(KGET) — Radio personality and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Bobby Bones is poised to face several extremely difficult challenges in his new National Geographic Channel series “Breaking Bobby Bones.” He will have to deal with becoming a tenacious stunt performer, traveling blindfolded down a river in a kayak and playing para sled hockey in the series that debuts at 10 p.m. May 31.
No matter how difficult the task, nothing compares to what the Arkansas native faced in his own life. He always felt alone when he was growing up because he never knew his father and his mother was an addict who died when she was in her 40s. It was a struggle for him just to have enough to eat and to stay focused on school.
That’s why Bones was so excited about this new series.
“I wish I could say it was my plan to fail a whole lot and learn as I was failing. I believed I could get here. I mean if I don’t believe in myself, nobody will,” Bones says. “But it’s taken trials, tribulations. It’s taken me screwing up a lot and learning, but also having a real empathy. I think the best thing that I have in my career, in my tool belt, is empathy.
“I’d gone through all the stuff and I always felt like, why me? And I was resentful of that until I got older and started to realize this is why me. The reason I’m doing this is to be able to go out and share my story.”
His story starts with hosting the nationally syndicated radio show, “The Bobby Bones Show,” which broadcasts to over 170 stations including KRJK 97.3 FM in Bakersfield. It is the top-rated Country morning show with millions of weekly listeners and earned him a second Country Music Association Award for National Broadcast Personality of the Year and fourth Academy of Country Music Award for National On-Air Personality of the Year.
Bones also runs the podcast “BobbyCast,” is the host and executive producer of “Opry,” a weekly TV program airing highlights from the Grand Ole Opry stage on Circle Network and has written two New York Times No. 1 bestselling books: “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book” and “Fail Until You Don’t: Fight Grind Repeat.”
The motivation for all Bones has done is simple. He is certain that it all comes from a search for some version of love.
“For me that’s why I got on stage to do comedy. That’s why I was able to get behind a microphone and do radio or even TV now, was I didn’t have a lot of love growing up,” Bones says. “I started to find love in these places, but I also knew that as I was chasing any sort of a warm feeling from people and acceptance, I just started to meet them, and I started to see that, again, I wasn’t alone.
“When I wrote my first book, there were some stories in there that I was not ashamed of but I thought, man, if people see this, they’re going to judge me and feel sorry for me. What happened the most was, people would say, ‘Hey, I felt that.’ Like, no one’s ever spoken for me. And so that’s why I pushed through this.”
Bones put himself in so many uncomfortable situations that he was able to overcome two of the biggest fears he has had in his life. He says now he is no longer afraid of commitment and heights. That was accomplished by hanging over the edge of the Grand Canyon supported by one rope and getting engaged.
“Breaking Bobby Bones” has him traveling across the country to find people with unique jobs, skills, hobbies and abilities. His name is in the title but Bones stresses the true stars are all of the people he meets.
The people Bones gets to know in the first season include Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, an actress and stuntwoman, and Lonnie Bedwell, an adaptive adventurist, motivational speaker and blind kayaker of the Colorado River.
“I think so many people have been through so much and there just really isn’t some outlet to go, ‘Hey, look at all that I’ve been through.’ Mostly it’s like, ‘Hey, let’s look flashy on Instagram and show our best of the best.’ But this show isn’t about that,” Bones says. “Most of us have come through some crap to get here. And we’re proud of that crap, it’s made us stronger for who we are, and here we are, and that’s all over the place.
“That’s why this show to me is so relatable and why I wanted to create this show is that they’re everywhere.”
Bones will be the first to say that everyone can use a little extra love in their life.