ABC and Media Rights Capital today announced the challengers who will take on Shaquille O’Neal in the second season of “Shaq VS,” a reality competition series starring the NBA superstar. This season O’Neal will not only use his athletic prowess to challenge high-profile athletes, but also his energy and charisma to compete beyond the athletic arena in non-sports challenges. Season Two of “Shaq VS” will debut TUESDAY, AUGUST 3 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Over the course of six episodes, O’Neal will race Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Concord Speedway; take on pop singing sensation Justin Bieber in Orlando; challenge daytime host and author Rachael Ray to a cook-off in the Big Apple; team up with NBA All-Star Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles to outrun Tyson Gay in a 200-meter relay race; tee off with Charles Barkley on The St. Regis Monarch Beach golf links; attempt to defy illusionists and comedians Penn & Teller at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino; partake in a spelling bee against Scripps National Champion Kavya Shivashankar; box against Sugar Shane Mosley in an exhibition match at Caesars Palace in Vegas; challenge Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Champion Joey Chestnut outside Serendipity 3 in Las Vegas, and more.
“I’m out to prove that I can compete beyond athletics,” said O’Neal. “I’ve spent all year sharpening my skills and I want to win. There’s no challenge bigger than me.”
The series closely follows Shaq and his adversaries throughout the rigorous training process and the pre-game hype leading up to every challenge. Each week Shaq will compete in an athletic challenge or a non-sports competition, with some episodes featuring Shaq taking on two challengers. To level the playing field, O’Neal will negotiate a handicap with his opponent and train with a coach prior to the challenge.
In the first season, O’Neal competed against World Champion Michael Phelps in swimming; Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in football; championship fighter Oscar de la Hoya in boxing; two-time National League MVP and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in baseball; and two-time Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in beach volleyball, with the help of U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.
“Shaq VS” is produced for ABC by Media Rights Capital in association with Stewart Street Productions. Orly Adelson, Will Staeger, Barry Adelman, Shaquille O’Neal, Scott Messick, Trice Barto, Perry Rogers, Colin Smeeton, Mike Parris and Steve Nash serve as executive producers for the series.