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NBC’s ‘Strong’ features Austell’s Mahogany Brown Roberts

STRONG -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Mahogany Roberts -- (Photo by: John Tsiavis/NBC)

STRONG — Season: 1 — Pictured: Mahogany Roberts — (Photo by: John Tsiavis/NBC)

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Wednesday, April 10, 2016

The creators of “The Biggest Loser” and “American Ninja Warrior” he created a reality competition show that merges both of them.

Dubbed “Strong,” the show brings in 10 women from all walks of life seeking to rejuvenate themselves physically and mentally and pairs them up with top-notch male trainers. Each two-person team will compete in obstacle courses and the slowest team is eliminated each week. The winners pocket $500,000.

Sylvester Stallone is involved as an executive producer so training sequences with loud, anthemic music will likely occur.

I have not been offered an advance screener but did get to talk to a competitor Austell’s Mahogany Brown Roberts, a 38-year-old market consultant is trying to win $500,000 with her picked trainer.

Roberts said she was a big fitness buff and college basketball player, but life got in the way. She got married in her mid-30s, then quickly had two kids. The stress of being a working mom in a new marriage led her to gain 60 pounds, peaking at more than 230. That’s big for a woman who is 5 foot 11. Her second child had colic, which only made life worse.

“My life went in a completely different direction,” Roberts said. “I relinquished my life to three other people. And my health and mental being all went with it. For four years, I didn’t take care of myself.”

When she saw a Facebook come-on about a show which would enable her a shot at getting her old body back, she jumped in.

“I was looking for a miracle magic pill,” Roberts admitted.

She said NBC picked 10 every-day women, who then picked their trainers. “We were given these elite trainers. Then we’re doing these crazy, monstrous feats. We had no idea what we were doing!”

She chose an expert in crossfit Dan Wells. “He believes that everyone should work first from the inside out. Start with nutrition to make sure your body is right.” She said it helped that physically, “he is a freak of nature.”

Roberts hope viewers will be inspired by their journeys and the obstacles they face. The women are not morbidly obese, just needing a push. And the trainers are there with them every step of the way. “They’re held as accountable as we are,” she said.

Will Stallone g show up on screen? She strongly hinted he will. Volleyball superstar Gabrielle Reece is the host. “She’s extremely sweet, like a mom,” Roberts said. “She has very endearing eyes.”


“Strong,” Wednesday, 9 p.m., NBC (after “The Voice”)


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