It came down to the wire, but the WWE Tough Enough dream ended last night for model Amanda Saccomanno and alligator wrestler Zamariah “ZZ” Loupe. We talked to the runners-up after a hard-fought finale last night. Here’s what they had to say.
With Spandex: What have you been doing since last night’s elimination?
Amanda Saccomanno: We were with our families, just hanging out… I’m super grateful for being granted this opportunity and being in the final two for the girls… I’m obviously a little disappointed that I didn’t win, but it’s not the end for me. I’m excited to keep going and keep fighting for this.
ZZ Loupe: You know what I been doing, bud? We went to McDonald’s, and we got the biggest salad we could’ve possibly got. With the grilled chicken on top… you know the McDonald’s salad, right? After we went there, we came back to the hotel… then I went to sleep, I woke up early, got dressed, and here I am.
What was going through your minds as you were competing against Alicia Fox and Cesaro?
ZL: What was going through my mind was, “I can’t believe that somebody at my level is going to have a match with one of the greatest.” That on its own is an amazing feat for somebody of my status. Amanda, your thoughts?
AS: It was awesome. It was such a great experience to have my first match with Alicia Fox. Just being in that moment and kind of going with the flow, you either sink or swim, and I think it really taught me that I can do this. No matter what it is, you just have to keep going… We really got to experience it hands-on, in front of a live audience and in front of millions of people on TV.
If I can send it back to ZZ, getting in shape is tough, and you had the added pressure of being surrounded by top-level athletes. As far as fitness goes, what were some of the obstacles you faced?
ZL: Well, you got Josh, who was a pro football player. You got Mada, who was a basketball player. Patrick was clearly in shape, Tanner was an MMA fighter… like you said, pro athletes. I come from the bayou, a laid-back community. There’s no possible way I could’ve gotten my body ready in time… but if I hadn’t [improved] at all, like they claimed, do you think I could have had that match with Cesaro at the end?
You mentioned Patrick. As the youngest cast members, you and he bonded pretty well. Can you describe your friendship with him?
ZL: He’s a person that was at the same stage in life, that right there was something we had in common. We both pull the same jokes, we both have the same mindset. At the end, when Patrick kind of nipped me in the bud and hollered at me, I didn’t understand why. I’m used to people sitting down and talking… but if he wouldn’t have done that, I think I would’ve been out of this competition. So, I do have Patrick to thank, along with God. This whole thing, I just had to put it in God’s hands.
Amanda, how did getting saved by The Miz change your game plan?
AS: That was obviously a crazy flip for me. Coming into this competition, I knew I had to be liked, so Miz saving me and saying that I’m hot changed the game. It changed people’s perspective of me, that I’m just here for my looks. So I went with it, I became the villain. I was playing a character, but I don’t regret doing that… going back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Last week, you felt it was necessary to divulge information about Sara’s personal life. Even if that was a strategic move on your part, what kind of example do you think that sets for the WWE Universe?
AS: You know, people forget that this is a reality show. It doesn’t really matter… in the heat of the moment, things get said, rumors get spread, and it is what it is. I said some things, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t to slut-shame. I’m all about female empowerment and being a strong woman myself, independent and all that. It doesn’t really matter what you do in your personal life as long as you can fess up to it… I’m not about slut-shaming in any way, that’s not what my intentions were.
What are some of your favorite memories from these past 10 weeks?
AS: Honestly, just developing friendships with some of these competitors… I didn’t know how we were all going to get along, but I grew really close to some of these competitors. I have to say the best experience was living with these people, and being able to be coached by some amazing legends.
So, what’s next for the two of you?
ZL: Well… I tell you what, I’ll let Amanda answer that first.
AS: He’s got to think about it. I’m going to go home, see my family, and then I’m going to get right back in the swing of things. I’m going to make my way back to Orlando somehow, get in front of the right people, and really try to get a developmental deal. I’ve had a taste of this, and I want more. I’ve got my foot in the door, and I’ve got all the resources at the tips of my fingers… I want to learn a lot more and be more comfortable in the ring, so I’m really excited to keep moving.
ZL: I’m 19 years old, man. I’m going to go home and recharge my batteries for a day or two, see my family. If I get a call from WWE, I’ll be more than happy… I mean, listen to me. I got way too good at wrestling gators. I’m probably one of the top five gator wrestlers of all-time, so I’ve decided to try my hand at people.