Heartthrob and reality TV star, Colby Donaldson, has won audiences worldwide. He is one of the few individuals who have been able to cross the divide between participant and host, and continue to prosper in the television industry. Colby is not only the total sum of what the audience sees, but is smart and hardworking. With an eye for technology and several companies of his own, he has worked hard to get to where he is today. He is perhaps best known for hosting “Top Shot”, a shooting elimination show that aired on the History Channel. The show was popular almost immediately, drawing 1.2 million viewers to the premiere episode, a statistic that is partly due to the charismatic host, Colby Donaldson.
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Early Life and Family
Colby Donaldson was born on 1 April 1974, in San Angelo, Texas USA.
Colby relates that he first discovered his passion for the outdoors and nature when he would go on hunting trips with his father and grandfather. He enjoyed every part of the process that would culminate with the aroma of cooking meat that the family could eat for dinner. This lifestyle gave him a real appreciation for survival, and a life cohesive with nature.
In 1992, Colby decided to pursue tertiary education, and enrolled in his local Texas Tech University, a decision that would play out to be highly in his favor. He graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.
To say that Colby has had a prolific career would be an understatement. Although he is best known for his television appearances, he has dabbled in many industries, including sales and real estate.
Donaldson made his first television appearance as a contestant in the show “Survivor”, a CBS series that premiered in May 2000. The show follows the experiences of two teams cast away onto a remote island, and given minimal supplies with which to survive for 42 days. The teams are faced with a multitude of challenges, after which, if they succeed, they will receive food and luxuries. The members of the teams are slowly eliminated as the team votes members off the island for any reason. Donaldson’s good looks were a significant factor in the show that drew the attention of audiences across the world, and gained him his popularity.
Throughout the early 2000s, Colby made a name for himself in the film and TV series industry.
He made his first appearance in the Halloween episode of “Just Shoot Me!” in 2002, and continued to make cameos appearances in various shows from then until 2005, including in “Good Girls Don’t” and “8 Simple Rules” both in 2004, and “Rodney” in 2005. Colby then landed roles in a variety of films, playing the chief bodyguard in the 2005 film “Red Eye”, and had an uncredited roll in “Dirty Love” in the same year. After 2006, however, he seemed to conclude that his energy was better spent elsewhere and transitioned into new arenas of work.
“Rachael Ray Show”
After pitching the idea of this show to Paramount Pictures in 2007, Colby was awarded the opportunity to appear in the first episode of the show.
The producers were so impressed with his performance, that they immediately gave him a three-year contract, and a position as a recurring co-host on the show. The varied and engaging format of the show made it an instant success, Although the show still runs today, Colby left the team in 2009 in order to pursue opportunities in Los Angeles.
In 2009, Donaldson was offered the opportunity to be the host of an up-and-coming show: “Top Shot”. Produced by History Channel’s A+E Network, the show is a season-long competition where teams and people are put through a series of shooting and weapon usage tasks, in order to progress through each round. Winning the season carried quite the ultimate reward – the winner receiving $100,000 in prize money, and the show’s title.
Colby was an integral part of the show, and was promoted to producer for the third season of the show. He had multiple contacts in the arms industry, and was able to broker key deals with these firearms companies that set the show up for success. The show premiered on 6 June 2010 and ran until August of 2013, for a total of five seasons.
Another History Channel competition series, “The Butcher” premiered on 22 May 2019. With Colby Donaldson returning to the air to host the series, the show saw a relative amount of success. Each episode of the show features four butchers who compute to show off their skills. Judgment is strict, but the winner goes home with $10,000 in prize money, and a title.
With the role that he played on “Top Shot” and the general Texas reputation of being gun-happy, it is not surprising that Colby turned this to his advantage.
In 2012, he founded Texas Triggers, a team-building experience that played on many of the challenges that appeared in the TV show that he had hosted. Located in Sonora, Texas, the company prides itself on the quality of the experience they gave, and the professional training and guidance they provided. The company is apparently still operational, but Donaldson remained as CEO only until 2016.
The Modern Group
From 2014 to 2016, Colby worked the relatively low-profile job as the regional manager of The Modern Group in Odessa, Texas. The company is categorized as a component of the Commercial & Industrial Equipment Rental & Leasing Industry, providing service and contacts across the US. If this sounds like an odd fit for a TV personality, Donaldson probably thought so too… and moved on.
Donaldson worked as the director of operations for Mobiliti Choice in Austin, Texas from 2018 to 2019. Pitching itself as a car subscription service, Mobiliti offers subscribers choices of new and lightly used vehicles to use each month. While there are multiple companies out there that offer the same services, Mobiliti differentiated themselves by covering much larger areas, thus creating greater opportunities.
Colby Donaldson first got into real estate in 2016, when he worked as an agent for DEN Property Group in Austin, Texas. His appreciation for his home state and the lifestyle that comes with it made him a perfect fit for the company, which advertises itself as not just selling property, but a lifestyle, and having an active involvement in the areas in which they sell and purchase property.
Although Donaldson left the company in 2018, he then joined Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, Austin, again working as an agent. Despite his work on “The Butcher” and other TV shows, Donaldson still works in this company.
Donaldson married his long-time girlfriend, Britt Baily, on 24 December 2016. The two live with their daughter, Brinley, on a ranch in Texas where they have unfettered access to the outdoors, wildlife, and horses. Colby has reignited his childhood love of hunting, and has posted pictures of his daughter accompanying him on his excursions. He believes that this lifestyle cultivates only the best traits in children, saying in a post “Just a girl and her horses… Makes me so incredibly proud to see the bond that Brinley has established and continues to nurture with all the animals at the Ranch.”
Colby Donaldson has managed to maintain the good looks twhich first got him, and maintained the public’s attention. Colby has dark brown hair and bright blue eyes and usually goes clean-shaven. When he does not, however, there are clear signs of grey in his stubble, although this remains the sole indication of his aging. Donaldson has an amiable smile and chiseled features which he is not afraid to flaunt in Instagram posts. Colby is 5ft 8ins (1.75m) tall and weighs around 175lbs (80kgs).
Net Worth and Salary
From his epic appearances in “Survivors” to his dealings in the real estate industry, Colby has tried practically everything. While the History Channel is known for paying a substantial sum to cast members, the exact amount remains unknown. However, Coly has managed to achieve a net worth estimated at over $1.4 million as of mid-2020, which certainly allows him to live in comfort.