Tough Enough Redux: “Swallow Your Pride, It’s Good For You”

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

As is always the case with this season, the wrestling took a back seat to the drama~, even as the trainers and judges attempted to instill some humility into the hopefuls. We saw a potential dream-crushing injury, some world-class snitching and a pretty satisfying blow-up.

To start the episode, the competitors took part in an obstacle course alongside members of the local police department:

Natalya was there to instill the virtues of humility, but didn’t do much else other than share her (very inspiring) story and cheer them on.

Giorgia finished the course first, followed by Sara Lee. Amanda and Chelsea were stuck on the ropes, having a lot of difficulty climbing to their destination:

Both women never finished the course, due in large part to Chelsea’s rough landing upon completing the rope challenge. She dropped straight to the ground, spraining her ankle badly.

A doctor’s visit would tell her that the injury wasn’t too serious, but encouraged her to stay off her feet for a month. As the competition only has five weeks left, she was understandably worried. She was forced to sit out on the in-ring drills while she pondered her future.

On Saturday, Lita got an update on her injury, accompanying her to a doctor’s appointment:

Chelsea walked out of the office fitted with a boot and admitted that she felt “defeated”, because though she may be able to work through it, she’s not going to be all full strength any time soon.

She shared these worries with Sara, whom she had bonded with pre-injury. Sara, for some reason, spilled the beans on her condition to Amanda and Giorgia.

Giorgia then spilled the beans to the coaches in front of everyone, bringing Chelsea to tears. Giorgia put on the water works as well, exhibiting some real WWE-level acting.

After the day’s in-ring drills, which saw Giorgia rise above the rest and Sara do some humiliating squatting/chanting, they headed back to the barracks, where Sara confronted Giorgia about her snitching:

Giorgia defended herself by saying Sara shouldn’t have told her about Chelsea’s condition if she didn’t want the details out there. Amanda got involved, bringing everything to a boiling point. Sara would eventually explode, feeling ganged up on. She calls them “fake”, hopefully commenting on their personalities rather than their bodies.

At the end of the show, none of the women were placed in the bottom three, Chelsea having revealed that she’s returned to the workouts and saving herself from Hulk Hogan‘s wrath. Paige, sick of Patrick‘s constant fighting, places him in the bottom three. Hogan goes with Josh, while Daniel Bryan picks ZZ.

After the lightning quick voting period passes, Patrick doesn’t garner enough votes and is eliminated.

I get a lot of people’s frustration on this, since Patrick had the most wrestling passion out of anyone, but the format of this show doesn’t reward that. Since we’ve seen so painfully little of the contestants’ in-ring potential, the audience, being handed the power of elimination, are going to vote on likability. Patrick, after getting in arguments EVERY SINGLE WEEK, didn’t stand a chance. I wouldn’t have voted to save him. I was sick of him, WWE love or not. Best of luck to him, though: hopefully he keeps pursuing his dream and matures along the way.

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. Lita and Paige get some love too.

Amanda: This week wasn’t particularly flattering for Amanda. First, she fails to finish the obstacle course, and then she assumes the role of Giorgia’s “sidekick” and inserts herself in an argument she had no business being in. There wasn’t much to like about her here. As Patrick’s elimination proved, that could kill you quicker than any in-competition failure.

Chelsea: It’s a bummer to see her get injured this week, since she has the most potential as a wrestler and never really get a chance to show that. I’m really skeptical that she’ll be able to recover enough to impress the audience before the competition ends. There’s still enough time for a miracle recovery, but her prospects don’t seem so great at this point. If she’s riding the bench or dragging in the ring next week, I’ll fear for her.

Giorgia: It made her look practically villainous to spill Chelsea’s secrets in front of the coaches and then conjure up some well-timed tears. I understand the need to protect everyone, but if Chelsea’s undisclosed injury caused anyone problems, that would be down to her. No one’s going to come after Giorgia for keeping the secret. It’s kind of disappointing, since she seemed like a pretty straightforward person up until then. While the audience may sour on her, she’s kicking everyone’s ass in the competitions (winning both this week), so I don’t think she’s in real danger yet. If she continues picking on the audience’s golden child Sara, though, her days may be numbered, skill or not. I gotta say, it’s kind of ironic that all of this went down during the “humility” week.

Sara: I understand Sara’s frustration with Giorgia and Amanda, but I can’t get on board with the “shame the conventionally hot chicks” shit. It’s just juvenile and naive, especially when you’re trying to become a WWE Diva. There is no “real woman”, and giving yourself cool points because you look more natural is misguided and plays into the double standard bullshit men put on women every day. I’m sure Lana, having gone through her lovely Instagram drama, could tell her a bit about that. It’s nice to see her actually succeed a bit this week, coming in second on the obstacle course. However, as this show has demonstrated, likability trumps all, and Sara has that in spades with this audience. As long as she stays on the audience’s good side, she’ll probably cruise into the finals.

Lita: I loved seeing her take Chelsea under her wing and help her through her injury angst. It showed that she’s a truly good and intelligent person, seeing both sides of the coin: staying hopeful and encouraging Chelsea while not being too idealistic and knowing that she may have to offer herself up for elimination if she can’t cut it. More Lita, please! I say that every week, but…please?

Paige: Surprisingly, she wasn’t all that memorable this week. It was sweet of her to say that she was proud of Sara, and I can’t blame her one bit for putting Patrick in the bottom three. I’m sure she wanted to “scare” some humility into him, though, rather than open the door to his elimination.

 

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. Despite her shifty actions, she killed it in the competition, winning both this week. She’s racking up these wins and is really at the head of the pack for the women. If this were like previous seasons, she’d have it made in the shade, but here, she’s going to have to start considering how she appears on camera and take to heart the “humility” lesson from this week. The WWE Universe will drop her quickly if she keeps up the manipulative stuff, especially against Sara. Make amends quickly, Gigi!

Who’s your MVP for this episode?