Tough Enough: (don’t) Pop ya collar!

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, but our contestants definitely aren’t feeling good. As if having the bedroom door bashed in by Bill DeMott a couple of weeks ago wasn’t bad enough, this time their alarm call came in form of an air horn. Ouch! The remaining contestants hot-footed it down to the front of the palace where they found an obstacle course.

The course involves running up and down small hills with a body bag on their shoulders, crawling like a crab, jumping on Bill’s box, making ropes look like snakes and doing some tyres.

We’re five weeks into the competition now, so our boys and girls should have stepped things up a bit. It seems this obstacle course, however, was a challenge too far for most. Ryan kept being sent back down the hill for not being crab-like enough, Andy took so long about getting around that Jer-Mah overtook him, Ivelisse didn’t have enough strength to carry the bag up the hill (seriously, somebody get this girl a steak!) and Eric…..

Fair play to Martin, though. What a lovely boy to come and help Ivelisse finish the course.

A shower and some breakfast later and it was time to start training. Sat up on the turnbuckle, pensively stroking his tiny beard was Rey Mysterio. Just like every episode of Saved by the Bell that ever was, each installment of Tough Enough has a heartfelt message to impart. This one was delivered by Rey and involved believing in yourself, overcoming the obstacles ahead of you and working with others to reach a common goal. See what they did there? With the obstacle course at the beginning and then Rey Mysterio heart spilling? Although, if you’re a cynic you might have considered the message to be……
On to a challenge, and this week our crew were asked to pick the body bag up on their shoulder and slam it down to the mat ten times in a row. This was a further challenge for Ivelisse, who was still struggling after the obstacle course. Her luck failed even further when she got smacked in the face with Christina’s lady area after a badly timed leapfrog.

As it turned out, it was a hamstring pull that brought her down, not the groin-punch. She’s a tough cookie though, and after some strapping and hugs she was back on her feet.

Bill was getting annoyed. Nobody was firing on all cylinders. BILL! Maybe it’s because you woke them up at stupid o’clock with an air horn and got them to run a killer obstacle course before training! If I’d had to do that I’d be on a sun lounger in front of the pool sipping mocktails and singing showtunes for the rest of the day.


But fair enough, this is still the most important job interview they’ll ever have, so 100% dedication is expected at all times. Noticing that the two remaining ladies were struggling, Trish went to chit-chat with Ivelisse and Christina to make sure they weren’t about to give up or sabotage each other. Judging by their expressions, I’m not sure she succeeded in cheering them up.

Getting back to the ‘teamwork’ ethic, the mentors decided to make the group compete in a basketball match against a team of world-ranked dwarf basketball players. Booker coached the champs and John Salley (who even I with my general avoidance and loathing of the NBA recognise) coached our contestants. In wrestling, being smaller than your opponents doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose the match. In sport, however, height and/or a weight difference would suggest an advantage. Not so in this game. The Statesmen ran rings around Team Tough Enough and embarrassed them throughout. John Salley gave them a four out of ten for teamwork. Back in the gym Booker wasn’t happy and berated the boys and girls for sucking so badly. Note to self: Never roll your eyes when Booker T is telling you off.

As usual at this point in the episode it’s time to have some kind of round-robin exercise. The contestants worked in groups of three and were gradually whittled down to the most impressive trio. The girls did terribly, Luke was boring and Ryan Skidmarks did reasonably well until his inner pantomime dam reared its hammy head again. Despite a spirited challenge from AJ, Martin was the deserved challenge winner yet again. Luke was desperately unhappy and complained by contradicting himself with mathematics. 100% > 98%, fool!

After much discussion it was decided that the bottom three would be……