The Love Island alum had two back-to-back injuries on Wednesday night's episode — the massive first portion of the 100-hour final — which resulted in two nights in the hospital.
"I was contemplating my entire life. I was like, 'Did I just get permanently damaged for the rest of my life because of a TV show?' I was so mortified," she told Variety.
The hospitalization came after Kaiser ripped the top of her finger off and was later hit in the face with a high-velocity slingshot. Though she continued through additional checkpoints with partner Horacio Gutiérrez Jr. after the finger wound, the later slingshot injury was enough to send her for medical attention.
"I was traumatized. As much as I want to be a hard ass, it was pretty traumatizing, because we did work so hard," she continued. "I just had this repeat of self-hate that I ruined everything. I felt really bad for a while and I wasn't sure how my face was gonna heal, because the scar on my forehead was really bad."
For some time, Kaiser wondered if the reality TV show accident had caused a permanent alteration to her appearance. Every time she looked in the mirror, the moments of injury flooded her memory.
Though cosmetically, the wounds were shocking for some time, Kaiser noted the gravity of her head injury. "I was like, if I'm actually getting brain swelling, I could die. This is not a joke. People die all the time from getting hit in the head from trauma."
Kaiser credited the placement of the hit with her successful recovery. "I really, in some crazy way, got lucky that it just hit me directly in between the eyes. Obviously, I still have good aim if I freaking got a bull's eye," she joked. "If it had hit me in the eye, I would have either lost my eye or died, because the golf ball probably would have went right back behind my eyeball."
Despite the intensity of the "freak accident," Kaiser is ready to join The Challenge again in future seasons, if asked. "I am definitely scared because it shows that as much as they put into safety precautions, you never know," she said. "Freak accidents happen. But being scared has never held me back."
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"If I do get the chance, I definitely will go back," she concluded. "I want to go back to redeem myself and everyone who has supported me."
Kaiser did receive immense support from viewers during the finale's premiere. Three-time Challenge champion Derrick Kosinski tweeted praise for her gruesome injuries — calling it a historic Challenge moment. Kaiser responded with a "thank you" after Kosinski wrote, "The shot that @oliviakaiserxo just took from a backfired golf ball is easily one of the Gnarliest things that's ever happened."
"When @oliviakaiserxo gets hurt and the first thing she says is 'I'm sorry' to Horacio while blood is pouring down her face. That broke my heart," wrote Tommy Bracco, who competed and was eliminated earlier in the season.
When @oliviakaiserxo gets hurt and the first thing she says is “I’m sorry” to Horacio while blood is pouring down her face. That broke my heart🥺💔
— Tommy Bracco (@TommyBracco) February 2, 2023
Other viewers also asked for Kaiser and Gutiérrez to return for another season — and applauded their season-long performance as impressive rookies.
The Challenge: Ride or Dies season 38 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.