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Grylls tells PEOPLE that Hough was a "real Lara Croft" on his show

By Maggie Parker
Updated July 11, 2016 05:55 PM
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Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty

Before Bear Grylls and Julianne Hough could go trekking on the African Savanna for his show, Running Wild, the survivalist had to get one important thumbs-up.

Hough reveals of her protective fiancé, Brooks Laich, “wasn’t [worried] about what we were actually going to do. “I think he was just nervous that I was going to Africa by myself, and he’s like, ‘I need to be there and be with you and make sure that Bear’s going to take care of you,’ ” Hough, 27, Hough told PEOPLE at an event for the show’s third season at New York City’s Empire State Building.

“He knows that I love that kind of stuff, so he was pretty into it – but he did meet Bear beforehand,” she added of the 33-year-old Washington Capitols NHL player.

“As I met Julianne, he lept out first,” Grylls recalled before imitating Laich’s introduction by putting his hand out, lowering his sunglasses and saying, “Look after her.”

“I saw the whites of his eyes,” recalled Grylls, 42.

Hough added, “And then I was like, ‘Goodbye babe. Go. See ya!’ ”

Grylls finished Hough’s story with a laugh: “Yeah – and then he jumped back in the car and he was off to the spa.”

A far cry from her usual gig judging Dancing with the Stars, Hough consumed animal feces and skirt snakes during her adventure with Grylls.

“There are not many girls I know who would squeeze the juice from elephant dung and drink it,” Grylls said of Hough.

“Yum!” Hough joked. “The scariest and hardest part was probably eating and drinking the elephant dung and the caterpillars, not to mention the snake that was right next to us as we were belly crawling next to it. There were a few moments … actually all of the moments were not scary, but thrilling. But, for me at least, it was like, the more I’m committed, the less afraid I’m going to be, so I might as well just go for it.”

As for Grylls, he knows the drill.

“The pressure is on me to keep them alive,” he said. “But we always have fun. The stars often get quite nervous beforehand, but in the end there’s always a real sense of pride and confidence that they’ve earned. I always promise, I’ll deliver you alive, but you will have a few scrapes. But the girls often really embrace that.”

RELATED VIDEO: You’ll Never Guess What Kate Hudson Ate on Running Wild with Bear Grylls

Past guests include Courteney Cox, Kate Hudson and Kate Winslet, in addition to men like Channing Tatum, Zac Efron and President Barack Obama.

It wasn’t tough to convince Hough to join in the fun.

“There’s something about going out with no makeup, just going out and being free and adventurous and the pressure’s not on you,” she said. “I think that’s the fun part – that there is nobody else there. You gotta be you and show all parts of you, and it’s rewarding, too.”

Grylls was very much impressed by the Grease Live! star and added, “Don’t be deceived by the pretty clothes, she’s a real Lara Croft.”

And once it was all over, Laich joined Hough for some more adrenaline-pumping fun.

My fiancé and I, we actually stayed in Africa after and did a safari and zip-lined from Zambia to Zimbabwe, and we bungee jumped together,” she added. “We love adventure, too, so we’re trying to plan our next one for sure.”

Season 3 of Running Wild With Bear Grylls premieres Aug. 1 at 10 p.m. on NBC, and Hough’s episode airs the next night at the same time.