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Bobby Bones has conquered radio, won "Dancing With The Stars," and even tried his hand at jobs like wind turbine maintenance and commercial diving on "Breaking Bobby Bones." Hosting "Snake In The Grass," though, is one of the most unusual and unique challenges he's taken on yet.
"Snake In The Grass," a reality competition series premiering on Monday, August 1 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network, leaves four people in the jungles of Costa Rica on a quest to win $100,000 each episode. They compete in various challenges both physical and mental, and if they complete them, they get a clue from Bones. The clue hints at the identity of the Snake in the group: the saboteur among them who is out to win the prize themselves. If the other three are able to guess who the Snake is, they win the cash. If not, the Snake gets all the money.
In a recent conversation with USA Network digital correspondent Stephanie Gomulka, Bones discussed what makes the show special and what viewers can expect in upcoming episodes — as well as the multiple meanings "Snake In The Grass" took during the shoot.
"It's a show where you're trying to figure out who the liar is. When you boil it all down, we all think we're good at judging people's character and that's what's fun about watching it ... The show doesn't lead you to feel one way as some sort of trick. Even as you watch the show, they're not putting in things to throw you off. Instead, it's just, 'Can you find the liar?' and I think that it's refreshing. We really feel like we're watching and figuring it out at the same time and that we're not being led down a path some that's just a waste of time," Bones explained of the show's appeal.
Bones confirmed he didn't know who the Snake was while he was doling out clues, so he wouldn't accidentally ask any leading questions or spoil the game in some way with his demeanor. However, this actually made the game more fun for him, too, as he tried to guess along and figure out who was the liar amongst the four.
"I've seen a lot [Snakes] but I've been wrong so many times guessing. After I missed a couple I started to go, 'I shouldn't feel like I know because I'm kind of an idiot, more so than I thought I would be at this game.' There were two times I think I really knew, I was just for sure that I nailed but there were at least two where I would have bet everything I was right and I missed it," he said. " ... It's a constant mind game. No two scenarios were ever the same, and I think that's why this show is so different than any of the shows that I've seen before."
Bones' doesn't just give out the clues: He also moderates the Snake Pit, where the four players convene after 36 hours together and multiple challenges. There, they try to convince each other to agree with who they think the Snake is before Bones holds a vote. If the three players all unanimously vote for the Snake, they win. But if they can't all agree on the Snake's identity, or they guess wrong, the Snake wins. Naturally, conversations in the pit get heated, but Bones said it's one of the most interesting parts of the game because of what it reveals about everyone.
"The Snakes on the show, they would feel guilty afterwards because it is such an emotional show when you're just trying to win but after, if a Snake won, you would see them [feel guilty]. Because you bond with the other three people, even if you're lying. It's physically taxing, it's emotionally draining, and so you're bonding with them and after they just won all the money and these three get nothing they're like, 'I'm so sorry!' ... I think, though, you see the true colors of a lot of these folks, which is really cool," he said.
At the end of the day, it is just a game, Bones pointed out — and the actual dangerous snakes weren't the ones competing.
"There are a lot of snakes in Costa Rica. When they called it 'Snake In The Grass,' I thought this will not be a double meaning. It'll just be the snake in the grass as the Snake is hiding from you and doesn't want you to see them coming. But, no, literally there were a lot of snakes there! So we had basically a small army protecting us from giant snakes ... I just had never seen so many big snakes before!" he laughed.
Tune in on Monday, August 1 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network for the "Snake In The Grass" premiere.
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