ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Elizabethtown Army veteran Christopher Watts impressed the nation on NBC’s new show “The Titan Games.”
Thursday night Watts beat out his competition to earn the title of Titan. He will be moving on to the next round of the competition.
Watts was a security contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan. He flew to Los Angeles just for the show, before returning back to Afghanistan to keep working.
On Thursday, more than 50 of Watts' friends and family members sat around tables at Buffalo Wild Wings in Elizabethtown to watch the show.
Watts told his family and friends he was heading to Texas so he wouldn’t be able to join them to watch. Unbeknownst to them, Watts changed his flight last minute after he heard about their gathering.
He surprised all of his loved ones just minutes before the show aired.
"I'm pretty sure I stood there for a good five point five seconds, to me it felt like a minute, but like five seconds before anyone realized I was there," Watts said. "But then they were screaming and everything. But when you walk into this place you can't even see the love and appreciation these people have for me."
Watts' loved ones cheered loudly every time he appeared on screen during the show, especially after he was named Titan.
“It just brings tears to my eyes and my daughter goes, ‘This is after the fact.' It doesn’t matter! I’m still at the edge of my seat,” Betty Rush, Watts’ mom, said.
Rush went to the competition when they were taping in Los Angeles.
“I’m very proud of him! Especially on this particular event and after what happened in Iraq," she said. "Because Chris has never been one to talk about it. And to watch him open up -- he is a hard worker. When he puts his mind to something you can bet he’s going to do it.”
Watts said re-watching the competition was an interesting experience.
“Glad I got to watch it as is because you know in the moment you black out I guess,” Watts said. “I blacked out.”
After the show, he gathered his friends around to thank them for their support.
“You guys mean a lot to me no matter what,” Watts told his loved ones. "And I’m glad that I was able to win for you guys -- you guys all have a part of that win.”
Watts said a big part of this competition for him is his desire to motivate just five people across Kentucky towards a better them tomorrow. He hopes that if he can motivate five people to care about their health and wellness, they will motivate five more people and so on.
Watts said he will no longer be working in Afghanistan. He is moving back to the U.S. and is still working on what’s next.
Watts can be found on social media platforms under the handle @cwatts13. He’s also using the hashtag #motivateKentucky.