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Local high school graduate goes where reality meets reality TV

Longtime SCV resident Emily Bush competes in TNT show to air Thursday

Posted: June 10, 2013 4:05 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2013 4:05 p.m.

Emily Bush, left, will appear on the June 13 episode of "72 Hours," a reality competition show on TNT. Bush competed with her team in New Zealand to find a briefcase with $100,000.

When Emily Bush, 25, traveled to the “lost coast of New Zealand” for the action-adventure competition program “72 Hours,” she wore a wrist full of bracelets she hoped would bring her luck.

“72 Hours” follows three teams of three strangers each as they race across the wilderness to find a hidden briefcase containing $100,000.

“The theme of the show caught my attention — the adventure aspect of the show really appealed to me,” said Bush, who grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley. “It was a chance to go to a foreign land and have a crazy once-in-a-lifetime journey and adventure. In addition, the chance to win $100,000 sounded really nice.”
Bush described her experience on the show as “life changing.”

“I pushed myself in ways I didn’t know I was capable of,” said the Saugus High School graduate. “I learned I was stronger than I thought I was.”

Bush said she always knew she was “a smart and capable person,” but the show “broke me down and built me back up. It was incredible.”

The teams are left in the wilderness with only a GPS tracking device and one bottle of water per person. They have 72 hours to find the briefcase.

“I really had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said. “I’m young and fit and active, but this show pushed my limited of what I thought I was capable of doing.”

The show was a kind of “Survior” meets “The Amazing Race,” but “very, very real,” said Bush, who competed on the green team.

She was teamed with Bobby, 34, a police officer from Melrose Park, Ill., and Jennifer, 30, who works in genetic testing sales from Van Buren, Mo.

“I thought it might be some ‘fluffy’ reality show, but I can attest that everything you see is real — nothing was staged or fake,” said Bush. “The most difficult thing was the mental and physical challenge. I didn’t expect that. I thought I could handle anything, but I got so beat down physically and mentally.”

Bush, the daughter of Robin and Robert Bush, said her mother “cried when I left.”

“She was very worried about me,” she said.

Born and raised in the Santa Clarita Valley, Bush attended Santa Clarita Elementary School, Arroyo Seco Junior High and graduated in 2005 from Saugus High School.

She earned an associate’s degree from College of the Canyons in 2008 before moving on to California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with a degree in journalism and public relations.

She currently lives in Hollywood.

“I loved growing up in Santa Clarita. It was such an amazing way to grow up,” she said. “Santa Clarita is so beautiful and clean. We used to play outside until it got dark. Now that I’m older I appreciate the safe community feeling that I had in Santa Clarita.”

Bush was forbidden from revealing the outcome of the TV contest for this story, but the episode of “72 Hours” featuring her will air on TNT at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 13.



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