Creator, producer, brains behind and voice of British Boot camp 2, we were lucky enough to speak exclusively to Jeremy Borash about his thoughts on the show. What's next for Grado? Will there be a season 3 of Boot Camp? Read on to find out!
What do you think Bootcamp season 2 winner Mark Andrews will bring to TNA?
Well, I think he's a great winner. He has a very magnetic personality - he's the kind of guy that attracts your attention when you walk into a room. You meet him for the first time and know he's a great guy. He's a very smart young man and his wrestling abilities speak for themselves - there's high flying stuff you'll see him pull out that you won't expect. You've got to factor in everything when you consider these guys and I think he'll get along really well with our locker room. At the end of the day you've got an investment to make and Dixie Carter made the decision to invest in Mark Andrews. I think it's going to be a good pay off. You've seen what Rockstar Spud has done as a success story coming out of the first season - Mark Andrews could be the guy to do it this time. Two bona fide stars coming out of two seasons of a show in a row would be great - you don't get that too often in reality TV anymore but I think Mark has a good chance.
Any of the final three could have won it. Was there a particular weakness that denied them?
I think you can make a strong argument for any of the top six! Ultimately, you've just got to work to people's strengths. If a guy isn't strong on the mic say, that's for the creative department to handle and you've got to look for something else and accentuate those positives. To me, everybody is a work in progress. Rockstar Spud was in OVW [TNA's training system] for almost 11 months before he ever saw the light of day on TV, even after he had won Boot Camp and he says those months were the biggest education he's ever had. Mark Andrews is the winner of Boot Camp 2 but until you're a part of that locker room on a functional basis for a year or two, you're really not ready for anything. For an old cagey veteran like myself, not much is going to surprise me after 14 or 15 years of doing this full time. You just get a different perspective and that takes time. Coming out of the gate any one of those three or six, given the time, the education, the experience could all be stars, no question.
UK fans were intrigued to hear about the TNA UK tour documentary you're making - tell us more.
It was something we did off the back of the success of British Boot Camp - the ratings were there. The decision to put all six finalists on the tour was a result of the ratings of the show and the connection that fans felt with them. So they're going to be on all three dates of the UK tour and we're going to document it all and do a very special show for Challenge TV about it. It's going to give a lot of insight into the tour. We always discuss how to make these the tour of the year and we're going to show you how we do that, especially through the eyes of these six. It's like the exclamation point on the end of Boot Camp.
We have a podcast on which Richard Parliament answers questions each week - just like Prime Minister's Question Time! What did you think of Richard, does he have a bright future?
I loved him! Of the final six, not many had heard of him. They were respectful of the promotions he worked for but not a lot of people had seen him. He had stuck to his home promotion but like Priscilla up in Glasgow, he came out of the woodwork. Now, if you look at their Twitter following just from those one or two appearances on the show, you can see how they've maximised and used that to springboard into something else. They get it 100%. I tried to tell every talent that was on this show that it was up to them to grab it and make it something special. Richard Parliament did that as did others and I don't think we saw enough of it. Richard Parliament got it, is getting booked everywhere and is seeing the benefits of the exposure and that to me is what the show was all about - shining the spotlight on all these great talents in the UK.
Lots of people were backing Grado. Do you think he has a future in TNA?
I think he's got as good a shot as anyone. He's wrestling Al Snow at the Hydro at our show on 29 January 2015. When you see that and the crowd reaction - sometimes just shining a spotlight can make the people in charge of those decisions see you and think "Wow! This is something that will work and work again." That's something that Grado has to look forward to out of this match, for him it's an opportunity. I have a huge amount of faith in him. He's one of my favourite performers and one of the funniest people I've ever met in wrestling - and I've worked with a few people in my day! This guy has the most infectious sense of humour and he's fun to be around. He's the real deal on camera and off.
If you were a judge, outside of Grado, who would you have given a second chance to?
That's tough! Probably Dave Mastiff. It's hard to say and at that point when it got down to the final six, even the final 16, I told the judges that I'd be happy with anyone they chose.
Will there be a British Boot Camp 3?
I hope so! To do a third season I would like to spread it out and make the audition episodes a little longer. There was a lot of great stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor and so I think it could be bigger than the second season. There was a lot of great stuff coming out of the York Hall show [British Boot Camp 2 Live Final] that we did. Everyone was really pumped up for the opportunity and I think that's something we could do a lot more with. There's definitely parts of the UK that you could tour something like this and make it a little broader than just three cities. We'll see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm happy with season 2 but you're always working towards season 3 and I think the ratings were there this year to really justify a 3rd season.
You heard It here first folks. Boot Camp 3 can't come soon enough for Royal Ramblings..
The stars of Boot Camp will be on tour across the UK in January and tickets are available here.