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Tough Enough Review and Recap Episode 7: The Reality Continues

Booker is a serious dude
Booker is a serious dude

Tough Enough returned tonight for another episode of its partially live reality show.  Things are heating up as the numbers dwindle.  Let's jump right to it.


I have a confession to make.  I don't hate Tough Enough.  In fact, I'm starting to enjoy watching it.  Sure, there's plenty of flaws with the show and when I come to review it, I'm going to focus on how the show stands up to what they say they are.  But I don't come home and think "I can't believe I have to review Tough Enough tonight."  Because as a reality show with random competitions, it's fun.

For most reality shows, you give it long enough, you're going to eventually get hooked.  There's only so many times you can take a hit of trashy television before you need to know how it all ends.  Sure you know it's bad for you, but eventually you just need to know how it's going to end.  That's how reality TV has thrived this far.  Eventually, you're gonna get sucked in.  For me, it looks like it was around 7 episodes.

This isn't talking about being a show that prides itself on finding the next top wrestler.  Because that's not what Tough Enough is at all.  It ceased to be that the moment the gave the fans a chance to vote.  However, as a reality show with characters you either love or hate and the crazy competitions they have to do, it can be fun. The horrible voting has actually become a staple of the show, working as an obstacle that judges have to vote around and the fans have to predict around.

And Tough Enough actually tightened up it's show this week.  They focused on the in ring segment a decent amount and then the aftermath.  Sure they showed some drama in the barracks, but that's going to be shown.  They cut out the extra in studio segments when a superstar delivers a move to all the guys or all the girls.  Those were extraneous and derailed the momentum of the episode.  They replaced it  with the judges grilling the contestants more, which is more apropos for the show.


To sum up tonight's events, this week's theme was team work.  In the first challenge, two contestants had to put on a mini-match together.  Some drama ensued when Giorgia felt that Sara dropped her on her head (a claim Daniel Bryan refuted.)  Chelsea also tried to show up Amanda, which defeated the idea of team work and angered the coaches.

The second challenge was the non-wrestling challenge.  Two teams had to run into a controlled burning building with a fireman and rescue a dummy.  The Prime Time Players came by to watch and be on the show.  It was all very Tough Enough. The team that worked the best together would be deemed the winner.

The most shocking part of this episode was despite being chewed out by Billy Gunn plenty this week, ZZ was not in the Bottom Three.

I'll give you a second to reread that.

No, instead it was Chelsea, for not acting as a team with Amanda, Giorgia, who Bryan chose for overreacting to being slammed on her side, and Sara, by Paige for not apologizing for the poor because it's basic etiquette.

Another save was used, this time by Paige for GiGi.  While I was surprised at first, Giorgia actually would have went home because she got the lowest amount of votes.  (C'mon, people.)  Instead, Chelsea was eliminated.


Other quick hits from this week:

  • Billy Gunn has to be pissed, right?  Another week with ZZ for him to chew out.  I wonder if he's driving to Full Sail now to slash the judge's tires.
  • Seriously, ZZ couldn't do more than 2 minutes in the ring without getting gassed.  After 7 weeks, that's just sad.
  • Here's a theory:  Only women were nominated this week because they don't want to run the men down to two this soon.  Only 3 guys compared to 4 girls this week and they didn't want to go 2 to 4.
  • My guess on how the show will end is they'll have two guys and two girls on the final episode.  So if the guys got down to two this week, they wouldn't be eligible for elimination until the final episode.
  • Miz threatened to put Amanda in the bottom three but then changed his mind and put Chelsea in.  I'm fine either way.
  • Daniel Bryan is just too nice.  He showed some life this week when calling out GiGi for saying she could have been paralyzed by Sara's slam.  He told her he actually has lost feeling in his limbs.  Paige started arguing with him as she's wont to do and he was about to fight back and then stopped himself.  Would have preferred to see him with a little more fire there.
  • Tanner and Josh won the in ring challenge while Tanner and ZZ lost.  ZZ's team (with Josh and Amanda) won the firefighter challenge.  It helps ZZ used to be a volunteer fireman.
  • With the addition of the Miz, Paige is definitely easier to tolerate because he's even more over the top.  Both Hogan and Bryan were both low key that Paige's personality stuck out too much.

Coach Chew Out of the Week.

ZZ got "Gunned Down" plenty.  (I stole that from Cagesider "That's Just Sad" in the comments last week as the term for Billy Gunn chewing out a contestant.)  Billy kept shouting "Say I quit!" at him.  He did not.  In fact, he's still here, Billy.

Favorite Moment of the Week:

On dumb reality TV notes, I really got a kick out of Josh allowing Tanner to "work on his game" with him. It got weird pretty quickly.  None-the-less I got a kick out of it.


That's it from me.  What did you think of tonight?  With only a few episodes left, are you sticking it out until the end?

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