Dan Puder wins Tough Enough 4.

Dan Puder wins Tough Enough 4.
Mike “the Miz” Mizanin was thisclose to instantly becoming the most successful has-been reality TV show cast member in history by taking a character (“the Miz”) he showed off on The Real World 10 and turning it into $1 million. Alas, he did not win Tough Enough 4, despite the shameless ballot box stuffing that some engaged in. Instead, viewers selected Dan Puder to win the WWE contract worth $1 million (sort of; it’s $250,000 over four years). Dan’s Mike-slamming reaction showed him to be cut out for the WWE: “I busted my butt more than anybody else. I gave up my whole life for this. I gave up my company, my school, my family, and my friends. I also proved myself in the ring. I won every competition I was in every single week, except for dressing up like a girl -– Miz was great at that.” Backing away from the WWE-style hyperbole, he also said, “Miz is a great guy. I really enjoyed training with him. When we were practicing in the ring, I knew I could trust him more than anybody else. And I mean I had a lot of fun doing this. There really haven’t been any bad moments –- everything’s just been awesome.” Dan will now be “the first entrant for the 30-man Royal Rumble on January 30, in Fresno, California.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.