Tough Enough Three recap Pre

Tough Enough 3 Premiere Episode

Hello, long time, no type--and welcome to the new season of Tough Enough..Season Three; otherwise known as Dante's Circle of Tough Enough. The look and feel of the hype leading up to it had me a bit trepidacious, and after seeing tonight's episode--I was not a whit disappointed.

The opening montage is even more exciting than the last two seasons, and they open with our cult hero saying, 'Dreaming of being in the WWE is one thing, doing what it takes to get there is another thing altogether.' He goes on to explain that everyone that has watched the previous seasons says that it looks easy, that they can do it this season they have decided to find out if they can BEFORE giving them that 'once in a lifetime golden opportunity'. And that, to me, is a great relief. No more montages of people stumbling over themselves, no more obviously pathetic braggarts, no more out of shape wannabes.

Al goes on to explain that out of thousands of tapes, they brought in seventy-five, 'just to see who they are.' They do regale us with a few borderline obscene outtakes..I do NOT want to know about the brown bag business going on, thankyouverymuch--but, I guess they just couldn't resist.

'Big' John is back, to tell us that they did a regional casting--in Chicago, Denver, and New Orleans. He is shown welcoming a roomfull of hopefuls, telling them that today is it--that they will be taking 'the best of the best'. They then show a few of the pre-auditions..including Wendall, a K-Kwik lookalike, who is asked by Al if he would shave his head for a contract...he hedges. And Chad, who still remembers what colors Hulk Hogan wore when he was in grade school..blah, blah, blah..Al comes on again, reiterating how different the audition process was; how it allowed them to get in touch with who these kids really guys is shown crying, to illustrate his point. 'Big' says that you learn a lot from these interviews, probably 'more than you want to know'. They then illustrate that point wit h Jonah, a big galloot who somehow is busted by his girlfriend via cellphone, trying to crack on--surprise!--a fellow hopeful, Jill. (Here we go again? Already? No hot tubs, please..)  A rather bemused Al also asks one, 'Jonathan' about his rather delicate body piercing..yikes. There is a virgin, and, just for contrast--a contest feigning 'swallowing' a banana..And the bag.

Then the process of narrowing them down begins. Once that is completed--Taz, Ivory, 'Big', and Al have the penultimate pleasure of surprising the selected individuals AT THEIR HOMES (or wherever they are staying)..We are treated to a few shots of them standing on the doorsteps, knocking. And the contestants' reactions are diverse, to say the least. (We also get our first glance of the now notorious Lisa..hmm..) One contestant has just had her wisdom teeth removed, and is in considerable pain.

Once in California, we meet John--the 'Spinaroonie' guy from last season. And we hear from Wendall again, who is sure that he is gonna make it..and we all know what that means, don't we?

The garage doors swing open at Trax West--and the games begin.

They all exclaim over the facilities, and the trainers (Al, Ivory, and Bill DeMott) are then introduced. 'Big' tells them that they are being evaluated at all times, and that from the twenty-five gathered there--only thirteen will remain. Bill lets them know that this is 'his house' and has been for twelve years; and that none of them has done anything yet to earn his respect. That starts today. Al tells them that sometimes he will be their best friend, and other times, their 'worst enemy'. He does not care--they have already told him verbally that they have what it takes..and now, they will find out. The contestants all look properly intimidated. He then tells Wendall to take his #$%^-ing sunglasses off.

Ivory is next, and she puts things in perspective--saying soberly that on Monday, they will be talking to half of whoever is here now . And to look around, because the people sitting next to them are losers...Who among them are winners? Whoa.

They then are asked to stand up, one by one, and introduce themselves--and give a bit of information about themselves. Wendall stands up and brags that he has already been in the ring, and has what it takes. Al comes on and reveals that he is rooting for Wendall, and thinks he has 'it', too. And there is James--who has 'come out of the womb' for this and this only...the look on Al's face is priceless as he insists that he 'will not be broken'. Talk about asking for it..On and on it goes.

They are then made to run around in the parking lot--with Al shouting that he, '..Aint got all day!'  Right away--a bit of drama. One of the contestants, Kelly--has allergy-triggered asthma. She takes a honk on her aspirator, and is asked by Bill if she wants to quit--she refuses, and gets back to it. They are all doing major reps of calesthenics..with wavy-looking editing effects to show dizziness, I guess..and it is grueling. And the trainers are doing a bang-up job already of 'inspiring' their charges, heh. Al lets on that he has noticed that Wendall is 'shortcutting' his moves--and we hear one of the contestants actually screaming as she does her reps. We get to see one dude puking into a bucket. Mommy, I'm scared...

All of a sudden, Wendall appears ready to faint. Al aint having any of it, and yells at him to get up or get out. He then tells us in an aside, that,  .'..This isn't my first rodeo, and I was not convinced..' His comments are interspersed with almost slapstick shots of Wendall poorly feigning dizziness..Al then tells him to go sit down, and he has the nerve to fall promptly to the mat. Al tells him 'to quit playin'.' and to go sit down. (Sit down, already!) Wendall proceeds to flop around, almost in slo-motion; and Al tells Dan, the medic, to go look at him, 'even though he doesn't think he needs to.'  Wendall lays on the weight bench, rolling his eye s..and is 'helped' out (not unlike a sack of potatoes) by both Dan and Al--who tells him that if he cannot make it through this, he aint gonna make it. Agreed. As he lays on the floor, he has the nerve to tell Al that he 'pushes himself like this all the time'. Al dryly retorts, 'Yeah, Wendall, I can tell.'  Wendall digs his grave deeper by yelling back at Al, 'Don't doubt me!' and argues with Al that he wants this more than anybody. Al looks a bit disgusted, and walks away, telling Wendall not to waste his time.

Meanwhile, Ivory asks if anyone wants to quit. Al asks if there is 'any more drama', haha..

They then move right ahead into front bumps--working from a headstand to a handstand to 'no arms', as described by an enraptured Melina. The proper way of getting up from the mat is emphasized, as well. They all take a shot at it, and poor Jill (of the wisdom teeth) is in agony..

We then return to Wendall, who again tells us all that he has been in the ring and that he is gonna beat everyone. The medic says that there is nothing wrong with him. Al goes in to check up on him, and as he reams him out--he tells us that he has seen people legitimately pass out--and that they do not do what he was doing. Busted. He goes on to say what a 'poor acting job' it was, heh. He slams into Wendall, with a, 'Who you are and what you become are based on the decisions you make'--and tells him that if he pulls 'one more episode of that $%^&-ing $%^',  he will throw him out personally. Woof.

On a break, the contestants reflect. And again, Wendall tells us how great he is. After said break--they are told to do one hundred jumping jacks--and Al looms directly in front of Wendall--staring him down. Then one hundred climbers, squat thrusts, etc--you get the picture. Wendall starts his crap again, and Al tells him he has no passion, and does not want to do this. He argues with Al, who defies him to show him that he is wrong. Wendall has the unbelieveable nerve then to fall to the mat (!), and Al says, 'So we're back to this again.' He tells Wendall to stand all the way up--and then gets in his face with 'What you do tells me more than what you is cheap.' Wendall disagrees..Al backs Wendall against the wall with a mere finger to the chest--and cuts him! BOOM! The others look on nervously, as Wendall feebly implores, 'Wait.'.  Too late, as Al ignores him and slowly walks away. 'Big' finally has to yell at Wendall to get him to leave, then wraps up the 'interesting day'--saying that he will see them tomorrow at nine.

Next morning, Hell begins anew, with Kevin Dunn and Good 'Ol JR being introduced. They talk to the kids, and I had to chuckle as JR said that if they didn't make it, it wasn't 'because Al Snow didn't like me'--that it was all up to them to prove themselves..

The calesthenics begin--and the ante is up--and again, I wonder who that is that is screaming their fool head off...On and on the torture goes..And the all-important bumping. All is going well, until Voula lands square on her head, and is shaken up. Everyone looks worried, Al tells her to breathe, and that 'these mistakes hurt'..he then tells her to, 'get her *ss up, time is wasting.' She does, and they move on; but a few are affected by her mishap. After a slight rest, she is given another opportunity, and nails it. Good girl.

Unfortunately, Sarah is one affected by Voula's little accident--and cannot, for the life of her perform the front bump...all manner of sideways variations are attempted, and look worse than what she is trying to do. (Al tells her, 'Fix it--or go home.') 'Big' reminds them that it is because of Voula--and that if they stop trusting, they will 'be dead'.

On to the back bumps..and the much-necessary hip-thrusting movements. Al demonstrates, then has a field day with Jonah; telling him that if he 'put a piece of coal up his *ss, he would get a diamond'--and other, um..statements, regarding the female gender and the moves' importance..Everyone has a good laugh ..Until Nick gets up the wong way from the mat. He is made to do it a grueling fifty times--saying, 'I don't get up off the mat the right way' each and every time..It is painful to watch. Voula attempts it again--and crosses herself before she tries it--and nails it, to applause from everyone.

They are then told to get their chairs, and Al reminds them that this is the final audition..and that they are going to make a cut. And they do--to a commercial..

After the break, a tearful Sarah is cut--who, to her credit, doesn't really blame them..They all hug like they are lifelong friends, and she is outta there.

'Big' tells them that T.E. auditions are not complete without a challenge...and that the challenge they all have coming up is 'beyond classification', it is so tough...he tells them to be afraid, and they look it..

The next day, they are driven to a sandy road zig-zagging up and out in the middle of nowhere. An array of mountain bikes are shown. After stretching properly, they are told by 'Big' that the finalists will be announced at the end of the day..and, by the way, the biking trek is a couple of miles..uphill. He then asks if there is anyone who has not been on a mountain bike before--and some poor purple-haired Asian dude (Scott) glumly raises his hand. 'Big' tells them to just be safe and finish the race. And it's on..and it's rough..and Scott has a terrible time of it, but manages to finish. Al says that it was about two and a half miles for everyone but Scott--with all his zig-zagging, etc--it was propably about 'ten point two'..but does give him credit for finishing.

And yet, they are not finished..they have a couple mile run ahead..'Big' again says that he does not care who wins, but who finishes..They make it to the end--even Kelly, the asthmatic--and 'Big' tells them that he is proud of all of them and that they should all give themselves a hand. They do. They are then made to stew awhile, as the judges make their decision.

The boom is lower ed, and the finalists are announced..Matt, Rebekah, Justin, Jill, Jonah, Eric, Chad, Lisa, Nick, Jamie, Scott, John, and Kelly! A few surprises--and a few obvious stand-outs--although I am not going to make a total fool of myself by revealing any personal choices, hahaha...They are happy. The others are sad. Applause all around, and goodbyes said.

The finalists are then told by 'Big' that if in the next nine weeks or so--if they feel like quitting--think of the ones that didn't make it..and all the thousands that sent in tapes. And to just 'suck it up'. I have a feeling that that is the theme for this season..

They are then told that they have one more make it to Yon Manse on the Hill..for that is to be their new home. They all exclaim excitedly--and are shown running off to discover said Manse..Justin sums it up by telling us that 'each day' will be a surprise, and that they have to live 'minute by minute'.

He has no idea, does he?

Neither do I; so with that...fade to black.