The journey that began on February 10 for Oahu-born lineman Cyril “Zeus” Ontai III of Hawaiian Electric Co. with the premiere of the second season of the CBS reality show “Tough as Nails” ended this week bittersweet as Der 29-year-old power line technician took second place on Wednesday in the three-way “Final Challenge”, in which the overall winner of the aptly named competition was determined.
“Second overall is pretty good,” Ontai said modestly after the show aired on Wednesday. “Of course I wish it was the first time, but it’s all good. First, second or third place, it was a great experience. “
Scott Henry, a 40-year-old construction manager from Utah, was the first to break through a wall with a sledgehammer, use a jackhammer to detach a bolt cutter from a concrete block, cut through a chain link fence, and stack 10 lobster traps to climb onto a shipping container sawing a chain to drop an I-beam and cross a gap, and then untangling two sea lines to pull up a ladder to get the grand prize – a Ford Super Duty truck – on a shipping container.
Henry also won a Tough As Nails Champion and $ 200,000 in cash.
Sarah Burkett, a 41-year-old mechanical pipe welder and former police officer, finished third.
Ontai, Burkett and Henry were three of the twelve participants who had tested their strength, speed, endurance and mental toughness against each other and in teams of six. Unlike most reality show competitions, contestants who were eliminated as individuals continued to compete during team competitions and won additional prizes.
Ontai won $ 9,200 as a member of the Dirty Hands team.
“I really enjoyed the final challenge (instructing a crane operator to position six metal beams in a metal frame structure),” he said. “That was really fun, probably because it was the closest thing to my job, so I felt pretty good about it, but I had a lot of fun doing it. I just love working at heights. It’s just something that’s inside of me. “
“The most difficult challenge for me, which was quite mentally challenging, was the sheep challenge (herding four sheep in a marked pen). It didn’t take much of your physical energy, but mentally it was exhausting and a little frustrating. But in the end we did it. “
Back home, Ontai was promoted from lineman to technical trainer, sharing his knowledge and experience with new classes of linemen apprentices.
“It has always been a dream job for me. There are times when I miss being out there as much as I miss playing soccer (in high school), but in the long run I think my body is in much better shape with this new position will be. “
CBS renewed “Tough as Nails” on Wednesday for two more seasons. Ontai said he was ready to go if the producers plan an “all-star” season.
“I hope that in the other seasons we will be invited back to compete with the people,” he said. “That would be great.”
The casting for the upcoming seasons is in progress. For more information, visit hardasnailscbscasting.com.