Joe Manganiello Says He Almost Competed on “Survivor” as 'Joe the Construction Worker'

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The 'Deal or No Deal Island' host almost participated on another tropical competition show

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty </p> Joe Manganiello

Kevin Winter/Getty

Joe Manganiello

Long before Joe Manganiello appeared in the buff in Magic Mike, he almost donned a Survivor buff!

The actor, 47, told Entertainment Tonight that he auditioned for CBS' long-running reality series early in his Hollywood career and "they wanted me to be on the show."

"So, years ago. Long, long, long, long, long time ago I was at some pool party somewhere, and I met someone who was casting for Survivor when it first came out," Manganiello recalled.

"I was like, 'I could win.' And they were like, 'Oh, really? Why don't you make a tape?' And it was summer. I was working construction to pay the bills."

"They said you can't be an actor," he explained. "Because there's too many actors in L.A. trying to [audition] we can't do it."

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"Somewhere, I keep trying to find it, there's a DVD of my Survivor audition as Joe the construction worker from Pittsburgh," the Pennsylvania native revealed. "And it's me jackhammering."

"But I had a pilot that I had shot the year ... and you can't be on TV and be on Survivor," he explained.

Manganiello would later to go on to play Brad Morris on How I Met Your Mother, the werewolf Alcide on True Blood and exotic dancer Big Dick Richie in three Magic Mike films.

<p>Patrick Ecclesine/NBC</p> Joe Manganiello, host of Deal or No Deal Island

Patrick Ecclesine/NBC

Joe Manganiello, host of Deal or No Deal Island

Survivor has featured a number of Hollywood stars in its 24-year-run, including The Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel (who was a runner-up in Season 25) and actor and The White Lotus creator Mike White (who was a runner-up in Season 37).

Manganiello will get his tropical experience as the host of the new NBC series Deal or No Deal Island.

"I'm so excited for this show to come out," he said. "This is the Mount Everest of competition programs."

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A description for the show reads: "In Deal or No Deal Island, the iconic briefcases are hidden around the island and worth over $200 million in prize money split between them. In each episode, players compete in daring challenges to secure the briefcases that will be used in that night’s game of Deal or No Deal. The player who snags the highest-value case gains immunity and gets to choose a fellow player to enter The Temple."

The chosen competitor must then play a high-stakes game of Deal or No Deal. If the player makes a “bad deal” and accepts an offer that is a lesser value than what is in their chosen case, they are immediately eliminated. If the player makes a “good deal” and accepts an offer that is a higher value than what is in their case, the power is in their hands and they get to select who to eliminate.

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Deal or No Deal Island premieres Feb. 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC before moving to its regular time slot at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Mar. 4. All episodes will be available next-day on Peacock. The show is produced by Howie Mandel, who serves as a judge on America's Got Talent with Manganiello's ex-wife Sofia Vergara.

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