One Tough Cookie

Milton, Ky., nurse tests her strength
with appearance on CMT's 'challenge'

Vineup says the TV reality show
was worth the experience

(February 2015)
Read previous Don Ward columns!
Don Ward

Jordan Vineup has always enjoyed watching reality shows on TV, but the Milton, Ky., resident and Registered Nurse never thought she’d ever be on one. That dream came true in January when Vineup, 24, starred in an episode of Country Music Television’s new season of “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge.”
The show aired nationally on CMT on Sunday night, Jan. 25. Vineup was paired in a wrestling duel with another female competitor, “Erin,” a former MMA boxer who outweighed her and eventually beat her, sending Vineup home after the first round. Vineup later learned that Erin had once fought Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Lela, during her pro boxing career and is now a boxing coach.

Jordin in action

Photo courtesy of Ron Jaffe/CMT

Jordan Vineup (bottom) mixes it up with "Erin," a former MMA boxer, on the "Broken Skull Challenge" episode that aired Jan. 25.

The object of the competition was to grab a sand bag lying in the middle of the arena and run to the far end of the pit and ring a bell. The “anything goes” competition lasted about 20 minutes, Vineup said, even though only about five minutes of the bout aired on TV.
Each week of the show, men or women from across the country battle it out in physically and mentally grueling challenges until only one is left standing. That person earns the chance to win $10,000 by beating the new and improved Skullbuster, a harrowing obstacle course designed by Austin himself.
Each episode involves a series of gritty physical challenges, as some of the most elite athletes in America compete head-to-head for the win. Contestants include highly trained body builders, Jiu Jitsu and MMA fighters, arena football, rugby and CrossFit athletes, along with every day men and women.

Jordan Vineup

Photo courtesy
of Ron Jaffe/CMT

Jordan Vineup prepares for her match on "Broken Skull Challenge."

Vineup is a self-proclaimed country gal who loves the mud and riding horses. A total tomboy growing up in Ripley County, Ind., Jordan says she is country strong. Once a competitive horse rider, she also loves to kick box, and has dabbled in mixed martial arts. She graduated from South Ripley High School and Ivy Tech Community College and now works as a Registered Nurse at King’s Daughters’ Hospital and the Carroll County Memorial Hospital. She is also studying at the University of Louisville.
“I was really nervous and the night before I was set to go, I almost didn’t get on the airplane,” Vineup said during a interview a few days after the show aired. “But then I told myself, ‘this will be the only time in my life to do something like this,’ so I did it.”
Vineup said she was flown to Los Angeles last November and then transported by van with other competitors to dinner and a hotel that night. The women also underwent physicals. The competitors were not allowed to talk to one another until after the competition. The next morning, they all met in the hotel lobby at 5 a.m. and were driven out to a ranch. After being mic-ed and prepped on the rules, they competed. When Vineup was ousted, she had to leave the set and was not allowed to watch the rest of the competition.

Broken Skull

Photo courtesy of Ron Jaffe/CMT

Jordan Vineup (far right) poses with the other competitors and host Steve Austin (center) prior to the contest.

The next day the group was allowed to sightsee around the area before being flown home. Once she arrived home, “I soaked in the bath tub for about a week because of all the bruises and cuts.” She was not allowed to discuss her appearance on the show until it was about to air. Only her family and live-in boyfriend, Steven Couch, knew of her adventure.
“I though she was crazy,” Couch said. “She was definitely nervous. But we all supported her.”
Vineup competed in a Mudathlon in Carrollton, Ky., two years ago and said she enjoyed that type of activity. “I loved it,” she said. When she saw the CMT show advertising for competitors, she took the plunge, signing up online and then receiving a telephone call a few weeks later. Then she was interviewed over the phone last summer before learning in October she had been accepted to appear on the show.
“I only had about three weeks to get ready after being told I was going to be on the show,” she said. She hired a personal trainer to help her prepare, although she works out regularly at Anytime Fitness in Madison, Ind.
Vineup said Austin was nice to everyone “and not as tough as he appears to be on TV.”
In the days following the show airing on TV, Vineup said she has received a lot of reaction from friends and co-workers. “They couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Everyone’s been very supportive. I have even heard from high school and elementary school friends I haven’t seen in years, and my Facebook page has really lit up.”
Steve ‘Stone Cold’ Austin, six-time World Wrestling Federation Champion and 2003 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, has been busy since retiring from the ring in 2003. Austin began his acting career in 2005 with a breakout performance in the Adam Sandler movie, “The Longest Yard,” which went on to make $187 million worldwide; followed by a starring role in “The Condemned,” which continues to be one of the World Wrestling Entertainment’s most lucrative releases. In 2010 Sylvester Stallone tapped Austin for his action thriller “The Expendables.” In 2013 Austin had a featured role in Adam Sandler’s comedy “Grown Ups 2.”
In addition to the “Broken Skull Challenge,” Austin hosts “Redneck Island,” also on CMT. In addition, he shakes things up every week with his highly rated podcast, “The Steve Austin Show” on www.podcastone.com.
Vineup said she would consider trying another reality show if the opportunity arose. She’s not a “Survivor” fan but would consider trying Austin’s other reality show, “Redneck Island.”
“I’m more into the physical challenges than the psychological ones like ‘Survivor,’ “ she said.
More information, including full episodes, can be viewed at www.CMT.com.

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email: Don@RoundAbout.bz.


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