Local to appear on national TV showPublished 11:46am Friday, November 9, 2012
One Alexander City native competed on Country Music Television for a chance to win $100,000.
Wade Jones, manager of Ourtown’s Country Cupboard, was one of 14 contestants selected for CMT’s second season of Redneck Island, which will air at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Jones said the show is a “survivor type reality show” that features challenges on a deserted island.
“It was a lot tougher than I anticipated,” Jones said. “We literally lived outside the whole time we were on the island. The challenges were physically and mentally challenging, and you had no contact with anyone.”
The contestants lived together in huts and competed in challenges like a game of human corn hole where they are thrown into the air.
“It’s called Redneck Island for a reason,” Jones said. “There’s always drama when you get that many people together.”
Jones said the challenges presented an opportunity to test himself.
“I wanted to test myself in a bunch of ways,” Jones said. “I’m 40 years old. I was the second oldest person on the show. I wanted to see how’d it go.”
Jones said applying to be on the show first began as a joke after his daughter, Hope Jones, mentioned it.
“My daughter was watching CMT and said, ‘Daddy, you should be on this show,’” Jones said. “My girlfriend was like ‘no way are you going on there and embarrassing us.’ One thing you don’t do is tell me I can’t do something.”
Jones said he completed the application online and then had a Skype interview with the network.
“I didn’t even know what Skype was,” Jones laughed. “I had to go to Radio Shack to figure out how to Skype.”
After the interview, Jones submitted a home video. He was then notified he made the “Top 25” and flown to Los Angeles for an interview.
“I had never been west of the Mississippi,’ Jones said. “It was a great experience. I met some great people and changed my mind about people from California, and I think they saw not all people from the South are dumb rednecks.”
Jones said meeting the show’s host, former professional wrestler Steve Austin, was a special thrill for him.
“I watched him wrestle,” Jones said. “But he’s just a regular guy like you and me. He’s a great host for the show. He took care of us. As a person, he’s just a great guy.”
Jones said participating in the show is something he would do again.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Jones said. “It was a life-changing experience. I’m glad I did it. I’d do it again if they called me tomorrow.”
Jones said he’s excited for his friends and family to watch the show.
“I want people to watch and see what happens,” Jones said. “I gave it my all. I never gave up. I never quit.”