Since early May, World’s Strongest Man (WSM): Home Edition — an episodic series on Snapchat — has seen strongmen from all over the globe vying for votes from an audience watching them perform feats of strength from their homes.
The show is hosted by 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall and the finale is set to air on Monday, July 13th. You can watch it by subscribing to WSM: Home Edition on the Snapchat app via the discover page.
The creativity and entertainment value put forth by well known strongmen including Rob Kearney, Robert Oberst, Luke Stoltman, and Adam Bishop, to name a few, was not quite enough to stop Nick Best and Rongo Keene from earning their spots in Monday’s finale.
Audience members can vote until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, July 12th for who they think should take home the $10,000 grand prize.
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[Related: Check out Eddie Hall’s new 6,000 boxing diet]
The Finalists’ Journeys
Both Best and Keene appeared in two episodes leading up to the finale. Each of their episodes proved that they are not only extremely strong human beings, but can deliver a show their audience wants. Here are the events that earned each of them a spot to challenge for the title of WSM: Home Edition champion.
The 51-year-old Best has been in the strongman game for quite some time, but has not slowed down despite often facing younger competition. The man decided to perform a 501kg/1,105lb block pull triple on Independence Day not long after recovering from surgery to get chips in both of his elbows removed. Check it out for yourself below in the video from his Instagram page:
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Best appeared in episode 4 and episode 7 on his way to finale competing against Eddie Williams in the deadlift and Evan Singleton in the farmer’s carry.
In episode 4, Williams, a 2-time Australia’s Strongest Man champion, strapped a pair of barbecues to a barbell to perform what he called a “Bar-BQ” deadlift weighing approximately 125kg/275lb. To warm up, he wrestled an alligator (it was a plush toy, not a real alligator. However, there is no evidence yet to disprove Williams’ live alligator wrangling abilities). He ultimately hit 27 reps in one minute.
Best decided to steer clear of wild animal wrestling. Instead, he performed a vary narrow stance deadlift of 605lb for 17 reps. This was a genuinely impressive feat of strength that was rewarded by the audience.
Check out his battle with Williams below courtesy of World’s Strongest Man’s YouTube channel:
In episode 7, Best took on the 2019 North American Strongest Man Evan “T-Rex” Singleton in a farmer’s carry challenge.
Singleton chose to perform a farmer’s carry of two days worth of groceries (note that a couple days worth of groceries for a strongman is a lot more than your average non-strongman civilian). He followed that up with a loading medley where he loaded his family members across a deck to a trio of pool chairs. It should come as no surprise that he was successful in both events.
Best played this round more conventionally as he did in his previous appearance. He chose to do a standard farmer’s carry of 184.6kg/407lb in each hand for twenty meters. Hall praised Best’s choice as a legitimately difficult lift.
“That is world class strength.”
Check out the full episode below:
In contrast to Best’s old school style, Keene was one of the more creative competitors. He involved his family in a lot of his feats of strength, including dressing up in Disney character cosplay (you’ll see that in a bit).
But first, it was episode 5 where Keene took on WSM mainstay Robert Oberst in a carry competition. Oberst kicked things off with a successful carry of a girl named Annie and his 8-year-old dog Casey Bear.
Keene employed his kids as the announce team for a carry medley of household items such as a refrigerator, a rainbow colored trash can, and a wheelbarrow full of toilet paper. In a follow up interview, Keene credited “being an athlete” to his success in the event. The showmanship was enough to put him over with the Snapchat audience.
The full bout of strength can be viewed below:
Keene’s second appearance came against 2020 Britain’s Strongest Man Adam Bishop in episode 8. Their challenge: the deadlift.
Once again, Keene requested the input of his kids to give his deadlift a theme. They decided on Disney’s Moana. With the snap of his fingers and some solid editing work, Keene and company reappeared in full Moana cosplay — Keene portrayed Maui, who was played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the movie, of course.
Using a barbell attached to a boat — which was also decorated for the Moana theme — Keene performed the deadlift with another one of his kids hopping into the boat between reps to increase the difficulty. He managed four reps and then sung the audience a tune in his post challenge interview.
For Bishop’s attempt, he combined two things he loves: deadlifts and sleep. How many single arm deadlifts of his bed could Bishop do? A clean eight reps.
Keene’s full production swayed the voters and scored him a ticket to the WSM: Home Edition finale.
To reiterate, voting is open until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, July 12th.
The 2020 WSM competition is scheduled to take place later this year from November 11th-14th in Bradenton, Florida. Although the roster of competitors has not yet been announced, we know 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Bjornsson will not be among them. Reigning champion Martins Licis believes he has a good chance of going back-to-back.
Best’s most recent appearance at WSM was in 2017 where he finished in 10th place. His best ever finish at that event was 6th place in 2010. Keene made his WSM debut in 2018.
Tune in on Monday to find which of them will be crowned the first ever WSM: Home Edition champion.
Feature image from World’s Strongest Man’s Instragram page: @theworldsstrongestman