... of strangers and $100,000
by BETTIE MARLOWE, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 09, 2013 | 1067 views | 0 0 comments | 101 101 recommendations | email to a friend | print
‘72 Hours’ is over
The episode, “Lost Coast of New Zealand” will air June 13 at 9 p.m. Dropped in a 90-kilometer stretch of untamed coastline, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate through thick forests, limestone cliffs and massive sand dunes in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours.
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TNT is taking adventure to a whole new level with the exciting new competition series “72 Hours.”

Hosted by Brandon Johnson (Disney’s “Shake it Up”) and premiered Thursday at 9 p.m., “72 Hours” drops competing teams of strangers into the wilderness, leaving them with only a single bottle of water and a GPS tracking device as their guide. The teams had just three days to form strategic bonds, hike across treacherous terrain, battle the elements and make difficult survival choices, all in a quest to be the first to find a hidden briefcase full of $100,000 cash.

Cleveland’s own Melody DeLong is one of the stars of this new reality TV show, which began airing Thursday on TNT. The young wife and mother seems destined for stardom in this exciting new series. Already her down-to-earth personality has made her a welcome and familiar face on several reality shows, as well as appearing in national commercials for cars, cereals, furniture and Life Care Centers of America, which has its headquarters in Cleveland.

But it is her appearance in the action-packed “72 Hours” that propels DeLong into a whole new celebrity status. DeLong and the other contestants are put to the test as they battle the elements and hike across treacherous terrain to beat the competition and walk away with a $100,000 cash prize, to be divided between them.

DeLong said if she won the prize money, she will put the winnings toward a college education for her sons and help her husband, Justin, open his own restaurant. She is co-owner of Creative Touch and Nails, and her family participates in community service projects to help the less fortunate.

This was not her first adventure. DeLong has traveled to the villages of Nepal in the foothills of Mount Everest. But, she said, “This show was filmed in the mountains which were only accessible by helicopter — where people had never been before.” Although she may always have her hair and makeup done, when it came to the “72 Hours” competition, she fought the grueling outdoors for her husband and children. Looking at her wedding ring, she said, helped remind her of her family and motivated her to stay in the competition.

Every episode of “72 Hours” opens with three teams comprised of three strangers who must traverse a variety of challenging environments — jungle, mountain, desert and so forth — in search of a briefcase filled with money. The teams consist of three competitors from diverse backgrounds, such as a fireman, a tattoo artist, a kickboxing instructor, or a civil engineer. Each team member brings his/her own unique survival skills, personalities and motivations to the competition.

Competitors navigate a wide variety of terrains, including the lush Hawaiian islands, the mountainous Southern Rockies, the breathtaking canyons of the American Southwest, the jungles of the South Pacific, the majestic Wasaya Islands in Fiji, the jagged coastlines, the lush lagoons of Tasmania and the expansive alpines and forests of New Zealand. Even the most beautiful of these locations has obstacles the teams must overcome, whether it is insect infestations, suffocating heat, dangerous wildlife, or inclement weather.

The choices the teams make strategically and geographically are critical in finishing the competition. All three members of a team must find the money together in order to win, making any team member’s notion of quitting a drama-filled and sometimes confrontational decision. The first team to locate the briefcase of cash within the three-day time frame wins the $100,000 cash prize.

“72 Hours” comes to TNT from Lighthearted Entertainment (“Extreme Makeover”), with Howard Schultz (“The Moment of Truth”), Rob LaPlante (“The Apprentice”) and Brady Connell (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) serving as executive producers. Jeff Spangler serves as co-executive producer. Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, is distributing the series internationally.

Episode synopsis

“Yasawa Islands, Fiji” — June 6, at 9 p.m.

When three teams composed of three strangers are dropped into the icy blue waters of the Yasawa Islands, their survival skills are put to the test as they encounter scorching temperatures and rough waters while attempting to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“Lost Coast of New Zealand” — June 13, at 9 p.m.

Dropped in a 90km stretch of untamed coastline, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate through thick forests, limestone cliffs and massive sand dunes in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

Delong, 29, is on the BLUE TEAM with Barry, 50, firefighter captain from Ramona, Calif; and Meg, 30, auto body manager from Maynard, Mass.

“Lana’i, Hawaii” — June 20, at 9 p.m.

Dropped off in the exotic but treacherous Hawaiian island of Lana’i, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate their way through abandoned beaches, dense brush, steep canyons and scorching flat lands in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“Flinders Island, Tasmania” — June 27, at 9 p.m.

Dropped off on a remote Tasmanian island, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate their way through jagged beaches, hazardous brush covered mountains and swamp-like lagoons while enduring freezing rains and strong winds in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“American Southwest” — July 11, at 9 p.m.

Stranded in the stunning heat and beauty of New Mexico’s desert, three teams composed of three strangers must embark on a 36-mile adventure across soaring red rock mesas and steep river canyons in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“New Zealand Alps” — July 18, at 9 p.m.Dropped off in the stunning but frigid Alps of New Zealand, three teams composed of three strangers must endure an adventure across snow-covered valleys in extreme temperatures in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours.All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“Fijian Jungle” — July 25, at 9 p.m.

Helicoptered into the humid but stunning jungles of Fiji, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate themselves through impenetrable dense rain forests and sky-scraping mountainous peaks in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.

“The Rockies” — Aug. 1, at 9 p.m.

Dropped into the southern Rocky Mountains, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate their way through towering peaks and dense forests while enduring unpredictable weather in order to locate a briefcase full of cash in just 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water. Brandon Johnson hosts.