In July 2010,Discovery Channel began a show called Man,Woman,Wild,featuring former US Army Special Forces survival expert Mykel Hawke and his wife,Ruth England,who is a television journalist. In each of the 22 episodes that the show ran,the couple were sent to different wild and remote locations around the world,where they survived for four days and nights with nothing but a knife and the clothes they arrived in. Informative and challenging,the show was a success,making Hawke a popular name in reality television.
Now,the 46-year-old is back as the host of a new show on the same channel,One Man Army,which premiered in India on February 6. This time around,however,the focus is not on Hawke,but on the contestants. In each episode,four men from backgrounds such as military,extreme sports,law enforcement and special operations compete against each other in extreme tasks designed to test their speed,strength and intelligence. At the end of this,the last man standing will win a cash prize of $10,000.
For nearly 30 years,Hawke served in the United States Military in a number of different roles,most recently as a US Army Special Forces officer,in the Green Berets. After the Gulf War in the early 90s,he started a medical company and then a tourism company,which subsequently led him to work with MTV. I started a medical company to work in war zones and help people, recalls Hawke. That was very intense. Then,I started a tourism company so that my staff could get some time to decompress. Soon after,he worked on Road Rules,a show on MTV,and from there,began his television career.
One Man Army has the format of a game show contestants battling each other in a number of events but Hawke differs on that. What sets the show apart is that the contestants are the best in the world and the types of challenges we design for them are very difficult, he explains. But it has to be safe; we cant have these men getting hurt,so in that sense,yes,it is a game show, he says.
The events designed for the show are divided into three main categories. The speed challenges focus on agility,speed and reflexes and include tasks such as target shooting and a water coffin test,in which the competitors must escape from a sealed container filled with water. The strength challenges include breaking through walls and a tug of war and the intelligence challenges include tasks that demand quick thinking,such as the best way to escape from a locked cell. The contestants on the show are often almost equally matched,but Hawke says the winners may surprise you.
The key thing is to observe who wins. Everyone will be surprised that its often not the one you may think, he says.