Wow! That’s the only word I can use to describe episode 5 of WWE’s Tough Enough. Coming into this week’s episode, we all knew that we could expect some of this season’s favorites to be in jeopardy, purely because all of the bland and obnoxious competitors have all been booted. But never did I expect the shocker of the elimination we received tonight!
Weeeellllll… It’s the Big Show!
The Big Show makes his presence felt at the top of the show, in full wrestling gear, promising that the male competitors are going to get an up-close lesson of what it feels like to be tough enough. As we cut to the barracks for the obligatory reaction period after last week’s show, there are very few tears shed at the elimination of Gabi Castrovinci. Instead, new alliances seemed to be formed with the sudden bonding of Sara Lee and Chelsea and further divide between the barracks’ other bombshells, GiGi and Amanda. Patrick continues his recent trend of cockiness, asking Tanner “how it feels to be in the bottom three,” which prompts ZZ to step in and question what’s going on with his friend. He asks Patrick to dial it back a bit and compares Patrick’s recent personality shift to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter.
Yes, it was as ludicrous a metaphor as it sounds!
The Humility Challenge Obstacle Course
This week’s challenge took the competitors out to an obstacle course complete with hurdles, tire flips, rope climbs, and more. After running through rules of the challenge, the coaches welcome their special guest judge – Natalya. Oddly enough, Natalya is introduced and escorted in with two police cars. We come to find out that some of the officers are going to run the challenge alongside the competitors for some extra motivation.
Tanner resurrects the dominant competitor we saw in Week 1 when he absolutely demolishes everyone else in the entire competition. I don’t think a single competitor was more than halfway through the course when Tanner crossed the finish line, which led us to some entertaining trash talk directed towards Patrick.
Sara Lee surprisingly dominated the girls through almost the entire course, until reaching the rope climb. Her struggles climbing the rope ended up giving GiGi enough time to catch up and ultimately win her 5th challenge. It’s a shame, because it was a win that Sara Lee desperately needed after barely surviving the previous week.
Virtually all of the competitors, aside from Tanner, struggled during the rope climb portion. After seeing his fellow housemates struggling, Tanner actually ran back over and started offering advice and encouragement to the others – including Patrick! It was an incredible sign of respect from a guy who was pegged early in the season as the most arrogant of the bunch.
By the end of the challenge, Amanda had to quit on the rope climb, ZZ quit on only the second obstacle (a platform climb), and newcomer Chelsea actually fell off the rope climb and banged her ankle up pretty bad. The coaches commend Tanner for his sportsmanship and use it as a lesson to Patrick, saying that if he doesn’t drop his ego in this business, doors might just get slammed shut on him.
The Fallout Unravels
Back in the barracks, ZZ breaks down in tears over his poor performance earlier in the day. Mada, Tanner, and Josh all comfort ZZ and try to bring light to the positives of his effort so far. Patrick, on the other hand, decides he’s seen enough. He verbally rips into ZZ, calling him out on his complete lack of improvement over the past five weeks and goes so far as to mention that the only reason he’s even still in the competition is because of the fan’s vote. We get the quote that littered the commercials all week, when Patrick says “it’d be a kick in my balls if I lose to you.”
In the doctor’s office, we come to find out that Chelsea’s ankle is sprained and that she’s not advised to put pressure on it for at least a month. Considering the competition only has 5 weeks remaining, she makes it clear she’s going to try and hide the injury and fight on.
The Humility Wrestling Challenge
The second challenge of the week is another in-ring challenge, where the contestants will basically run through a series of moves with one another. The focus on the challenge is not so much on the perfect execution but on the entertainment value each competitor brings while executing the move. The caveat is that the winner would get to make the loser do 50 squats while they berate the loser the entire time.
GiGi decides to spill the beans about Chelsea’s injury to the coaches, saying she doesn’t feel safe and doesn’t want to be put at risk being in the ring with Chelsea. She puts on a horrid display of sympathy, fake crying to pretend she really feels for Chelsea’s misfortune. It was a fairly low blow by GiGi, who expressed earlier that she wasn’t thrilled at Sara’s new alignment with her.
We did get to see quite a bit of the challenge, in which each of the participating competitors looked a lot more polished than I had expected. Ultimately, the judges declared Mada and GiGi the winners, also noting that Mada has been the most improved since the start of the competition.
A Shocking Elimination
Just before we head to the stage for eliminations, there’s a scuffle between Sara Lee and GiGi back in the barracks. Sara gets in GiGi’s face over telling the coaches about Chelsea and pinning it on Sara (which was true). Amanda jumps in to side with GiGi, which lights a fire under Sara’s ass even more. It was quite a massive shift in character from the Sara Lee we’ve seen these first five weeks.
Back in the studio, The Big Show lines up the five remaining male competitors and has them remove their shirts so that they can take a big chop. In the words of Ron Simmons – DAMN! I’m sure glad I wasn’t one of those guys.
The judges then submit their picks for the bottom three:
- Daniel Bryan selects ZZ on account of his lack of improvement
- Paige selects Patrick, on account of his attitude and asking “what it felt like to be bottom 3”
- Hulk Hogan goes on about how he wants to pick Chelsea but isn’t because of her injury. He surprises the entire audience when he selects Josh, which actually even gets a big “What!?” out of Paige
The voting was turned over to the fans and in arguably the biggest shocker of the season – Patrick Clark, Jr. was voted off of Tough Enough.
It’s worth noting that ZZ had merely 3% less votes than the overall winner, Josh.
- This episode is exactly what I hate about the way the voting works for this season’s Tough Enough and exactly what I feared about ZZ. The judges voted Patrick and Josh into the bottom three merely to make a point to them to start stepping their game up more. As a result, the most well-rounded competitor and probably the favorite to win ends up going home because of the fans’ love affair with ZZ. But so as long as the fans continue to vote for the winner, ZZ will continue to march through the competition, despite how terrible he’s doing in all of the physical challenges.
- During Tough Talk, The Miz absolutely RIPPED the judges apart for cutting Patrick. He went on to say how Patrick is the standout in the ring, is one of the top guys physically, and is leagues beyond the rest of the cast on the mic — all points the judges agreed with. Paige tried to defend her decision to nominate him for elimination, stating that he was getting too egotistical, to which The Miz said that he’s always been that way.
- Interestingly enough, Daniel Bryan took a bit of a shot at the format of the show, saying that “this” was the problem with the way folks were voted off. It doesn’t really matter how good you are in the ring or physically, as the fans are just going to vote for the guy they like the best. He and Paige both agreed that the reason they didn’t use their save this week (which they both nearly did) was because then the fans were going to just send the other person standing next to ZZ home. It was nearly universally agreed that ZZ didn’t belong there at this stage of the game, because he wasn’t stepping up.
- There was a lot of support for Patrick both from his fellow cast members and from the judges, who all seemed convinced that he has a future in the business. Just before the show went off the air, The Miz gave another short monologue to Patrick, telling him that he was once in the same position because of his attitude and that if he calls in favors with every person he met during this experience and keeps at it, he’ll no doubt be in the company in short time.
So what do you think? Should Patrick’s cockiness really have been deciding factor in him going home? Will ZZ up his game and show some significant improve within the next week? Will it even matter if he does?
Tweet your thoughts to @suggafnshane on Twitter with the hashtag #WrestlingOnline!