USA's 'Summer Camp' Reality Series Unveils Cast
Host Matt Rogers, a former "American Idol" contestant, tells THR that the upcoming series is not a "Survivor," "Amazing Race" or "Biggest Loser" clone.
USA Network's entry into the reality competition space, Summer Camp, has unveiled its cast of 16 campers.
From the looks of things, the new summer series -- launching Thursday, July 11, at 8 p.m. -- will feature a cast that displays every character trait one could possibly want. Ranging in age from 23 to 41 (though the majority of the competitors are in their 20s), the group includes a self-proclaimed "geek girl" to a Latin firefighter. The cast also comes from all over the U.S., from the South to metropolitan New York. American Idol alum Matt Rogers serves as host.
The eight-episode series, from Big Brother producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, has been in the works for seven years -- and while it's the second unscripted effort to debut on USA this year, Summer Camp is not the typical reality show. "It's not another Survivor, it's not another Amazing Race, it's not another Biggest Loser," Rogers tells The Hollywood Reporter. "This is something where the viewers watching are going to wish they were at summer camp."
Rogers hopes that the eclectic cast will prove to be a draw for audiences. "These guys are superstars," he says. "America is going to love these people. On the guys' camp, you have Cameron the cowboy, who is every cowgirl and every All-American girl's dream; then you have Moises, who looks like a calendar-boy firefighter; and then you have Kyle, who is over-the-top, charismatic, super funny and comes from a long line of athletes. On the girls' side, you have Brooke, who is drop-dead gorgeous but intelligent and sweet; and Lauren, the All-American girl."
Because the campers are in such close quarters for a prolonged period of time, some of them get close. (Summer Camp was filmed in Big Bear, Calif., from May to early June.) "Some of them have romantic relationships after this," Rogers says with a laugh. "You definitely have your Bachelor moments -- by the way, I would not be surprised if four or five of these contestants end up parlaying this [experience] into something else down the road."
The challenges featured on Summer Camp are all inspired by classic camp games "except times 10," Rogers says. "They're challenging and anyone can win them. They're not more favored toward the guys or more favored toward the girls." One competition that the campers will take part in is tied to s'mores.
At the end of the competition, the remaining members on the winning team split the $250,000 grand prize.
The 16 adult campers below:
ERIN COSGROVE, “The Country Girl” - (Age 24) - Tarin Springs, Florida
MELINDA GROSS, “The Geek” - (Age 26) - Denver, Colorado
BROOKE MAGNUM, “The Model” - (Age 23) - Salt Lake City, Utah
ISIS MCKENZIE, “The Pageant Queen” - (Age 33) - Rancho Cucamonga, California
MICHELLE SCHEXNAYDER, “The Bayou Bodybuilder” - (Age 24) - Lafayette, Louisiana
RACHEL SPALDING, “The Yogi” - (Age 27) - Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
LAUREN VON DRASHEK, “The Mean Girl” - (Age 23) - Overland Park, Kansas
MIKEY BENZAIA, “The Smart Ass” - (Age 26) - Middleton, New York
JUSTIN JACKSON, “The Hunter” - (Age 41) - Tuskahoma, Oklahoma
CHRIS GRANT, “The Class Clown” - (Age 25) - Bronx, New York
KYLE KLEIBOEKER, “The Broadway Performer” - (Age 25) - Prairie Village, Kansas
CHUCK LINES, “The Sci-Fi Nerd” - (Age 25) - Dubois, Pennsylvania
CAMERON TYLOR HARPER, “The Cowboy” - (Age 23) - Florence, Kentucky
MIKE WARD, “The Soldier” - (Age 25) - Boise, Idaho
MOISES RAMOS, “The Firefighter” - (Age 26) - Miami Gardens, Florida
MEAGHAN COOPER, “The Flirt” - (Age 27) - San Antonio, Texas
Summer Camp debuts July 11 at 8 p.m. on USA Network.