A Northern Illinois University student from Bolingbrook will appear on the NBC show "The Titan Games" on Thursday.
Covenant "Covie" Falana, 21, was one of more than 100,000 people from around the country who auditioned for the show, hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and he was one of 64 chosen to compete, according to a news release.
"I was not expecting to get chosen at all," Falana said.
Falana said he heard about it while he was watching TV and decided to apply. He had to send in a video of himself working out for the application.
"It was something I just did without even thinking about it," he said.
On the show, everyday men and women compete against each other in head-to-head challenges designed to "test the mind, body and heart," according to the release. Winners on each episode advance to an ultimate challenge called Mt. Olympus and can win $100,000.
The NIU junior moved to Bolingbrook when he was 14 from a small town in Nigeria. Falana recalled watching The Rock wrestle on television when he was a kid.
"I'm so humbled," Falana said. "I'm so thankful. I'm so blessed to be able to say I'm participating. I met some amazing people out there. That was just phenomenal."
Falana spent three weeks in Los Angeles last September for the taping of the show, thanks to the flexibility of professors who helped him make up for missed classes. Competitors had to face challenges with names like "Herculean Pull" and the "Tower Drop," which were based on Johnson's own workouts, according to a show description.
The NIU junior graduated from Bolingbrook High School and earned his associate's degree from Joliet Junior College. Falana studies business management and hopes to run a restaurant to provide affordable, healthy food choices.
Falana will appear on "The Titan Games" at 7 p.m. Thursday.