Amateur Competitors Try to Beat World-Class Athletes on Special 'Beat The Champions'
The fun and games have just begun as FOX gives amateur athletes with big egos and big dreams the chance to BEAT THE CHAMPIONS, a new competition special in which everyday athletes are epically mismatched against some of the world’s best athletes – four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin, Super Bowl champ superstar Rob Gronkowski and six-time NBA champ Scottie Pippen.
To level the playing field, the champs will be faced with increasingly absurd and hilarious handicaps, while the amateurs will be given increasing levels of assistance to beat their elite competition – whether in the water, on the line of scrimmage or on the hardwood. The greater the assist needed by the contestant, however, the less prize money awarded. Over the course of three rounds, competitors will have a chance to win more than $100,000.
Will these disadvantages be enough for the amateurs to BEAT THE CHAMPIONS? Find out when the one-hour special, hosted by comedian Finesse Mitchell, airs Tuesday, June 30 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
With his record-breaking talent on the field, and larger-than-life personality off the field, Rob Gronkowski has become one of the biggest names in football. After setting the school tight end records for single game, single-season and career receptions, yards and touchdowns at the University of Arizona, he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. In an unprecedented 2011 season, he set the all-time records for Most Touchdown Receptions and Receiving Yards by a Tight End in one season with 17 TDs and 1,327 yards. After an injury-plagued 2013 season, Gronkowski has returned to form as one of the NFL’s elite tight ends. In the 2014 regular season, he had 1,124 yards, which lead all NFL tight ends, and his 12 touchdowns (tied for most among NFL TEs) helped lead the Patriots to a 12-4 season (Best in the AFC). His stellar season continued into the postseason, during which Gronkowski officially captured his first Super Bowl Championship after he went for 68 yards and a touchdown. Off the field, Gronkowski is known as a fun-loving and friendly figure with a generous heart. Through the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, he and his brothers host events in order to raise money for the benefit of various youth charities.
Missy Franklin is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and multiple-world-record-holder in the sport of swimming. She became a household name during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she won four gold medals and one bronze medal. She followed her Olympic success by winning six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, becoming the most-decorated female swimmer in history at a single World Championships. In her two years competing at the University of California Berkeley, Franklin earned four individual NCAA titles and helped the school win the 2015 NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Team Championship. In 2015, she was also named a Global Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which utilizes the power of sport to address social problems through a global program of sports-related community development initiatives.
Considered one of the best small forwards of all time, Scottie Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive times and the All-NBA First Team three times. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history during the 1996–97 season, and is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls. He played a key role on both the 1992 Chicago Bulls Championship team and the1996 Chicago Bulls Championship, team which were selected as two of the greatest teams in NBA history. During his 17-year career, he played 12 seasons with the Bulls, one with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers, making the postseason 16 straight times. Pippen is also the only person to have won an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice (1992, 1996). He was a part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team,” which beat its opponents by an average of 44 points. Pippen was also a key figure in the 1996 Olympic team. He is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (for his individual career, and as a member of the “Dream Team”). The Chicago Bulls retired his number, #33. His college, University of Central Arkansas, retired his number, #33, as well.
“Saturday Night Live” alumnus Finesse Mitchell will next be seen in the cable comedy series “Brothers In Atlanta.” He recently appeared in “Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops,” with all proceeds benefiting the Armed Forces Foundation. He also was a member of the “2013 Shaq All-Star Comedy Jam” tour. Mitchell has made numerous television appearances, including “A.N.T. Farm” and “Centric’s According To Him & Her.” Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Mitchell graduated from the University of Miami and is a distinguished member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He is a former student-athlete who was a walk-on for the University of Miami’s national champion football team, Miami Hurricanes.
BEAT THE CHAMPIONS is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton and Jonathan Singer serve as executive producers.