I enjoy boxing films, going to the occasional Golden Gloves match, and watching a big fight on TV. So I was pretty excited when I heard about the concept of The Contender. Mark Burnett and boxing? Sounded like a winning combination to me. Hell, even Sylvester Stallone couldn't ruin it, right?
After watching three episodes, the answer is that Stallone is doing his best to ruin it. Either that or the melodramatic bullshit added to the mix, I guess, to pull in the female demographic. And Sugar Ray Leonard is completely useless.
But then things started to get a little more interesting. The boxers started to taunt each other. Plot lines have emerged. The fights have been interesting, even if we don't see the whole thing, and what we do get has added sound effects, too much slow motion, and too many Stallone/ Leonard reaction shots.
After the first episode, the losing boxer was eliminated from the tournament by losing his match. He was devastated. He had been undefeated in his career. On most reality shows, it isn't a big deal if a person loses- they just go back to real life. But for these boxers, this is their lives. If they lose, what sort of repurcussions will there be for their careers?
As I watched the pain of the first loser, I kept wondering how the producers will deal with the assumed eventual defeat of Najai, the boxer from Philadelphia who committed suicide last month sometime after the completion of the show.
Last episode, the obnoxious Ahmed was downright hilarious! During sparring, he beat up the old man Sugar Ray just for the hell of it. Ahmed was eliminated at the end of the episode. However, it seems like the next episode they will be bringing back one of the three previously defeated boxers. I hope they bring him back for the hatred that he inspires.
Check out his bio.
Ahmed lives with (and is supported by) his girlfriend, Brandy, a very beautiful 20-something television host who is moving to LA to expand her career. Ahmed will follow her to LA as Hollywood is his "destiny." His peers even call him "Hollywood", and he embraces this nickname because he feels that he IS Hollywood personified.
Good looking yet extremely vain, Ahmed plans to be a top model and movie star as well as a world champion boxer. He thinks his opponents don't take him seriously because he is "so pretty." He claims the truth is that the reason he's so pretty is because no one can hit him. Count on Ahmed to stir the pot and create some controversy with his cocky and flashy look and personality.
After getting eliminated, he ended last week's show by stating, "There will be a rematch between me and him and the next time I'll beat him. I'm a warrior and I'm not going to quit. Number One! Hollywood!"
Ishe, his opponent, wouldn't even look him in the eye.
I love how the loser hangs up his gloves next to all the other losers' gloves at the end of each episode.
Am I completely sold on this show? Not really. I put it on while I'm doing other things. But I will give it at least another episode or two to see how it develops.