It may be fall, but the summer camp feeling keeps on with the new CBS competition series, Buddy Games. The fall TV show sees six teams of friends go against each other in a series of mental and physical challenges to compete for the title of Buddy Games champions and a cash prize. But who are on the teams that make up the Buddy Games cast?
Before we get a closer look at the teams, it's worth mentioning the Buddy Games host, Transformers, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changer and Shotgun Wedding star Josh Duhamel. In addition to hosting, Duhamel's personal annual tradition with his life-long friends served as an inspiration for this reality competition show.
Duhamel is sitting this competition out, however. Starting, September 14, at 9 pm ET/PT on CBS, these are the six teams that will be competing as part of the Buddy Games cast.
Team Derby Squad
Meeting from their time playing roller derby, Team Derby Squad features Jacky "Shu" Shu, Melissa Berglund, Shengul "Shaggy" Plummer and Rachel Johnston, all from Los Angeles. In their introductory video, they say having gotten to know each other as a team can give them an upper hand in the competition. "We all know each other's strengths and where we would succeed and where we would fail," said Shu. They also revealed they have their own color-coded grid to help them figure out who could be good for what type of tasks, so they are clearly prepared.
Team Chicago's Finest
David "Sarge" Moore, Elyse Rodriguez, Ikelia "Kei" Smart and Melvin "Rae" Davis hail from Chicago and take their team name from the fact that they all work as Chicago police officers. They are ready to represent the best side of police officers, according to Smart. They also warn not to let looks fool you: Davis may be 57, but he knows he's as physically fit as anyone in the competition, and Rodriguez was described as a "tasmanian devil."
The team name Pride doesn't just relate to Andrew Shayde, Bekah Telew, Steven Mosier and Summer Lynne all being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, but also the pride they have in each other as friends. While they're competing in Buddy Games, members of Team Pride are clearly big fans of another CBS reality show, Survivor, as they said that they created and competed in their own version of the game (just not in the Fiji islands).
Team OK is representing not only their friendship but the state of Oklahoma, where Justin Palmer, Stephen Craig, Brian "Huddy" Hudson and Yue Pun Szeto grew up and became lifelong friends. Will having known each other for so long pay dividends? At the very least, it may be some extra motivation, as Hudson shared that he had to move out of state and so he's looking to stay in the competition as long as possible to get some extra time with his buddies.
Team Pageant Queens
Don't let the evening dresses and tiaras fool you, Team Pageant Queens is ready to compete with anyone. Lauren Cisneros (Miss Colorado), Lourdes Spurlock (Miss Virginia), Yolanda "Yoli" Stennett (Miss International) and Deveney Shea Wall (Miss Maryland) have all competed in multiple pageants, but that's just one part of their lives. They all have other jobs, two of them served in the military and they are all moms. So underestimate this fearsome foursome at your own risk.
Team Philly Forever
Erica Franzzo, Anthony Franzzo, Mike Ward and Louis "Freddie" Meyers IV make up Team Philly Forever, but as Erica is quick to point out, she is repping all the wives in the group of friends that grew up in Philly and married their high school sweethearts. They say those lasting connections make them more like family than just friends. Can that and the fighting Philly spirit be enough to take them to the top of the competition?
Buddy Game eliminations
After all the events and twists of the first episode, it was down to Chicago's Finest and Philly Forever in the Loser's Last Stand to decide which team would be going home. It was a tough competition, but Chicago's Finest's Sarge bested Philly's Mike Ward, meaning Philly Forever were the losers of episode 1. However, Duhamel revealed a twist: Philly Forever could stay in the game, but they had to send one of their teammates home. All the other teams knew how hard this would be for a group of friends to vote out one another, adding another interesting wrinkle to the game. In the end, Ward volunteered that he be the one to go, believing that he cost them the loss and also he told his son if they lost first he'd be home for his birthday. So Philly Forever is down to three moving forward in the competition.
Episodes Buddy Games air Thursdays at 9 pm ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount Plus.