‘Tough as Nails’ EP on Phil Keoghan’s Side-Line Cheering for Season 2
If ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The feel-good format for last summer’s top new reality series, Tough as Nails, remains the same in Season 2.
Twelve competitors with hands-on occupations (40-year-old Scott Henry, below, is a construction superintendent) get their mitts dirty in challenges set at real-world job sites like a farm, fishing boat or Pick-a-Part (they build a drivable car!).
Even if they “punch out” of the individual competition, which has a prize of $200,000 and a 2021 Ford F-150 truck, they remain on the show to take part in team challenges worth additional cash. All the while, host Phil Keoghan, who cocreated the series with wife Louise, cheers them on from the sidelines. “It’s in his DNA to be enthusiastic and supportive,” Louise says. “That’s what we all love about him.”
She understands the show’s other appeals too. They’ve upped the number of cameras in the vans transporting teams to capture more candid conversations. And it’s impossible to predict a winner when they cast people with cool nicknames like “Knuckles”‘ (cement mason Liz Nichols, 36) and “Zeus” (Hawaiian lineman Cyril Ontai III, 29) and a retired Air Force colonel and combat aviator (Merryl Tengesdal, 49).
“You never know what job or life skill they’ll pull out of the bag,” Louise says. “That’s what makes Tough as Nails so exciting. It’s anyone’s game.”
Tough as Nails, Season 2 Premiere, Wednesday, February 10,8/7c, CBS