Mandy Rose has gone from the girl getting saved from elimination by the Miz on Tough Enough all the way to a contender in WWE's tag rankings, and Sonya Deville's been there every step of the way.
Fire & Desire, as Sonya and Mandy are named, have been one of the biggest Tough Enough success stories. The show featured the likes of Velveteen Dream and Chelsea Green among names who didn't win, but went on to WWE fame. After meeting on the 2015 show, Mandy Rose told Fightful that she and Sonya have remained buddies all along.
"We’ve maintained our friendship ever since then. Sonya and I hit it off during Tough Enough, right in the beginning. At the tryouts, actually, before we were even announced on the show. We just had so many similarities and we hit it off and we’ve been best friends since. And we’ve experienced the journey together, which is really cool. It was unexpected, we didn’t think we would. But we’re super happy to have each other," Rose clarified.
Rose and Deville weren't a collective act on the NXT roster, and were moved up to WWE's main programming in pretty short order. The move turned heads, as the vast majority of Superstars have extended runs in NXT before being brought up. The match count may not have been there, but Mandy says the work was.
"It was tough," Mandy admitted. "Obviously we didn’t spend much time in NXT but the time I did put in was a lot of training and a lot of work. I really trained hard, I wanted to get all that I could out of it, you know? So, it was tough getting thrown into that, but anything I get thrown into I just go with and try my best. You’re gonna fail at certain times and every day is a new adventure and a learning experience."
Making the transition from NXT to WWE is difficult as-is. However, Rose credited Sonya with being the person that helped her adjust the most.
"It’s hard because you’re always by yourself. Obviously I would say Sonya, honestly. Because we lived together in Orlando for a little while, we had that support. We got called up to Monday Night RAW at the same time. So, probably Sonya. We were able to do that together and get through that together. But you are alone a lot. You’re away from your friends and family a lot, so you don’t really havea lot of that support. You know they support you back home, and watch you on TV and stuff, but they’re not always by your side." said Mandy.
It isn't just WWE TV or Tough Enough where you can catch Fire & Desire on screen together. For the better part of a couple of years, they've reviewed donuts, and gained a cult following doing it. Damandyz Doughnuts has been a big hit for the duo.
"It was funny, we’re big foodies, and we always love getting donuts. But, we went to a Krispy Kreme in Orlando. And we had those little hats and we created this dance and song. It was really stupid and silly, but we just started dancing and people liked it on social media, on Twitter and stuff. And we were like “wow, this is funny. We could so do a donut show.” We loved donuts and when we got to the main roster, we were like “we go to a city every week, let’s go try to find the best glazed donut," said Mandy.
You can see our full conversation with Mandy Rose at the top of the page.