When I first heard that there was a new TV show called
Kicking & Screaming premiering on Thursday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX, I thought to myself, they made a small-screen adaptation of that terrible Will Ferrell movie? Well, no, they haven't — not yet, at least. No, this Kicking & Screaming is a reality competition where 10 expert survivalists are paired with 10 people who really shouldn't be in the great outdoors to see which duo can not only survive but thrive in the wilderness in order to take home a cash prize of $500,000. Now that sounds much more interesting to me. So who's up to the challenge and will be a part of the ? Kicking & Screaming cast
The survivalists are no joke. This is a group that features former members of the military, martial artists, and people who make a living out of teaching others how to survive in the wild. The novices, on the other hand, well, they're probably going to make you let out a few — OK, many — giggles throughout the season. The people in this crew, made up of a fashion blogger, etiquette expert, and a NBA cheerleader, just to name a few,
have never camped outside in their backyards, so let's just say that they're going to find Kicking & Screaming to be a bit of a difficult experience.
When you put completely opposite people together, you know that drama and hilarity are basically guaranteed. But could I be judging the novices too harshly, and do the survival experts have more hardships ahead of them than I may realize? Let's get to know the
Kicking & Screaming cast on a deeper level, shall we? Hannah Simone
Well here's a familiar face. No, actress Hannah Simone is not going to be getting down and dirty like the
Kicking & Screaming contestants; she's hosting this reality competition. Simone is best known for playing Jess' (Zooey Deschanel) BFF and Schmidt's (Max Greenfield) wife Cece on the FOX comedy New Girl. On Kicking & Screaming, Simone will be there doing what reality competition hosts do, you know, introducing challenges, checking in with the contestants, and all that jazz. Simone is apparently a big reality TV fan. "The reason I wanted to host Kicking & Screaming is because I did not want to miss a single second of this show," Simone says in this preview clip of the series. "I just wanted to be here, on set, and to watch everything go down." Simone certainly has the best seat in the house on Kicking & Screaming. Ben Domian
Ben Domian is an Air Force Reserve SERE Specialist, he says in a preview clip of the show. That acronym stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, all things that should come in handy on
Kicking & Screaming. But don't be too intimidated by this Oviedo, Florida native. He actually describes himself as a "very regular kind of person" in this interview with Florida Today. In fact, when he's not working as a SERE Specialist, Ben attends Seminole State College and the University of Central Florida. He also has hopes of attending med school one day. John McPhee
John McPhee is a former U.S. Army Sergeant Major, according to FOX. He also says that he helped capture Saddam Hussein in one
Kicking & Screaming sneak peek. These days, John is the founder of SOB Tactical, which offers firearm gear and training. Angelica Bridges
Of course, Hakim's success in the game also depends a great deal on how his novice partner, Angelica Bridges, fares. But Angelica is no stranger to being outside. She starred as Lieutenant Taylor Walsh on
Baywatch, so we already know that she can run on the beach and look good doing it. Angelica has kept busy starring in projects like The Bold and the Beautiful, gracing the cover of magazines, and filming commercials since her Baywatch days. Angelica also seems to have quite the culinary talent, which is good since she's probably going to need some recipes for bugs on Kicking & Screaming. Terry Fossum
Terry Fossum is a jack of all trades. He describes himself as a scoutmaster, author, speaker, and philanthropist in one preview clip for
Kicking & Screaming. He was also the executive officer for the U.S. Air Force's 92nd Operations Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. Terry, who has also worked in direct sales, prepared for his by traveling to Guyana to learn survival techniques from South American experts, he recently told Kicking & Screaming experience The Spokesman-Review. We'll have to wait and see if that training paid off. Natalie Casanova
Natalie Casanova may be very different from her survivalist partner, Terry, but just like this expert, she has a ton of jobs. Natalie describes herself as "a gamer, online personality, host, voice actor, all of the above" in one video previewing
Kicking & Screaming. She's known as the "Zombi Unicorn" around the Interwebs, and you can find her on YouTube, Twitch, and the like. Natalie's personality is as colorful as her hair, and it's sure to be as vibrant as ever on Kicking & Screaming. Caleb Garmany
Caleb Garmany is a special ops veteran, according to FOX. There isn't much more info available on Caleb's life before
Kicking & Screaming, but I'm looking forward to getting to know more about him on the show. Samuel Shankland
With that suit on, Samuel Shankland does not exactly look ready to battle the elements. Luckily, he'll have survivalist partner Caleb Garmany by his side to help him make it through. In Sam's life outside of
Kicking & Screaming, he's an American Chess Grandmaster on the U.S. National Chess team, the reigning champs of the Chess Olympiad. Sam also boasts a photographic memory, or rather, as he put it in one Kicking & Screaming sneak peek, "When people talk about a photographic memory, they're talking about people like me." And humble, too! Maxwell Carr
But Tamra is certainly going to have her work cut out for her with her novice partner, Maxwell Carr. Clips of
Kicking & Screaming show Max sipping champagne and holding a cute, tiny, little dog in an effort to portray him as not-your-typical mountain man. In previews of the show, we also learn that Max is a self-proclaimed "amateur fashion student and a professional clubgoer," he's "very dependent on [his] mom and her credit card," and he's "no good at movement, in general." Max hails from Buffalo, New York, according to , so at least he knows how to endure harsh weather conditions, right? The Buffalo News Jason White
Jason White used to be a combat diver in the military with a recon unit, according to FOX. Considering that steely look on Jason's face in the above photo, it should come as no surprise that he has no time for the novices in this competition. "The worst thing about being in this jungle is having to deal with all the young, immature, bratty novices," he complains about in one preview clip of the show. Good luck to his partner!
And that would be Elaine Swann, who is an etiquette expert, according to FOX. One rule that Elaine quickly learns on
Kicking & Screaming is that "eyelashes and the jungle do not mix," according to one sneak peek of the show. Elaine has had a ton — and I do mean a ton — of media appearances prior to joining the Kicking & Screaming cast, from The TODAY Show to The Meredith Vieira Show to HLN, her official website lists, so it's quite possible that you've caught her on TV before. She's even helped coach beauty pageant contestants. Elaine is also the author of a self-improvement book, and she can often be seen speaking at events. Hopefully, Elaine will be able to keep her poise and motivation during this intense competition. Jessie Krebs
Jessie Krebs is a very special kind of wilderness field guide. She is
a senior field instructor with Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, which helps teens, young adults, and families deal with their personal struggles and life's challenges in the great outdoors, according to the program's website. It sounds like Jessie and her partner could make it out of the Kicking & Screaming experience having done some healing, too. Michael Forbs
In fact, Jessie's novice partner, Michael Forbs, is in need of his spirits to be lifted. The Atlanta-based football player-turned-delivery truck driver says that he has entered the competition in an effort to prove to his wife that he can do it, he says in one preview clip. Or make that ex-wife, "who found him too unadventurous," according to
this recent interview with AJC.com. In that same interview, Mike also describes himself as "a big ol’ scaredy cat" and "totally not an outdoors person." Let's hope he ends up proving us all wrong. Ras Vaughan
FOX describes Ras Vaughan as a survivalist who's living off the grid. But
Ras does have a Facebook page, so clearly he hasn't completely given up today's technology. Ras describes himself as an "Adventure Runner, Thru-Hiker, Biped, Hominid" on his LinkedIn page, which also says that he's based in Coupeville, Washington. But he and his wife, Kathy Vaughan, do plenty of traveling, which they document on their blog, UltraPedestrian.
Ras grabbed headlines last year for
climbing the Mount Rainier Infinity Loop route. He wasn't always in such good shape for all of this activity, though. Ras remembered a time in his life when he would eat a 24-pack of ice cream sandwiches a shift as a frozen food delivery truck driver in his 20s, he told . His wife finally turned his life around when she encouraged him to join her in hiking the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier. He's been hooked ever since. Perhaps Ras can inspire his The News Tribune Kicking & Screaming partner to love the outdoors, too. Kirsten Kozak
Ras' novice partner will be Kirsten Kozak. She seems to have an affinity for
the finer things in life, like wine and Louis Vuitton bags, according to her Facebook profile, which also says that she is married. If I can just be superficial for a second, Kirsten really does seem to be the complete opposite of Ras. However, she posted a sweet note on Facebook praising him for being a "truly and amazing and kind soul" who changed her life. Maybe these two will get along better than I thought.
Watching the way these various individuals from all walks of life interact is what
Kicking & Screaming is all about, after all.