Ragland native competes on CMT's 'Redneck Island'
by Gary Hanner
RAGLAND — Forget Honey Boo Boo, folks, St. Clair County has its own reality television star.

Justin “Deuce” Campbell is back home after competing against 13 others for $100,000 in CMT’s Redneck Island, Season 2.

Although competition is over and Campbell is back home, he is sworn to secrecy not to tell how he finished in the show.

The show will start airing Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. on CMT (Country Music Television), and runs for 10 weeks. Each episode is one hour.

“Me and my wife started watching this show last year,” Campbell said. “She told me I would love it. And then she told me I would be perfect for the show.”

He said he knew he was a redneck, and he didn’t have to go on a show to prove it.

“I’m proud to be a redneck,” he said. “It was the way I was born and raised.”

Although there were auditions in Birmingham, Campbell refused to go because, he said, “Ain’t no way they gonna pick me. I’m not even gonna go down there and try out.”

His wife, Kendra, said she was going to at least send in a picture of her husband online.

She sent the picture in on a Tuesday, and Campbell received a telephone call the next day.

He was one of more than 10,000 who either auditioned or sent in a photo. As the show started culling individuals, Campbell found himself still in the running, and the next thing he knew, he was in the Top 40.

He then made the Top 20, and was flown to California. From there, the field was narrowed to the Final 14, and Campbell was one of the ones who made it. There were seven males and seven females competing for the $100,000.

Campbell is not the only person from Alabama on the show. There were four from Alabama. A man from Albertville and one from Alexander City, and a woman from Pinson.

The host of Redneck Island is former WWE wrestling superstar “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Campbell said Austin is a super nice guy, and does not use the nickname Stone Cold on the show.

The show was filmed in Mexico.

Campbell said the toughest part of being on the reality television show was being away from his family, especially his wife and children.

“Once we got there, they took our phones away, and we had no way of communicating,” he said. “Not knowing how my babies and wife were really weighed heavy on my mind.”

Campbell, 26, said another difficult thing was the way they lived while in Mexico.

“After being on the show, I have gained so much respect for how people used to live,” he said. “We had no electricity, had to get water out of wells, wash clothes in buckets, and had to build fires to boil water and cook with. We were stuck out on an island in the middle of nowhere.”

Campbell said he lost 20 pounds while living on the island.

Born and raised in Ragland, Campbell graduated from Ragland High School in 2004. But it was during his junior year of high school that he attended Ashville High School and played on the 2003 state championship baseball team.

Campbell works at Andritz in the Pell City Industrial Park. He has been a general laborer there for six years.

Campbell said all his family and friends in Ragland are proud of him.

“I have always been competitive, and I was up for this challenge,” he said. “Everyone thinks I did real well, and I just hope I made everyone proud. I gave it 100 percent.”

Campbell and his wife, have two children, daughter Addison, 7, and son Owen, 4.

They live in Shoal Creek Valley, but Campbell said he would always be a Ragland redneck boy.

If he wins the $100,000, Campbell said his first goal is to start a college fund for both his kids.

“My dream is to one day own my own chicken farm,” he said.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

© 2012