With Tough Enough favorite Patrick Clark eliminated, this week’s episode promised to carry a certain level of intrigue with it as we watched to see who would emerge as the new front runner in the competition. After an opening montage of ZZ paying homage to Patrick with a shrine, of sorts, and a tease of tension between Amanda and Chelsea over Chelsea’s increasing blonde hair, we’re introduced to this week’s theme: focus.
For the out-of-the-ring challenge, the competitors are tasked with running an aerial ropes course across several platforms. On each platform, they are to read a number and ultimately use all of those numbers to enter a passcode on a safe to reveal their prize. While running the course, Coach Billy Gunn screams at the competitors through a megaphone, asking them questions and trying to get them to forget their passcodes. Joining the coaching squad this week is none other than the Swiss Superman, Cesaro!
Being afraid of heights myself, this challenge looked to be the most difficult by far. Each of the competitors was strapped into a harness as they participated in the challenge, but trying to scale across rope wires 90 feet in the air certainly didn’t seem easy. Nevertheless, each of the competitors seemed to embrace the competition and nobody showed any significant fear of heights, with all of the remaining 8 completing the challenge.
Only two, however, completed the challenge while remembering their passcodes: GiGi and Tanner! Since Tanner completed the challenge the quickest overall, he was awarded the prize of Chris Jericho’s “Best in the World… at What, I Have No Idea” book.
And the Crowd Goes Wild
Sticking with the theme of focus this week, our in-ring challenge was designed to teach the Tough Enough cast to try and block out crowd noise. The coaches piped in crowd cheers and jeers over the PA while Billy Gunn rapidly shouted a series of moves out to the competitors as they paired off in-ring. While the moves were still rather elementary, it was pleasing to see some of the development of the competitors.
Not everyone looked so polished, however, as ZZ struggled to remember the order of some of the moves. His clumsiness drew the ire of Mada, who argued that ZZ’s inability to execute the moves also made him look bad. After the in-ring challenge was over, the judges surprisingly awarded victories to Josh and Chelsea! While Chelsea’s in-ring experience certainly played a part in her victory, Josh’s win was more a testament of his continued growth.
He’s Not Got Game
In our weekly dose of drama, we’re treated to a hot tub scene between Chelsea and Tanner. Take a moment to imagine what you’d expect the scene to be … and know that it was nothing close to that! Despite Chelsea flirting with Tanner heavily, our former MMA fighter can’t seem to pick up the hint. He sits across the tub from Chelsea, watching opportunity goes by as Chelsea literally lobs softball pitches up to him. Clearly, talking is not his strong suit — in any scenario.
Later in the barracks, Chelsea must decide she’ll get more interaction with the girls, as she and Sara Lee practice their lock-ups in one of the rooms. But because the door was closed, Amanda and GiGi naturally think that the duo are mostly talking trash. After a brief argument, the scuffle ends with Sara Lee and Chelsea continuing to practice their lockups while GiGi and Amanda sit perturbed in the common area.
Another One Bites the Dust
Back in the live studio, we’re treated to the introduction of Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina – Team B.A.D. – as they look to give the female competitors a reality check. Similar to what The Big Show did with the male competitors last week, each of the remaining girls were lined up to get roughed up by Tamina. She’d powerslam them in the middle of the ring and then leap off the top rope with a big splash.
Overall though, the splashes looked extremely protected and as if they barely even affected any of the girls. I expected Tamina to look a lot more fierce and believable.
After a tumultuous week for Hulk Hogan, it was The Miz who would join Daniel Bryan and Paige at the judges’ table, as they selected their bottom three:
- Daniel Bryan selected Amanda for her struggles in the challenges this week
- Paige selected ZZ, citing his continued laziness
- The Miz selected Mada for playing the ‘blame game’ after bombing the in-ring challenge with ZZ
After the vote was turned over to the fans, The Miz decided he wanted to “spice things up” and used his only save of the season on Amanda. He noted that Amanda had the physical ability, the attitude, and the connection (albeit negative) with the crowd to be a diva. He also routinely called her hot, which drew a bit of criticism from Paige.
With Amanda now removed from the voting, it was between ZZ and Mada. Once again, the fans stood firmly in the corner of ZZ, which left Mada this week’s victim.
- I’ve said it from Week 1 and I’ll continue to say it — ZZ is a virus to this competition. He’s been in the bottom three more than anyone and continues to flop in all of the challenges. Yet fans routinely vote him as the clear favorite. It didn’t matter so much in the beginning, but now we’ve officially lost two of the top guys in this competition.
- Had it not been for The Miz’s save, Amanda would have went home by a wide margin. I hate to see her go at this point, as she does have the look and the physical talent to be successful. But she’s quickly been positioned as the new “pretty bitch” on the show, so the fans are clearly against her.
- It was interesting to see how the entire house said that ZZ should be the one going home. Despite that they all love him as a person, you can clearly see that they’re becoming fearful of what might happen if they’re put in the bottom three with him. He’s not even close to being a fringe elimination. He’s firmly ahead of every live vote.
- On Tough Talk, Mada absolutely ripped ZZ to shreds and questioned his drive and motivation. ZZ seemed fairly lost and tried to say that what other people see as laziness, he sees as being laid back. It almost felt like a purposeful attempt by producers to make ZZ look worse, as new host Byron Saxton kept pressing the issue with The Miz and Paige chiming in.
- Speaking of the new host – it’s tough not having The Miz behind the mic on Tough Talk. It really takes a lot away from the show, in my opinion. Byron seemed a bit stiff in the beginning, but did loosen up a bit as the show went on and found his groove. He wasn’t great but he wasn’t as brutal as I had expected.
So what do you think? With Patrick and now Mada gone from the competition, who do you think is the forerunner to win this season? And what about the girls — do you think Amanda really is the worst of the group? Tweet your thoughts to @suggafnshane with the hashtag #WrestlingOnline!