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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Todd Palin wins $40 K for his charity; Eve Torres compliments the Palins

Posted by Dr. Fay on September 4, 2012

WATCH FULL EPISODE OF GRAND FINALE HERE

Todd Palin placed fourth during the ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ finale last night and won a total of $40,000. for his charity, the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska.   In a detailed article about the finale, Lisa Princ at Reality TV Magazine wrote this about Todd:

Sadly, that motivation was not enough to make up for Todd’s poor shooting tonight – nerves, perhaps? Todd has remained cool and a good shot in the past, so this one was baffling.

In the end of this elimination mission, it was Todd who could not beat Picabo in the elimination shootout (guess her motivation was still going), so he was sent packing. At this point, all the Palin haters were probably celebrating – say what you will about him, but I have to give him props for being on the show and making it this far. Todd was emotional at the end of his journey, having a new found appreciation for what his son, who is serving overseas, does on a daily basis.

Among the new friends Todd and Sarah made during the filming of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ was Eve Torres.  Marc Malkin at TV Scoop wrote:

WWE star Eve Torres says the former Republican vice presidential hopeful couldn’t have been nicer when she visited hubby Todd when they were shooting NBC reality show Stars Earn Stripes.

“She was really a lovely woman,” Torres, who was crowned the winner of the show during its finale last night, told me earlier today. “We didn’t talk politics, but she was excited for me when I won. She was proud that I did it for the girls out there. She was really sweet.”

Torres, 28, even had dinner with the Palins. “At the end of the day, she’s a mom and a nice woman,” Torres said.

Stars Earn Stripes pitted celebrities against each other in military challenges (jumping from helicopters, crawling under barbed wire, shooting and being shot at, etc.) with the help of skilled operatives.

“I was so impressed with Todd Palin,” Torres said. “He performed really well. They have a son in the military so I think a lot of it for him was to say, ‘I’m doing this for you and all the other troops.'”

Read more.

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Gov. Palin: Looking Forward to Season Finale of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’

Posted by Dr. Fay on September 3, 2012

Governor Palin posted this comment on her Facebook post this afternoon:

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Sarah Palin · 3,470,750 like this
_______________________________________________________________________

This is the excellent article by Katie Pavlich at ZAP2it that Governor Palin linked to:

‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Todd Palin: ‘Our minds think we’re 20, but our bodies remind us that we’re not’

By 

September 3, 2012 2:00 PM ET
_____________________________________________________________________
tod-palin-stars-earn-stripes-gallery-325-nbc.jpg

Zap2itDid your son, Army Sgt. Track Palin (who deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year) or your wife, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, influence you to participate in a show (“Stars Earn Stripes”) that pairs celebrities with military operatives and first responders on simulated missions?
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Todd Palin: No. 1 would be the cause, the military charity. Track was major, Sarah was major, and then my working experience on “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” knowing (producer] Mark Burnett puts out a great product.
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Zap2it: Did you bond with your military operative partner?
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Todd Palin: My guy was [former Marine] J.W. Cortes. Our common ground is he has a son with autism, and I’ve got a son with Down syndrome. Just being a father, you have a bond. With the additional challenge, there’s that extra bond. I’m a little older than he is, and I’m like, “We are blessed. There’s a reason why God put this child in our hands, in our family.”
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Zap2it: How is your son, 4-year-old Trig, doing?
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Todd Palin: He’s doing good. When we were filming, he said his first words. He told his older brother to quit picking on him, or something like that. And when J.W. went back to New York on one of the dark days, he said his name, so that was pretty exciting.
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Zap2it: Did you get hurt?
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Todd Palin: Our minds think we’re 20, but our bodies remind us that we’re not.
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Zap2it: What was your charity?
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Todd Plain: Armed Services YMCA Alaska. They make military family lives better. They’ve been up there in Alaska for 70 years.
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Finale of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Tonight on NBC

Posted by Dr. Fay on September 3, 2012

About
Currently,  a photo link to Todd Palin’s bio is featured on the Main page of the ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ website (emphasis mine):

Todd PalinTodd Palin | Armed Services YMCA Alaska

Todd Palin is a lifelong commercial fisherman in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where his Yupik Eskimo family has been salmon fishing for many generations. He is also a former North Slope production operator in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay.

Palin is a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest and toughest snowmobile race spanning over 2,000 miles of frozen wilderness from Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley to Nome to Fairbanks.

Palin is the husband of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. As the First Gentleman of Alaska (informally called “The First Dude”), Palin focused on vocational training opportunities and programs for Alaska workers.

In addition to appearing in the top-rated TLC show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” Palin assisted on the show’s logistics and production.

Palin is an active private pilot who enjoys flying in his Piper Super Cub and his Cessna 185 float plane. His other hobbies include hunting, fishing, hiking, building, and snowmachining. Todd and Sarah have five children and two grandchildren. They live in Wasilla, Alaska.

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‘Stolen Intelligence’ Preview: Finale of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Monday at 8-10 PM EST

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 31, 2012

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ website has posted a preview preview  of Episode 4, the grande finale episode, which will air from 8 to 10 PM EST on Monday.  The brief description of the episode is as follows:

In an action-packed finale, the remaining squads execute a ship-board mission in a battle for the championship.

We’re rooting for Todd Palin and J. W. Cortes, but regardless of who wins the championship, a lot of money will have been raised for the respective charities of the participants.  And that is a good thing.

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‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Operative Cortes: Todd Palin is “here for something much bigger than just himself”

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 21, 2012

Video retrieved from  .

The full version of the video can be viewed  here.

If anything, Episode 2 of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ was even more action-packed and suspense-filled than Episode 1.   A close tie involving a fraction of a minute (a difference of 17 seconds)  between the two slower teams resulted in a shootout that eliminated Terry Crews and his operative from the competition.  The remaining competitors will compete again on next week’s show.

Before their second assignment, the celebrities had to go through another session of basic training.  Todd Palin remarked, “You can never have enough training.  The more training the better.”

We got to watch Todd in target practice, when he was hitting dead center.   It looked like practice paid off.   Operative Cortes said in a vignette that accompanied the target practice scene:  “After speaking with Todd and learning how his son was serving in Afghanistan, and how he hopes to make his son proud of him, I can see it in his eyes, man. I know he’s here for something much bigger than just himself. That’s going to keep us alive in this competition.”

After training,  Todd’s squad was the first to compete.  He and Leila had to drop from a helicopter onto the roof of  an 8-story building,  eliminate a fuel depot,  rappel down the building into a truck, and then take out 10 more targets before jumping into a truck that drove over a fuel line that exploded behind them.

Laila Ali had to overcome her fear while rappelling down the building.  Todd encouraged her as they descended:  “”Good job, you got it!  …  Good job, Leila!”

Todd took out the first 3 targets with one shot each.   Chris Kyle remarked, “Todd Palin, he’s just a natural outdoorsman,  shooter, I mean, Todd knocked it out of the park. ”

As the squad was jumping into a truck and driving away,  Operative Cortes said,  ” I think Todd and I – we represent the everyday guy.  We weren’t born with certain physical attributes, but what we are are people who care, and we care enough to take risks.”

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Amphibious Assault: First Episode of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 17, 2012

NBC has posted the video for the full first episode of ‘Starts Earn Stripes’ on the show’s official page.  You can watch it here:

Amphibious Assault: Full First Episode of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’

Bristol Palin wrote  about Episode 1 on her blog earlier this week:

Stars Earn Stripes: Go, Dad!

August 14, 2012 By  68 Comments

When I heard my dad was going to be on the cast of Stars Earn Stripes, I was excited that he was getting the chance to play for $100,000 for his charity, Armed Services YMCA Alaska.  Plus, I was happy for America to see him in action. After all, I’ve described him as a man who can rebuild a snow machine with one hand tied behind his back, a father who can wrestle with Trig on the floor, and an attentive dad who can braid Piper’s hair for basketball practice.  What can he not do?

So, did you see the show?! The celebrities were divided into squads and had to perform the same assault task, which included helicopters, guns, grenades, mud, and destroying weapons.  Dad was assigned a Marine, who’s now a New York City police officer!  Their squad got delayed when his celebrity team member struggled in the water, with his waterlogged gear. With one man down, Dad activated.

He shimmied through mud under barbed wire so fast that he had already finished the obstacle while the others were just beginning.

The other squads watched on a monitor from another location, amazed at his capability.

“He’s Rambo, he’s straight up Rambo,” said Chris Kyle. “Next time I’m in a war, I want Todd Palin on my side.”

Then, Chris added, “He was the first one on the boat, the first one under the wire, and about the time the rest of the guys were getting through, he already had the crate. You don’t need anyone else,” he said.  “Forget Chuck Norris, send in Todd Palin.”

Dad always directed attention to his charity and to cheer up other contestants who didn’t fare as well.

I know, I know.  The show wasn’t designed to introduce the world to Todd Palin. But it does seem designed to make viewers appreciate the United States military.  After all, the tasks the celebrities are engaging in are actually the types of operations soldiers perform every day.  In a touching moment, one of the celebrities asked her operative if he’d ever killed anyone.

He answered, “We really don’t talk about that kind of stuff.”

In fact, the show seemed to be a fun way to introduce the nation to soldiers whose missions have been anything but fun.

And I’m so glad that America got to see what I already know – my dad is the man!

We agree. Todd Palin’s strong performance made us all very proud.

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Dean Cain: Todd Palin is soft-spoken but “a tough, tough guy”

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 16, 2012

Dean Cain talked to HuffPo about ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ and his co-star Todd Palin:

Dean Cain and Todd Palin’s controversial new NBC show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” is getting a lot of criticism, but Cain says even if he doesn’t win the competition he’s a winner — because he and his co-star Todd Palin are raising money for military charities.

“The whole reason we were there was to say ‘thank you’ to our men and women in uniform. We are playing for charity and all the money goes to military charities, first responder charities and law enforcement charities,” Cain told me on the set of “New York Live.”

“Todd Palin is awesome. He is a very quiet, soft-spoken guy. But he is an all-Alaskan man. He’s an outdoors man. He’s won the Iron Dog race — a 2,000 mile snow mobile race — four times and taken second five times. He’s a tough, tough guy. We saw Sarah [Palin] and she’s wonderfully sweet. She’s smaller than I thought. She didn’t get in on the competition.”

Admitting that no one knew how tough the show would be, Dean says there were many times several cast members came close to death.

“There are no stunt people; there is no second take,” Cain said. “Mark Burnett [who created the show] was a former paratrooper. He’s a tough guy, so I knew they would make it pretty tough. It’s probably the most dangerous show ever produced in the history of television. And we signed away our lives, literally.”

Dolvett Quince also had positive things to say about Todd Palin, as reported in this article by Lisa Princ at Reality TV Magazine:

This week we watched the premiere of NBC’s new competition, Stars Earn Stripes, where eight celebrities were paired with a military operative in a charity battle, military style, of course. Unfortunately,Biggest Loser trainer, Dolvett Quince was the first competitor to be sent packing, but Dolvett enjoyed his short time on the show, and even dished about the friend he made in Todd Palin!

Stars Earn Stripes premiered this week on NBC, and if you thought it looked tough watching it, Dolvett Quince of The Biggest Loser actually called it “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” despite being very much in shape!

How did Dolvett enjoy his time on the show, even though it was short? Dolvett had a blast, but he admitted in an interview with The Atlanta Journal Constitution that his foot (he cracked a heel bone and ligament earlier this year) was not 100% healed when he competed on the show, but instead it was: “Maybe 75, 80 percent. But I did it anyway. I’ve worked with injuries before. I had to make the best of it. I gave it a shot. I’m proud of my performance.”

Dolvett added that since his time on the show, he has become good friends with Todd Palin, who showed impressive skills on the show’s premiere. “He invited me to his home in Alaska,” Quince said, adding that he also got to meet Sarah Palin while shooting for the show: “Politics aside. she’s a great person.”

 

 

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NYPD Officer Cortes on ‘Stars Earn Stripes’: “It’s all about giving back to our troops.”

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 16, 2012

Video retrieved from 

NYPD J. W. Cortes  and Andrew McLaren, the professional trainers for Todd Palin and Dolvett Quince on NBC’s ‘Stars Earn Stripes’, were on FOX and Friends this morning.  They discussed their respective celebrities, the importance of what the show was doing, and the recent attacks against the show.  Later in the day, McLaren revealed on his Facebook page that he and his family had received death threats as the result of his appearing on the show.

Officer Cortes had glowing words for Todd ‘Rambo’ Palin.  He said of Todd:  “He’s not a man of many words.  His actions speak so much louder than anything he could possibly say.”   There were a number of videoclips from the show, including Todd walking easily through the muck during Mission 1, which aired on Tuesday night.

Cortes’  response to the nobel laureates who have criticized the show was, “It’s ironic that the show you are criticizing is celebrating soldiers, the same soliders that have given you the right to criticize our show on their backs with their lives.”

Yesterday, Governor Palin Shared a link to this article on  her Facebook page:

Three Reasons Why Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Wrong About “Stars Earn Stripes”

August 15, 2012 By  43 Comments

For the first time in human history, a collection of Nobel Peace Prize winners — led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu — issued a statement about a reality TV show.  They targeted Stars Earn Stripes, the new NBC series starring a collection of celebrities and veterans who raise money for military-themed charities by competing in a series of military-themed challenges.  The show is entertaining, but no reasonable person watching it could think that it truly simulates war.  It does, however, give you a tiny glimpse into the kinds of skills (and stamina) required to complete even the simplest tasks, and it’s full of tributes to men and women in uniform.  So what’s the problem?  Here’s the key paragraph from the Nobel laureates:

It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence. Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics. Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining . . . Real war is down in the dirt deadly. People — military and civilians — die in ways that are anything but entertaining.

They go on to call the program “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.”  While I share the laureates’ desire for peace, I disagree with their criticism of the show — for three reasons:

First, it is right and good to honor martial courage.  For eleven years, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have risked their lives for their country, tens of thousands have been horribly wounded, and thousands have died.  Yet aside from the obligatory “thank you” to the troops and the inevitable avalanche of anti-war movies from Hollywood, our pop culture has been remarkably devoid of a military presence.  This has not always been the case.  When Alvin C. York won the Medal of Honor in World War I, he was perhaps America’s most famous celebrity.  The heroes of “Flags of Our Fathers” — the men who hoisted the flag atop Iwo Jima — helped boost a nation’s flagging spirits in the midst of a bloody war.  Yet after more than a decade of war, is there a single soldier who’s a household name?  Until war ends, we need warriors, and how much better is it to honor men who laid down their lives for their country than it is to honor a football player who hustled for a sack or a celebrity who wore a particularly fetching dress to a premiere?

Second, it’s a mistake to assume that American pacifism means peace.  As a veteran of the Iraq war, I must admit that I’m puzzled by those who seem to insist that if only Americans were less militaristic, the world would be more peaceful.  Do they not understand that while war requires only one party, peace requires universal assent?  During the early morning hours of September 11, 2001, Americans thought we were at peace, but the war had already started — in fact, it had been underway for some time.  If we demilitarize our culture, we don’t foster peace, we make war more likely (and more terrible, once it arrives).  After the bloodbaths of the Twentieth Century (each started when America was weak), the new century has seen less war and less death — in large part because of American strength.

Third, if Americans saw the true face of war, we’d be more militaristic, not less.  The Nobel laureates accuse Stars Earn Stripes of sanitizing war, mistakenly believing that showing the reality of war would discourage militarism.  This is 180 degrees from the truth.  If Americans were to see the raw, bloody, horrifying truth of our war, they would be stoked — as many of us in Iraq were — to pure rage against our vile and vicious enemy.  The true face of our war includes our enemy shooting babies in the face, raping women to turn them into suicide bombers, putting bombs in the backpacks of handicapped children, beheading women and children on camera while screaming Allah akhbar like they’re at some kind of soccer match, creating medieval-style torture chambers so gruesome they make waterboarding look like a day at a water park, and generally killing, maiming, and terrorizing as many innocents as they can in an effort to plunge the world into the darkness of jihadist Islam.  Our media has sanitized our war in large part by sanitizing our enemy.  Show the “true face” of war, and the war will only intensify.

I enjoyed Stars Earn Stripes.  My family cheered when Todd Palin (a man who understands the pain of separation from a soldier son and the fears of the family left behind) carried his team and beat even the “operators” through the barbed wire obstacle. My son immediately identified each weapon and was thrilled to see them in action, but we were mostly happy to see some of our finest vets get a moment in the sun — a moment when they could showcase some tiny part of the skills they’ve learned, the skills they’ve used to make sure that days like September 11 never happen again.

Welcome, Sarah Palin fans!  Follow David on Twitter and Facebook!
Read more on the Faith and Family Channel

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‘Stars Earn Stripes’ – “one of the biggest, most dangerous, explosive” shows ever put together – Premieres Tonight!

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 13, 2012

From article by Lori Rackl at The Chicago Sun-Times:

Military missions for celebs ‘could not have been more realistic’

By LORI RACKL TV Critic/lrackl@suntimes.com August 12, 2012 6:15PM

Story Image Just how tough is NBC’s new show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” where celebrities compete in challenges that mimic military missions?

It made undefeated world boxing champ Laila Ali cry.

Former NFL player Terry Crews almost drowned.

Four-time Iron Dog snowmobile race winner Todd Palin came home covered with bumps and bruises, prompting his wife, Sarah Palin, to declare it more brutal than politics.

[…]

“The show is by far … one of the biggest, most dangerous, explosive shows that’s ever been put together,” said Hurwitz, whose producing partners include reality TV guru Mark Burnett and “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf.

 

[…]

Described as “an unapologetic thank you and love letter to men and women in uniform” (not to mention one heckuva recruitment ad), the program is hosted by retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Samantha Harris (“Dancing With the Stars”). It pairs eight celebs with special operatives from the U.S. Army Delta Force, Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marines andpolice.

In addition to Ali, Crews and Palin, the star roster includes Superman actor Dean Cain, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince, Olympic skier Picabo Street, WWE diva Eve Torres and ex-98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, who jokes that “nothing prepares you for battle like a boy band.” At least I think he was joking.

Teams are stationed at a remote training facility where they face off in simulated military missions — plunging out of helicopters, shooting machine guns loaded with live ammo, rappelling down walls and blowing up a lot of stuff.

“Coming into this, I thought it was going to be the same old corny military show where they’ve got the obstacle courses and BB guns or little soft toy guns, water guns and whatnot,” said St. Louis native Grady Powell, a former Green Beret who now admits his initial assessment was way off base. “There’s explosions everywhere. There’s dirt in your eyes.”

Former SEAL Brent Gleeson added, “It could not have been more realistic. In real-world combat scenarios, you’re given a mission brief. You have some of the information — not all of the information — just like on the show. You have some time to train but not enough. And just like in real life … things change, whether it’s a man going down or a weapon jamming or the target not being exactly like you had planned.”

Things got a little too realistic for Crews.

“I’m 5 percent body fat; well, that don’t work swimming … especially when you put 70 pounds of equipment on,” said Crews, a Michigan native who dove into acting after hanging up his football helmet.

Crews said his body simply gave up while he was in the water. One of the special ops had to pull him to safety.

“If this was a real live operation, I would have died,” Crews said. “It gave me a whole new appreciation for what our armed forces do for us.”

And that’s what convinced a former presidential hopeful and four-star general to join the ranks of reality TV hosts.

“The purpose of it was to really showcase and honor our men and women in uniform,” the Chicago-born Clark said. “Everybody says the armed forces is one of the great institutions of America. But so many young Americans don’t have any direct connection to it. And this show, through reality TV — which is what young people watch and identify with — makes that connection.”

Todd Palin, whose family is becoming as much of a fixture on reality TV as the Kardashians, said he did the show for similar reasons — and for charity. Winning contestants get stripes that translate into donations for various veteran and first-responder non-profits.

For Palin’s son Track, military challenges are the stuff of reality, not reality TV. Track, who enlisted in the U.S. Army, is deployed in Afghanistan.

What did he think about his dad playing soldier?

“He’s always up for a good laugh,” Palin said, “so he encouraged me to do it.”

A good cry was what Laila Ali ended up having during one of the challenges. Muhammad Ali’s pugilistic progeny turned on the waterworks when she had to rappel down a steep wall.

“I didn’t even expect that I was going to get as scared as I did,” Ali said. “I don’t like to put my life in other people’s hands. I started thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ That’s when the tears started pouring.”

Crews agreed that some of the toughest missions weren’t physical as much as mental.

“You’re on the edge of that helicopter about to jump,” he said. “Everything in your body and in your mind says don’t do it. You have to beat that.

“I’m totally changed,” he added. “From the moment I started the show to the last day, I am a different person.”

A different person with a new appreciation for the armed forces.

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Todd Palin is the one to watch on ‘Stars Earn Stripes,’ premiering on Monday

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 11, 2012

VIEW VIDEO HERE

In the new videoclip entitled “Todd Palin:  One Man Army”  (h/tp Gary Jackson), Todd Palin walks through the muck to retrieve a box of ammo while his teammates watch.   One of them exclaims:  “He’s just straight up Rambo!  Next time I go to war, I want Todd Palin on my side.”

The caption that accompanies this videoclip is  “Todd Palin proves from the beginning that he plans to dominate.”    I think we can expect a stellar performance from the former First Dude in this series!

The  ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ series premieres Monday August 13 on NBC  from 8 to 10 PM.    All of the  ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ videoclips can be viewed here.

Bill Brioux at the Canadian Press had this to say earlier this week:

Starting next week, you can watch actors and actresses leap from buildings and battle armies of invaders, emerging victorious and unscathed. Viewers may chalk it all up to stunt men and women and digital special effects. Today’s pampered celebrities wouldn’t survive five minutes in a real combat zone, right?

Take that back, soldier. Eight celebrities set out to prove that they really do have what it takes to be real-life responders in the boot camp reality series Stars Earn Stripes (premiering Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, 9 p.m. on Global).

The celebrity recruits were on hand to meet the press at the recent TV critics tour in Los Angeles, including boxer Laila Ali; former TV Superman Dean Cain; actor and former NFLer Terry Crews (now on The Newsroom); The Sing Off host Nick Lachey; Alaskan outdoorsman and political spouse Todd Palin; Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince; former Winter Olympian Picabo Street; and WWE diva Eve Torres.

Posters for the series, showing the gun-toting celebs running next to the slogan, “They’re Not in Hollywood Anymore,” give it a Tropic Thunder vibe.

[…]

A few of the celebrities who made the cut almost wished they hadn’t. The series was shot over a few weeks at the beginning of this summer. The eight celebs had to compete in actual army-style events against eight real life Special Operatives, including former Navy SEALs, army special forces Green Berets, SWAT commanders and a current member of the Orange County sheriff’s department.

“I thought this was going to be the same old corny military show where they’ve got the obstacle courses and BB guns,” says former Navy SEAL Grady Powell. “That was the farthest thing from Stars Earn Stripes. We’re jumping out of helicopters. There are people crying. Might see me cry.”

“There was a moment,” adds Lachey, “when going through my mind is, ‘What in the world have I gotten myself into here?'”

“I can say I almost drowned, and that is for real,” says Crews. The fit and rugged actor quickly found out that having just five per cent body fat “don’t work for swimming.” He felt one of the Ops grab him from the back of his pack and haul him out of a river as he was going down for the third time.

“If this had been a real, live operation, I would have died. That is the truth.”

[…]

Still, like the others, he wanted to be involved to pay homage to the real men and women in uniform. Money is raised for charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Military Child Education Coalition. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark helps host the series, and acknowledges that if younger viewers who tend to watch reality television are inspired to enlist through Stars Earn Stripes, that’s OK with him.

Crews says the one to watch on the series is probably the least well-known celebrity: Todd Palin.

“It was life changing,” says the Alaskan outdoorsman, who was accompanied to NBC’s press tour party with his more-famous wife.

“I did things I’d never thought I’d be doing,” he added, including leaping from helicopters, shooting grenade launchers and a 50-calibre, First World War-era machine gun.

There’s no question, said Palin, that Mark Burnett’s involvement as an executive producer of this series helped get him into uniform. Burnett got to know the couple while producing Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

It was also just something he wanted to do. Palin has a genuine love of the outdoors and has childhood memories of playing hockey outside during team trips across the border to Yukon.

His wife seemed happy to see her husband in the spotlight for a change.

“He’s a world champion snow machine racer, he’s got all the physicality that’s required, a lot of mental toughness too,” said the former Alaska governor.

Asked if she could compete on Stars Earn Stripes, Palin didn’t think she was combat ready.

“I’d have to do a whole lot of push ups,” she says, although she later added, “politics are pretty brutal, too.”

Read more.

Tierney Sneed at U. S. News & World Report had this to say:

After lurking in the shadows of his wife’s television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, and daughter’s Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp—not to mention what is arguably the greatest reality show of them all, the presidential campaign, as the GOP vice presidential nominee’s “first dude”—Todd Palin is stepping into the spotlight himself, headlining NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes.

Palin, with the coaching of real-life special operative veterans, will complete various military-inspired missions. He competes with other celebrities including Nick Lachey, Picabo Street, and Laila Ali, to win money for military, veterans, and first responder charities.

Palin, who doesn’t consider himself to be a celebrity, says he was impressed with the performances of his celebrity castmates.

“They weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get in the mud and be there for the cause,” he says.

A lifelong moose hunter, Palin had some experience with hunting rifles. But he says this didn’t give him much of an edge over the other contestants, and credits his special ops partner for teaching him how to use the military weapons required by the missions. “I’m not much of a pistol shooter myself, so that was a whole new ball game.”

Palin’s charity of choice is the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, which helps military families in his home state “through the good times and the bad.” He has volunteered for the organization before, accompanying 250 Iraq veterans on a past sports fishing trip. “When they reel up a halibut and they’ve got that smile on their face, you just can’t put a value on that,” he says.

The goal of the show is broader than just a single charity, “shedding light on what our military do every day to save lives and defend our freedom,” Palin explains, which was the reason he ultimately decided to do the show, But he admits the nature of the challenges also piqued his interest: “It’s not every day you shoot 50-caliber machine guns and bazooka guns and sniper rifles, and jump out of helicopters.”

Kevin Scholla at SarahNET Radio also interviewed Todd Palin on his show this week:

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