BattleBots is back with a brand new season filled with epic fights, innovative bot builders and a brand new twist. Ahead of the Thursday, Dec. 3 season premiere of the hit Discovery show, host Chris Rose gave PopCulture.com the inside scoop on what's to come as the 60 teams from across the globe compete for The Giant Nut.
Filming for the 2020 BattleBots season was supposed to kick off in the spring, but was pushed back to fall because of COVID-19. The use of masks, social distancing and regular testing kept everyone healthy, but the teams did have to battle in front of just each other instead of fans this year. "First thing you're going to notice is it's gonna look a little different," Rose said of the teams looking on from the sidelines instead of fans. The different format was "just as good," he revealed, as it even gave teams the chance to do some "scouting" from their competitors.
There's also "kind of a new twist" coming this year in the form of bounty battles, which are "one-off shows" separate from the regular season and playoffs. Eight bots start at the beginning of the day, facing off against one another in a single elimination format until they reach a legendary bot waiting for them in the finals. If they beat the legendary bot, the team wins money, but it's going to be tough. "Can you win a handful of fights and then knock off the baddest bot at the end of the day that's just been sitting there?" Rose explained of the challenge.
The builders this season are some of the best BattleBots has ever seen, Rose continued, and even includes an 11-year-old competing with the repurposed Paul Ventimiglia Bite Force bot. "The people who are bot builders want to do it, because this is in their DNA," Rose shared, noting that most of them are students or have other jobs. "It was our best season of fights," he continued. "We were so pleasantly surprised!"
Thursday's season premiere includes an epic Main Event clash between former world champion Ray Billings with bot Tombstone and Jack Barker's End Game from New Zealand. Other stars include Whiplash and SawBlaze, both of which have championship aspirations, as well as Captain Shrederator, looking for a win against Lock-Jaw, and Bloodsport, out for blood against Skorpios. BattleBots returns with brand new action on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery Channel.