(NEW YORK) — Multiple Emmy-winning Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan returns to CBS tonight with a very different kind of reality show, Tough As Nails. 

The series salutes everyday heroes, from fishermen to firefighters, by having them compete in a series of real-world physical, mental and skills challenges. Keoghan tells ABC Audio that even though the show was conceived and shot before the COVID-19 pandemic and its celebration of essential workers, it shines a light on the people that have always provided for us in our society. 

“It’s at a time like this that we realize the jobs that really matter,” Keoghan says. “Through all of this, there are still people running into burning buildings to save lives. There are still people going to hospitals wearing PPEs working with people who have coronavirus. There are still people who are helping to keep us safe in the community that are growing our food, that are going out on the seas to catch fish. And those are the people that I really feel we can honor on Tough As Nails.”

He explains of the show’s 12 contestants, “You know, these people are not wanting to be influencers. They’re not looking to be rich and famous. They’re looking to just make sure that their families are fed and that things keep working…They are the people that keep the country running…”

While Tough As Nails will ultimately crown a champion, no contestant will be eliminated week to week. Instead, Keoghan says, they compete in team competitions, with cash prizes awarded for each task — “So at the end of the day, everybody has money in their pocket. Nobody goes home empty-handed.” 

Tough As Nails launches with a two-hour premiere tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

By Stephen Iervolino
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