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Tough Enough III Recap: Catch-Up Edition (Part II)

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Guest TSMAdmin

I'm back to wrap up the TE III season. The first part can be found <a href="http://thesmartmarks.com/artman/publish/article_650.shtml">by clicking here</a>.


Let's skip the filler and get right into it, shall we? I'm not feeling particularly ranty and/or witty right now.


<b><u>Week 9</b></u>


<b>Previously on Tough Enough</b>: The cast heads to Iceland and Eric puts the move on a girl, which is a move he regrets. Kelly is cut and was last seen somewhere in central Greenland as she walks back home.


Big says Iceland was picked as the destination for the trip since it “oozed” toughness. Eric proclaims his love for the country as we see what they did when they weren’t training (horseback riding, exploring caves, snowmobiling, and other activities). Jamie recaps Eric’s little rendezvous and decides to needle him about it, calling him a pig. John says that Jamie can dish out criticism, but doesn’t take it well, as evidenced by Jonah pointing out that a few weeks ago, she was kissing every guy in a club and Jamie takes offense to that. Jamie thinks Jonah hates her. John just thinks the guys are a little miffed that she gets special treatment because she’s the last girl. Jamie thinks she acts more like a guy, though, especially since she openly belches more than all of the guys combined. Jamie, the lady that she is, follows up each burp by saying “Diva” or “I’m gonna be a Diva.” which irritates the hell out of Eric, the rest of the guys, and me. Big gathers the guys and tells them to watch out for Jamie, since she’s the last girl. The guys agree, not that they want to, but out of respect for Big.


We head out to “Trax Iceland” and the kids punishing each other as John talks about how hard the ring is. People are bouncing a good inch off the ground when they take a bump. After a few hours of training, they have beaten the ring up so bad, that it goes off center and the ropes break. But that isn’t the end of the day, sez Al. They have to fix it themselves. Bill says that’s “Wrestling 101: If it’s broke, fix it”, and Jamie nails the point home with a belch. After that’s all done, an Icelandic news crew comes by to interview them. Jonah gets into character, saying he’s the best of the bunch and he’ll win the completion hands down. When asked who his hero is, he says Bill, but also says “he’s very old”, which offends Bill and he let’s Jonah know about it. Man, does Jonah have to piss off Bill every episode or something? Bill wants the kids to act professional in AND out of the ring, so Jonah is worried Bill’s gonna kill him. Bill: “If that was Vince asking you questions, you wouldn’t be answering them like that, would you?” Bill ain’t happy.


<b>- Commercials –</b> If Heaven had strip clubs, Rebekah would be a shoo-in. And I can’t believe the Bucs actually won (note: this was written late Sunday night).


Jonah talks about how he told Al he could never rib him. Al tells him he will get him when he’s asleep. Al discovers that there’s a door that joins Al’s room to Jonah’s, which scares him to death. They head to a lobster house for dinner and stuff themselves with seafood. Eric says that as the numbers dwindle, the cast grows closer, but Jamie still irritates everyone. Back at the hotel, Big gives Jamie the same talk he gave the guys earlier. Jonah sets up booby traps all over his room to set off when someone comes in. Matt decides to team up with Al and sneak an autographed picture onto Jonah’s bed. The next morning, Jonah admits Al got him. They go for a ride on a Viking ship, but have to row at one point (with Al dressed as a Viking.) They get nowhere. Al: “You’re horrible slaves.” That night they go to a Viking restaurant and witness a staged Viking battle over Jamie (Jonah says they could have her, though). Once they got inside and saw all the medieval stuff, Jonah knew they were going to eat something weird. Sure enough, the cast (with festive paper Viking hats) are served a piece of rotted shark meat that smelled awful and wasn’t cooked, but buried and urinated on to give it flavor. Everyone chokes it down (Matt: “It felt like chewing a bike tire”) except Jonah, who hides it in his shoe. After dinner, the smell of the meat lingers, and it seems to be coming from Jonah. He agrees to get naked, even though he wasn’t going to, but Bill held him at his word and forced Jonah to strip all the way, leaving him starkers, with the restaurant crew not knowing what’s going on. Matt: “Bill was hard on Jonah to try to teach him a lesson, but he took it the wrong way.” They stand around a bonfire on the beach, and Big asks Jonah what he learned today. Jonah replies: “Respect. Going through all this bullshit”, which sets Bill off. Jonah should fear for his life right about now. Bill goes to another fire to try to cool down while Jonah wonders if he’ll make it through the night.


<b>- Commercials –</b>


Jonah tries to give Bill a beer as a peace offering, but Bill won’t have any of it. Bill says Jonah as 3 weeks to prove himself, and he has 3 weeks left until he goes back to what he does best, and that’s no bullshit. Jonah says this trip showed him Bill’s softer side. Well he probably was tired of seeing his pissed off side. Jonah says Bill’s been like a mentor, showing him what’s right and what’s wrong in the business. They seem to patch things up and Bill ends the tender moment with a belch (he even throws in a “Diva”.)


The next day, the cast meets Hjalti, the 1999 world powerlifting champion for a demonstration of the “World’s Strongest Man” competition. Essentially, it involves carrying really heavy things and chopping big blocks of wood. Eric does pretty well, since he watches the competitions on TV and was excited to do it. Jamie says she realizes now that she’s competing with guys, but has sucked in all the other challenges. The last “event”, is lifting this thick metal pipe like a barbell. Before Jamie goes, Hjalti pulls her aside and gives her some “advice”; namely, batting her head around with his hands. Jamie digs in and does really well, getting 10 reps in. She shares the trophy with Justin. She celebrates by belching.


It’s back to the ring for some more training, but this time about 40 schoolchildren show up and Al books a match between Jonah and John. Al tells them “if you don’t believe it, they won’t.” Jonah is the “Big Chooch” (the face) and John is simply “Johnny” (the heel). They really seem to do well in the match, really playing to the kids. The Big Chooch wins with a bodyslam. Scott Keith gives them **. Al is proud.


That night, Jonah has one last plan before they head back to the States. He still has his shoes from the Viking restaurant that reek of shark meat and he will get a key to Al’s room and toss them onto his bed. Matt decides to help out but as soon as they open the door a crack, Al is right there. Jonah and Matt scurry to their room like rats with Al right behind them. Jonah seems to be having a coronary. Al plans to get the whole cast when they get back home.


Jamie’s favorite part of Iceland was experiencing it with the people she’s with. Eric says the challenges they faced here really taught them how to trust each other. They all jump off a waterfall (John does a quasi- ***** frog splash) and John says with the bond they have forged, it’s sometimes hard to compete with your friends. They share a group hug. As they arrive back at Trax, Al notes it’s time to get right back into it.


<b><u>Thoughts</b></u>: This episode really developed the bond the cast has with each other and showed that Bill isn’t always a tough guy. Bill getting constantly pissed at Jonah was great, though.


<b><u>Week 10</b></u>


<b>Previously on Tough Enough</b>: Jonah pisses Bill off again and again, but they bond by the bonfire. Al thwarts all of Jonah’s plans to rib him again and again. Jonah didn’t do very well last week.


The crew heads into Trax after returning from Iceland and Jonah says the competition is really heating up since there are only 6 left. Jamie is the last girl, and she is competing with the guys now, which “sucks” according to her. Al traces Kelly’s name in red spray-paint, signifying that she’s gone. (“If you’re name’s white, you’re alright (RACISM!!!), if you’re name’s red, you’re dream is dead”). Al doesn’t care if the kids are tired from their trip, because it’s time to get back to work. Big tells them that there are only 3 weeks left, with more cuts to come. Matt wishes he could climb into the trainers’ heads to find out what they want (haven’t we heard that before?) Today they learn leapfrogs and Jonah almost slides out of the ring after he ducks one. John and Jamie mess up their timing which Al loves (“I knew it!! I knew someone was going to do that!!”). John accidentally takes Jamie out on one, knocking the wind out of her. She just doesn’t feel very confident doing those things. Justin seems to be not doing very well, and Bill lets him know it (“that was the drizzling shits.”) John doesn’t think he has the “it” factor and Bill doesn’t want to be in a ring with someone that doesn’t know what he’s doing. They head to a coffee shop afterwards and Justin is aggravated at his performance.


Back at home we see how much of a slob Jonah is. Justin says he doesn’t do his fair share of the chores as Jonah marvels at a group of red ants that are marching on the counter. Jonah would rather leave all that to Eric, since he’s the neat freak (“He’d be a great house husband.”) Jonah cleans the ants off and proudly shows off the dead ants in the paper towel to Matt. Jonah rinses off the counter with the sink spray thingy (without doing any dishes) and goes to bed. Ah Jonah, a man after my own heart.


Big talks about the ribs that have taken place so far and says the kids are living up to the ribbing standard of the business. Al reminds us that he’s wanted to get the whole crew ever since Iceland (especially Jonah). Bill, since this is Jonah we’re talking about, wants a piece of that action and knock him down a few pegs, so that night he and Al drive up to the house with their faces covered with bandanas and 4 cans of shaving cream (covered in tinfoil, as to not show the brand name, of course). They plan their dastardly deed outside the house before sneaking in and heading for the master bedroom with James Bond-ian music playing in the background. Al and Bill have one last giggle and look to cause some trouble, but we go to commercial before anything happens.


<b>WILL</b> the Shaving Cream Bandits succeed in their dastardly plot or <b>WILL</b> the brave heroes thwart an uncivil use of facial hair remover? We’ll find out after these words from our sponsors!


<b>- Commercials –</b>


Coming back, Al and Bill each stick a knife into a can and toss it onto Jonah and Eric’s beds. The horror, the foamy, foamy horror. Jonah: “I woke up to see nothing but white around me”. Al and Bill dart out of the room as John opens his door to find out what the ruckus is, only to have Bill attack him with another can. John tries to valiantly stop the carnage, but Bill escapes. He and Al dart to their car, heads covered in foam, and drive off laughing at their success. Al Snow is evil, EVIL I TELL YOU!! Back inside, the kids survey the damage. The master bedroom is covered, as is Jonah Justin gives them props, but Jonah swears vengeance to the heavens.


The next morning at Trax, the guys applaud the evildoers, as Al asks them why they seem so tired. John points out that one of them left his hat there, and Bill remarks that he has a hat just like it. Al and Bill fess up as Al declares “Operation Snowstorm” a complete success.


Today, the cast gets to spend the day with Ivory (lucky) and she takes them out for a challenge. When they arrive at their destination, they see a 40ft scaffold with a guy standing on top. He leaps off in a perfect stuntman dive onto an airbag. Ivory introduces them (and us) to Ken and Mark, and explains that today they will know what it’s like to be airborne, which will help them in the ring. Ken says every time he does something like that, he still gets a little scared, but Mark adds that “it should scare the crap out of you, that makes it safe.” Jonah seems a little apprehensive, since he seems to screw up in every challenge. They start off with the small stuff, jumping from only about 7 feet off the ground, and then they go to the scaffolding. They start off at 20ft, and Jonah does a pretty good dive. Eric notes that the jumping wasn’t bad, it was climbing the scaffolding that was a little scary, since it was a little wobbly. They all clear the 20ft level and go up a bit higher (John: “As you go higher, it’s more important to keep a good form.”) After that, they go to the 30ft level. Jonah goes first and he’s scared to death, since the rest will treat him like a guinea pig to see how to do it correctly. Eventually he jumps, and drops like a sandbag with no form, landing almost on his feet (which probably could have broken both his legs.) He’s alright, however, but Mark and Ken pull the plug on the day because of it. Eric wanted to jump off the top, but Jonah ruined it for him.


That night, Jonah calls his girlfriend, Melissa, who is crying since she misses him. Jonah just wants her to be ok with the fact that he’s a few thousand miles away and can’t be with her right now. I agree, but that’s probably why I’m single right now.


The next day, the kids learn how to hit the turnbuckles. Jonah has some trouble, but the rest do ok. Jamie and Matt are sparring and accidentally BUTT heads, knocking Matt out.


<b>- Commercials –</b> Even I got to admit some of these anti-marijuana ads are dumb.


Matt comes to but still seems out of it. Jamie feels the guys are a bit hesitant to work with a girl. Well if she screws up as much as Jamie does, I don’t blame them. Al tries to reassure her that it’s ok that people get hurt.


Big gathers the troops and introduces the guest trainer for today: <b>CHRIS BENOIT!</b>


Ladies and gentlemen, God has entered Trax.


Eric says that Benoit is “probably” one of the best technical wrestlers out there. Can someone slap this guy in the head for me? PROBABLY?! God says that he has no ego in the ring, and just wants to put on the best match possible for the fans. Benoit tells them about respect for the business. Matt gets the incredible honor to be snap suplexed by God, and it looks faboo, as usual. Jamie states the obvious, that Benoit is perfect. Benoit works with the kids for a little while, giving them pointers on body language and such. Jamie and Eric have a match, which Jamie says was the best she’s ever done in the ring. Benoit pulls them aside and compliments them. Wow, Jamie’s gotten kind words from both Rey Mysterio and Chris Benoit. Not too many people can say that. Jonah and Matt’s match doesn’t seem to go as well, and Jonah just stays down for the 3. Benoit reprimands him for it, saying “if you are going to have that attitude and not take advantage of the time her, then you should go.” Benoit gives his opinion of what he saw: “I don’t really think these kids really grasp what they have in the palm of their hands here. You really have to make wrestling a part of your life.” With that, he shakes hands and leaves.


Ladies and gentlemen, God has left Trax.


That night, they head to the Saddle Ranch again and Jonah is depressed. He decides to use the Scott Approved Way of Coping: ALCOHOL!! He pukes out the car door a few times, and is just out of it. Eric just thinks Jonah has finally cracked. If Spoon was still here, he’d probably be struggling to finish the recap and lighting candles for him, but I digress.


The next day they head to Improv Olympic to work on their character development. They each go on stage to cut a little promo. Here is the gist of each:


<b>Matt</b>: Calls himself “the Flava”, whose aftertaste is bitter.

<b>John</b>: Calls himself “Johnny Maze.” He’s quick, strong, and flashy, like a Corvette.

<b>Eric</b>: Does a Narcissist like character (“The standard I am is looked up to.”)

<b>Jamie</b>: Is “The Vixen”, complete with all the sexual innuendo.

<b>Justin</b>: Says something about hiking boots and taking notes or something.

<b>Jonah</b>: Uh, Jonah……hey, where’d he go? Oh, he ducked out since he was about to have an emotional breakdown and is thinking of quitting. He calls his girlfriend and expresses severe doubt that he indeed is tough enough to win. Jonah rubs his eyes as we fade to black.


<b>Thoughts</b>: Hmm, do I detect a bit of apprehension in Jonah? It really seems that he’s actually scared to win and have wrestling essentially take over his life. We’ll see if he gets over it.


Finally, down to the last one.


<b><U>Week 11</b></u>


<b>Previously on Tough Enough</b>: Jonah screws up in a challenge and is incredibly worried that he doesn’t have what it takes.


We start off this week outside Trax as Jonah talks about marriage and kids to the guys. He wants to be there for him, but if he wrestles, he won’t be for 255 days out of the year. Eric says he sees that Jonah is just emotionally drained at this point. Jonah asks to talk to Al outside, and says he’s finally starting to see the big picture and asks “is there life beyond wrestling?” Al says Jonah is starting to realize that he may win, and it’s scaring the shit out of him. Big joins them and doesn’t really pull any punches, saying that there’s 5 other people in there that want it as much as him and “I’ll be dammed if I pick someone that doesn’t have this in his heart.” Learned a lesson from last season, didn’t we, Big? Al tells Jonah that he must tell them straight up that he’s either leaving or sticking with it. Jonah says the conversation made him realize that he should be doing this for himself, since it is his dream and that he shouldn’t have to please others all the time. Jonah decides to stay, and Al believes him, but Big isn’t so sure.


This week, the crew is learning some more high impact moves, such as Northern Light suplexes and hard clotheslines. Justin struggles a bit. Jamie talks about the ropes and how they can bruise and cut her back. Ivory says Jamie has a good presence, but needs to work on her ability.


Big tells them that they are going to throw a dinner party for the trainers and a “special guest.” The cast finds out that guest is <b>Trish Stratus</b>, so that up scales their plans a bit. Everyone has a part in the preparation. Jamie set the table, John and Eric cooked, Matt and Justin grilled steaks, and Jonah makes sure the Playstation 2 is working properly by playing games all day. Jonah tries to switch seats with Eric since he’s a little nervous sitting next to Trish, but no go. A limo pulls up, and Trish has arrived. The whole cast is standing there, trying not to look TOO anxious, and Big comes in with Trish. Jamie gets a shirt from her as a gift while Ivory pets her pussy (CAT!! PussyCAT!!) Jamie seems a little self-conscious at her looks after seeing Ivory and Trish. Trish’s motto is “Preparedness meets opportunity. When an opportunity presents itself, make sure you’re prepared for it.” She talks to them about using whatever time they have on TV to keep the viewer interested and not change the channel. Is it any wonder she’s become a Smark darling (other than she’s incredibly hot?) Justin says that Trish’s visit upped the morale and Jonah seems to be snapping out of his funk, talking about how he doesn't want to leave after all this is over (while trying not to stare at Trish’s chest in the process). Trish gives them some words of encouragement before she leaves and Bill asks them to sit back at the table, which Jamie took as something bad. Sure enough, Big announces that a cut will take place the next day. Everyone looks dejected as we go to commercial.


<b>- Commercials –</b>


After Big leaves, the cast has a group discussion with each person talking like they were leaving. Jonah says that if this just was a completion, it would have sucked. Justin agrees with Jonah. John says the conversation was uplifting, but the cut still hangs over everyone’s heads. Jamie sniffles in bed, and Matt tries to comfort her, giving some good advice (“I try not to worry about things I can’t control.”)


The next morning, Big and the trainers discuss the cut:


<b>Matt</b>: Al says he’s a natural, but is a little lacking in the height department.

<b>Jamie</b>: Bill says she’s always had someone to push her to do things, but there won’t be any coach in the ring in the WWE. She’s on the fence.

<b>John</b>: Bill calls him a prodigy and points out that they actually had to keep him from getting too far ahead and cocky. (He’s a shoo-in for a contract as far as I’m concerned).

<b>Eric</b>: Ivory says he has a fabulous look and has the discipline.

<b>Justin</b>: Bill doesn’t see himself working with Justin in the ring.

<b>Jonah</b>: Bill says the conversation with Trish last night told him Jonah realizes what it’s all about and that touches him, so he’s in. Big thinks he’s out because of the doubt he showed, which sacred Big. Al disagrees, but thinks it would be a disservice to Jonah to put him in a ring, since he will panic.


Big meets the kids outside, and Matt points out that Big said “cuts”, meaning the field could be down to 4 by the end of the day. Al doesn’t want to face them, but Bill lets him know the kids wouldn’t expect any less from him. Jamie is still scared, but Jonah just wants to get it over with. Al asks them to stand up, and says this is a “necessary evil” they must do, but it doesn’t make it any easier. He asks Matt, Eric and John to sit down, then Jamie, who has to hold back tears. It’s down to Justin and Jonah, and Justin gets cut, but Jonah sits down, and he is relieved. Justin says his goodbyes, and everyone is really sorry to see him go. Justin was the worst of the best, I guess. Al tells them “the show must go on” and we go to commercial.


<b>- Commercials -</b>


Now there’s some good drama. Why can’t they write storylines like this?


We come back, and everyone is flat. Al decides something must be done to lighten the mood, so they all go to Yankee Doodles (a sports bar, it seems) where they meet Bradshaw, who had bicep surgery the previous day. Jamie is star struck, as usual. Bradshaw talks to them about having a passion for the business and the contract they win is a great opportunity, but they have to make something of that opportunity themselves. Of course, the beers start flowing as everyone tries to keep up with the Texan, which is a recipe for disaster. John runs to the bathroom to puke, so Al calls it a day.


Back to Trax the next day, and Al asks the kids “who wants to do something from the top rope?” Naturally, everyone does. They start with a cross body (landing on a crash pad). John tries to act like a Hardy, but Al and Bill put a stop to that. Jamie screws it up, landing on all fours. Al says she always questions herself and never gives it her all. She manages to hit one, though. Al then demonstrates a moonsault (giving us a nice look at his ass in the process. What?). Jonah goes first, a little scared, but hits a pretty good one for being a big guy. Eric says the anticipation is a killer and Jamie has doubts. They all do one on the pad, and then Al kicks it out. Matt and John get some good air on theirs and Jonah and Eric pull off nice ones. Eric says it’s easier to do it with a guy like Al Snow having complete trust in them. Before Jamie goes, Al grabs her and tells her not to hold back anymore, and Jamie realizes the same. She goes up and hits a pretty good one on the first shot. John notes that doing all these things together shows how everyone trusts each other and has brought the 5 closer together. We have another group hug as we fade to black.


<b>Thoughts</b>: The best episode of the season, I think. There were highs and lows and it shows that this won’t be a repeat of the TE II disaster.


And of course, I wrapped up the last two weeks <a href="http://thesmartmarks.com/artman/publish/article_640.shtml">here</a>.


Whew, finally caught up. Remember to watch the finale Thursday at 10PM on MTV, vote at <a href="http://www.toughenough.com">ToughEnough.com</a> on who gets the final cut and look for the final episode recap here at TSM sometime Friday.


<a href="mailto:[email protected]">Send feedback to me and make a cold night warmer.</a>

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/wishlist/ref=pd_wt_3/104-6992207-3294351">If you didn't notice, I'm a big MST3K fan.</a>

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