'Legends of the Hidden Temple' Host Cristela Alonzo Breaks Down Adult Reboot (Exclusive)

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After first premiering in 1993, Legends of the Hidden Temple has been rebooted by The CW for a grown-up generation of fans who watched the original action-adventure game show as kids. Hosted by Cristela Alonzo, the adult version still features everything audiences loved about the original -- including Dee Bradley Baker returning as the voice of Olmec -- while upping the ante with tougher challenges and a bigger cash prize.  

And for both contestants and audiences watching at home, Legends of the Hidden Temple provides an hour of nostalgia-filled fun. “I feel like right now we live in a time where we need an hour a week where we can just kind of not think about things and enjoy people trying to kind of achieve their dreams,” Alonzo tells ET, noting that many of the contestants watched the original series. “So, in a weird way, it was all these adults chasing their childhood dreams. And you can see that in the show. Everybody’s just really happy to be there.” 

Legends of the Hidden Temple
The CW

Much like the original, the competition sees four teams of two divided by color and animal (Purple Parrots, Blue Barracudas, Orange Iguanas, Red Jaguars, Silver Snakes and Green Monkeys) as they attempt to make it past three stages, the Moat Crossing, the Steps of Knowledge and the Temple Games, before the remaining pair gets to go on the Temple Run. Each week, Olmec reveals a new quest that lays the groundwork for all the challenges to determine who is “strong enough and smart enough” to win.  

While scaled up for adults, Alonzo says the series kept the integrity of the original physical challenges. “They really honored the challenges we saw as kids, meaning that you’re going to have to fill a bucket up with liquid and hold it on top of your head,” she explains.  

Legends of the Hidden Temple
The CW

As for Olmec, there’s no messing with an icon. Although she couldn’t necessarily tweak the look of the colossal head, Alonzo did work with producers to make sure the series and Aztec representation was as authentic as possible. And as a result, “there was somebody tied to the culture, to the world that we represented,” she says, before adding that as a longtime fan of the series, she found herself starstruck on set when she first heard Olmec say her name. “I got so giddy, like I just met a new kid on a block,” she gushes. “I lost it because when you hear the voice, I couldn’t help but be taken back decades ago when I was a kid.” 

When it comes to the Temple itself, Alonzo reveals that sadly she was not allowed to run through it. “They won’t let me,” she confesses. But despite that, she does know which team she would be on, if she had a chance to compete. “I’m going to go with either Blue Barracudas or Red Jaguars because blue and red look really good on me.” 


Legends of the Hidden Temple premieres Sunday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. 

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