“72 HOURS” HOST BRANDON JOHNSON RECAPS EPISODE 6 “New Zealand Alps”
72 Hours was lucky enough to film two amazing episodes in New Zealand. Though the “Lost Coast of New Zealand” aired first, The Southern Alps was our introductory experience to this incredible landscape. Upon landing, we packed ourselves into anything with four wheels and headed toward base camp. I marveled at the snow capped mountains, blue skies and lush green hillsides. With every new location there’s a sense of wonderment that ignites inside. “What’s going to be the most challenging factor: elevation, weather, cast personality-all three?” It wouldn’t take long until I had my answer.
Within a matter of no time teams were dangling upside down from a bungee cord screaming from excitement. However once their journey began the screams came from personality clashes and physical pain. As always the greatest challenge contestants are faced with is the element of the unknown. Alpine territory can produce inconsistent weather patterns and those extreme temperature shifts can push people to their breaking point. And speaking of “breaking,” I really felt for the Red Team’s, Jessica. Alterik and Jackie were strong competitors and their desire to win was justifiable. However they may have pushed to hard. The fact that Jessica went as far as she did with torn tendons in her knee spoke to her powerful determination to win. After the full assessment of her injury there was just no way she could continue. Those moments on the show are the hardest to watch. To travel so far and then to be knocked out by an injury; plus eliminating your Team from their dreams coming true would really mess with me.
There was also the moment when we weren’t sure if Alanna was going to make it either. Her poor circulation and feet problems became a big concern for the Green Team. The key element to their success was allowing her to rest and offering emotional support. Though nine strangers all competed on the same course, these three individuals became one under intense circumstances.
Ultimately that’s how 72 Hours is played-teamwork. One must let go of any judgment and find ways to lift each other up physically, mentally and emotionally. The elements are extremely punishingly in the wild. I have come to have a whole new respect for Mother Nature and hope that every person who competes on the show does too. It’s an incredible planet we live on. The intimate and visceral experiences I’ve had in the field have increased my passion for life. The question I ask myself the most is, “What will you do with THIS day you’ve been given?” The possibilities are endless…lucky us!
In case you were wondering about our accommodations while filming, check out my digs!
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