Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

Oil and tears spill everywhere on Tough As Nails

Oil and tears spill everywhere on Tough As Nails
Beth Salva-Clifford removes a tire during the Tough As Nails season 4, episode 4 team challenge. (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS

For their fourth set of challenges, the Tough As Nails season 4 contestants went to Inglewood Tire.

Season three finalist Quincey Walker returned to hang out with Phil Keoghan during the episode, and encourage Phil’s puns.

The team challenge: BJs. At least, that’s what Sergio thought they were doing: “a BJ on one of the vehicles maybe?”

That brings new meaning to servicing cars. Phil stopped sentence and said, “What did you say? You got me, Sergio, you got me.”

Sergio clarified: he meant brake job. Yes, they were there to work on cars, and that’s why one team spilled more oil than Exxon and BP. Oh, I kid the oil companies for killing wildlife and lying about climate change for decades!

Two men lean on a barrel that also has an old-fashioned work whistle
Tough As Nails season 3 finalist Quincey Walker returned for episode 4 of season 4 to host alongside Phil Keoghan. (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Each team had to service four cars, doing things like rotating tires; changing the oil; swapping out batteries; and adding nerf bars, which are not made of Nerf foam material, I learned.

The oil part became a huge mess. In a somewhat beautiful image, Jorge had a single line of oil dripping down the side of his head, like a bead of sweat.

But there was more oil flowing. Savage Crew leader Larron used the wrong oil pan, leading toa waterfall of oil. Then, as Renee went to drive the first car out, it started pouring oil out of the bottom. I don’t know much about cars, but that seems bad.

Before continuing, they had to clean up those oil spills—and used with microfiber rags. Is that really the best way to clean up oil?

While this was happening, Phil Keoghan delivered an all-time eye-rollingly great line: “Dirty Hands: a well-oiled machine. Savage Crew, just well-oiled.” Phil laughed as Quincy fist bumped him.

As the teams worked on parts, it was pretty visually chaotic, so difficult totrack who was ahead, though the editors provided little on-screen graphics with completed tasks turning green.

Dirty Hands ultimately won, evening up the competition at 2-2. I love when the $60,000 team competition comes down to the end, so I hope the wins bounce back and forth.

Synethia Bland and Aly Bala work on repairs to vehicles during the Tough As Nails season 4 episode 4 team challenge
Synethia Bland and Aly Bala work on repairs to vehicles during the Tough As Nails season 4 episode 4 team challenge. (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

The individual challenge was another automotive challenge: reassembling V8 engines. They had to change the oil, and then, to use much-more technical terms, were lots of parts and pieces, bits and bobs, and at the engine had to start.

Mister finished first, but his engine didn’t start. Larron finished close behind, and his engine started, so he won the $4,000.

At the end, it came down to Aly, Jake, and Ilima. Aly finished first, and as the mechanics tried to start her engine, Jake was saying “don’t start don’t start” over and over again. In an OTF interview later, he said, “I’ve never hoped for somebody to fail so much in my life.”

Aly’s engine sputtered, but did not start. Then it was Jake’s turn, and his started. “I might need to check my shorts when I get home,” he told us.

That meant Aly and Ilima were in overtime. Trying to top his wordplay from earlier, Phil said, “I did say that the distributor was going to be the disruptor, and it did disrupt things today.”

For the final challenge, Ilima and Aly had to repair two flat tires: taking them off a truck, removing a nail, plugging it, and then reattaching the tire and refilling it with air to 40 PSI.

Ilima was a little bit ahead, taking off her second tire as Aly put on her first repaired tire, but Aly had also already loosened her lug nuts. That led to a commercial cliffhanger, but it was Ilima who easily finished first.

Despite being on opposite teams, Ilima and Aly were hugging before and after the competition. Aly was emotional, and said she appreciated being able to “to meet these people I now call family,” and added “I’m forever grateful.”

She also told us, through tears, “It’s taught me that I cry, which I don’t do back home, so that’s going to be fun for my family to see.”

While I’m sad for Aly that she’s out of the individual competition, her exit was ultimately a kind of high note. I just love that Tough As Nails’ players are all so connected to each other, not just when they’re working together, but even when competing head-to-head. The competition is ultimately against the game, not each other, and since they don’t have to vote each other out or strategize, they can just form real bonds.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!