It’s been teased since before episode one of SAS Australia aired, but now audiences finally know what caused Melissa Wu’s scary collapse.
Teasers showed the recruit exiting an outdoor container, then hitting the floor – hard – then unconscious.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Melissa Wu collapses in heart-stopping moment
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But in episode nine of SAS Australia, viewers finally got to witness the heart-stopping moment in full and the terrifying challenge that led to her unexpected reaction.
Melissa Wu – a four-time Olympic diver – is one of 17 recruits put through their paces in a series of challenges that mimic training for the real-life special forces.
On Tuesday night’s episode, the recruits’ courage was challenged in a terrifying situation.
The challenge involved an outdoor container that was filled with tear gas – a gas that burns your eyes, nose, and lungs.
Chief Instructor Ant Middleton described the reaction to the gas “as if you’re on fire from the inside out,” explaining that it’s a common situation special forces soldiers find themselves in.
The recruits were instructed to remove their mask once inside and free a bound hostage while keeping the searing pain from the gas under control.
“Tear gas shuts down the body the moment you take that first breath in, your body closes up, you’re completely disabled, it’s horrible,” Ant said.
When it was Melissa’s turn, the intense gas quickly became overpowering, forcing DS Dean Stott to remove her from the container.
As she left, she quickly collapsed face-first to the floor, unresponsive.
“Oh, s***,” Ant said grabbing her as he called for a doctor.
Ant and the doctor attempted to wake her up as they put an oxygen mask over her face.
Melissa soon came to, taking in her surroundings as she heard Ant say, “relax, relax, we are here, we’re with you”.
After the oxygen took effect, Melissa said she wasn’t sure what happened.
“I came out of the room, and then I don’t remember after that.”
After filming, Ant spoke with 7Entertainment on this moment, sharing that he “wasn’t expecting” her reaction.
“First of all, I wanted to see if there was any facial damage, any teeth inverted, a broken nose, blood,” Ant began.
“I knew what it was, I knew it was a lack of oxygen.
“So I went over those visuals of her face and airways and laid her down so the blood circulated to her head.”
Ant said he’d seen this task done in the military and one out of 75 soldiers had exactly the same reaction.
“They come out of that environment, it has a – I wouldn’t say devastating – but it has a different effect on their body, and they pass out,” the chief instructor said.
“But they come back very quickly, they just need to get oxygen to the body.
“It was an effect that I’ve seen before, but one I wasn’t expecting.”
On Melissa, he said she “actually did very well to make it out” of that challenge.
SAS Australia airs 7.30 pm Monday and Tuesday on Channel 7 and 7plus, where you can find uncensored episodes, uncut interrogations, and phone calls home.