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Siesta Key's De Day comes up short on American Gladiators

Deday1_2 Maybe she was just too nice to win. Or the gods decided Florida didn't need another reality TV superstar.

Regardless of the cause, Siesta Key fitness trainer De Day came up short Monday night in her quest for a new Toyota truck and status as a victor on American Gladiators -- unable to finish the final leg of the show's grueling Eliminator obstacle course before her opponent, Tiffaney Florentine, a 25-year-old business consultant and former military police officer from Royal Oak, Michigan.

One thing I couldn't help noticing while watching an over-excited Hulk Hogan bellow his way through all the contestant introductions and interview segments was the astonishing similarity this game retains to the movie which inspired its creation back in the '80s, Ahhhnuld's Sci Fi farce The Running Man.

Just as in the Schwarzenegger classic, we're a nation in the middle of a heated war, economic crises and political unrest, and this manipulative, cartoonish action competition comes along to distract everyone (in the film, convicts are used as fodder for a deadly group of gladiators who fight to the death; Jesse "The body" Ventura is a play-by-play guy who sounds suspiciously like Hogan does today).

Killian Fortunately, unlike the movie, nobody gets hurt on NBC's show -- beyond their pride. And Hogan can't really compare to the supremely evil Richard Dawson working a mojo that would take your mind off his Family Feud roots right quick.

Too bad De couldn't make a dent in this competition. Would have been nice to see another Tampa Bay area resident take over another corner of reality TV for a while.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:47pm]


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