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Tough Enough Review 7/7/15:

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Tough Enough Review – Ep 1

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Welcome to another review of WWE’s Tough Enough!

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Before getting into the 3rd edition of the Tough Enough competition, the judges spoke about their excitement to see who would step it up and who would be chopped off the block.  Poor Sara Lee!  It seems that all the pressure of standing out and making a name for one’s self has fallen on her shoulders.  Will she be up for the challenge?  We shall see before the night is over.

Right after eliminations took place and contestants returned to the Training Center’s barracks for the night, Patrick declared that America had made the right decision by eliminating Alex, but now he was going to focus on his biggest competition: Tanner.

Just when you thought you could overlook Dianna’s whiney personality and focus on her amazing athleticism, she started in on her old ways, declaring she wants to go home and plan her wedding.  Maybe Sara Lee has a point: lie low while the other girls get themselves kicked off with their bad behavior.  So at 2:00am, Dianna piled into a waiting car and left the Tough Enough Competition.

Early the next morning, Coach Billy Gunn woke up the competitors with a hand-crank siren.  WAKE UP!  After running and calisthenics, Billy announced that there were two eliminations: one via America’s vote and one who just decided to quit.  The reactions to Dianna’s departure were exactly what were to be expected, even from Gabi.  Her concern wasn’t about her “friend,” but now that the target would be placed on her back.

Before the first commercial break, back live in the Full Sail Tough Enough studio, Chris Jericho asked the judges for their reaction to Dianna’s leaving.  I think Paige best summed it up, and won over many hearts, when she said, “Well, it sucks to sucks.”

The first competition of the week would take the contestants to a warehouse filled with racks of costumes; a prop house.  Coach Booker T said it was time to learn about another side of the business: character.

Special guest, WWE Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins,  rode up in a bright yellow jeep to help drive home the importance of choosing the right character.

Excellent choice for guest star. Seth Rollins demonstrates how to create a character, not a gimmick.

Rollins gave some great advice: Without a strong character that the fans can invest in, no amount of muscles or man-buns are going to help you make it.  Sometimes the character that speaks most to the WWE Universe isn’t exactly in line with your personality, but that’s part of the gig.

The competition required the contestants to pull a card that had character themes on them.  They had one hour to work with the props to create their character.

  • British Brawler – Josh
  • Bitchy Boss – Giorgia
  • Barbie Doll – Amanda
  • King of the Ring – Mada
  • Fallen Angel – Daria
  • Stud Muffin – Tanner
  • American Hero – ZZ
  • Sara Lee- Queen of Mean
  • Patrick – The Evil Intellect
  • Gabi – The Farmer’s Daughter

After the commercial break, the competition in Character Building series, Coach Booker T asked, “Who’s gonna shine? Who’s gonna step up?  Who’s gonna show me showmanship, style, and charisma today?” This setup the contestants to debut the characters that they had developed based upon the cards they picked.  Because Paige put Sara Lee on blast last week for having zero personality, Coach Lita chose her to go first.

An entrance ramp was created for the contestants to walk down towards the ring, music was chosen and lighting effects cast colorful shadows for each competitor.

  • Unfortunately, despite having one of the more fun and easier personas to embrace, Sara Lee’s “lost puppy” demeanor couldn’t help but shine through despite her studded bra and King Barrett-like crown.  It did not impress the coaches.
  • Josh’s British Brawler was fully loaded with an arrogant, cigarette-smoking, and iffy British accent.
  • Daria decided to go with a literal fallen angel gimmick that read far too on-the-nose, and not enough “good girl gone bad.”
  • Tanner created Wildman Wayne, the stud muffin, whose entrance was short with a botched leap over the top rope.
  • Gabi took more to her farmer’s daughter character than she thought she would.  According to Amanda, she provided the hooker version.
  • Patrick’s evil intellect character was hilarious.  Every evil mastermind has a cat, so he improvised and used Coach Lita’s dog instead.
  • Candy Rose, AKA Amanda, was the perfect Barbie Doll.  She had the the right personality to pull off this character
  • The Pharoah, King of the Ring, Mada.  A gigantic scream fully encompassed his character.
  • Giorgia seemed to be channeling Lana in her mini business, bossy bitch suit.  She strutted along the ring apron, forcing her competition to move back.  OUT OF MY WAY!
  • There’s no denying that ZZ has a lot of personality, and the American Hero gimmick isn’t his calling.  The coaches were insulted by how ZZ came off as jokey and not taking the competition seriously.

The winners of the competition:  Patrick and GG.

Despite the fun and laughter that this competition inspired, Coach Billy Gunn reminded the contestants that someone would still be eliminated despite Dianna’s departure.

It was obvious that ZZ was upset by the coaches’ reactions.  Back in the barracks, he sat with fellow contestants Patrick, Josh, and Tanner to discuss the American Hero character he presented.  His argument that he helped people escape their reality for 10 minutes was difficult to give legitimacy to, and Josh summed it up that ZZ was simply upset that he did poorly.

Now that Dianna is gone, Gabi knew that it was time to scramble.  She reached out towards Sara Lee to be on Team Gabi.  Sara Lee’s naivety is going to help Gabi, but ultimately why would you ally yourself with someone that seems to be destined to stay in the bottom 3??

Tanner and Patrick had no problems mixing it up in the living room area of the barracks, one trying to prove to the other of their superiority.  Tanner claimed that when people saw him, they knew they were going to lose.  Patrick retaliated and said he was challenging Tanner, man-to-man and that he would whip his ass.  They locked up, but it was quickly shut down by Josh, Mada, and some Tough Enough staff.

Back in the Tough Enough studio, the bottom three were announced:

  • Daria because of her entrance during the character challenge (Daniel Bryan)
  • Sara Lee because she still isn’t bringing it (Paige)
  • ZZ despite seeing glimpses of greatness, it’s not consistent enough (Hogan)

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Each of the bottom three were given the opportunity to redo their entrances, and it seems that they took advantage of the reactions given during their debuts.  Will it be enough to save them? The results of America’s voting will tell that tale.

Before the results were announced, the majority of the contestants agreed that Sara Lee should go home, making her the new Dianna.  Sadly, receiving only 14% of the votes, it would be the end of the road for Daria.

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One Comment

  1. Dan

    July 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    ZZ for the U.S. Open challenge.

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