Joel Lambert is exactly the kind of guy who could become TV’s next Bachelor.
Rugged, charming, a former Navy SEAL… But the star of Discovery’s new adventure reality series LONE TARGET says he would never waste his time looking for love on TV.
“I will only sell my soul when my body is at risk,” he tells me.
“Love is sacred — not that I am interested in finding love right now… But if I do, it has to be real. And I want to keep it real. So there is no way…”
“I have a friend who was a producer on THE BACHELOR and at one point called me up when they were looking for a guy and I said ‘Not a f–king chance!’ There is family. There is love. There are a couple of things that should be sacred. Either you are on that show because you are naive — which is okay — or you are on it because you are selling something for notoriety. And I don’t think that is okay.”
Joel, who is single, says he has never used his military background as a means to impress women. “I never want the SEAL thing to precede me into the room,” he insists. “But who I am because of that experience is very sacred to me. The brotherhood I come from is very sacred to me. So it is not something I want to brag about. It is obviously out there now. I was a SEAL. But when you are operational, when you are in the teams, you never tell anybody. Nobody knows. So I don’t want to trade on it.”
Joel is not reluctant, however, to discuss his experiences on LONE TARGET. On the show, he is dropped into unknown treacherous terrain with a basic survival kit and water, and is challenged to evade capture as he pierces security in different countries.
He told me all about it when we sat down in Pasadena, Calif.:
How much danger were you actually in on this show?
Well, obviously I am letting them know I am there. But I must survive and evade. I do anti-tracking and counter-tracking… Booby traps… Ways to disguise your movements through terrain… Then that country’s special operations force fugitive recovery team or tracking unit deploys all of their forces, whether it is helicopters, thermal imaging, tracking dogs to track me, to box me in and take me alive before I make it to my destination. It is like what we call in the military an “FMP” — a Full Mission Profile. It is a training mission with all the assets, but you are not going to really kill anyone. Hopefully.
We had so many crazy accidents. One of the producers got stabbed through the neck by a flying fish! It was the most unbelievable thing to see. In Panama, a ballyhoo, a three or four foot long fish, launched out, stabbed him through the neck and left two inches of spine lodged in his neck a centimeter away from his spinal cord. He had to get lifted to the mainland in Panama for emergency surgery. Another camera man got smashed up and has his rotator cuff detached from the bone.
Sounds like it is safer for you than for the folks behind the scenes…
It is! [laughs] It has been really brutal.
Think you would do well on SURVIVOR?
I think I would do pretty well. But I don’t know…it is those devious women that would get me on SURVIVOR.
How does a guy like you end up as a Navy SEAL?
One of my Dad’s friends attempted SEAL training when I was 10 years-old. He was telling my Dad the story and it blew my mind as he is talking about being tied up, hands and foot in the water. My whole life that stuck in my head. So when I was 22 or 23, something inside of me was pushing me to jump off a cliff of do something. This was the thing that still scared me the most. So I sold everything I had, I trained for a year straight. I joined the Navy. Two broken legs and about a year later I made it through training. I went to Seal Team 2 in Kosovo, then Seal Team 4 in Afghanistan.
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