|Tough Enough 2...05/23/02
Hey there, and welcome to this week's Tough Enough 2 report..It opens with the usual re-cap--the departure of Hawk, and Jackie's injury in the ring upon their return from South Africa..
We join them just where they left us off last week, with Jackie prone in the ring, and the trainers rushing to her aid..Jake is looking on nervously, as he was the one working with her when it occurred. The nurse arrives, and they help her out of the ring.
As they ice her knee, she explains what happened: As she went to shoot off the rope, she pivoted on her right foot, and 'it sounded like everything just popped'..As she came down on the same foot, the knee 'just totally buckled and gave out'. Jake still thinks that she was taking a bump..someone tells him that she didn't take a bump, she just fell over. Al and the nurse carry her out to an awaiting van..Al hugs her briefly and tells her that they will all be waiting for her, and 'Don't take all day, we got stuff to do.'
He then (squinting into the sun) tells that camera that it would be 'a shame for her to come this far', after all she's been through, to have some kind of 'freak accident' take her out of this because, he 'knows how bad she wants this'..and says that he doesn't want that to happen..Back inside, he tells the others, 'Don't nobody else get hurt, alright?' Anni and Jake nod solemnly.
Cut into some action in the ring, and they show the contestants circling each other..looking grim, determined....well, except for Pete, who still has that stupid half-grin tattooed across his face..We hear Anni express that her 'strategy' has now become 'not to get injured'--as it can change everything in 'one second', and if you think she was hesitant before..you aint seen nothin'..Al says that she is 'cutting her potential off at her knees, by continuing to hold back', and it is apparent. They show her all but dropping Linda, and Al tells her, 'You're thinking too much, and you're anticipating too much--the more you try to protect yourself, the more likely you are to get hurt, girl..'
As if to illustrate his point, Linda takes a bump and lands badly on her shoulder..Maybe seeing Jackie's injury occur so quickly and so randomly has affected them all, as she really looks scared and sells it dramatically..then says that it was just the wind being knocked out of her..Chavo admonishes Jake, saying that it is his responsibility to get her over, and to tuck her head.
Al then tells Jake, (* * Line of the Week * *) '..It's like I told you in South Africa. You look like a million bucks, physically; it aint a body-building contest..I look like sh*t physically; but I'm where YOU wanna be..Why? (tapping his forehead) It's cos I got this..'
Chavo then re-iterates that Jake has got to start using his head, his mind---instead of his muscles. Jake nods, but..
As the kids preapare to leave for the day, Al tells them that Jackie is still at the hospital and that he does not know what is going on with her..even if they have gotten to her yet.
Segue to the hospital, where Jackie tells us that she is upset that it all happened, but that she cannot let it get to her, and that she will do whatever it takes to get back in the running. Some goofy doctor comes on and tell us that she has 'looseness' in the joint, and that he basically has no clue..so they are going to do an MRI to find out more. Jackie is shown hobbling out with a brace, on crutches. The others are waiting, and she fills them in...Pete is still smiling..She hobbles on up the stairs into the house, and they then show them all discussing how the next cut will come down..'Ol Pete thinks that they will do what 'they did last year' and keep the six of them, because he 'really can't see any one of them getting cut'. Jackie doesn't look very convinced..
The next morning, the rest of them go on to training, while Jackie sees the knee specialist. The check the MRI, and the doctor says that there is a lot of fluid on the knee..and then, from the frontal view, he can see that indeed, the ACL ligament is completely detached, and that there is some cartilage gone..Jackie takes the news calmly, only breaking down as she tells the camera that she 'has such a passion to do this now'.
After the commercial break, the doctor explains the 'fairly major knee injury' to her, using a model. He says that the injury will never heal by itself. BUT, that if they are not doing surgery, there is a derotational brace that she can wear..but, as a doctor, he would advise her NOT to do that, as the knee could still give way (and possibly cause her to injure someone else?)..but the option is there. Possible to do this? Yes. Smart? The odds are against her.
Back at the house, she discusses it with her boyfriend, and he tells her that she should think of her health..and that everything happens for a reason..
Next scene: Trax, where she explains the injury to 'Big', downplaying it a bit..and saying that she has the brace option. He asks her what she wants to do, and she wants to stay and suck it up (Could you imagine Alicia doing that? Me, either..), and that she has complete faith in herself. 'Big' says that his gut instinct is to tell her to go home, but she stubbornly refuses, looking him dead in the eye. Good girl. 'Big' doesn't know quite what to say, at first---just keeps asking her if she is sure--but they cut to him telling the camera that this is the first time in the two seasons that they had someone say they 'aren't goin' anywhere'..and that that showed a lot of heart and determination to him. I gotta agree.
Next we have the Guest of the Week, and it's William Regal..cool. After his curiously Al-free introductory montage, Al tells the kids that Willy has had vast experience, working many different styles, and that they are to get into the ring and show him where they are in their progress. Regal looks on sternly after telling them, 'I want to see if you know what you're doing.' Naturally, he splats Jake..who takes it well, but looks a little less confident. Anni and Pete are in the ring, and Al and Regal are grimacing..they make them stop, and Regal asks the others if they thought that is how he would do it..they, of course, answer no. He speaks about working 'snug' or 'solid' (as they call it across the pond), and says that he 'hits people hard in safe places'...oooo. He then decides to demonstrate a bit on Pete, clobbering him until Pete is not smiling anymore..He tells Pete, 'If you can't take that then you should..do something else..' SPLAT.
They shake hands, thanking Regal for their beating, and then we hear Jackie say that she may not be able to work in the ring, but can still work on her character..
..Bringing us to'Big' then introducing a member of the comedy group, The Groundlings; one Stephen Pearce..who has come to teach them a bit about improvisation. They are then made to get into the ring and cut promos, one by one..afterwards, the others are to imitate their efforts..and the results are pretty interesting. They slam each other mercilessly (Pete and Jackie are especially rude to each other), as the trainers look on, laughing. Al then says that he is 'pleasantly surprised' at Jake's progression in the character area..that he works hard, and is 'getting into it' finally..Anni does not fare as well..And it is such a shame, as she seems unable to break 'out of her shell'..and seems embarrassed by the whole thing..She then tells the camera that she could not think of anything to say..
'Big' then sits them all down, and tells them that it is getting down to the wire, and that there will be cuts on Monday. Again the mood is shot, but they knew it was coming. They then show the various contestants giving their thoughts on who is going to get cut and why..into another commercial break.
When they come back, we see Jackie sitting on the sidelines, and hear Linda saying that there is no way that you can just sit out at this point in time, and not do anything. Kenny says that you have to get in there and show the trainers that you are moving forward. Easy for them to say..
Chavo is showing them how to take a clothesline...not to hit them in the face or neck, but to go chest to chest. Al reminds us all of last season's Taylor having 'her head taken off like a Pez dispenser' by MISS Jackie and they roll the footage of it...He then does the 'Shhh..don't be scared', thing to Pete, petting his face..haha..They all take a few, looking pretty good, but Jake is lauded as taking the best..Hardcore comes on, saying that Jake is a 'slow learner', but that with experience, he 'will do just fine'.
Al goes to give one to Anni, and she just completely ducks him; he gets nowhere near her face as she drops instantly back to the floor..Al laughs and stresses that,'I need to actually HIT you. Not this (demonstrating with arms held up over his face): AAAAAAAHHH!'
Jake comes on and disses her for it, saying that she took 20-30 clotheslines, and would not take the back bump..I gotta agree with him, as she just cringes in that one split second before impact, and it shows.
Jackie then decides that she wants to get in the ring and work through the pain. Al allows her to, but will only let her work with him. She climbs the ring steps tentatively, and once again; I gotta give her props. Ivory says that it is really difficult when working with an injury, to stay focused on the moment. Jackie starts off a bit slow at first, but then little by little, she gains more confidence, and takes a few clotheslines..and you know? Even with the injury/brace..she is still doing better than Anni...Kenny calls her a champion, a warrior in the ring; and Hardcore comes on and says that 'that says a lot right there, that right there is heart and determination'. I agree. I mean, the woman even took one of Bob's standing drop kicks to the face..go, girl.
Next morning, we see Anni talking to her mother on the phone..saying that she likes everyone that she is there with. Her mother replies that she hopes she is coming home soon..Anni tells her not to say that--as the cuts are being made today! They are shown getting ready to go to training, and again give their guesses at who will be cut..Pete says he is 'excited' to see who gets cut, but they all seem to think it will be Jackie..
Again, the trainers are shown in their final cut meeting. They are cutting two this week, and give their opinions on the various contestants' plusses and minuses. The decisions are made.
As they wait for the kids, Al says, 'I hate this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.'..The kids file in. Al tells them that the decision is never easy, and he is not gonna drag it out. He also gives them the line that just because they are cut, it doesn't mean they don't have what it takes. The contestants look anxious, and without further ado..Al walks up to Pete and tells him he is sorry, but he is cut; then shakes his hand and gives him a hug. Pete no longer looks excited...Al then tells Anni that she is cut, and she nods and hugs him goodbye.
Pete thinks it is because he is a 'smaller guy', and says that 'that's not the end of it, though' and that he will get there..Anni says that she was very disappointed but, 'what can you do but keep trying?' The two say their farewells and leave with 'Big'.
Al then is heard saying each of the finalists' names, as they are shown individually..He leaves us saying that they started with thirteen, and are down to four..they will be down to two. They 'are not done, and neither are you..' Fade to black...Well, not quite. On a parting note, I want to say that on one of the commercial breaks---before the cuts were even made---MTV was stupid enough to advertise the upcoming live show..As hosted by Kenny, Jackie, Jake and Linda...Kinda ruined the surprise...See ya next time..