The stars of FOX’s “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test” spent an afternoon on the red carpet at 20th Century Studios discussing the physical and emotional challenges of living in the Jordanian desert for their Fox series.
The Fox series, which premieres Wednesday January 4th as a two-hour special event, is the ultimate celebrity social experiment. Sixteen celebrity recruits will endure some of the harshest, most grueling challenges from the playbook of the actual Special Forces selection process. There are no votes and no eliminations- just survival.
The all-new Fox series features household names from professional athletes to actors, music industry icons, and television personalities. The “Special Forces” cast includes names like Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”), Mel B (The Spice Girls), Dwight Howard (NBA Champion), Jamie Lynn Spears (Sweet Magnolias), Danny Amendola (retired NFL Player), Montell Jordan (Grammy-nominated solo artist), and Gus Kenworthy (“American Horror Story”).
These sixteen celebrities take on grueling exercises led by an elite team of ex-Special Forces operatives including Rudy Reyes, Mark”Bill” Billigham, Jason”Foxy” Fox and Remi Adeleke.
The idea of Celebrity is usually associated with glitzy and glamorous lifestyles. In this reality show, these individuals are pushed to the limits as they carry out tests that challenge their physical and mental capabilities.
Some cast members were on board right away and others took more convincing. Retired NFL player Danny Amendola jumped at the opportunity to take part in the adrenaline-inducing series. “I was freshly out of football and was looking for some adventure,” says Amendola.
The former wide receiver prepared like he was going into training camp. “I love training and I love getting my body into shape,” Amendola shares. “I was physically ready but needed some guidance with the mental side of it, thankfully Dr. Drew (Pinsky) was here. I felt safer when he walked in and if anybody had any questions then he was the man to go to.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky needed a little more convincing to sign on for the series. ” I felt like I was getting punked, but then I started training and responding to it,” Pinsky says. “I trained my ass off and it was a really great experience” says Pinksy.
The series proved to be physically and emotionally draining for the celebrity recruits on location in the Jordanian desert.
Singer and pastor Montell Jordan went into key details about his time in the desert. “We were in the desert trying to live in 120 degrees running in full camo gear with a 30 pound pack on and struggling with the heat and dehydration,” says Jordan. “All of those elements were very real.”
For Jordan this show was about conquering fears. “I deal with people on a regular basis that face their fears every single day… fear of divorce, fear of losing their child, fear of a bad diagnosis from a doctor,” Jordan shares. “As a pastor, I have to be able to lead those people through their most fearful moments. I didn’t want to turn away from my fears so that’s why I said yes.”
For soccer player Carli Lloyd, the mental and emotional aspects were more challenging than the physical. “That’s what people won’t really understand. We are creatures of habit. You have your routine and your way of doing things,” says Lloyd.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist has proven herself as a world class athlete. ” I’ve been challenged on the soccer field my entire life and feel really good about all of the obstacles and struggles I’ve had to overcome,” says Lloyd. “This was an opportunity in my post-playing career to challenge myself in another light.”
Actress Jamie-Lynn Spears knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. “I realized I would never have this kind of experience and would regret not doing the show.” says Spears. “Hopefully the viewers can experience it by watching the show. It’s something that can’t really be put into words.”
Actor and skier Gus Kenworthy found the opportunity as a way to connect with talent from across the entertainment spectrum. “It was a really great bonding experience with everyone on the show. I would not have crossed paths with this group of people if it hadn’t been for this show,” says Kenworthy. “I’m happy I could share this experience with them and the friendships we have created.”
Special Forces will be available on Fox and Hulu Wednesday January 4th. Get ready for these celebrities to enlist in the ultimate test of the human condition.