Anyone who’s been within earshot of me in the past several months knows that I’ve taken the plunge and joined the P90X craze, which has been a journey unto itself. P90X, as many of you probably know, is a workout-at-home program that has users cycling through about ten DVDs repeatedly over the course of ninety days. As a result, we P90Xers are exposed to the same jokes, the same comments, and the same chatter day after day, week after week, and at the center of it all is fitness guru Tony Horton, who takes us to hell and back every day with a colorful cast of supporting characters. It doesn’t take long to grow attached to some of these oft-silent people in the background, and I know many users have their favorites (as well as those they detest). With that in mind, I decided to compile a list — a ranking of all the supporting cast members from worst to best. There were definitely some difficult decisions, but hey, I know it’s hard. It’s supposed to be!
Some clarification before we begin. This list only includes the original P90X. P90X Plus and P90X2 are not represented.
Let’s get busy.
Here’s why Dom is the very worst supporting cast member of P90X. While all of us are sweating and panting away during the torturous, evil DVD known as “Plymometrics” (jump training, essentially), Dom is bouncing around with his spring-loaded legs as if it ain’t no thing. Even worse, he shows EVERYONE up whenever he can, particularly during Jump Knee Tucks, which are the “mother of all the moves” on the “mother of all the workouts.” Here I am, struggling to jump in place like some demented frog, and there’s Dom — boing boing boing. This may be the mother of all the moves, but he is the MOTHER OF ALL ASSHOLES. At that moment, as I see death approaching me (or maybe it’s just the salty sweat in my eyes), I hate Dom more than anything in life. I’m sure he’s a lovely guy though!
This chatterbox is truly the most annoying person in the P90X oeuvre. Appearing on the Back & Biceps DVD, she spends most of the workout clamoring for the spotlight with perky, irritating squeaks and comments. Even worse, towards the end of the DVD when our aforementioned backs and biceps are nothing but loose putty incapable of even the mildest exertion, she volunteers to perform the HARDEST pull-up in the history of pull-ups: the corn cob. Trust me: when you hear her chirp, “I’m gonna do CORN COB!” you’ll want to absolutely punch her in the face (not that I condone violence towards women, but I mean, c’mon…).
WHERE’S YOUR CORN COB NOW?? (I know that makes no sense)
If you need a break from the countdown, do it now. Do NOT sit down. Don’t go eating a pastrami sandwich. Hamburger bad, fries bad, Coca-Cola bad. Drink your water, people.
Mini-break… Break’s over!
21. Wesley Idol
Here’s the problem with Wesley Idol. He allegedly introduced Tony to the Kenpo-X routine (which isn’t THAT great, by the by), and yet Wesley barely seems to be able to properly keep up. I mean, I know Wesley ONLY BLEEDS ON THE INSIDE, but that doesn’t mean he’s allowed to be so slow while doing CLAW PULL PUNCH! CLAW PULL PUNCH! SWORD HAMMER! SWORD HAMMER! Sorry. It just takes over. Anyway, I have some serious questions about Wesley’s form, which is not to say that mine is better (I’m very awkward and tend to fall over for no particular reason), but seriously, if you are the Grand Poobah of Kenpo-X, at least be awesome at it.
I feel like Timmy would have been a decent guy had he been on any other DVD, but as the fates would have it, he wound up on Back & Biceps with Katie, and this punk (who could surely beat me to a pulp — he was a Marine, after all) sort of suffers because of it. He feeds on Katie’s energy, and it’s not long before the two are practically yapping away, vying for attention. Excuse me, but Tony’s trying to teach a class here, okay? Shut it.
Talk about surly. Our resident lawyer / karate master / caveman, Phil serves as the most humorless guy in the cast. And we have some pretty humorless people (including DOM). I don’t know why Phil is so mad — maybe it’s the janky haircut he sports every time he’s on camera, or maybe it’s that he’s so muscular he can’t do seated spine stretch like everyone else — but either way, I can assure you he’s NO fun. Turn that frown upside-down, brohan.
Vanessa is something of a brute. She doesn’t really have much personality, and really the only thing I can consistently remember about her is that her shirt was light green at the beginning of Kenpo-X (it turns to dark green. Sweat, etc.). I think I heard a rumor somewhere that she’s engaged to Jason from Ab Ripper X (lucky her: he’s the RIP KING). Perhaps that’s mentioned on the Cardio-X DVD, which I’ve never used (but I believe they’re both on it). Anyway, I’m getting off topic. The point is that Vanessa is mean, and I question her footwork during Kenpo. THERE. I said it.
17. Scotty Fifer
Scotty Fifer isn’t the worst, but he does seem a little smug, and I can never, EVER forgive him for bringing “Fifer Scissors” into my world. Truth is that whenever Tony Horton mentions that we’ll be doing anything involving scissors, I groan. That Scotty Fifer had to introduce another variation of scissors into the P90X universe is INEXCUSABLE. For shame, Scotty! For shame!
I don’t mind Eric. He owns a boat. And he’s from Belgium. That’s his thing. He seems a touch cocky though. Either way, he signals the transition point on this list from where the cast goes from being annoying to merely bland.
Speaking of bland, here’s Audra. Who? Exactly. She’s the Ann Veal of P90X. Given that she appears on the longest DVD of the bunch (Yoga X) and the most often viewed workout (Ab Ripper X), it’s shocking that I still couldn’t pick her out of a crowd. Having that little personality is a talent. Or maybe an anti-talent. Whatever it is, Audra is the most forgettable — and therefore inoffensive — of the crew.
Who’s that? OH. It’s AUDRA.
Wow, we’re only at 15? I’m dogging it!!
14. Shauna / Shawna
There’s some controversy online about the spelling of Shauna’s name (does it have a u or a w? Who knows??). That might be the most exciting thing about her. Actually, wait. I’M PUSHING MY OWN PERSONAL PAUSE BUTTON. Shauna does have something exciting about her: she always looks like she’s enjoying some sort of sex fantasy whenever she stretches. And boy, can she stretch. She’s so flexible she makes Gumby look like the Tin Man (or is that Adam?). Either way, she could certainly pose FOR THE COVER OF DOWNWARD DOG MAGAZINE. Best downward dog of her life, I’m sure.
Jason… Jason… who’s Jason again? Oh yeah. HE’S THE RIP KING. And engaged to Vanessa. Looks like he didn’t take Tony’s tip of the day: engage… and I don’t mean go out and GET engaged. My only exposure to Jason is on Ab Ripper X (again, I haven’t done Cardio X); so I really know nothing about this guy except that he just loves flinging his arms in the air while doing seated bicycles. Damn him. Johnny Intense like no one’s business.
12. Joe Bovino
Man o Manischewitz. What to say about Joe Bovino? I sort of like Joe Bovino, if only because he must endure Tony perpetually insisting that they’re twins. They’re not. Plus, he has very impressive triceps! Or as Tony calls them, DIAMONDS OF GOLD.
Halfway done with the list. Party’s almost over! What a bummer! If you’re dogging it, just hit the pause button, and when you’re back, we’ll be right here.
Dave is a little bland, making his lone, quiet appearance on the Chest & Shoulders & Triceps DVD. But he’s rather jacked AND a substitute school teacher, a combination which I think is sort of awesome. Part of me wonders if he’s secretly a superhero. I also wonder if he quietly hates the other cast members. He probably does, and I like that.
To paraphrase Tony, Sophia is GORRRRGEOUS. Ranking as the hottest lady of the bunch, this dentist-in-training has swell teeth and a sexy voice to boot. She clearly seems to be taking the easy road at times on the Legs & Back disc, but… she’s so pretty! I do always wonder though… if Dreya Weber hadn’t taken off her sweatshirt, would Sophia have done the same? I mean, was Sophia intending to take the sweatshirt off just moments after Dreya, or was she merely catering to some self-imposed sweatshirt-stripdown peer pressure? Part of me thinks she would have kept hers on a little longer if she had her druthers. These are the things I think about.
9. Bobby Stephenson
Good ol’ Bobby Stephenson. He seems like a solid dude. He’s an amiable guy, and on the Back & Biceps DVD, he’s the only one NOT clamoring for screen time (as opposed to Katie and Timmy). For that alone, he lands in the top ten.
8. Tony Lattimore
Here’s why I like Tony: he often times seems like the only one who knows what he’s doing during Kenpo-X. Talk to anyone, and they’ll tell you: keep your eye on Tony Lattimore for form. It’s true. GRAB PULL PUNCH!
I like Laura because she’s older than anyone else in the cast, and yet she’s plugging right along with the best of them. Of course, then I feel bad that she can do significantly more than I can (you don’t want to see me attempt a plyo-pushup), but hey, that’s okay. More power to her. Plus, we can see that Tony especially likes her as he often sidles up next to her to make some silly joke or comment. Aw, I love LAURONY.
When it comes to Maren, there are only three words necessary: GERMAN POTATO SOUP. Yes, that’s the imaginary brew she stirs up during the world famous Karen pot stirrers, and dammit if it doesn’t make me hungry every time. Maren seems like a sweet girl — trying her best just like the rest of us. Heck, she’s not just trying her best, she’s FORGETTING THE REST. Also, fun fact: she’s a hardcore porn star too! What? You didn’t see Joey Silvera’s Fashion Sluts 11? Me neither. I’m not sure I want to see Maren having sex. Part of me fears that she’ll sound like a pterodactyl backing out of trouble. KAW KAW!!
I’m in a good mood today, man. You in a good mood?
5. Dreya Weber
Some people love the “gorgeous” Dreya. Some people hate her. Here’s one thing we can all settle on: she flies through the air with the greatest of ease. Call me insane (and lord knows there ain’t no such thing as a sanity clause), but I like Dreya. She’s tough, a little manly, and she always smiles. You can tell that she and Tony really get along, and any friend of Tony’s is a friend of mine (except for anyone on the bottom part of this list… I’m looking at you, DOM). Anyway, I know some of you may be upset that I’ve placed Dreya so high, but what the hell, life is good, I’m the leader, I can do whatever I want.
4. Erik Stolhanske
Give Erik some credit. Not only is he part of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Supertroopers), but he has one leg, and he still shows up for Plyometrics. AND he makes jokes about it. There seriously have been times when I’ve wanted to collapse on the floor in a puddle of my own sweat during this workout, but then I realize that if Erik can do it with one leg, I can do it with two. Even better, Erik isn’t all DOM about it. He’s not showy. He just does his thing. He proves that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR THIRTY SECONDS IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. In other news, I can’t always do anything for thirty seconds, even if I put my mind to it. Although, if it’s resting and drinking water, I certainly have that down.
3. Daniel Haas
About an hour into the Yoga X DVD — when every muscle in your body is trembling, sweat is dripping down your face, and you’re seriously contemplating burning down the offices of Downward Dog magazine — perhaps the last thing you want to see are all those people on screen bending and contorting their bodies like a bunch of pretzels. It can be defeating. And then there’s Daniel Haas. Seeing his imperfect form gives you hope (unlike Wesley Idol’s imperfect form, which just looks lazy). Daniel Haas makes me realize that I’m truly a work in progress, just like he is. Also, he seems cool.
Ah, Johnny-trainer-stretchy-dancer boy. Adam is arguably the most physically fit member of the P90X cast. That’s probably why he prances around shirtless through two-thirds of the videos he’s in. We probably should hate Adam for the way he breezes through Ab Ripper X or Yoga Belly 7 (“HIT MY HAND. HIT MY HAND!!!”). But we don’t. His stone-cold face shows determination and grit (as opposed to Phil, whose face shows anger and bitterness). And then we get to Core Synergistics, and Adam is all smiles and giggles, especially at the end when he tries to go for some bonus reps and fails miserably. Wait, Adam can fail? HE’S JUST LIKE US! And quite frankly, I don’t know how he doesn’t get faked out when Tony says “Add ’em” and then later has to say, “Add the arms, not Adam back there.” The fact that Adam doesn’t flinch always impresses me because I would have been like “YES? YOU CALLED MY NAME???”
Of course, must I even mention the coup de grace? It happens during Yoga. The group is doing frog, and Shauna winds up touching Adam’s foot. So what does he do? Adam wiggles his toe to say hi. HE WIGGLES HIS TOE TO SAY HI. I mean, this man is a GENTLEMAN. There’s only one person who could possibly top that. You’ve probably already guessed who it is.
All this tension… I hate it…
But I love it…
‘Cause it’s coming…
Although, they call her…
Pam is a private investigator, but more important than that, she is the recipient of the most important nickname in all of P90X: PAM THE BLAM. Everything else is irrelevant. Just make sure of one thing: don’t stand in the creek ’cause Pam will run you over!
Wow. That’s the end. Take in the fact that you just did all that.
Who are your favorites? And what are your favorite quotes?