Entertainment

Kansas women in the Sahara Desert? It must be reality TV

For the Fuller sisters of Overland Park, what started out as a quest to get on “The Bachelor” ended up in the middle of the Sahara Desert, looking up at a ridiculously steep sand dune.

“I turned to my sisters and said, ‘This is a joke, right?’” Kelsey Fuller, 22, said.

Instead of finding out how they could get their hearts broken on national TV, the Fullers stumbled upon a web page advertising tryouts for the first-ever edition of “Expedition Impossible,” an ABC reality series from the man behind “Survivor,” Mark Burnett.

“Next thing you know, we’re making a video over Thanksgiving,” said Kelsey’s 27-year-old sister, Lindsey Haymond.

ABC wants you to know that “Expedition Impossible” is so not “The Amazing Race” except it kinda is, with a few “Survivor” atmospherics thrown in, like the dash through the desert.

Calling themselves Team Kansas -- the junior partner, 18-year-old Mackenzie, skipped prom at Blue Valley Northwest to compete -- they qualified for the series, which taped this spring in Morocco, not that it felt like spring. As we join them in Thursday night’s episode, we find the Fullers in 102-degree heat as they struggle up the “sand dune of death,” only to discover a team of camels awaiting them on the other side.

“We don’t have camels in Kansas!” one of the sisters is overheard saying. Which is exactly the kind of sound bite you expect to hear during a reality competition show in the desert involving Americans.

Television has this magical ability to make short people look like NBA stars, but not Team Kansas. It’s clear the sisters have their work cut out for them.

“There was all this required gear and we three girls were expected to carry the same as the boys,” said Haymond, a high school teacher in Houston. “We thought we could lighten our packs but no.”

Kelsey Fuller tried to fall on her sword, volunteering that “I was the weakest link,” but big sister overruled her.

“I’m the oldest, I took charge and I wound up making the dumb mistakes,” Haymond said. “My sisters bailed me out.”

With two strong personalities on the link, Mackenzie Fuller let her sisters do most of the talking during our phone interview. She did offer this: “I’m the youngest competitor by far.”

And not to spoil anything, but she and her sibs do put some of the guys twice their size to shame in stage one.

“I think KC will be proud of us,” Kelsey Fuller said. “This was the experience of a lifetime and we couldn’t imagine doing it without each other.”

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