CLAREMORE, Ok. – On May 28th a massive storm swept through Claremore, Oklahoma, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. High flood waters and downed power lines left many residents stranded in their homes for days, some without electricity or running water. Sam Duggan, a sixteen year-old Boy Scout, spotted his neighbor’s dog stranded and fighting for its life amid rising waters. Risking his own safety, Sam plunged into the turbulent waters to rescue the golden retriever. Many, including the town’s mayor, Bill Flanagan, have hailed Sam as a hero, citing him for his bravery in the face of danger.
Now Sam will join eleven other people, including a 47 year-old librarian who gave her kidney to save the life of a member of her community, as they compete against active duty soldiers in Fox’s newest reality series ‘Are You Braver Than the Troops?’ From the creators of ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’, the show, according to producer Barry Poznick, aims to “set a standard for how we measure bravery.”
Hosted by comedian Joe Rogan, a ‘Fear Factor’ veteran, and U.S. Air Force SERE specialist Chief Master Sergeant Nicholas Benning, the show is filmed at an undisclosed location some thirty miles from Fort Bliss. Upon arrival contestants will break off into three teams of four and compete against a squad of Army Rangers who’ve recently returned from East Africa. After passing the first round of tests which consist of physical endurance and hand-to-hand combat, contestants will, in theory, progress through ten more rounds.
The second, third, and fourth rounds, as described by Chief Master Sergeant Benning, include search and rescue exercises, explosive ordnance removal, and a live-fire house-to-house search for armed insurgents. “We had one contestant fall on a live grenade,” Benning said, adding, “But you can’t show stuff like that on TV.” Producers said the series will be aired in a made-for-TV format and listed as M-rated, adding that, prior to filming, every contestant signed a non disclosure agreement and a death waiver while in the presence of an attorney.
Should a contestant prove that he or she is, in fact, “braver than the troops,” producers saId the surviving contestant will receive not one, but two awards. According to co-producer Carla Hersch, the winner collects a lifetime Veterans Parking Spot at their area Walmart as well as a VA medical benefits package. “Above all they earn respect,” Chief Master Sergeant Benning said.
In the event an Army Ranger is declared winner, they will not be entitled to the prize package. ‘Are You Braver Than the Troops?’ is set to air in August, following Bones, as part of the Fox Fall lineup.