The last Tools remaining on Tool Academy 3 were probably the least likely finalists: Angelo had his STD comment, and Jacob promised Jennavecia’s boyfriend Kyle that he would beat him like a dog, among some of his other threats to his housemates. But Jacob showed remarkable late-game growth, and Trina took note. Below Jacob talks about what he learned from Tool Academy, why he fought with Jennavecia and Angelo, and when he started yelling “boom shakalaka.”
So what’s happened since the show? How are you and Christie doing?
I’ve been kind of low-key since the show aired, just because of contracts and I don’t want to get in any kind of trouble. We’re still together, we’re doing good.
How did Tool Academy change your relationship?
It’s helped our relationship a lot. We have a lot more trust in each other. Going through the experience of the Academy brought us closer. We’re going great right now.
Some of Tool Academy‘s couples have made a deeper commitment at the end, like gotten married or engaged. Have you two talked about it?
Right. We talked about it. But we’re gonna wait and see what happens with my career, where we’re gonna live, whether that’s Florida or California. Then once we get settled, make the next move.
Christie mentions that when you first met you were a great guy, that you did special needs education.
I know, it’s crazy. I was a substitute teacher. When I met her I was more laid-back, not as into myself as much. I wasn’t a Tool, pretty much. I didn’t have the ego trip that I got. I started working out because I decided I wanted to get into professional wrestling, so I obviously hit the gym a lot and kind of got carried away with it, put that first. I was working out too much, and then your body changes and other things come along with it. More attention, things like that. It was one of those things where it just got crazy and got out of hand.
Chasyn runs a wrestling school in Florida. He could train you.
Hell no, I would never train with that guy. He offered to train me when I first met him in Cancun. I was like, “This guy’s going to train me?” This guy can’t even pick me up.” Anyone who wrestles a girl, I don’t have any respect for.
Those first few sessions you mostly were just aggressive. I think a lot of us were wondering how you stayed.
I was pissed off. I was throwing stuff, breaking chairs and kicking over objects they had set up. I was really frustrated. Everything was overwhelming. I had lots of mixed emotions, I remember that. And a lot of anger.
Why did you turn on Jennavecia?
Me and Jennavecia were cool in Cancun, and then we got to the Academy and I wanted to keep my distance. I didn’t want her to be too close to me because I felt like she would try to make a move. The thing about her is that she would talk a lot of s*** about how her man would beat my ass. And then I would approach her man and Kyle wanted no part of me. So that kind of got old after the third or fourth episode in.
By the time it’s just the three couples, you and her both decide to focus on Angelo and Dayna.
Me and Jennavecia were actually pretty cool towards the end of the show. I realized that Angelo was the one person on the show that pretty much stabbed me in the back. He was fake, and Jennavecia was calling that out the whole time. Me and Jennavecia and Kyle were probably the closest on the show, and definitely me and Jordan. I was the closest with Jordan. He was a lot of fun to be around in the Academy. So was Daniel. I never laughed that hard in my life, with Jordan and Daniel around.
Everyone says that Daniel was surprisingly cool.
When I first met Daniel I thought he was a meth addict. The guy seemed crazy and creepy. Then I got to know him a little bit and he was just a different kind of dude. He got picked on a lot and people hassled him, so I took him under my wing, made him food, made him dinner or breakfast. When I made my food, I made a little extra for him.
Jennavecia said that Angelo and Jordan were your “bitches.” What does that mean?
A lot of people in the Academy would follow me around. If I was going to eat, they’d go eat, if I was going to work out, they’d go work out. Just be in the room where I was. Angelo and Jordan, we were kind of close. A lot of people would probably think they were my bitches, but it wasn’t really like that.
You and Angelo were good friends. What exactly happened?
I was totally cool with Angelo until the yearbook came up. And then Angelo basically put me down for all of the negative things in the Tool Book: “Tool Least Likely to Succeed,” “Tool Who’s All Talk.” He’s just a bitch. I don’t like Angelo and I wish I would have seen that earlier.
Tommy accuses you of being a bully in the house. Were you?
That’s not true. Nobody bullied anybody. Some people called me a bully because when I had a problem with someone I would call it out. On the other hand you had people like Tommy who would talk s*** about people. I would rather be someone who’s real and up front than talk behind someone’s back. Kevin stood up for me. He said, “Jacob’s not being a bully, Jacob’s just being Jacob.” If I don’t like you because you’re talking ****, I’ll call you out. That’s not being a bully. It’s being real.
But remember what you said to Kyle? That seemed like you were being a bully.
I told him that my heart’s a lot colder than his and I’ll beat him like a dog. I was under a lot of stress. Kyle was saying things to Christie about me. Not trying to date Christie or anything, but just talking shit about me, basically, taking shots at me.
By the time Jennavecia, Kyle, Dayna, and Angelo fought, you and Christie sort of disappeared into the wall.
Yeah, I definitely didn’t want to get into that. I thought Dayna and Angelo were wrong for getting into Jennavecia’s relationship. If I got in a fight with Christie, I wouldn’t want them telling her that she should leave me. Obviously my past at the Academy wasn’t good, so there was no way I was going to get into another altercation.
How did you stay after getting into so many fights?
I don’t know why…every week, looking back, I was getting badges, and I know there were people out there blogging about me, saying, “I don’t know why Jacob’s still around,” but I guess Trina saw something in me. The first week I think I should have been eliminated. I got a freebie because Chasyn left. It just seemed like every week I was going to be eliminated, but this person did something just a little bit worse. I don’t know why Trina kept me around, except that she thought I could change. She actually told me that I was a late bloomer, in the final elimination. It just took a while for things to hit home for me.
What were you thinking, going into the graduation ceremony?
I was not too confident I would win. I thought that all of Angelo’s tears would add up to $100,000. I thought that he was playing this game, and I thought that Trina and the Academy were falling for it, and I didn’t think I had any chance at winning. I was going to be extremely angry if I didn’t win.
You think all of Angelo’s tears were for the game?
Angelo is really fake. He’s a crybaby, but I think a lot of his tears were for money. I’m glad they saw through that.
But you know, earlier in the season, when Trina asked if you were only saying what you thought she wanted to hear, you said “Yes.”
I don’t know why I said that. I remember watching that when it was on TV and thinking, “I’m a complete idiot.” I was just daydreaming up there. People don’t realize how long we’re in therapy for, and I was zoning out. And she asked me a question, so I just answered yes, because yes was the answer to most questions. Obviously it backfired.
Be honest. Were you there for the money?
I wasn’t really there for the money. I will admit, though, when it got to the Top 3, I was thinking, “Wow, I actually have a chance at winning $100,000.” Looking back at it, earning all these badges, why not continue to grow? So at that point I was like, I’m going to do what I can. I’m going to show the Academy I’ve changed.
Did it really help?
I had a lot of issues before with how I’m acting, the ego trip, the working out, the partying. That kind of made me into a monster. I’ve had issues with my family, and I think the Academy has put me in a better place with my family than I’ve ever been before, so I’m really appreciative of that.
You said during the last therapy session that you wanted to meet your father, if only to ask him why he abandoned you. Did you try?
I’ve thought about it and I’m not planning on meeting him ever. He took off when I was a little baby, so I don’t feel like he could bring anything to my life at this point.
That session, and the family episode, were the ones that really broke you down. How do they feel about the show now?
My family loved the show. They watch them all. They thought it was a great experience for us, and me and my family got to deal with some issues that we’ve had for so long. It brought us even closer together.
Did you think Christie would leave without you?
I thought she would leave, but after we got to week three, I became pretty confident that we would leave together. Not that everything would be perfect — we’d still have some things to work on when we got home. I’m just thankful that Trina kept giving me my badges each week. I needed those. They’re just a little patch that you put on your jacket, but they mean a lot. I didn’t like the jacket, though.
So what are your plans for the cash?
There’s no plans for the money right now. I’m just going to put it in the bank and sit on it for a little bit. A lot of doors have opened since the show, so I’m going to have different avenues of making money and having a career, so I don’t have to touch that right away.
Sounds like Larry Winget made an impression on you.
He was basically just picking on us for the tanning and the clubbing. I’m definitely going to be smart with it and not blow it.
Did you stop?
I still tan every day and work out all the time. I just don’t have that egomaniac attitude anymore. It’s not all about me, I’m not that monster, and I’m not a bad person.
What was the best part of the show for you?
I had a lot of good memories hanging out with Jordan. Me, Jordan, and Kevin got along really well. Also when we had the lie detector test, one of the questions was, “Have you ever hooked up with a girl in Christie’s car?” and she thought I had, but in the lie detector test it came back that I didn’t, which was the truth, so that felt good. My whole thing on the show wasn’t cheating, it was the ego thing.
I still don’t get what happened in the fidelity episode. You said you slept with twins in your video, then you sort of said you didn’t?
That was a lie. I’ve never cheated on Christie. I had that ego trip where I’d go out and flirt with girls and stuff like that, but I’ve never actually cheated on her before.
The fact that she wanted to know if you’d messed around with someone in her car was so specific.
One girl told her that we messed around in her car. It didn’t happen. That messed up our relationship for a while because she didn’t believe me. We actually went to a lie detector place a while before we went on the show to find out the answer, but the guy said that I was moving around too much in the chair, and the whole test was disrupted. We didn’t get our money back or anything.
How do you find a lie detector store?
Christie researched it. She wouldn’t believe me for anything, and we finally found a place where somebody would do it, [it took] an hour and a half to get to his office.
Do you cringe when you see how you acted when you first got to the Academy?
When I watch my videos, when I was interviewed in L.A. and some of my interviews in Cancun, it’s just like, “What the hell am I doing?” It’s embarrassing.
What did you think of the producers ending every show with your “boom shakalaka” tag?
When I first heard it I was laughing. I was dying. I came up with “boom shakalaka” a while ago, probably when I was 10-years-old, wrestling in my backyard with friends of mine. And that would be something my character, who’s named J.T. Extreme, would say before I do my finishing mood. And I kinda brought that ego to Cancun when I thought I was going to be a Party Ambassador. The producers fell in love with it and told me to say it whenever I could. So I would say it a lot.
People must say it to you a lot now.
Oh yeah, all the time, in all the clubs, bars.
But you’re a nice guy now. You can’t turn heel as a wrestler.
Yeah, parts of wrestling are obviously entertainment. You just gotta know when to hit that switch when you’re out of the ring and when you’re in the ring. Nobody acts all crazy and wild like that. You just need a balance.
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