Bobby Bones’ Nat Geo Show Succeeds Because of His Failures

Breaking Bobby Bones PJ Haynie Harvest Corn
National Geographic/Sanjay Suchak

If life is getting you down, radio and TV personality Bobby Bones’ new show is the pick-me-up you need. The American Idol mentor and Dancing With the Stars winner finds his true calling here, traveling the country accepting missions from everyday heroes while asking them to share their inspiring stories along the way.

Tonight’s back-to-back episodes take him first to Virginia, where fifth-generation Black farmer PJ Haynie (above right, with Bones) challenges Bobby to help harvest 20 acres of corn without spilling any of the precious “yellow gold.” Then he’s in Colorado with Marine turned gold medal-winning Paralympian Ralph DeQuebec, who—hopefully!—trains him to score a goal in a game with the U.S. sled hockey team.

So how does Bobby do? Initially, as well as you’d expect from someone who’s never driven a tractor or stepped on the ice before. “My motto is fail until you don’t,” he says after a montage of missed shots.

The show succeeds because you believe Bones is genuinely nervous about disappointing these men he respects. And because when they share the struggles they’ve overcome, he truly listens. After hearing the racism the Haynies have faced working to keep the land in their family for 150 years, and what it means for DeQuebec to feel free on the ice and to find purpose being part of a team again, you’ll be rooting for them all.

Breaking Bobby Bones, Sundays, 10/9c, National Geographic