So last week Daria was eliminated, which I thought was the wrong choice, meaning that the queen of frozen dessert brands, Sara Lee, survived. Honestly, she was stiff and wooden in the entrance challenges. Daria’s entrance was shit, granted. But An actual Sara Lee frozen cheesecake had more life than the contestant on Tough Enough of the same name.
This week Chris Jericho, the panel and the trainers were out to get Sara Lee. And judging from how bad she started off in tonight’s show, how could she possibly survive this time?
But rewind! After the usual shit-chat with between Renee Young, Jericho and the panel, we cut to the Tough Enough barracks where they’ve replaced the outgoing Daria with Chelsea who just missed the original cut. I know they’re doing the old Big Brother routine here and are trying to stir the pot, but this is a 30 minute show. We don’t spend nearly as much time with the contestants and look at their relationships with each other all that much. They don’t really do much with newcomer Chelsea in this episode so for now her addition to the team seems a bit flat.
Immediately another catfight just happens to erupt in the Tough Enough barracks between Gabi and Amanda. Not much to see here. Gabi has a go at Amanda’s fake boobs for no apparent reason other than the producers telling her to “stir shit again.” It’s the same old schtick. Nothing much to see here.
It’s time for today’s first challenge and it’s all about cutting promos. We get a nice little video package of classic promos from the likes of Hulk Hogan ( pretty good ), Ric Flair ( Fuckin awesome ), The Rock ( great ), Chris Jericho ( not the best example used but he was an awesome promo guy back in the day ), and King Barrett shouting “BOOM” ( ??? ). The first thing that came into my mind immediately after these examples of “classic promos” was how the missing ingredient in some of them ( and most promos today ) was copious amounts of COCAINE. King Barrett steps into the ring with Billy Gunn and Booker T and says how they’ve got the reigning and two former kings of the ring standing here. Call me a cynic but I couldn’t help but think how with the exception of Booker T, the King of the Ring title hasn’t done anything for these guys. I do like Barret and I think he’s one of the WWE’s better mic guys right now but Ric Flair he ain’t. Barrett tells the contestants to step in the ring and cut a promo on why they should be next year’s King or Queen of the Ring. I thought this was quite a fitting promo topic as being King of The Ring is equivalent to being taken off TV anyway.
The contestants are taken to the stand-up comedy club “The Improv” where Chris Jericho explains that contestants will be in a “promo battle” in which they’ll pair up and cut a promo on each other on stage. First up is Mada vs Josh. Mada gets into his “The Pharaoh” character and yells something in Arabic?? Easily the best of the bunch because it was an actual promo for an actual character. Josh hits back with his “British Brawler” gimmick in a terrible accent. Think Newcastle Geordie mixed with a South African and Chewbacca. Chelsea boringly lists the qualities needed to win Tough Enough. Her partner GG (Giorgia) retorts by ripping the shit out of Chelsea’s lame attempt. Tanner rips on Patrick in a rather flat manner. Patrick comes back with another attack based on how he knows more about the business than anyone else. Gabi gets on stage and doesn’t seem to know what the hell to say or do. Amanda just predictably lays into Gabi calling her a bitch. Sara Lee had a good idea in telling ZZ to bow down and beg for forgiveness but it was delivered with the intensity of a boned fish. ZZ comes back with a good little line about how Sara is too nice and that if a mosquito flew past her in the bayou, she’d fall down. Cue Jericho to step on stage and “tear into” Sara Lee. Actually, he was doing the right thing though. Jericho tells Sara Lee that her lack of personality and edge is pissing him off and gives her an opportunity to get angry and hit back at him to which she kind of does towards the end. I’m really starting to think that they chose Sara Lee purely because she’s out of her depth in this show. The challenge ends with Patrick and Giorgia chosen as the winners. I really thought Mada should’ve won over Patrick. His was the only actual promo. Most contestants simply got up on stage and got into a personal tirade on their partner. Before we leave the club though it’s handbags at dawn as Mada and Patrick get into another “spontaneous” fight.
Back to the barracks and the girls argue over who was criticised in the promo challenge more. Meanwhile Tanner tries to trick the lifeless newcomer Chelsea into sneaky kiss as they move into a hug. Paige and Hogan describe Tanner’s actions as Lame while Daniel Bryan is not so sure. Though Bryan does look like the type of guy who probably had to try and steal kisses by any means necessary.
Next challenge is at the performance center where Billy Gunn explains they’ll be learning to shoulder tackle and then do a pick up for a body slam. Most of the contestants do pretty well here except for Sara Lee and the segment really focuses on her issues. She says that she can’t trust her partner and continues to fuck up the lift and being lifted time and time again. Billy Gunn pretends to get angry. He and Lita tell her that she has to get “out of her head” and it’s all about trusting your partner in the ring to take care of you. Chelsea and Josh win the challenge and then it’s off to the barracks again for Sara Lee to have a bit of a cry.
So finally we go back to the studio for tonight’s elimination and more clapping. The judges pick out their nominees for elimination and “drill” them on stage. Not surprisingly Paige calls on Sara Lee to step forward. Paige rails on Sara Lee and goes why over the top yelling “SHOW ME SOME PASSION” several times. Seriously, fuck Paige in this show. Why couldn’t they choose a “Diva” with actual experience to be a judge here. I think Natalia would’ve been a great choice. Instead they continue to push Paige who’s only 22 years old and has been on the main roster a year and she seems to think being a tough judge is all about acting like a pushy old hag. The panel pick on Josh for his crap promo. Hilarity ensues and Paige teaches how to spell sarcophagus ( golf clap ). The judges pick out Sara Lee, Gabi and Tanner for elimination and ask them to redeem themselves by cutting a 30 second promo on the judge that nominated them. Gabi fails miserably at this by lifelessly listing off her qualities on her resume. Tanner cuts a “meh” promo on Hogan which at least wasn’t as bad as Gabi’s. Sara Lee steps up and rails on Paige and actually shows some intensity by calling Paige out to the ring some day. I think it’s fair to say Sara Lee actually redeemed herself here.
The votes come in and tonight’s loser is Gabi. No surprise really. Week by week Gabi looked increasingly incompetent and at times just outright confused. I wonder if she’s that confident in English? She just seemed lost all episode.
So Sara Lee lives to fight another day. My biggest problem so far with Tough Enough has been that the only remotely interesting character on the show is ZZ, but even if he does win, I can’t imagine the WWE doing anything interesting with him. Perhaps he’d go over on NXT, but I can’t imagine the WWE doing anything with him outside of that. Everyone else on the show comes across as either bland or a dick. I mostly agreed with Hulk Hogan about Patrick. Patrick comes across as a smart-fan the whole time who doesn’t understand that the business is all about working with others and getting the best out of your peers. It’s not about belittling or criticising others.
So who’s for the chop next week? My pick is Chelsea. She won the slam challenge but seemed pretty dull otherwise. I’m sure they’ll continue to make life hard for Sara Lee also.