‘Tough As Nails’ season 4 on CBS features Georgia’s Aly Bala

Singers, dancers, models and social media influencers dominate reality competition shows.

But CBS’ “Tough as Nails” has found a niche that celebrates the blue-collar worker in a way that “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe could embrace. The contestants are laborers, electricians and construction workers. The challenges test their strength, endurance and mental toughness.

And while one person will be crowned $200,000 at the end, nobody goes home. Rather, eliminated contestants stick around for team challenges and a chance to win extra cash bonuses each week.

Now in its fourth season and hosted by “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan, the show will feature 12 contestants ranging in age from 22 to 54, including a carpenter, a dry mason and a firefighter. Season four debuts Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Here is thumbnail sketch of Georgia’s representative, Aly Bala.

Aly Bala

Age: 25

Title: Laborer

City of residence: Covington

Her background: “My dad had a construction company my whole whole life growing up. He had a fall, injured himself pretty badly. Once I graduated college, I started working with him. I do remodels, decks, things like that. Small jobs. It pays the bills.”

First words on the first episode: “People may look at me and wonder why is there this child here, but I’ll wrestle The Rock if I have to.”

Her motto: “Why not me?”

Her strengths: “Problem solving. My basic ability to work with power tools. My physicality. I’m not afraid to get down and dirty. I’m not afraid of anything.”

The challenge going into the show: “It was a lot of unknowns. I’m younger than a lot of the cast. I’m not a master in one craft. I bounce around a lot. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to do something. And it was intimidating. We had some incredible people this season who are phenomenal at the trades.”

How she prepped: “I practiced on heavy machinery whether it was a tractor or a Bobcat. I hadn’t done that before so I wanted to familiarize myself in case I needed it.”

Her strategy: “I didn’t go in with a strategy. I wanted to find a team of good like-minded people who worked together well. I wanted to soak up the whole experience. I love teams. I played sports my whole life. Football. Baseball. Softball in college at Thomas University in Thomasville.” (She majored in biology.)

The inspiration: “You don’t see a lot of kids dying to get into the trades. But the trades run the world. That’s how we get things done. That’s what America is built on. I love the idea of kids looking up to people like me and my dad.”

What she learned from the show: “I typically keep it all in, keep it down real tight. This show forced me to talk about my emotions. I learned to care about all these people I’m competing with. It got more emotional than I thought it would be.”

The experience: “It’s the 100% best thing I’ve ever done. I’m so glad I took this leap of faith. I don’t regret a single thing.”


“Tough as Nails,” Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 4 on CBS, available the next day on Paramount+

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