With the seventh episode Tough Enough in the books, it’s time for another Redux.

This week, Tough
Enough
somehow found a way to outdo itself, fuckery-wise. Each of the women found themselves on the chopping block at one point, and The Miz managed to put over his heel persona make people hate him even more with a last minute switch-up.

The whole saga started back at the Barracks, where the competitors reaction to Amanda‘s shocking save. She is not ashamed that her looks saved her skin and (probably inadvertently) quotes Booker T in saying, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

This week’s theme was “teamwork”, and the first challenge took that lesson to the ring, the competitors pairing up for drills that tested their ability to work together.

Amanda teamed with Chelsea, while Giorgia was paired with Sara.

Chelsea was scolded for selling too much, her wrestling experience actually hurting her here. Sara, meanwhile, came close to dropping Gigi on her head, but didn’t seem worried about it at all. Gigi had enough worry for both of them, though.

Booker singled out Gigi post-drill, telling her that after advancing for the past few weeks, she showed some regression here.

Back at the Barracks, Gigi confronts Sara about the near-miss, but Sara still isn’t taking it seriously. Gigi tells Sara she gives off the vibe of thinking she’s performing better than she is. Sara says she’s giving it her all and counters by saying that Gigi hasn’t connected with the fans. Gigi says she’s never been tested on that, since she hasn’t been in the bottom three yet. Freddy Foreshadowing Sara muses that she might finally experience that this week.

The second challenge put the competitors in firefighters’ shoes, pairing them off into two teams to fight a controlled blaze. This, of course, tested their teamwork. The Prime Time Players were there to cheer them on as well.

None of the women stood out in the hamfisted challenge, but the team Chelsea and Amanda were on were given the win.

The night at the Barracks, it was Amanda and Chelsea’s turn to argue. Amanda complains about Chelsea’s selling in their teamwork drill. Chelsea escalates things by not denying that she might do things to mess up Amanda’s game in the ring, saying that it’s her fault if she lets it mess her up. Soon, she’s shouting, saying that no one’s saving Amanda for her personality.

Amanda tells the cameras that she can learn to wrestle better than Chelsea, but Chelsea can never learn to look as good as her.

When we head to the live portion of the show, The Miz admits that his save of Amanda may have gone to her head. He unofficially announces that he’s putting her in the bottom three.

Paige calls out Chelsea for her selling, pointing out the she didn’t stop even when the judges told her to.

Daniel Bryan focuses on Gigi, thinking that she was complaining too much about it. He doesn’t think it looked as dangerous as she claimed it was, as someone who’s nearly been paralyzed in the ring.

He puts Gigi in the bottom three, while Paige selects Sara. Miz, for some scripted reason, changes his mind as puts Chelsea in instead of Amanda. Paige wants to change her pick, but what’s done is done.

If Paige is held to her pick, why isn’t Miz? Sure, his was informal, but the other judges made their picks based off of that understand. It was like a handshake agreement. He shouldn’t have been able to make the switch. It all reeks of scripted drama, if not on the part of Tough Enough producers, then on Miz for trying to become as controversial~ as possible, because we all know legitimately fucking with someone’s career is good fodder for heel heat.

So, we have Chelsea, GiGi and Sara in the bottom three. Each make their pleas to stay, sounding heartfelt and terrified.

After the voting period, Paige makes the decision to use her save to spare Gigi. So, despite drawing the fewest number of votes, she’s saved. Chelsea, coming in a distant second to Sara, gets the axe.

When Renee Young speaks to Chelsea post-elimination, she comes across as gracious, saying the Gigi deserves to win it all.

Post-show, Lita gave her take on Sara’s sloppy body slam and the field of women at this stage in the game:

In other digital extras, we saw the competitors prepare for the firefighting challenge, the judges gauge the in-ring abilities of the women and Amanda bond with ZZ.

Lastly, watch the Tough Talk post-show below:

 

Gut Reactions

Here, I’ll break down my impressions of each of the female competitors, based on their performance in the episode.

Amanda: Sooo… she’s going home next week, right? It’s crazy – she went from an uncontroversial figure to absolutely hated by a good chunk of the audience, all thanks to The Miz. It didn’t help that she bought into it, unleashing that lame line about Chelsea never learning how to be as hot as her. Does she know this show is broadcast to an audience? Does she have any sense of how she’s coming across? Wrestling isn’t necessarily about likability, but this show certainly is. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters, due to the shitty voting structure. She and The Miz have turned her into the most unlikable contestant of them all, and I doubt many of the fans will be voting for her when she’s inevitably placed into the bottom three next week.

Chelsea: She was my pick to win it all, since she was head and shoulder above the rest, wrestling-wise. I’m sad to see her go, especially when she wasn’t even placed in the bottom three to begin with, and then didn’t even draw the fewest votes. She got screwed out of her spot, bottom line. I’ll admit that it wasn’t cool of her to do the selling stuff, especially when she was told not to. It made her look like a tryhard. I’m sure she’ll continue on her wrestling path, since she was one of the few that was actually pursuing it pre-Tough Enough. I can’t say I’ll miss her arguments with Amanda and Gigi, though.

Giorgia: I’m torn on the “nearly dropped on the head” thing. I can see Daniel’s point of view that if that scared Gigi as bad as it did, maybe she’s not cut out for wrestling. I can also see Paige’s point that she’s new to the ring, so she doesn’t know how to properly gauge near-injuries yet. I was put off by Gigi’s shrieking about nearly being paralyzed; the sheer over-the-top nature of it made it seem like she was overreacting to blackball Sara, so even if she nearly was injured, it looked like she was being disingenuous.

Sara: On the other side of the coin, I was absolutely turned off by Sara’s blasé reaction to the way she dropped Gigi. Even if Gigi was faking, it did Sara no favors to write it off. If she was a decent person, she’d be apologizing and worrying about her Gigi’s well-being even if she was overreacting. She’s not going to look bad if she shows remorse. She just looks unprofessional and kind of clueless, neither of which makes a good Diva. Lita’s remarks about her in the digital extra were dead-on: she just doesn’t have the confidence to be performing in the ring and putting other people’s fate in her hands.

 

MVP

Lastly, I’ll name an MVP for each episode, just to highlight who made the biggest positive impression on me. And the honor goes to…

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Giorgia. Needless to say, she’s my pick to win it all now. I’m turned off by her newfound crappy attitude, but the fact remains that she’s outperformed both Amanda and Sara in the competitions. So, I want her to win, but do I think she will? Nope. Take a look at the vote margin between her and Sara:

She doesn’t stand a chance in the fan vote. If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now: Tough Enough producers screwed themselves by formatting the show the way they did, favoring drama~ and showy competitions over actual in-ring development, giving judges more control over the competitors’ fates than the ACTUAL TRAINERS WHO SEE THEM ALL WEEK and ultimately putting their collective fates in the hands of the audience, who will always root for the people they relate to the most. That means poor little Sara will win it all. I just hope she’ll make a better Diva than a Tough Enough competitor. I’m kind of hoping ZZ wins on the male side, just to show the WWE how royally they fucked up on this. It would serve them right.

Who’s your MVP for this episode?