|WWE Tough Enough by The Cubs Fan||
Over quick (TV PG L) footage of people in line, and lots of footage of Tough Enough trainers and winners, we get a question: "Who will be Tough Enough (III)" 25 semifinalists, 13 finalists, 2 winners. See, we have no one to from this show to show yet.
Footage of Al, Ivory and (who?) Bill, as Al explains that people watch TV, say it looks easy and that they could do it. This season, they're gonna see how right those people are, even before they get the opportunity. Back to footage. And then quick montage of tapes - someone gets blurred out (not a good sign), and someone's wearing nothing but a bag.
Big explains the difference this year - instead of a big casting special someplace, they held three smaller, intimate (and shorter) casting bits in Chicago, New Orleans and Denver. Looks like they got a hotel deal, because it's the same chain every place. In New Orleans, Big gives the people who made it that far a prep speech - show why you want to be part of Tough Enough Three.
Amy P.: "I am here to...uh...show you guys that I'm tough enough." You might as well leave now if you can't remember. John thinks he could be a great highflier. Daniel lists his stats. Wendell has dreads - Al asks if he'd shave them for a contract, and he's conflicted. Voula spells her name odd, which gives her a step up. Julia talks about taking a bump right. Chad remembers Hulk Hogan's tights from when he was in first grade. Cynthia - good god, so many people so quick.
Now they're obviously some place else but who knows. Shawn says this is an easier way to get there. Diego (who looks like a slightly more latino Evan Karagais) talks about wanting to be in front of the camera, but Al doesn't believe he wants to wrestle. Eric admits to not faithfully watching it all the time - doesn't seem too smart, but it's probably a lot better than being caught lying later.
Big says sometimes, you learn a little too much in this interview. This year, it's Jonah who seems to have a problem answering the "Do you have a girlfriend" question. It takes a bit of time and some help, but Jonah not only managed to screw himself, but he's paying for it at this moment. He had a girlfriend, but he met this girl Jill - who, by luck, is also trying out, and can explain part of the story herself - and they got a bit close. Jonah's girlfriend saw Jill's phone number on Jonah's cell phone, called back to see who it was, and the two girls figured it all out. See, when you try to have two girls, you have no girls. Like quarterbacks. Jill: "I was just like that - sonofabitch! I hated him! And I really liked him!"
Jonathon reveals that he lives the Prince Albert gimmick. Ow. Rebekah tells us she's saving herself, while Jamie demonstrates what she can do with a banana. Gee, I wonder which one the WWE wants. We see the video of the guy moving with only the bag over his area, and he's (Scott) all "you can't show that on TV!" I wish they didn't!
Once all the mini-casting bits were done, they invited the 25 semi-finalists to California. In person - Tazz, Ivory, Al and Big went door to door (but apparently not every door) to let those who made it know. Tazz: "Yea, we got a delivery for you." Al: "Wanted fugitive." Ivory finds the door unlocked and opts to walk in and find the person she's supposed to tell. "Hi Rob!" "HOLY [BLEEP]!" Shots of excited people. Jonah made it. Wendell made it. Some girl jumps Tazz with a hug, which would we seem to be a very bad idea, but she manages to live. Tazz is all "woah!" Jonah shows off his underwear.
Day 1. All 25 are there, and some of them explain the idea: they prove themselves now, then they're cut down to the 13 finalists. Everyone gets workout gear with their name on it, which helps me and the trainers figure out who the heck they are. There's still way too many people. Among them though, is John from last year's casting special - you'll remember him as the guy who didn't know what a Spinaroonie was, then did a super version of it (perhaps showing up JR in the process and perhaps having JR downgrade him.) Wendell thinks he's the best athlete in the whole competition. Scott is our token Asian. Jill wanted to die on the inside because it's her time to shine - no, it doesn't make sense to me either.
Big tell everyone to go inside a warehouse building and sit down - Jonah says they were trying to figure out what they'd have him do. When the garage door opens, it reveals that there's a ring inside. Apparently, they're gonna go through the first few days of actual training, and those who can't back bump right probably won't stick around. The trainers - Al, Ivory and (who?) Bill are all waiting inside. I'm sure they clipped out the segment where Bill promises sudden and painful death for anyone who calls him Hugh, because that name is never ever spoken. Entrance videos for the three. Yes, there are Bill Demott highlights. I'll slip and accidentally refer him to as Hugh because he doesn't know where I live. I hope. People talk about reality sinking in - they're really there. Justin looks about 32. Break.
Big tells the 25 that they're going to be evaluated at all times, and only 13 will make it. Bill tells them this is his house (his house) "for twelve years and twelve years" and he doesn't respect any of them. Al says he's going to be mean sometimes, and not mean other times. Everyone's pretty much stuck on mean here. Wendell makes a wonderful first impression by wearing sunglasses (inside) while the trainers are talking. Ivory reminds them that half of them will be cut. Red Hair Kelly talks about earning everything they'll get.
They do the "stand up and introduce yourself" bit, and that's where I'd quit this season. It's not the working out or bump taking that pushes me over the edge, it's the lame chatter. We hear some people boasting - Wendell's all proud of being in the ring TWICE! which is all of two more times than I've been in. Al thinks Wendell has everything that it takes, but he seems unsure from body language. Rebekah says her family isn't supporting her, but she wants this anyway. Justin says a day without nearly dying isn't a day without truly living - poetic yet moronic. James: "I came out of the womb for one reason and one reason only, that's to wrestle." James up that by saying he can not be broken. You can see the gears turning in Al's head as he thinks of all the ways young James will feel pain in the very near future. Fear for him.
Run! Run for your lives! Or just around the block. Red Head Kelly (pigeonholing makes these episodes easier to handle) doesn't quite run all the way - she claims allergy triggered asthma. She takes a minute and gets it together, but one wonders if that's something that'll be a bigger problem. Maybe just don't wrestle outside!
Calisthenics. Lots and lots of it. Amy talks about people watching them all the time, as Kelly takes her place with everyone else. Bill gets on someone for not stepping all the way into the exercise they're doing. Wendell is coming up slow already. Bill yells at them that they said they'd do everything it takes, but are they doing it now? Mostly. Al tells us that he notices Wendell is taking shortcuts on the exercises and yells at him. Bill yells at random people. Someone pukes. Al reminds us that they're just auditioning - no one's made it yet.
Wendell "collapses" to his knees. Quotes because everyone knows it's more an act than anything. Al yells at him to get up and start doing the exercises again. Wendell fake staggers and goes to his knees again. Chad, who 36 by the looks of it, says he's happy to see people who are competition go down. Wendell "collapses" to the mat. Al yells at him to get up and sit down. Al: "Medic Dan, take a look at him, even though you don't need too." Wendell plays dead on a bench, and needs Al and Medic Dan's help to drag him into a locker room. It's kinda pathetic - if he's not faking, he's in horrible shape (and he doesn't look that way), and if he is faking, he's just a moron digging a hole bigger. Wendell tries to say he does stuff this hard all the time, and basically talks big from the floor. You'd think he wouldn't be able to yell like that if he really was about to pass out.
Al goes back to the main room and asks if anyone wants to quit - not yet. Short Rob says the trainers are intense, and if you slack off, they'll let you know.
Wow, they're doing back bumps on the first day. Handstand bumps are the first ones we see. Al makes a big deal about the right way to get up (plant your elbow or first, pull you left knee up, and swing your right hip up.) The point is not to put your open hand on the mat, so it doesn't get stepped on. Asian (what, two? NO WAY - this is the one without the silly hair coloring) Nick is surprised they're doing bumps on the first day. Someone almost lands on their head. Al uses a wristlock (and knee to head) to drive in the fist point. Somersault back bump montage. Rebekah points out how weird it is to willingly fall on the mat. Two Timing Jonah thought he did a great job. Boston (and two-timed) Jill says the bumps hurt her mouth - it makes her feel like she's going to throw up. That'd odd.
Wendell has been in the ring TWO (or three) TIMES! and that gives him a huge edge up. Just in case you forgot. The problem is that he's still on the carpet. "Nothing wrong with your blood pressure." "No, of course not." Al says the medic (who ends up sitting and watching this next scene for his own enjoyment) told him there was nothing wrong with Wendell, which didn't come as a big surprise. Al tells Wendell to shut up, and stay there. Al points out the flaws of the story - he was about to pass out but talking about the passion in his heart. "What you are and what you become is based on the decisions you make, you understand that? Because if you done more episode of that bull[bleep], I will grab you by the back of your pants and the back of your neck, and I will personally stuff your ass out of that f[bleep]ing back of that door, and no one will stop me." Break.
Looks like they've got a break too - various people are chatting. Wendell says he was told to come back or leave, but it didn't have a mental affect, because he knows he'd make the best wrestler here. More talking but Old Chad points out to us that it's a competition and he's got to be more focused on winning than to get to know these people.
Al says 100 "jumpy jacks", which is really funny to me for some reason. Al's just starting a hole through Wendell. 100 Hill Climbers next - get on tow hands and run in place with your feet. Squat thrusts. Wendell's lagging again. Bill gets down on Rebekah for not getting all the way down on them. Ivory's around but Ivory doesn't say much.
Wendell is really slow. Al is all over him. "You have no desire - you have no passion. You don't want to do this." "Yes I do!" "No you don't." [clip] "Show me I'm wrong. You have every opportunity to and every change to do it. [Wendell "collapses"] Oh, we're back to this again. Stand up. [ticked] Stand all the way up! [Gregory says something here that's obvious, so we'll ignore it] What you do tells me more than what you say, and what you've told me with your actions has told me you don't want it." "Yes, I do." "No, talk is cheap." "Doing this means nothing to you." [Wendell, a little too energetic for a man who just collapsed] "Yes it does!" [Al, seriously ticked now, a finger to Wendell's chest and scaring him into walking backwards into a wall.] "What is it - that you all of a sudden to find the strength to talk to me like that? [clip] That you have the never to tell me that it's in your heart, when I ask you to do it, for your own f[bleep]ing benefit, and you tell me -" "It's not in my body-" "Then it's not here. GO HOME! Go home! You are cut! You're gone, cut, done, finished, go home, grow up, make decisions in your life! Don't come and waste somebody else's time, because you sure as hell wasted my time and yours. Go!" "Wait..." but Al's stop listening to him. Everyone who was standing around watching that unfold gets back to business. Wendell is just shell shocked, and Big has to yell for him to get going again.
People talk about it making the cuts seem all the more real and all the more possible. Al explains that he was so ticked off because he could see Wendell winning the whole contest, and he flushed it down the drain in the first few hours. I don't think Al was ready to give up on Wendell till at least that second collapse, and maybe even until he perked up responding to Al again. Wendell talks a walk to the vans - he's done.
Big wraps up the day with kids and sends them home for the day.
Day 2. Everyone shows up again to Trax West. Al calls someone sunshine. Big talks about cutting Wendell, and tells them to keep in mind that they're being cut [everyone together] "at all times." Special guests today are WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn and WWE Senior VP of Talent Relations Jim Ross - I was hoping for a JR/John rehash but it doesn't ever come to fruition. For the most part, JR and Kevin fade into the background, though JR gives a talk. "If you don't make it, it's not gonna be because Al Snow didn't like you, it's because you couldn't do it [so shut up already Jake and Kenny!]"
Flashback to Wendell to remind us that he sucks and we don't want to be like him. Check. Voula: "Wendell was a piece of crap, and I think he gave us all a bad name." She wonders if they're wondering if they picked the wrong thing.
Calisthenics. Everyone is up to 250 today to cause much more pain. Bill gets on James because James is doing horrible hill climbs (he's not moving up that hill much at all.) James talks about Bill being right and all, but he's still doing a mostly bad job after Bill is yelling at him. We're happy someone finished, but I don't know who this person is so I'm not really THAT happy.
Two Timing Jonah and 42 Year Old Chad size each other up in interviews, which makes no sense because not only are they a long time from going head to head, but they haven't actually made the show yet. Somersault back bumps. Short Rob has Pete's short man's complex of being neurotic about his height. Jamie doesn't know about her chances - "because I'm pretty and buff, but I'm not like extremely high and bold." Pretty sure of her self. Voula says it's quite a bit of a mental thing - and then tries to solve that problem by landing RIGHT ON HER HEAD. Owwwww. Break. Her neck, probably.
AAAAAAAARGH Replay. Still on her head. Everyone's kinda scared now. She seems relatively okay but freaked out. Big gives Voula a pep speech, and it seems like they have her do it again real soon (less time to think about it.) She's very nervous and not really eager, but Al gets her into doing it. She kinda flinches before doing it, and quite nearly lands on her head again. It was better but she's not tucking her head in. Voula says she feet dizzy.
Sarah is freaked out about doing it now, and she keeps on throwing her shoulder first, making it look as much like a corkscrew as a somersault, and just generally horrible. And she keeps doing it, again and again. We see footage of her doing it yesterday. Big tells them not to let the bumps psyche themselves out. Sarah just totally pulls back at the last second, and Al sends her out of the ring. Bill gives her a speech: "sent home for something you did the first day, and you're not doing now, that sucks." It seems like Bill's warning her, but the way they cut it up, it sounds like she's actually being sent home now, which isn't (yet) the case. Boston Jull comments on Scared Sarah.
Back bumps from a standing position now. AL demonstrates, and makes fun of someone for not being able to rock their hips. "See that butt action, that picks up chicks!" Lots of people bouncing their head. Jill talks about it hurting but overcoming. Nick uses an open hand to get up, so Bill slaps it. Nick does it again, and gets a demonstration from Al again. And he does it wrong again - this time more trying to use both forearms, I think. Al is sick of it, so they make him do back bumps 50 times, get up, and yell "I don't get off the mat right!" It's very painful looking a - death march. He's exhausted near the end, and Hugh knocks him down a couple times for using his hand again. Nick is excused but thinks he can perfect it.
Back bump montage. Sarah is getting better but still not there. James runs into a somersault bump, nearly diving head first into the mat. Voula is totally freaked out by it - she does it, because she's not thinking about it.
Al sits everyone down. You have to get it or go home - and someone's not getting it, so they'll send them home now. Break.
Mr. Editor wants us to think Voula, Nick, or Sarah as the possible cuts, and it turns out to be Sarah. Guess they got tired of her not taking the bump right. She isn't really surprised - sad, but understanding. That brings us down to 23. Lots of comparison between Voula and Sarah, but you may have figured that out.
Big hypes tomorrow's physical challenge as beyond anything else they've done, and really really tough.
Final Day. California hills. Bikes. Everyone's nervous yet excited.
Big explains that they'll be riding bikes for about two miles. He asks if anyone hasn't been on a mountain bike before - and Scott raises his hand. Big explains about gears and brakes quick but mostly, Nick is screwed. Winning is important - being safe and finishing is. Scott says he's not worried about the heat or the hill, just trying to ride this bike. Everyone gets helmets and a bike. Ivory and Al gets scooters to follow, while Hugh gets a van to go to the finish. Big gets his own golf cart like thing too. I don't why any of that matters, but the the scooters look nice so I had to point it out.
Bike riding. Big neglected to tell everyone that it was curvy and all pretty much uphill. Scott has all sorts of problems just going straight, going off the road (and slowly) heading to the edge of the mountain at one point. Al does not endorse that idea. Some people are off and walking the bike. People start finishing. Bill is wearing a hurricane t-shirt. Someone says they're tried, and Big says he doesn't care. Scott fights the bike all the way up, then angrily drops it. Al figures it was 2.5 miles for everyone else, but 10 for Scott with all his zig zagging.
Big reveals that this is actually a biathlon - next up, a two mile run. (Sadly, no swimming to come.) Everyone's about dead from the bike already, so this is killer. Big again says he doesn't care who wins, he just wants to see them finish. Bill meets them at the finish. Lots of people finish strong. Looks like Jill is the first woman. Add Kelly's the last one - wow, I hope it's the shorts that make her look that big in back. I guess.
Everyone claps for everyone. Big says they're gonna figure out the final 13 right now. The 23 left talk about their chances. James says they didn't break him. Big explains that everything goes into this pick. It isn't clear if they had 13 in mind going into this and are just swapping around, like previously.
Big sets to announce all 13. And here we go.
Matt (blond, good looking dude.)
The key? Finish last! Works every time. 8 guys, 5 girls. Odd that if they're interested in taking the best 2, it ends up with the same split every year.
Winners celebrate, losers are sad. Rob is the one we focus most on - Al tells him it's all about timing, and it just wasn't his time. Most of the other losers are just happy for the winners. Voula will just take advantage of the next opportunity she gets. The losers walk off, and Big reminds the winners that if they think of quitting, that they're doing it for the people who just walked away.
Big explains that they're not done yet - they've got to run from here to this really huge looking house, their new home. Every angle makes you go "whoa!" and they all rush down to the house and take a look around.
Next Week: Will some one quit? Kelly has more asthma problems. Someone horribly blows a pot and Bill may kill him. Scott is annoyance. Big is ticked off. It appears everyone showed up, but we'll see.
This? Not so bad.The Cubs Fan
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