Preview: Discovery’s Tethered gives a new twist to the survival genre

It’s one thing to be naked and afraid with a complete stranger. It’s another thing to be clothed and afraid — but tethered — to that complete stranger. That’s the gist of  Discovery’s Tethered, their latest 1-hour survival series making it’s premiere tonight (Sundays at 10pm ET/PT). The adventure series is an amusing and insightful character story, as well as physical and emotional challenge, on whose got what it takes to work together, no matter what your personal differences are.

Discovery's Tethered featuring Keith and WillowTwo people from completely different walks of life are dropped at some environmentally challenging locale where they meet and then get locked to each other. The two are roped together by a 6 foot tether attached at their wastes. They are  then given a map, a few survival supplies and 10-12 days to get to their extraction point.

In the premiere episode (Oct. 5), we meet our first “tetherees” — the hardheaded Navy vet Keith (43) and the free-spirited, happy-go-lucky Willow (36) — in Panama’s boa-ridden swamps.

For Keith, Tethered was a personal challenge. “I just wanted to see if i could do it. It was a bucket list dream-thing for me. Everybody wants to be on TV. I  just wanted to prove that a normal everyday guy from a small town can get out there and survive on a TV show in the middle of a survival situation. My kids wanted to see me do it, my wife wanted to see me do it, I wanted to see if I could do it.”

For Willow, Tethered presented a new opportunity and a potential chance for him to further his “social” footprint. “It was a pretty awesome opportunity and when they told me about it I was like, ‘I don’t know if if can do this but I’m going to give it a go.’ It was a chance to get on TV. I have a website — — so it would boost my social presence, at least, and give me a challenge in life to see what I’m made of. And, see what those shows are all about, as I always watch them and didn’t really know how real they are or how hard they are. When you get out there you definitely learn a couple things about yourself.”

And what they learn is the biggest surprise in their quest to cross 47 miles in dense jungles and knee-deep swamps. See our complete interview and recap with Keith and Willow immediately after Tethered airs.