By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
American Gladiators: Crush
American Gladiator Crush may be the one gladiator most able to actually kill somebody with her bare hands. She is a trained Muay Thai and cage fighter. Still, she gives all the contestants opposing her the benefit of the doubt when entering competition.
"I never want to underestimate anybody because there are some athletic people out there and it's not like we have a wall or a pyramid in the back of our yards to practice on," said Crush. "The beautiful thing about it I think when people watch is that they're like, 'I can do that.' They're game planning in their head when they get on the show what they're going to do. You can't take anybody lightly. It's tough actually. It's fun."
Crush almost turned down American Gladiators, focusing on her hardcore competitions. "My reaction was initially no, because I didn't want it to disrupt my fight game because I'm just starting to get comfortable and find myself in my fighting. But I thought about it and this opportunity doesn't come along all the time. It's an opportunity for me to explore a different side of myself. I'm going to still fight, but it's been a really good experience."
The studio audience may contribute to Crush's performance on the televised show. "Definitely I feed off the crowd. So if it's a good energy, then I perform better. If it's a bad energy than I don’t feel like showing them anything."
Crush is a serious fighter, defying stereotypes of dainty girls. "I think from when you're young, people teach you not to be physical and hitting and kicking is bad. I think that being physical and expressing yourself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just directed at the right time and it's actually an excellent way to get things out. So yeah, maybe a couple issues but I've got a different way of thinking."