We'd hear major lawsuit after lawsuit of injuries to the back and neck if they didn't have ironclat agreements. I doubt anyone would sign something absolving of death. Anyone who would sign such a document would be crazy. There WILL be a settlement - maybe not the crazy amounts we sometimes read bout, but enough that the family can have funeral costs and his mortgage paid for, and some money for any children the man had, to put away for school.

  22. 22

    Just Some Vaccine Ingredients: Aluminum, Mercury, Formaldehyde, MSG, Chicken Embryos, Monkey Kidney, Aborted Fetuses. What's doesn't k*ll you can only make you stronger right?

  23. KBGD says – reply to this


    I have to say that i'm not surprised… those people look like they get really pounded!

  24. 24

    See? You kill brain cells by watching the show and being apart of the show.

  25. 25

    yep! this show definately looked dangerous…thats messed up

  26. KDick says – reply to this


    This website is really going down the shitter. It's pretty sad when the reader comments are more accurate than the actual post.

  27. 27

    Bill Sparks, has told friends and family that his son suffered from a pre-existing condition, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), a disease that causes unnatural clotting of the blood. I hope they do not settle out of court. And if it goes to court , I hope they win nothing

  28. 28

    i knew tom very well and we're all devastated by what happened. No one cares if there's a lawsuit but we all lost a friend, husband, son, and family. I just wanted to say thanks actually for not posting the nasty comments that usually are on here. He was a great person and we all miss him!!

  29. 29

    A friend of mine wanted to be on this show until he saw the 17 page release you have to sign. This is a bone-cracking stunt show. They are not going to be sued because someone got hurt.

  30. 30

    Re: leo32 Firstly, it looks worse than it is because almost everything has 6 inch padding. Secondly, you sign your rights away doing almost anything these days for exactly things like this. This guy had a known condition, did not disclose it and died from that condition. In that situation, he knew he should not have participated and showed this by not disclosing that. Thirdly, do you realize that when you purchase tickets to sporting events, theme parks, etc. that funny little fine print on the back? When you enter with that ticket, it basically absolves the parks from anything based on your own actions, even being there. A little girl died at a hockey game from a puck to the head. They couldn't sue. The team however DID offer her family lots of things and it changed the netting in hockey. The fans at the NASCAR track from Carl Edwards cannot sue for their injuries. Fans at a baseball game cannot sue either.

  31. 31

    Re: leo32 When you walk into a store, they even consider that "agreement to policies" by entering private businesses. Chances of death are low, even in shows like this. Chances of winning $50k are about 3000x greater. More people have died by lightening strikes in the US than game shows. In fact, people on game shows have better health professionals standing by (to ward off negative publicity) than most people have in their own MD/GP's.

  32. 32

    what a terrible situation for his family and the other contestants.

  33. 33


    i love this show

  34. 34

    I had the privilege of knowing, working with and teaching Tom Slick (which I called him, based on the 70s cartoon) at USC. He was amazing guy who could make you laugh no matter how you felt. He will be sorely missed by all of his USC family. It's difficult for me to blame a stupid show. It seems based on his condition it would happen eventually. I feel horrible for his new wife and his family. Bad things shouldn't happen to good people.

  35. 35

    I was actually a contestant on WIPEOUT, first season, and the answer is YES, you sign your life away! I often joked about it. Oh, Broken leg? here's an asprin. Huh? He died? here's some cab money for the body… I KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN!!!! HA!