New Yorkers have the opportunity to get a taste of Morocco today as ABC brings a taste of its latest reality competition, ‘Expedition Impossible’ to the Big Apple. In the heart of Times Square, a few challenges and lots of sand put folks to the test in the quest to receive the greatest rewards of all: self gratification and a free ‘Expedition Impossible’ water bottle.
There are three separate challenges in all and you only need to complete one to claim your prize. In the ‘Coconut Tree Climb Challenge,’ participants scale their way up a 30′ foot tall palm tree, while in the ‘Moroccan Mind Challenge,’ participants compete to solve a jigsaw puzzle with a deep message and, lastly, the ‘Excavation Impossible Challenge’ which allows participants to dig for items buried in mounds of sand with the potential of winning the opportunity to get an up close look at the ‘Expedition Impossible’ Ford Explorer.
Along with the challenges is the opportunity to receive a free green screen photo with your choice of background and several sand sculptures being created on site, promoting the show.
Hosted by Dave Salmoni and featuring high adventure and human drama, ‘Expedition Impossible’ follows 13 teams of 3, racing in a fun expedition across vast deserts, over snow capped mountains and through raging rivers in the beautifully exotic, fabled kingdom of Morocco. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed to the teams. Will they crumble under the pressure of having to think clearly in the wilds of the great outdoors, or will they find a way to work together to complete their adventures? And if one person quits, the entire team is eliminated. After 10 stunning legs of competition with drama, comedy and great characters, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory. Each winning team member will receive $50,000 ($150,000 total for the team) as well a new Ford Explorer.
The ‘Expedition Impossible’ challenge continues on throughout the day at Military Island in Times Square through 6pm tonight. The series premieres tonight on ABC at 9pm ET/PT, during which time creator/producer Mark Burnett will live tweet at @MarkBurnettTV for the east coast airing, while ABC.com will host a live chat party which will include Burnett’s tweets as well as allow viewers to interact with each other beginning at 9 pm ET and ending with the west coast feed at 1 am ET. For more information, visit the ‘Expedition Impossible‘ page on ABC.com.
Update: Added photos of ‘Good Morning America’ correspondents Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos and Josh Elliott interviewing host Dave Salmoni
What better way to introduce ABC’s exciting new summer adventure series, “Expedition Impossible,” than by descending on Times Square Military Island area? To kick off the reality show’s premiere, ABC will erect a sand dune in the iconic New York location and construct multiple physical challenges on Thursday, June 23, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., ET. “Expedition Impossible” premieres Thursday, June 23 at 9:00 pm ET on the ABC Television Network.
Just as teams of ordinary people on the television show will be doing the extraordinary in the biggest adventure of their lives, Times Square passersby will have a unique opportunity to participate in fun and games through a number of challenges promoting team competition. The Times Square event will reflect the same physical and mental nature of “Expedition Impossible” through highly visual and interactive means. Upon entering the event area, spectators will receive a “passport” that they can get stamped after completing each challenge, redeemable at the Expedition Rewards tent for a customized “Expedition Impossible” water bottle (while supplies last).
Excavation Impossible, a challenge made possible by the new Ford Explorer, will give participants a fun and entertaining opportunity to dig around in the sand, competing as a team, and interact with the new 2011 Ford Explorer.
Additionally, event goers can opt to take a personal challenge by harnessing up and strapping-in for an expedition up one of the three 30-ft palm trees at the Coconut Tree Climb. The Moroccan Mind Challenge will require teams to think quickly and use snap judgment in order to be the fastest team to construct a customized “Expedition Impossible” puzzle. Plus, those who feel like traveling to the desert or visiting a Moroccan city can visit the Expedition Images photo tent and choose from a variety of sceneries, courtesy of a green screen. Visitors will receive a branded photo directing them to www.expeditionimpossibleonabc.com, where they can download their photos and share their adventurous day with friends and family.
About “Expedition Impossible”
From creator and executive producer Mark Burnett comes high adventure and human drama in ABC’s new summer series, “Expedition Impossible.” The show features 13 teams of 3 who will push themselves to the limit racing in an expedition across vast deserts, over snow-capped mountains and through raging rivers in the beautifully exotic, fabled Kingdom of Morocco. Each week, a new stage of the expedition will be revealed to the teams. Will they crumble under the pressure of having to think clearly in the great outdoors, or find a way to work together to complete the expedition? After 10 legs of competition with drama, lighter moments and great characters, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory. Each winning team member will receive $50,000 ($150,000 total for the team) as well as a new Ford Explorer. “Expedition Impossible” is hosted by adventurer, zoologist, big cat trainer and all around risk taker, Dave Salmoni.
On Thursday, June 23, at 9 pm, ABC will premiere one of the most highly anticipated reality competitions this summer — ‘Expedition Impossible.’ Created and executive-produced by Mark Burnett, producer of ‘Survivor,’ ‘Expedition Impossible’ pits 13 teams of three against each other in a race across the Kingdom of Morocco. Through the ten episodes, teams will journey across the desert, climb snow-capped mountains and paddle raging rivers all for a chance to win $150,000 in cash plus a brand new Ford Explorer for each member of the winning team.
In the premiere episode, from which you can see the first 15 minutes of below via Hulu, you’ll get just a taste of what the teams have to go through — and they’re only just getting started when one competitor has to remind herself it’s only the first day.
As you can see, getting to the top of the sand dune is challenge enough, but it’s only just the beginning and if even one competitor throws in the towel, it’s over for his/her whole team. The stakes are driven even higher when teams learn that, in one competition, choosing incorrectly could cost them everything. Yet another team learns that their biggest obstacle isn’t indigenous to Morocco. As host Dave Salmoni warns the teams before the game begins, the Berbers have a saying — ‘choose your companions before choosing the road.’
ABC’s exciting new summer series, “Expedition Impossible,” announces the show’s 13 teams of three who will find themselves racing in a fun expedition across vast deserts, over snow capped mountains and through raging rivers in the beautifully exotic, fabled Kingdom of Morocco. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed to the teams. Will they crumble under the pressure of having to think clearly in the wilds of the great outdoors, or will they find a way to work together to complete the expedition? After 10 stunning legs of competition with drama, comedy and great characters, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory. Each winning team member will receive $50,000 ($150,000 total for the team) as well a new Ford Explorer.
“Expedition Impossible,” full of high adventure and human drama, premieres on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network. Adventurer, zoologist, big cat trainer and all around risk taker Dave Salmoni hosts.
The 13 teams of three are:
Christina Chin (24) — Corporate PR — Davis, CA
Brittany Smith (24) — Aspiring Pro Golfer — Rancho Murieta, CA
Natalie Smith (25) — Teacher/Coach — Woodland, CA
These brainy beauties not only carry the burden of being both gorgeous and smart, they also happen to be talented athletes. Christina, Brittany and Natalie met at UC Davis, where they were all recruited to compete for the Aggies. These ladies are always up for adventure and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty.
Robert Robillard (43) — Police Lieutenant — Concord, MA
Dani Henderson (34) — Police Officer — Marlborough, MA
Jim Vaglica (49) — Police Sergeant – Billerica, MA
The camaraderie that is shared between police officers is hard to replicate anywhere else in life. The level of trust that’s necessary to work together is amplified when you’re putting your life in someone else’s hands – which is something these three Massachusetts officers do every day, and will put to good use during their Moroccan expedition.
THE COUNTRY BOYS
Nicholas Coughlin (28) — Internet Marketing/Entrepreneur — Clinton, MS
Jason Cronin (37) — Business Owner/Entrepreneur — Pensacola Beach, FL
Chad Robinson (27) — Real Estate Investor — Bolton, MS
Hailing from the country backwoods of Mississippi, Nick, Jason and Chad are true Southern cowboys who know a thing or two about surviving. Jason has survived cancer, Crohn’s disease and the West Nile Virus, and was told he would only have six months to live… three years later he’s still going strong. All standing over 6’3″, these athletic country boys are ready to use size to their advantage and dominate the competition.
Ryan Allen Carrillo (36) — Business Owner — Los Angeles, CA
Kari Gibson (26) — Model — Los Angeles, CA
AJ Gibson (30) — Mortgage Consultant — Los Angeles, CA
Sister and brother Kari and AJ moved from small town Ohio to the big city lights of Los Angeles, and shortly thereafter AJ met Ryan. Ryan is AJ’s former partner and now best friend. Together this team has a deadly combination of insanely good looks, killer smiles and innate athleticism.
Gus Sanfilippo (48) — Fisherman — Gloucester, MA
Nino Sanfilippo (43) — Fisherman — Gloucester, MA
Joe Sanfilippo (44) — Fisherman — Gloucester, MA
Ready to represent the storied Northeast fishing community of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Gus (the captain), Nino (the engineer) and Joe (the deckhand) are three old-school Italian fishermen with small town values and big time hearts. Bonded together by blood (Gus and Nino are brothers, Joe is their cousin), they also work side by side as crewmates aboard the Captain Dominic. They believe their experience working together under pressure and routinely risking their lives while out at sea gives them an inherent “toughness” that will help them win.
THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila (31) — Broadcaster — Los Angeles, CA
Robert Ortiz (27) — Business Owner — Solana Beach, CA
Ricky Sharpe (31) — Health and Fitness Consultant — Costa Mesa, CA
These three former NFL players met while playing football for San Diego State University. Akbar was a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders and later the San Diego Chargers. Robert also played for the Chargers as a wide receiver, and Ricky spent several seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. They consider themselves to be hyper competitive and willing to do what it takes to win under any circumstances.
Dick Smith (69) — Store Owner — Normal, IL
Steven Smith (48) — Store Owner — Savoy, IL
Samantha Smith-Gibbs (23) — Store Manager — Thomasboro, IL
This team represents three generations of Smiths – grandfather, son and granddaughter. Patriarch Richard “Dick” Smith started the outdoor specialty store Wild Country, where his son and granddaughter are employed. Both father and son were U.S. Army Officers, served in the Special Forces and are Airborne and Ranger qualified. And although Sam may be a little prissy, she definitively has a competitive spirit.
John Post (25) — Sustainable Farmer — Pensacola Beach, FL
Taylor Filasky (31) — Video Producer — San Diego, CA
Eric Bach (26) — Entrepreneur — San Francisco, CA
Though they’re a bit wacky and lovably free-spirited, these friends take competition very seriously. Collectively they’ve worked, volunteered, lived in and traveled to over 40 countries. Despite their escapades, they’ve never been on an adventure like this, and are excited to show what they can do.
Dashia Imperiale (44) — Fitness Instructor — New York, NY
Raven Garcia (30) — Freelance Writer — Bronx, NY
Mai Reyes (38) — Manager — New York, NY
Excitable, determined and full of spice, these three Latinas know how to liven up any event and come fully equipped with a “win at all costs” attitude. Friends and co-workers, these ladies are a competitive force to be reckoned with.
Ellie Vanderbeck (52) — Bookkeeper — Reading, PA
Ruthie Vanderbeck (28) — Realtor — Reading, PA
Abbie Vanderbeck (30) — Nanny — Norwalk, CT
Eleanor is the matriarch of this family. Her daughters, Ruthie and Abbie, both served their country in the U.S. Army National Guard. Although they don’t consider themselves a physically strong team, the three women are problem solvers, which may help give them a leg up in the competition.
Kevin Coursey (39) — Firefighter — Belle Harbor, NY
Rob Keiley (34) — Firefighter — Rockaway Park, NY
Mike Egan (34) — Firefighter — Rockaway Park, NY
For all the reasons you would think – the nature of their work, the risks they take, how they have to depend on each other to quite literally stay alive – Kevin, Rob and Mike consider themselves “brothers” and will always be there for each other. Competitive by nature and willing to take risks, this team will be a force to contend with.
Erik Weihenmayer (42) — Motivational Speaker/Writer — Golden, CO
Jeff Evans (41) — Motivational Speaker/Physician Assistant — Boulder, CO
Aaron “Ike” Isaacson (33) — Soldier — Topeka, KS
These friends stick together in good times and bad. Erik became blind at an early age, but he didn’t let that get him down. In 2001 he summitted Mt. Everest. Jeff serves as Erik’s “eyes in the field.” He has been Erik’s primary climbing guide for over 20 years and is a published author and motivational speaker. Ike is an officer in the military, earning two Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal, among others. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and will deploy again to Afghanistan after completing “Expedition Impossible.”
Lindsey Haymond (27) — Teacher — Houston, TX
Kelsey Fuller (22) — Student — Overland Park, KS
Mackenzie Fuller (18) — Student — Overland Park, KS
These three sisters, originally hailing from Kansas, are girly and sporty. But don’t let their good looks and sparkling smiles deceive you; they’re also cutthroat competitors, brimming with self confidence and willing to give it their all to win. In fact, these sisters are so competitive that 18-year-old Mackenzie is missing her senior prom to compete on “Expedition Impossible.”
“Expedition Impossible” was created by Mark Burnett, who also serves as executive producer with Lisa Hennessy. Both the television show and format will be distributed internationally by Mark Burnett International Distribution.
Adventurer, zoologist, big cat trainer and all-around risk taker Dave Salmoni has been named host of ABC’s epic summer series, “Expedition Impossible,” which features ordinary people doing the extraordinary in the biggest adventure of their lives.
Featuring high adventure and human drama, “Expedition Impossible” will feature 13 teams of 3, racing on an expedition across vast deserts, over snow capped mountains and through raging rivers. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed to the teams. Will they crumble under the pressure of having to think clearly in the wilds of the great outdoors, or will they find a way to work together to complete their adventures? After 10 stunning legs of competition, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory.
Salmoni’s career began 10 years ago, when he embarked on a life changing adventure to Africa to train captive-bred Bengal tigers how to hunt and survive in the wild. To achieve this, he lived in a tent in the African bush for five years as he combined his trainer and zoology techniques. This process was documented and became Discovery Channel’s “Living with Tigers.”
He has been to some of the most dangerous places on Earth for “World’s Deadliest Towns.” He was accepted into a wild pride of African Lions in “Into the Lion’s Den,” then followed that feat by living in a tent in the Namibian bush in order to save a pride of problem lions in “Into the Pride.” He has traveled the world and experienced forgotten cultures on productions such as “Rogue Nature” and various Shark Week programs.
Salmoni was named one of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fun and Fearless Males (2008) and was included as one of People‘s sexiest bachelors (2009).
Mark Burnett and Lisa Hennessy serve as executive producers. Both the television show and format will be distributed internationally by Mark Burnett International Distribution.
ABC has announced “Expedition Impossible,” the next evolution in high adventure and human drama. The series will feature teams of ordinary people doing the extraordinary as they compete in the biggest adventure of their lives.
In “Expedition Impossible,” teams of three will solve problems while racing across deserts, over mountains and through rivers. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed. Will teams crumble under the pressure of having to think clearly in the wilds of the great outdoors, or will they work together to get through and complete their adventures? After ten stunning legs of competition, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory.
“We think the ABC audience will respond to this incredibly fun show, which is equal parts extreme competition, teamwork and strategy, featuring unique landscapes and different cultures,” said John Saade and Vicki Dummer, senior vice presidents, Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night, ABC Entertainment Group. “We look forward to collaborating again with Mark Burnett and his team to create an epic series.”
“I love high adventure television, and I am so excited to be working with ABC in bringing an epic ‘Indiana Jones’-style experience to the viewers,” said executive producer Mark Burnett.
For more information on casting, please visit http://abc.go.com/shows/expedition-impossible
Mark Burnett and Lisa Hennessy serve as executive producers. Both the television show and format will be distributed internationally by Mark Burnett International Distribution.