Lafayette native Dustin Zito, who appeared on MTV’s “Real World: Las Vegas,” is holding his own on the MTV follow-up competition show “The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons!”
Meanwhile, McKenzie Coburn and Preston Roberson-Charles, who viewers met on “Real World: New Orleans,” were booted off the show Wednesday night after losing “the battle in the arena.”
“The Challenge,” which debuted Sept. 19, pits teams of four former castmates from each of seven past “Real World” shows against each other in a series of physical and mental contests. Each week, one pair of players is sent home. All of this actually played out in the city of Bodrum, Turkey, over the summer.
“It’s a really, really nice place,” Zito said last week from New Jersey. “Everything is on the water. We had a house on the water. And it was different than a lake or an ocean; there were no waves, it was a sea and it was vast and most of the hillside, there were no beaches. You knew that you were in mountains, so as soon as the water breaks to land, it’s rock and it goes straight up. So it was pretty cool to see this whole different countryside, you know, we’re used to a lot of trees. It was a lot of rock and a lot of steep elevation.”
This is the second time MTV has sent Zito abroad. After his initial 2011 “Real World: Las Vegas” appearance, he signed on for “Real World: Battle of the Exes,” filmed in the Dominican Republic and airing earlier this year. During the Vegas show, he met and fell in love with fellow castmate Heather Marter.
“We were together for the exes show. It was called ‘Battle of the Exes’ but we were together. Heather and I were an exception.”
Competing on these shows doesn’t just mean packing your bags, Zito said. One has to prepare mentally and physically.
“You start to increase your workouts. You’ve got to run more, you’ve got to do some agility stuff, some balance stuff, because a lot of the competitions are about agility and balance and stamina. I just try to change my workout, just do different things, not just lift weights,” Zito said. “My brother’s (Josh Quayhagen) an MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter in Lake Charles, so he helps me out. He has his own fight school, so I go down there and live with him a month and he keeps me on a strict diet. You know, you’ve just got to get yourself prepared mentally and physically because it is tough, not just physically but mentally. You’ve got a lot of different people in the houses that you might not get along with. There’s a lot of things that get thrown at you.”
Case in point: Olive oil wrestling, seen on a recent episode.
“The first guy I wrestled, Zach (Nichols, “Real World: San Diego”), he’s a semiprofessional football player, but I know jiu jitsu. He’s like the biggest guy the show’s ever seen. We went toe to toe for 15 minutes.”
Zito was victorious.
Still a couple, Zito said he and Marter plan to move to New Orleans soon where he’ll start his own business ... until MTV calls, maybe?
“The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons” airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on MTV (cable Channel 40).
LPB show, archives
With the presidential election approaching, Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s “Louisiana Legends” series will feature an interview with nationally renowned political reporter and analyst Charlie Cook at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30. LPB President/CEO Beth Courtney hosts the series.
A native of Shreveport, Cook began his political career working with former U.S. Sen. J. Bennett Johnston. In 1984, Cook founded the Cook Political Report newsletter. The New York Times has called Cook “one of the best political handicappers in the nation” while the late David Broder of the Washington Post wrote that Cook was “perhaps the best non-partisan tracker of Congressional races.”
In 2006, Cook was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame. In 2010, he won the prestigious Carey McWilliams award from the American Political Science Association. The award is given annually to honor a major journalistic contribution to the understanding of politics.
Also, LPB will contribute a portion of its archival television footage to the initial collection of public media’s American Archive. The American Archive, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting initiative, is a comprehensive effort to inventory, digitize and preserve local and national public media content produced in the last six decades. The archive will ensure the public investment in noncommercial media, totaling billions of dollars over the years, is fully protected for, and accessible to, generations to come.
Since the project launched two years ago, public television and radio stations across the country have identified nearly 2½ million records, including completed local and national programs, raw footage, unedited interviews, recorded speeches, scripts and photos. This totals more than 1 million hours of video, film, and audio recordings from more than 100 stations.
LPB will contribute historic archival content to the American Archive including excerpts from “Uncle Earl,” its award-winning documentary about former Gov. Earl K. Long; episodes from Louisiana’s only statewide newsmagazine “Louisiana: The State We’re In,” and “With All Deliberate Speed,” its 1983 documentary about school segregation efforts in Louisiana.
The station also found boxes of footage from its 1984 documentary called “Cradle of the Stars: The Story of the Louisiana Hayride” that featured excerpts from the country music radio and television show that was broadcast from Shreveport from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. The show is best known for launching the career of Elvis Presley.
This material will be digitized and included as part of the Archive’s first 40,000 hours of content.
Public radio and television stations participating in the initiative have completed the initial phases of the project, including inventorying their archives and selecting the content to be preserved. As a next step, CPB is preparing to transition the American Archive to a new permanent home that will sustain and expand the work of the Archive.
Worth a look
MILITIA RISING: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Discovery Channel (cable Channel 46). The one-hour documentary follows citizen militia, survival and prepper groups in Arizona, Florida and Indiana. They believe government response to disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, was inadequate, and they’re preparing to protect themselves and restore order in the event of a disaster.
SAY YES TO THE CURE: LORI’S FIGHT: 9 p.m. Friday, TLC (cable Channel 48). “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” features Bridals by Lori. Its owner, Lori Allen, is a breast cancer patient and the one-hour special chronicles Allen’s battle with the disease. Also on the special is bride DeLese Range, of Carollton, Texas, who is looking for a dress for her marriage renewal ceremony. Range has fought various cancers nearly 23 of the 25 years she’s been married.
Louisiana Public Broadcasting provided items for this column. Television stations with news about programming, on-air reporters or personalities should fax information to Judy Bergeron, (225) 388-0351, or email email@example.com.