Newton Woman Takes Hog Calling to Steve Harvey on ‘Little Big Shots’

NEWTON, Iowa  --  When the phone rang at the home of Bonnie Swawell Eilert, it was Hollywood calling.

Eilert’s name had been given to producers of Steve Harvey’s show Little Big Shots: Forever Young. They had heard of her numerous Iowa State Fair championships in Hog Calling, Husband Calling, and Chicken Calling.

Eilert, along with her daughter Sheryl, was flown first class to Los Angeles, where the two checked into a hotel and not long after received a phone call from a producer.

“Will it bother you too much to  meet me down here in the lobby at six o'clock tomorrow morning, and here we’d just gotten in,” said Eilert. “I didn’t want to fuss with him so I said that’ll just be fine.”

She said they were taken about three hours out into the countryside to a farm where they conducted some interviews. Eilert was asked to do some of her calls in front of Steve Harvey, the cameras, and the audience.

“I enjoyed it very much. I was not frightened because I’ve been in front of people before, I've sang in front of people before, it didn’t phase me at all,” said Eilert. "It was wonderful, he’s ( Harvey) just as crazy as can be, well not crazy, but funny.”

The 88-year-old from Newton said she also enjoyed getting a tour of Hollywood from someone who lives and works there.

“The biggest thing was the honor of being chosen out of millions and trillions of people to go out there and be on that show,” said Eilert. “I’ve always had adventures in my life, but this I believe is my greatest adventure yet.”

Eilert's episode will air on NBC on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.