NEW YORK -- Bobby Bones is not only a radio host and mentor on "American Idol," but now he's taking on a new National Geographic show called "Breaking Bobby Bones."
The show features the syndicated radio host challenging himself mentally and physically in various locations around the country. He faces each challenges alongside everyday heroes who coach Bones on various ways to face his fears.
"I tell you I think I almost died about four times doing this show," said Bones, who is safe now and spoke to Eyewitness News during a recent satellite interview.
In each half-hour episode, you'll see Bobby pursue his own mantra of Fight. Grind. Repeat.
"If it made me really uncomfortable, it's probably a good episode," Bobby said. "Because if I was just good at it, it wouldn't be that interesting."
Filming his show during a pandemic was no picnic, and for those who know Bones as a mentor on "American Idol," this series will come as a surprise.
"I go and I follow a lot of fantastic people and learn their stories," he said. "One guy who lost both legs serving our country, and he now is on the U.S. Paralympic Hockey Team. I never played hockey, but I did and I competed against Paralympic hockey players and got the crap beat out of me, but it's his story and I experience his life."
He travels to destinations across the country to find people with unique jobs, skills, hobbies and abilities.
Upon arrival, he meets local everyday heroes who challenge him to conquer (or at least attempt) the tricks of their trades while exploring the triumphs and tragedies that made these heroes who they are today.
"Ralph went to Afghanistan, lost both of his legs in an explosion, came back to the states and was lost in his life, didn't know what to do. I mean, he came home without two legs that he went overseas with," Bobby said. "So here he is now, and he has to figure out what he's going to do and he found something called sled hockey, which is the Paralympic US hockey team, I mean they're on sleds instead of skates. I don't know anything about hockey, I'm from Arkansas. So I go and I meet with him and I'm telling his story."
It's not just telling his story, he had to learn how to play sled hockey too. "Those guys really beat me up!" Bobby said.
He also takes on white water kayaking with Lonnie who is blind after being shot in the face with a shotgun.
"It stunk sometimes to be dunked over and over again in training, but it felt great to show people what Lonnie's been through, and show people whatever they're going through, there's nothing too big that you can't fight through," Bobby said.
Bones wants the show to be fun.
"You'll be inspired, but I also think you'll laugh at how big an idiot I am at times too," he said.
There are 16 episodes in all.
"I was scared every single week," Bones said. "There wasn't anything I didn't do, but I fought it; I came to peace with it. It's okay to be scared of something. I don't think bravery is not being scared. I think bravery is going through with something even though you are a little scared."
Bones admits when the show finished filming he was "pretty proud" of himself, but mostly was proud of the people he was with every single episode.
"It's 16 people that have fantastic stories," he said.
The point of doing this, he concludes is to demonstrate that "any dream is possible."
"That's what this whole adventure is about," Bones said.
"Breaking Bobby Bones" premieres Monday, May 31 at 10/9c on National Geographic, with two back-to-back episodes.
The series then moves to Sundays at 10/9c Nat Geo, with two new episodes premiering each Sunday evening on the streaming channel owned by the same parent company as ABC 7.