The idea that last week's episode shook things up and made the season finale results less predictable was only half correct.
THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE
Before the final vote, each contestant participated in a roughly two-minute solo match. The women faced Alicia Fox, and the men faced Cesaro.
Each match included a ring entrance and a promo, and each contestant received brief feedback from all three judges afterwards. Being rookies, each contestant was rough around the edges, and their timing was not perfect.
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Still, Amanda had a much better match with Alicia Fox, but Daniel Bryan said Amanda's match was sloppy. Paige added that it seemed as though things did not go as planned in the match, but she commended Amanda for sticking with it.
ATTEMPTS TO INFLUENCE THE VOTE?
It seemed that Daniel Bryan attempted to influence each vote in favor of the weaker contestants, ZZ and Sara Lee. Bryan did not mention that Sara Lee's match was sloppier. He only said she seemed hesitant but did a good job.
ZZ did not muster much offense in his match, but he sold the power of Cesaro effectively. After the match, Miz commented that ZZ did fairly well in a two-minute match but still lacked the cardio and the work ethic to survive a longer match.
None of the promos were impressive. Neither were the ring entrances, but Josh went on to have a decent match with Cesaro.
Inexplicably, Daniel Bryan used Josh's time for feedback to say that ZZ performed well. That was out of place. In the end, the Tough Enough winners were Sara Lee and Josh. Sara Lee won 64% of the vote, and Josh won a whopping 70%.
On Tough Talk, Chris Jericho commended Amanda for embracing the boos she received after Miz saved her a few weeks ago. Jericho pointed out that even though playing the heel cost her the popularity contest, having shown the ability to play different characters will benefit her in the long run.
Amanda told host Byron Saxton that she believed she should have won. Paige and all three coaches (Billy Gunn, Lita, and Booker T), admitted to wanting Amanda to win. Each of them agreed that Amanda was better in terms of personality and athleticism.
Lita also pointed out that Sara Lee does not like getting hit; it was clear in her match with Alicia Fox that she did not take bumps very well, and she ruined Foxy's ax kick finisher.
On the other hand, Josh's "it factor" became more apparent in the series after he improved his physique. His final competition should have been either Patrick or Mada, but he deserved to win based on the improvement he showed throughout his journey.
On Tough Talk, Triple H and even Chris Jericho emphasized the importance of popularity and possessing an unexplainable connection with the fans. This attempt to smooth over the results, however, ignored three crucial points.
Fans often turn on performers in an instant, a performer's ability to elicit a response from an audience is more important that simply being liked, and likable wrestlers who actually lack the ability do not last long in the business. If the fans are not responsible for doing them in, the respective wrestling company is.
A MIXED REACTION
It is baffling that the majority of fans permanently shifted from ZZ to Josh last week but did not do the same with Sarah Lee and Amanda in time for the final vote tonight.
Perhaps, the Tough Enough results speak to a deeply rooted problem that most wrestling fans and wrestling promotions would not care to admit they buy into. Maybe, if more wrestling fans
really saw women as being on equal footing with men, the results might have been different.