Student Staff Member to Appear on Primetime UK Television Show
For a University Recreation student employee, J.D. Anderson, powerlifting is a way of life that requires motivation, determination, purpose and guts. His devotion to the sport is going to put him on the new British television show, Red or Black?
While working at Big Elk campground in Pineville, Mo., in 2009, Anderson was approached by the vice president of The Power Team about trying out for their squad. The Power Team is a group of strongmen Christians who incorporate preaching with displays of strength and martial arts skills. Anderson interviewed for the team and quickly earned a spot, making him the youngest person on the crew.
Anderson took a one-year hiatus from college to travel across the United States as a member of The Power Team. Anderson, dubbed “Big Country” by his teammates, specializes in unique skills such as crushing a pile of bricks with this hands or smashing through solid ice walls using his body. While on the team, Anderson made guest appearances on The Daily Show with John Stewart and CMT’s Made. After his journey on the team was complete, Anderson returned to the university to finish his degree.
In August, Anderson received an exciting phone call. The producers of Simon Cowell’s new television show Red or Black? called Anderson to ask if he would like to be on the show. Without skipping a beat, Anderson jumped at the chance of a lifetime. “I told them ‘yes’ immediately,” said Anderson. “A free trip to London plus an opportunity to be on a British prime-time television show, sign me up!”
The contestants on Red or Black? are offered the chance to walk away with 1 million pounds, the British currency, not more weightlifting equipment. To win, all they need to do is successfully choose the correct outcome, Red or Black? Contestants will bet on Anderson to win as he performs stunts such as breaking phone books and multiple wooden baseball bats in half, as well as breaking flaming bricks using only his head. “It’s an amazing opportunity; I personally get the chance to help someone win 1 million pounds,” said Anderson.
Anderson left for London on Sept. 4 and will record in front of a live studio audience on Friday, Sept. 9.
By Lindsay Smith
Public Information Coordinator, University Recreation