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Discovery's new 'Last One Standing' reality series to debut October 4


By Christopher Rocchio, 09/05/2007 

The Discovery Channel has announced Last One Standing, a new reality series that will follow six athletes as they travel the world to compete in various tribal sports with ritual significance, will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, October 4 at 9PM ET/PT.

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The six athletes competing in Last One Standing ventured together to different remote tribes scattered across the globe and immersed themselves in ritual sporting events, from training alongside the indigenous tribesman to participating in rite of passage ceremonies.

The six men competing in Last One Standing are Rajko, a 29-year-old British cricket player; Jason, a 21-year-old Florida State 2006 BMX Champion; Richard, a 21-year-old Oxford University cricket, rugby and croquet sportsman; Brad, a 28-year-old pro-lightweight strongman; Mark, a 26-year-old British salsa dancer and kickboxer; and Corey, a 22-year-old hiker and endurance athlete.

"We came into this as a competition - we put on our game faces during the matches," said Corey.  "But as soon as we're done with that, we're family."

Different locations and sporting events the Last One Standing participants competed in were wrestling in Brazil, Mongolia and Senegal; stick fighting in South Africa; endurance running in Mexico; tribal cricket in the Trobriand Islands; Akikiti kickboxing in Nagaland; canoe racing in New Guinea and Vanuatu; Kraha log racing in Brazil; a glacial challenge in Peru; and martial arts in Java.

At the conclusion of each episode, one of the six athletes will be crowned "Last One Standing" for that cultural competition, however there were no eliminations and each participant competed in every challenge.  In addition, the athletes also learned that victory isn't just about trophies and titles.

"It was searingly painful," said Richard, reflecting on a Brazilian right of passage that included piranha teeth being scraped on his legs before the open wounds are rubbed with salt and chilies.  "The scraping was bad enough, but the chilies brought a new level of pain.  However, it made me feel integrated and was a great boost for the competition."

Although the athletes' adventure was primarily about competition, it was also about connecting with the cultures the athletes come into contact with.

"They took us in like family and treated us like adopted sons," Brad said of the Mongolian villagers.

Last One Standing is a joint production with the BBC.  Gary Hunter and Mary Donahue are serving as executive producers for BBC and Discovery, respectively.

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