The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center will receive $134,166 after former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis finished in second place in the CBS celebrity competition show “Beyond the Edge.”
Lewis, who played linebacker for the Ravens from 1996 to 2012, had designated Hopkins’ Children’s Center as the charity he would play for in the reality series, which was filmed last fall in “the dangerous jungles of Panama” and aired its season finale last night, crowning its first-ever “Beyond the Edge” champion.
The show debuted on March 16 and has been dubbed “Celebrity Survivor” because all nine contestants are figures from the fields of sports and entertainment, playing for a charity rather than themselves, and the show aired on Wednesday nights after Survivor.
“I want to make a change. I want to give people hope…I promise you I’ve come to win,” Lewis, who turned 47 on May 15, said on last night’s episode before the final challenge began.
“I just can’t wait to walk back into Baltimore and hand this check to these kids and see their faces,” he said on the show after the winners were announced. “I just hope by us being here that it shows people that no matter where we’re from in the world, you can find a way to communicate and work with anybody.”
“We thank Ray Lewis for competing on behalf of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center on the CBS Show Beyond the Edge,” a spokesperson said after the show aired. “His remarkable and selfless performance is a testament to his dedication to improving the lives of pediatric patients and children around the world. We are very grateful that he chose to support the Children’s Center; his generosity helps us go above and beyond, too, as we provide the highest quality care to our wonderful pediatric patients and their families.”
The winner of this season of “Beyond the Edge” was Colton Underwood, a former “Bachelor” on ABC who “had the courage to tell the world his truth” when he came out as gay after dating a group of women on “The Bachelor.” Underwood raised $266,500 for his charity, the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, which fights cystic fibrosis.
Former NFL coach Mike Singletary won $105,666 for his charity, Changing Our Perspective. Country singer Craig Morgan won $70,000 for his charity, Operation Finally Home.
The show’s format called for the celebrities to compete in physical and mental challenges over a 10-day period, accumulating more money for their charities the longer they stayed in the competition.
Unlike Survivor, the contestants did not vote each other out. At the end of each episode, they were asked if they had enough and wanted to “ring the bell” and leave. Several did along the way, mostly due to injuries and ailments sustained in the jungle.
Lewis hinted several times that he missed his family and might ring the bell, but he never did. He also revealed his distaste for puzzles and challenges involving water and mud, and his fear of caves and snakes.
Last night, Lewis took over CBS’ Twitter account for an hour and answered questions about his time on the show. At one point he said competing on “Beyond the Edge” was in some ways harder than football training camp because it was so unpredictable.
“Training camp is always hard,” he said. “But Beyond the Edge, what made it so hard is that you just never knew what you were going to do from day to day, and it just blew my mind. Every day, you had a mental test and you had a physical test, and this was with no food. This was with no water. This was with no sleep. That’s a lot, and that’s why I think it was probably more challenging than camp.”
The most difficult challenge involved diving into a mud pit, Lewis said. “It was the worst thing ever. It was like quicksand,” he said. “I don’t ever want to see mud again.”
Other contestants included Metta Sandiford-Artest; Paulina Porizkova; Lauren Alaina; Eboni Williams and Jodie Sweetin. The host was Canadian sports announcer Mauro Ranallo, and the filming location was Bocas del Toro, Panama.
In the final episode, the two players who had won the most money up to that point, Lewis and Underwood, competed head-to-head for more money and the title of Beyond the Edge champion. They were assisted by the two other players still in the game, Singletary with Underwood and Morgan with Lewis.
According to the producers, the nine celebrities won more than $700,000 for their charities, with the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center getting the second highest amount.