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 Contender Reality Star Commits Suicide


02-15-05
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(antiTainment) Mark Burnett's latest reality creation "The Contender" has yet to air but the show received a major blow on Monday when one of the contestants committed suicide. 

22-year-old Philadelphia native, Najai "Nitro" Turpin, reportedly shot himself in the head early Monday morning while sitting in a parked car with his girlfriend. 

NBC still plans to go forward with the premier of the series on March 7th.  Reality king Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice, The Restaurant) teamed with Sylvester Stallone to produce "The Contender," a 13-episode reality series which features two boxer each week competing with one another and other obstacles in their lives to succeed in the sport. 

Burnett told the New York Times that the show will go on exactly as planned. "Nothing changes. I'm not even going to make any edits because it's real".  Burnett told the paper that the most likely solution to addressing the suicide would be to run a notice at the end of Turpin's final episode telling viewers about his death. 

Raised on the mean streets of Philly, Turpin went into "The Contender" with a 13-1 record as a middleweight fighter.  Stallone who will act as the show's host described Turpin in the series premier episode as "a tough, punchy street kid from Philadelphia fighting for a better life for his family."
 
 


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