While he’s in Alaska for the next three days, President Barack Obama will film an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls that will air later this year. This is the first time a sitting United States president will appear as a participant on a reality series, and comes six years after he told kids they probably wouldn’t be reality stars.
NBC’s announcement called the future episode a “special edition” and said this:
“President Obama will meet with Grylls while visiting Alaska to observe the effects of climate change on the area. The two will then come together in the Alaskan Wilderness. President Obama will become the first U.S. president to receive a crash course in survival techniques from Bear Grylls. The visit will be taped and aired on NBC later this year.”
A typical episode of the NBC summer show, which is currently in its second season, takes place over two days, with an overnight stay in the wilderness. It seems unlikely that the president will film that much, or I doubt he’ll do as much as the other celebrities do with Bear Grylls: “on one-on-one adventures that test their survival skills and push them to their mental and physical limits,” as NBC describes it.
At the very least, that’s because he’s doing many other things. In his weekly address, Obama said that during his three-day visit,
“I’ll several opportunities to meet with everyday Alaskans about what’s going on in their lives. I’ll travel throughout the state, meet with Alaskans who live above the Arctic circle, with Alaska natives, and with folks who earn their livelihood through fishing and tourism, and I expect to learn a lot.”
He did not mention that he’ll also appear on an NBC reality series, but I hope it includes the standard Running Wild with Bear Grylls scene, where the celebrity participant nervously rappels off the edge of a cliff.