“72 Hours” host Brandon Johnson recaps the premiere episode “Yasawa Islands, Fji”
When one thinks of Fiji images of relaxation & bliss come to mind. Hard to think this “paradise” could end being the most exhausting destination of one’s life. For 9 strangers this experience was much more than a day at the beach…
The heat in this area of the world is unrelenting; plus the sun can be excruciating without proper shelter. I specifically remember being stuck on one of the small islands waiting for the teams to arrive at the next Supply Drop. My mission was to give them specific instructions for the next leg of their journey. However, I had no idea when they’d arrive as all teams move at their own pace. To escape the oppressive heat, a small crew and myself huddled under a tree. Keep in mind that every morning we cram a meager amount of food and drink to bring with us into the wild. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Hours began to pass and eventually we ran out of water, forcing us to look for coconuts to hydrate. Soon we were put in the same position the competitors were: forced to feed off the land. This small example gave me an idea of what they contestants were going through, but nothing could have prepared them for the next phase of their journey…
The ocean kayak challenge was one for the books. The wind came hard, the waves hit harder. The current was so strong it constantly took them off course leaving teams disorientated and exhausted. If there ever were a point in the course that would break them-it would be this test. The teams arrived slowly, but the Relief Drops came in fast. I remember flying over Blue Team and seeing Garfield just annihilated. As I hovered over them lowering down their Relief Drop, I could see in their eyes unlimited emotion. They had given everything they had….
The Yasawa Islands episode also gave us one of the most exciting endings-the only time the briefcase was ever foundunder water. No one ever knows where that case will drop (including me)! It’s in these dynamic scenarios where we see our contestants give every last ounce of energy they posses. When teams approached the briefcase everything moved a mile a minute. All of us had to be extremely focused to capture that climatic moment (I’m just glad we got a camera person in the water in time-phew!).
I’m always humbled and inspired to see the sacrifices that some will make for their team. To witness the human spirit thrive at its most primal level is just incredible. I had a front row seat and now…you do too.
Let me know what you thought about the premiere in the comments below! Also swing by the TNT section for all the latest on the show!
See you in the Sky!
If you missed the premiere, you can catch when it re-airs:
@ 10 AM ET/7 AM PT