Kenji Ngo From Tough as Nails: Everything We Know

Image Credit: Matt Barnes/CBS

In CBS’ ‘Tough as Nails,’ we get to witness twelve contestants, who consider the calluses on their hands a badge of honor, competing against one another in a series of challenges inspired by real-life scenarios. In each challenge of the reality competition show, the participants’ physical strength, mental toughness, endurance, and life skills are tested as they lock horns to become the last one standing and take home the winning prize. One of the contestants who impressed many viewers with his ability to complete the scenarios relatively smoothly was Kenji Ngo. Are you intrigued to find out all about him? Well, let’s delve into everything you should know about Kenji Ngo!

Kenji Ngo’s Age and Background

Born in the 1980s, Kenji Ngo has shown a keen interest in handiwork since the tender age of 14. In 2012, he went to Southern Maine Community College and pursued his associate degree in computer technology. Interestingly enough, when the first season of ‘Tough as Nails’ was released in 2020, Kenji was one of the viewers who tuned into the show.

Watching individuals like Danny Moody (season one runner-up) and Lia “Jill-of-All-Trades” Mort (season three winner), who were skilled like him, getting a shot at something this grand, Kenji got inspired to apply to the series himself. As a matter of fact, in a June 2023 interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Kenji said, “Everything that I’ve done throughout all of (my) life was like my stepping stone. It’s like I was meant to be on this show for this very season.” In 2021, he completed his move to Delaware, Ohio.

Kenji Ngo’s Profession

As mentioned above, from the tender age of 14, Kenji started working as a bike mechanic, after which he tried out his luck in food service, camp counseling, sailing, mountain biking, and even teaching rope courses. What’s impressive is that he had experience in all these jobs before age 20. Becoming a jack of all trades early on gave him a headstart over most other people.

Later in life, Kenji also worked as a diesel mechanic for the US Navy for a brief period, becoming one of the very few people to become a petty officer from an apprentice within just three years. Still unsatisfied with all the skills he had learned and gained, Kenji decided to expand his skill set by joining college.

Kenji Ngo’s Wife and Kids

Kenji Ngo is married but prefers to keep his wife’s name out of the public’s eye. They have welcomed two beautiful children into the world — a 4-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter — both proud of their parents, especially their father. A family man at the very core of his heart, he admitted that being away from his family for five to six weeks during the production of ‘Tough as Nails’ season 5 was the hardest part.

In the same interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Kenji also stated, “(Being on the show) was the biggest love letter and message that I could give to my kids, basically telling my wife that I love her so much and (telling) my kids that they need to apply themselves and … if they believe in themselves, they can go far and wide.” With nothing but good wishes in our hearts, we hope Kenji and his family remain lovely and prosperous for years!

Read More: Kelly “Murph” Murphy: Where is Tough as Nails Season 1 Winner Now?