(NEW YORK) — Multiple Emmy-winning Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan  tells ABC Audio he’s “thrilled” to return to CBS tonight with a second season of his reality show, Tough as Nails. 

The series salutes everyday heroes by having them compete in a series of real-world physical, mental and skills challenges.

Keoghan tells ABC Audio that they shot the show last season before the pandemic, but this season, which shot under strict COVID-19 protocols, is the perfect time to celebrate these 12 new contestants.

“They are the people that keep the country running,” he noted.

“Part of our casting includes a travel nurse,” Phil says of Aracelis “Celi” Garcia. “She’s worked in COVID units and she’s been there for patients who haven’t been able to have their family as they’ve passed. And she’s…literally held the hand of someone who has passed away. So she’s mentally very, very tough. And so that’s an important story for us to tell.”

There’s also UPS driver Patrick “Freight Train” Hargan — “lots of great names this season” Koeghan laughs — just one of the dedicated people who’ve been bringing us our packages during the lockdowns.

“I love hearing those stories because they ‘are the people in our neighborhood,’ you know, ‘the people that we meet each day,’ and that’s Freight Train,” Keoghan says, with a nod to the Sesame Street song.

“And then we’ll have a legend like Meryl who flies a U2 plane — a retired colonel who has flown 3,400 hours….Mikey Eyebrows is a bricklayer. Tara who works on a boat up in Alaska. These are people who have amazing life skills, and that’s the celebration of what Tough as Nails is all about.”  

Tough as Nails season two launches tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

By Stephen Iervolino
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