Stars Earn Stripes
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Stars Earn Stripes

Stars Earn Stripes
Created byDick Wolf
Mark Burnett
David Hurwitz
Presented bySamantha Harris
Wesley Clark
Country of originUnited States
Original English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4
Executive Dick Wolf
Mark Burnett
David A. Hurwitz
Running time60-120 minutes
Production Universal Television
One Three Media
Wolf Reality LLC
Bill's Market & Television Productions
DistributorUniversal Television
Original networkNBC
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseAugust 13 (2012-08-13) -
September 3, 2012
External links
Official website

Stars Earn Stripes was a reality television program that premiered on NBC on August 13, 2012. Produced by Mark Burnett, the series follows a group of celebrities, accompanied by current and former members of the United States Armed Forces and law enforcement, competing in various challenges for charity based on training exercises used by the U.S. military. The series is hosted by retired NATO Supreme Allied Commander and former Presidential candidate Wesley Clark and former Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris. The title is a reference to how the stars would earn stripes on their uniforms when they advanced to the next round of the competition.


The cast of Stars Earn Stripes was unveiled by NBC in June 2012. Each celebrity will represent various military and veterans charities, and their winnings will be donated to these charities.[1]

Each celebrity was paired with a special operations or law enforcement professional who trained them in weapons and combat tactics. These "operatives" include:[2]


Pairing of Stars and Mission One

The season started with the stars and the operatives meeting in a clearing where General Clark assigned the teams. The first mission was called Amphibious Assault where the cast members would be dropped from a helicopter. Most of the missions were completed with two teams of a star and an operative to form a squad. The first squad was Dean Cain's and Laila Ali's teams with them completing the mission in around 13:20. The second squad consisting of Todd Palin, Dolvett Quince, and their operatives started the mission, but Quince couldn't swim adequately enough to the raft. The Rescue Team picked Quince up and Todd completed the mission with the help of the two operatives in a time of 20:54. The third squad of Nick and Eve completed their mission in a time around 10:02. The fourth squad of Picabo Street and Terry Crews started the mission, but Crews experienced similar swimming difficulties as Quince did. Street finished the mission in a time of approximately of 17:07. Back at Mission Control, General Clark announced that Nick and Eve had the best time. Gen Clark also announced that the two stars that failed to complete the mission would compete in the elimination shootout (instead of the normal slowest squad). Dolvett Quince and Terry Crews competed in the shootout with Quince being eliminated. Quince earned a small amount for the 'Got Your Six' charity.

Bonus Shootout

Due to an odd number of teams, a Bonus Shootout was held where the team with the fastest time in the first mission would compete for immunity in the second mission. Eve won immunity over Nick. The second mission was called Search and Destroy. The first squad consists of Todd and Laila with a finish time of 6:26. The second squad consists of Dean and Picabo finishing with the fastest time of 4:50. The final squad of Nick and Terry finished a time slower than the mark set by Todd/Laila. Nick completed the elimination shootout faster than Terry Crews. Terry Crews received the seventh place prize for his charity - Pat Tillman Foundation.

Mission Three

The third mission was called Rapid Detonation with the first squad of Eve and Dean with the fastest time of 5:30. Picabo and Todd was the second squad finishing in 7:19. The third squad of Nick and Laila finished the slowest time of 8:55. Nick survived his second elimination shootout and Laila was eliminated in sixth place. Her charity was Military Child Education Coalition

Finale and Special Shootout

The finale consisted of two missions and a special shootout. The final five competed in a special shootout where they competed simultaneously. The first star would get to pick their Mission Four squad mates and the last person with an undamaged target would be eliminated. Dean Cain was the fastest to complete the shootout. Picabo, Todd, and Eve finished second to fourth respectively with Nick Lachey still remaining. Nick earned the fifth place prize for Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation.

Mission Four

Dean chose Eve to be his squad mate, thus Picabo and Todd were paired together. Eve and Dean completed their mission in a time of 9:43. The other squad finished with a slower time. Picabo advanced to the finals by winning the final elimination shootout. Todd earned the fourth place prize for Armed Services YMCA Alaska.

Final Mission

The final mission, Harbor Demolition, was completed only in teams of two (unlike the typical squad of two teams). Dean Cain and his operative Chris Kyle completed the final mission in a time of 6:46. Eve Torres completed in a time of 5:10, thus eliminating Dean. Picabo and her operative Brent Gleeson completed the mission in a time of 5:37. Eve received the first place prize for the USO, while Picabo and Dean earning the second and third place prize (for Hiring Our Heroes and Wounded Warrior Project) respectively.

Mission results

Celebrity Mission One Mission Two Mission Three Special Shootout Mission Four Final Mission
Airdate 8/13/12 8/20/12 8/27/12
9/3/12 4
Eve Torres 1st Immune 2 1st 4th 1st
Picabo Street 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd Safe-Shootout
Dean Cain 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
Todd Palin 4th 2nd 2nd 3rd Eliminated
Nick Lachey 1st Safe-Shootout Safe-Shootout Eliminated 3
Laila Ali 2nd 2nd Eliminated
Terry Crews Safe-Shootout 1 Eliminated
Dolvett Quince Eliminated 1
  • Note: Several rounds had two celebrities team up with each other, resulting in more than one celeb placing first place. The first three missions were assigned by General Clark, where Mission Four was special shootout winner's decision. The final mission was an individual pair mission.
  • 1Note: During Mission One, Dolvett Quince (paired with Todd Palin) and Terry Crews (paired with Picabo) failed to complete the mission due to swimming difficulties. Both were selected for the elimination shootout instead of lowest-placing squad.
  • 2Note: Before Mission Two, a Bonus Shootout was held to determine who would be immune and not be assigned to the mission. The first place squad (from Mission One) of Eve Torres and Nick Lachey participated in it with Eve winning immunity.
  • 3Note: Before Mission Four, there was a special elimination shootout held where all five remaining celebrities will pitted against each other simultaneously. The first celebrity to knock out all four targets would be able to choose their squad partners. The last celebrity with a target up would be eliminated. Dean Cain was the first and chose Eve Torres (who placed 4th in the Special Elimination shootout) to be squad mates. Picabo Street and Todd Palin (2nd/3rd respectively) were paired up for Mission Four.
  • 4Note on Final Episode: There were two missions (Operation LifeLock and Harbor Demolition) shown on this date.

Color Key

Team won 1st place
Gained immunity through bonus shootout
Came in 1st in Special Shootout and picked Mission Four's squad mate
Safe during shootout
Eliminated during shootout
Eliminated in a previous episode


Allegations concerning Jack Osbourne

On August 6, 2012, Sharon Osbourne announced that she would be leaving fellow NBC program America's Got Talent due to allegations of discrimination by NBC and the producers of Stars Earn Stripes surrounding her son Jack Osbourne. On CBS's The Talk (where Sharon is also a panelist), Jack had revealed that two days before filming began, he was removed from the cast of Stars Earn Stripes after disclosing that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Sharon felt that NBC "badly handled" the situation, and that allowing him to participate could have proved inspirational for others diagnosed with the disease. Producer David Hurwitz disputed these allegations in a press event, stating that the show was only in talks with Osbourne to participate, and that he was never officially part of the cast.[3][4][5]

Calls for cancellation

In August, eight Nobel Peace Laureates (Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams, Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Shirin Ebadi) signed an open letter calling for NBC to cancel the program. They wrote "It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence. Real war is down in the dirt deadly. People--military and civilians--die in ways that are anything but entertaining."[6]

US Nielsen ratings

No. Title U.S. air date Rating Share Rating/share
1 / 2 "Amphibious Assault" August 13, 2012 3.2[7] 5 1.7/5 5.24[8]
3 "Search and Destroy" August 20, 2012 2.2[9] 3 1.2/3 3.62[10]
4 "Rapid Detonation" August 27, 2012 1.8[11] 3 1.0/3 3.09[12]
5 / 6 "Stolen Intelligence / Harbor Demolition" September 3, 2012 1.7[13] 3 0.9/2 2.88

NBC has removed Stars Earn Stripes from its list of current shows, though no formal announcement of the programs status has been made.


  1. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (June 19, 2012). "Todd Palin among those competing in NBC's reality series 'Stars Earn Stripes'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ ""Stars Earn Stripes" Brings Military Combat to Reality Television!". Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Osbournes vs. NBC: This means war". Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "#NBCFail? Sharon Osbourne split latest in network's series of gaffes and controversies". Fox News. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ Daly, Sean (August 6, 2012). "Sharon Osbourne is quitting 'AGT' after NBC axes Jack". The New York Post. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ Serjeant, Jill (August 13, 2012). "Nobel laureates call for end to TV's 'Stars Earn Stripes'". Reuters. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "TV ratings: 'Grimm' gets a small Olympic bump Monday while 'Hotel Hell' has an OK start. Zap2it". Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 14, 2012). "Monday Final Ratings: No Adjustments for 'Hell's Kitchen', 'Hotel Hell', 'Bachelor Pad' or 'Grimm'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 21, 2012). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Grimm', 'Stars Earn Stripes', 'Hell's Kitchen' Adjusted Up; 'Bachelor Pad', 'The Glass House' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: 'Hotel Hell' & 'Stars Earn Stripes' Adjusted Up; 'Hell's Kitchen' Adjusted Down". August 28, 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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