Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Awesome video from Week 10

(Be sure to watch for Mike's seriously cute abashed look right at the end when Alison makes a comment to him. It's totally a "*GASP*, the pretty lady's talking to me!" expression. :)

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/03/24

After panicking a bit that The Biggest Loser was going to be pre-empted by American Presidential Stuff, DH reassured me that we were merely going to go to bed an hour later than usual. (Great.)

So the tattered remnants of the Blue team return to the house, and Black looks completely confused that Aubrey's still around. Join the club, guys - I still have no idea why Cathy sacrificed herself. I thought it was really lovely that Tara was the first person to give Kristin a hug, though. It's kind of representational of the spirit of this season - yes, they're fierce competitors, but at the end of the day they all get along and care about each other.

Rainbow shirts! The producers have decided that it's time to end the Blue team's suffering and go to individuals! I particularly loved the t-shirt retrospective for Mike, especially when Aubrey got in his old t-shirt WITH him, that was hilarious. So after playing the Biggest Loser version of stuffing-all-the-children-into-grandma's-pantaloons, it's time for another game: Pick Your Trainer! And nobody could be happier than Sione and Filipe. For them, as well as some others (like, oh, gee, I dunno...Tara?), this decision was a no-brainer. For others, a much tougher call. Personally, I thought that Aubrey should be picking Bob, and that Mike and Helen should be picking Jillian. (The Jillian/Helen combination stands a chance of winning this.) However, I wasn't sure which way they would end up going. Mike couldn't decide at all and just flipped a coin.

As for the rest of them, I thought Jillian might really be able to help Kristin, but I didn't seriously think Kristin would leave Bob. I have thought for a while that Jillian's kind of enabling Tara's control issues because she sees Tara as more of an equal than someone she should be helping to work through issues, so maybe Bob would be better in the long run there. I wondered if Laura might not be better off with Bob because of her trust issues with Jillian...but then again, if she chose Bob, she wouldn't have much chance to work out with him anyway before Tara THROTTLED her! :) Finally, I thought that Ron's best choice would have been to choose Bob because the "drill sergeant" dynamic that Jillian sets up with her people would sooo not fly with him, it'd be competely counterproductive.

So what actually happened?

Mike (phew)
Helen (yay)

Aubrey (excellent)

Random thoughts about the Pick Your Trainer segment and subsequent workout:

  • Jillian had a good point about the cruelty of making the choice in front of the trainers. On the other hand, it did really give "closure" to the decisions.
  • How sweeeeet is Sione when he's overcome.
  • That sidestep running thing Jillian's team was doing on the treadmill looked bruuutal.

Next up: the pre-challenge weight allotment. In which everybody takes the weight they've lost and allocates it as they see fit to the other players, with the promise that the extra weight will be a hindrance in the next challenge. And in which Ron does a revenge thing against Helen for breaking with The Church Of Bob. :) Helen takes it with excellent grace. Her gameplaying and self-centeredness does grate on me somewhat, but she really does take as good as she gives, and I just adore her spunk. Tara, on the other hand, is sooo unamused. Cupcake, take it as a compliment! You can't win every damn challenge! Look at how Helen reacted to the pressure - she turned it into determination! I'm completely in agreement with Aubrey (although Tara's point about Aubrey having a big mouth was also fair) - so you're the strongest competition in the house, boo-freakin'-hoo.

What does this all mean? We're right back to square one, the issue that nobody has ever made the frontrunner face: Tara has to control everything. Seriously, WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO TELL HER that she's probably going to gain the weight back (or turn to something else equally destructive) unless she learns to be cool with not having control over things that are beyond her control?

Then we pause for a commercial break. And that ad where the disgusting germy water droplets fly through the air? Seriously gross.

We return to find Tara angsting and threatening to throw the weigh-in so she can go home, away from "all this stress". Laura, like a true teammate and friend, runs after her and Jillians her into staying. Way to go with the pep talk, Laura. If it weren't for the cameras following you around I might actually believe it was completely spontaneous.

Moving onto the challenge, Helen thinks they're going to drive the cars. Really, Helen? DRIVE them? Puh-leeze. Have you ever actually WATCHED this show? Anyway, up drives Clint Bowyer. I've never heard of him before, probably because I couldn't give a flying rat's ass about car racing. However, the contestants all seemed pretty excited - maybe because he's a walking billboard for Cheerios, the official cereal of The Biggest Loser? (It's healthy! Adults love it! Kids love it! What's not to love? Pick some up at your local supermarket today!)

Anyway, they've all got to pull their cars a half-mile, laden with the added weight from the pre-challenge, and Tara lags behind in 3rd position. Then, just when I think I've seen the depths of how seriously Tara can pull it out, she surprises again. She had scads more weight to pull than anyone else, and she came up from behind to win it, CONVINCINGLY, against two very large and strong men! What was I saying about her not being able to win every challenge? I take it back. Unbefreakinlievable. Like seriously, is she even human? Maybe she's a fem-bot. That would explain a lot.

Random thoughts on the challenge:

  • Aubrey does awesome eyerolls, I must say.
  • I think Ron did super-well in the challenge all by himself before people came back to help him.
  • Brilliant move on Clint Bowyer's part there to not wear a goddman HELMET doing the victory laps! Hello! Moron!

We also need to have our weekly torture session of product placement. This week it's for some kind of lean, barbecue-able meat, except we get the added bonus of seeing shots of chubby Tongan people! Actually, a few times this episode we're told yet again that a) Sione and Filipe are Tongans; b) Tongan culture has an obesity crisis; and c) Sione and Filipe are single-handedly (double-handedly?) going to change the attitude towards food of Tongan people all over the whole world with the example of their own health and fitness! (In all seriousness, I do think that these two guys are terrific, and I think they can at least help the situation. Certainly Sione's hotness is pretty "inspirational", if you know what I mean...)

After that it's your usual run-of-the-mill last chance workout...Jillian yelling, people grunting desperately, the usual. Except that holy cow, look at Helen run!

Next we have the weigh-in. Now, next week's show synopsis (SPOILER ALERT) says that Ali and Michelle, the winners from the last two seasons, are coming in next week to take over hosting duties. This means, presumably, that this week's weigh-in must be the one where Ali (the usual host, not Ali the season 5 winner) was in labour. So DH and I were totally watching her and listening for stress in her voice. I think we heard it catch a few times, and she also seemed waaaay more emotional than usual, so I think that was it.

Cut to another commercial break, during which DH wants to know: Hey, is Donald Trump one of the people we can vote off of Celebrity Apprentice?

So welcome back to the first weigh-in of the season when the ladies get to ditch the halter tops in favour of tanks, and the men get to put some shirts on. This means that the women can wear the midriff equivalent of Spanx, and the audience gets a respite from seeing moobs.

Milestones achieved this week:

  • (As we were constantly reminded might happen) Kristin becomes the first woman to hit the 100lb total weightloss level on campus. Yay!
  • Filipe and Sione also passed the 100lb total weightloss mark
  • Tara has lost over one-third of her bodyweight since starting the show
  • Helen passed the 30% total weightloss mark
  • Laura and Ron passed the 25% total weightloss mark

Random thoughts on the weigh-in:

  • You wanna know something scary? For all her weight loss, Kristin is still morbidly obese. Don't get me wrong, she's doing AWESOME...but it speaks to how bad things were to start with that after over 100lbs lost, her weight is still really bad.
  • New BMI champion in the house: Helen's now at 28.6! This beats Tara!
  • The only sad face at Ron's results was Ron's. He's finally hitting his stride! Hooray!
  • I think Tara considered becoming the first woman to hit 100lbs of weight loss on the ranch vs. doing some waterloading and ensuring a safe week next week, and decided it would be best to let Kristin have the glory. Last week's two-pound loss devastated her completely, but with this week's three-pound loss we saw more of an "oh, well, whatever" reaction. Total giveaway.

Aubrey and Filipe fall below the yellow line and everybody has a decision to make (and as quickly as damn possible, if Ali has anything to say about it - whew, didja see how she rushed them through the vote?). Aubrey uses her usual unconvincing voice to say how much she wants to stay. Sione tells everyone that Filipe has issues that will make it impossible for him to lose the weight at home. (Really? First time I've heard of 'em.) The vote is pretty close, but Aubrey ends up going home. Her family is absolutely thrilled to see her. Her husband loves her to death and her older daughter makes me totally well up when they hug. We find out that Aubrey and Mandi's dad has already lost 26lbs, which is FANTASTIC.

But then we find out what happened next. Aubrey put everyone else ahead of herself again and blew back up to 200lbs. Finally by the at-home profile shoot, she clawed back down and lost a further 10 pounds from where she started upon leaving the ranch. Pretty sucky, but better than nothing. The whole thing made me sad.

Second-best line of the night was from Kristin on the pre-challenge: "It's a game called, 'let's see how much everyone in the house hates you'."

Far and away the best line of the night, though, was from Ron on Mike's coin-flip: "He's an idiot. All eighteen-year-olds are idiots." :D

Next week, milestones to look for:

  • Tara could hit the 100lbs total weightloss mark
  • Kristin could drop below 250lbs
  • Kristin could move from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Filipe, Sione and Kristin could pass the 30% total weightloss mark
  • Mike could hit the one-third total weightloss mark

Also next week (SPOILERS):

Past winners Ali Vincent and Michelle Aguilar return to the ranch to take over hosting duties from Ali Sweeney. Elsewhere, new arrivals change the competition; a player suffers a medical setback; a balance challenge suspends the contestants over a pool; and Bob holds last-chance workouts at the beach.

Week after that: (more SPOILERS)

The players compete for the sole vote at the elimination during a risky temptation challenge. Later, Rocco DiSpirito teaches the contestants how to make healthy versions of restaurant dishes; two former contestants offer advice; and the players scale stadium steps during a challenge.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/03/17

So everyone's sent home for the whole week. Many reunions, all incredibly vorklemptness-provoking. I loved how in love Helen and her husband are. I am still rewinding and replaying the moment that Sione's wife first laid eyes on him. Her expression was hilaaarious, and clearly said "OMG! I get to hit that! Squee!" :) Finally, we have the most emotional reunion of all at the Morelli household. Ron's wife's delight over Mike was just delicious to see. But Max's face when he saw Mike was heartbreaking. And he full-on broke into the ugly cry. Poor, poor boy. I felt so bad for him, and just wanted to reach through the television and give him a big ol' there-there hug. But it's so heartwarmingly obvious that he is so loved and so supported by his family, I have every confidence that he will be able to turn things around for himself with his father and brother there by his side.

General observations:

  • Filipe in a tie actually makes him appear thicker than he is. Not a good look.
  • Seeing how seriously tall Tara's brother is suddenly made her "thing" for Dane (6'4") and Blaine (6'8") make more sense. I now think it's a fraternal thing, not a romantic thing.
  • I think Laura's mom is super-elegant.
  • Mike totally gets his looks from his mom. Ron's looks clearly went to Max.

After the reunions, it's straight to the challenge. Doorbells ring, and contestants answer them only to find that the Biggest Loser producers have set bags of manure on fire and left them on the contestant's porches. Er, wait, no, sorry, make that tins of sugar cookies and DVDs. (Same diff.) As Laura bends down to pick up her challenge tin, DH uttered these fateful words: "OMG, I did NOT need to know that Laura wears a g-string." Seriously, guys. If you taped or PVRed the episode, take another look at that five-second snippet. Total thong shot. Plumbers could learn a thing or two about butt revelation from this girl. ;););)

So anyhoo, the challenge is a half-marathon. Which I didn't think would be an impossible challenge for these people, who have been steadily building fitness for two and a half months. Worst case scenario, I figured they were all capable of at least walking for several straight hours, except for Ron and his poor knees.

But we also have the potential monkey wrench of those sugar cookies. Which don't look that appealing, I have to be honest with you, but whatever. Sione, as usual, has the best attitude about the challenge vs. cookie thing. I also think that Tara really made the right decision to not eat cookies, because really, there was no point. She had to know that anyone who ate cookies would pile minutes up on her, so she had no chance, really, and might as well eat right and just do her personal best.

Observations about the challenge:

  • Laura's face is FINALLY starting to show changes. Most contestants really show weight loss in their faces at this point, but Laura's hasn't been, she still had a "fat face", which I found distressing, because it didn't match with the mass she was losing off the rest of her body, and furthered the (false) impression that she was a weak contestant. But now things are starting to sleek up a bit around her jowls and cheekbones. Yay.
  • I've decided that Filipe is the lovechild of Mario van Peebles and Dwane Johnson. Who's with me?
  • Look at Filipe's wife smacking his ass during the run! That's some serious cuteness right there.
  • I felt really bad when Sione went down 200 yards from the finish. So not fair.
  • Tara's mom's vorklemptness watching her daughter do the half-marathon was awesome. She was totally overcome.
  • I got seriously vorklempt watching the final bits of the run from Tara and Sione. Oh hell, everybody's finishes welled me up, actually.
  • Why the HELL did they get Aubrey to run outside in frickin' WINTER?!?
  • I was so damn impressed when Helen came third. But I was even more gobsmacked when Cathy came FIFTH! Stunning!

When they played that Special K commercial where the woman can't fasten the button on her jeans, DH quipped, "Just take a PISS!"

General observations about the time at home.

  • Aubrey's father is frickin' enormous. Like, I think worse BMI than Dan enormous. Very sad. I don't think he has any sense of self-worth (which would explain Aubrey, I think). And I don't think Aubrey took the right tone with him. I really hope he can get it together.
  • Aubrey! Pancakes? Eggs? SAUSAGE?!? Are you frickin' kidding me? No wonder you lost only 2 pounds while you were home last time!
  • Look at Kristin being the Bob!
  • Gawd! We cannot even get away from the product shilling when they're off the ranch!
  • Yay Helen with the changing of ways.
  • I adore Kristin's hat and scarf set. Seriously cute.
  • Aubrey's husband was so sweet interviewing about how into her he was. However, I firmly believe he has to translate that love into helping her the fuck out with the house and the children. I mean, come on. Even when she was home last time and trying to interview for the show, you could hear the children running amok and then she said "Forget it," and stopped the interview to deal with whatever havok the kids were wreaking. All evidence to me that the dude needs to step up.

Anyway, so Sione wins the challenge, thanks to the woman who sugar-cookied against a TEAMMATE in favour of a teammate who freakin' crossed the gym floor! This show is unbelievable. Helen is such a gameplayer. I love her, but she's such a gameplayer. And I am still trying to figure out why nobody sugar-cookied Sione. Did they all lose their minds?!?

Sione SERIOUSLY needs to buy Helen something pretty.

So back at the ranch, we are now at the point in the season when they do retrospectives of people from the beginning of the show vs. now. I LOVE this part, seriously lovelovelove it. Glee! And hey, is it just me, or is Mike really starting to remind people of Daniel Radcliffe? His face looks awesome, he's so cuuute! (DH sez: "He is going to get laid SO much at university." Dude, I called that last week. ;)

On the good news front:

  • Tara and Aubrey break the 200lb mark
  • Aubrey passes the 50lb total weightloss mark
  • Ron passes the 100lb total weightloss mark (I was so delighted to see him have a good week)
  • Aubrey passes the 20% total weightloss mark
  • Mike passes the 30% total weightloss mark
  • Helen moves from obese to overweight

I was so sad for Cathy and Kristin, though. Especially Kristin. She just really can't seem to do it at home, can she? :(

Other general weigh-in observations

  • OMG. As long as Sione stays in the house, I am going to seriously enjoy weigh-ins! He looks fine. (Note: my husband is also tremendously fine. However, I feel no guilt about admiring the aesthetic qualities of other men.)
  • So apparently the weigh-in was just one big opportunity for Jillian to tell America that she's the best thing ever.
  • How sweet were Mike and Ron together after Ron's triumph on the scale? I LOVE THAT FAMILY.

Very weird decision in the elimination room, though. I'm really not sure why Cathy decided to take the bullet, because I don't see how Kristin was at risk. Three original-Bob's-team members against one original-Jillian's-team member, kinda made it look like a slam dunk against Aubrey. Even if there was a tie and Black got to choose who went home, there are four original-Bob's-team members on Black vs. two original-Jillian's-team, and Aubrey would very likely have been gone, too. So it seems to me that Cathy's best decision as far as helping Kristin was concerned would've been to keep herself in the game so they could continue to be a voting block. All I can think of is that Cathy decided to be more fair-minded about whom to send home rather than thinking about keeping Kristin there as long as possible. Weird, but definitely nice for Aubrey.

Back at home, we see that Cathy has lost an additional 26 pounds, for a total overall weightloss percentage of 26.62%. All power to her. Also, I deeply covet her necklace, it was gorgeous.

Next week, look for the following potential milestones:

  • Filipe, Kristin, Sione and Tara could all pass 100lb of total weightloss
  • Ron could pass the 25% total weightloss mark
  • Helen could pass the 30% total weightloss mark
  • Tara could pass the one-third total weightloss mark

Also next week: (SPOILERS)

Canoe: The contestants meet NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer; ``Biggest Loser'' records are broken at a weigh-in.
TV Guide: The players pull cars loaded with extra weight assigned to them by their teammates in a challenge featuring NASCAR's Clint Bowyer. Later, the teams are dissolved, leaving the contestants to compete as singles; a player breaks a record at the weigh-in.

Then, the week after that: (more SPOILERS)

Past winners Ali Vincent and Michelle Aguilar return to the ranch to take over hosting duties from Ali Sweeney. Elsewhere, new arrivals change the competition; a player suffers a medical setback; a balance challenge suspends the contestants over a pool; and Bob holds last-chance workouts at the beach.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/03/10

After an agonizingly slow and painfully endless recap, Mike saves the day! Hooray!

(Ten bucks says the producers set it up that way to give Mike some self-confidence and "can do" positive thinking.)

Mike has now, by the way...

  • lost more than a total of 25% of his bodyweight
  • lost more than 100lbs total
  • moved from morbidly obese to clinically obese

Good lad. Could Ron have looked any prouder?

So then we go outside for a quick pop challenge: Sit bracing yourself against a wall with a medicine ball on your lap. Last person left, uh, sitting, controls the weigh-in, which is one-on-one this week. (Could it be any more obvious that they're giving Blue every chance possible to win something?)

Anyway, Tara does her usual superhuman endurance stuff and wins the challenge. She gets to choose who faces off against whom. Her choices are as follows:

Mike vs Cathy
Sione vs Mandi
Filipe vs Kristin
Helen vs. Ron
Laura vs Aubrey

And everyone tries not to laugh as they stare each other down with psuedo-mean faces. And Mandi, for some bizarre reason, is completely intimidated by Sione. Hello?!? Mandi! GROW SOME SELF-CONFIDENCE! At this point, you have lost almost 2% more of your bodyweight this season than Sione has, AND he has a sprained ankle. Stop being so down about yourself! That's exactly how you got to be 263lbs in the first place! Augh!!!

Anyway, Tara gets to give herself a week where her weight loss doesn't matter. So it's almost like having immunity - she can waterload and do kinda crappy, and then, as long as she's made good choices with the one-on-one so that her team wins the weigh-in, she can kick ass the next week.

Day 2 starts out with the big ol' triple P: Painful. Product. Placement. (*blinkblinkblink* We're supposed to have fibre, Bob? Really?) In response, I have a triple-P of my own: Producers? Puh-LEEZE. (Puke.)

Then at the first workout of the week, we have the lame setup of much draaama. Filipe is bitter about being ignored by Jillian. (Plus, he seriously needs to cut his hair, he looks like a mop. Or a cast member on Welcome Back Kotter, take your pick.) Filipe and Kristin wind each other up to hilarious effect. Jillian worries aloud that the Black team is getting too cocky and that you always have to worry about the underdog (ironic, since Jillian's usually the queen of the underdogs).

Next up: challenge. I was really pleased to see how well Ron kept up with Filipe. I mean, of course he was going to be behind, but I expected it to be a lot worse than it was. I also can't believe it took so long before someone tried rolling UNDER the obstacle bars.

(I am worried about all these "medical concerns" that keep taking Kristin out, though. DH guesses hernia. Anybody know?)

Anyway, unsurprisingly, Black wins and lords it over Blue yet again. But even at that point, I thought it was a good challenge NOT to win. 24 hours of luxury = 24 hours of temptation and no ranch. That immediately gives the team that stays home the advantage. And sure enough, the Black girls geek out over the bath and scented goodies in the hotel before the entire team loses total control. Scads of crappy food, lots of alcohol, and some cigarettes. (Although on the plus side, I thought Tara looked fabulous at dinner, and Helen's hair looked terrific, too.) Now, I totally think that the Black team was told by the producers to be that cocky in the interviews, so I will forgive them for the arrogance. The calorie run-up and smoking, however, were pure dumbassity. Jillian was totally right to be furious. But Jillian's problem is that she tends to sarcasm when she's frustrated, which was obviously the wrong place to go with Filipe at that point. I have that tendency myself when my kids do stupid stuff, and usually, it just highlights your own lack of control over the situation and alienates the person you're trying to help.

Actually, Jillian generally seems to be screwing up a lot this season with her people. A few weeks ago she totally missed the opportunity to get Tara to deal with her control freak issues when Tara hit a wall; last week she was unnecessarily mean to Laura; and then this week with her team when they "strayed". And she seems overly stressed by this particular season. I also read a rumour this week that she totally lost it during a taping of the Tyra Banks show - very possibly a completely false bit of Hollywood talk, of course, but it does make me wonder if she's having some issues at the moment. On the other hand, I've been listening to a few recordings of her talk radio show lately, and she sounds perfectly like her regular self there, so who knows. I'm certainly not underestimating the Biggest Loser producers' ability to make things on the ranch look exactly the way they want them to, regardless of what's really going on there. (Grr.) What has been accomplished, however, is that Jillian once again has things right back to the way she likes it: the underdog position. I really think that having a stacked, unbelievably strong team was messing her up; she had it so good, she didn't know what to do with herself. Now, she's back in the underdog comfort zone where she can concentrate her efforts on just a few people, so things might start looking up for her again.

Anyway, Filipe gets emotional and storms out, taking "Mount Everest" with him. Bob's face when they came to find him was hilaaaarious. He was completely all deer-in-headlights, "WTF is going on?!?" Of course, the correct thing for him to do would have been to try and help everybody on the Black team SOLVE their issues, since he's the only person Sione and Filipe would be willing to listen to at this point, but instead he goes with the "Sure, I'll train ya!" option and cements the wedge.

However, prior to all the decadent luxury and high drama, the Blue team was working their asses off back on the ranch. Headshots of Black team members were used to great effect, both as targets in dart games, and as the "carrot" at the head of the treadmill. (It was good. I laughed.)

So then we go to the most surreal last chance workout ever, where we have people who are competing directly against each other training side-by-side, all under Bob. Weird. Funny, but weird. And may I just say that Mike looks like he's getting damn good at the boxing thing. He is really doing well and looking pretty darn cute, too. I think when he finishes losing the weight and goes to university this fall, he is going to be completely thrown by an awful lot of female attention. :)

(Am I the only one who found Helen's godfather remark about Ron kind of offensive?)

Finally, we move to the most depressing weigh-in ever. I love weigh-ins because I love seeing good numbers get posted, the happiness at success, and milestones reached. This week, however, contained almost no joy. Even the biggest loser of all (Mike) lost less than 3% over the week; plus we had three people who didn't see a loss. THREE!!! That's a baaad weigh-in, folks. The only milestones reached this week were that Helen and Sione passed the 25% total weightloss mark. Worst of all was Mandi's number. I was completely and utterly shocked when I saw that gain. It couldn't POSSIBLY have been done on purpose, and I don't think she cheated on her diet or didn't work out hard enough. The only explanation I can think of is self-induced stress. Also, perhaps she didn't fufill her caloric requirements in a misguided effort to lose as much weight as possible, and it backfired because she didn't have the energy intake she needed to lose the weight? Who knows. It was, however, totally heartbreaking. Especially when the producers basically rigged the whole week to enable Blue to win a weigh-in, and they still couldn't pull it out.

Elimination was tough. Mandi and Aubrey were obviously at risk since there's no way Ron, Kristin and Cathy were going to vote for each other, which would normally make it 3 against 2. (Although pretty soon, Ron, Kristin and Cathy are going to have to start "eating their own".) However, since Laura won an extra vote last week, she gets to come in and potentially force a tie, which means that the Black team gets to make the final decision. This doesn't give the Mandy/Aubrey team a reprieve, however, since Jillian's original team is even more outnumbered over there by members of Bob's original team: 4 against 2. We discover that the Black team's plan is to vote Aubrey out (which is kind of dumb, since Mandi's the stronger player). So, since it was established that Ron, Kristin and Cathy would all vote for Mandi, the situation is as follows:

If Mandi, Aubrey and Laura all vote as a block, it will force a tie, and Black will kick out Aubrey.
If Mandi, Aubrey and Laura don't all vote the same way, the 3 votes for Mandi from Ron, Kristin and Cathy will kick out Mandi.

And Aubrey, sacrificing herself once again as is her wont (and which is one of the reasons she got to 249lbs), gets Laura on-side and sets up herself, Mandi and Laura as a voting block of three so Black will vote her out. She swears up and down to Mandi and Laura that she will do great at home. But in the elimination room, Mandi shatters Aubrey's strategy by voting for Ron instead of Cathy, because Mandi realises that Aubrey needs to stop sacrificing herself for other people and stay at the ranch. And the SECOND that Mandi announced in elimination room that she could do it at home, Aubrey knew EXACTLY what was coming and dissolved into sobs.

I started crying, too. Heck, I'm tearing up right now just writing about it. I thought Mandi did an absolutely beautiful thing saving her sister from herself. It was so lovely. I really hope that Mandi truly has realised how kick-ass she is. She IS strong. She IS worth it. (And she's gorgeous, too.) Back at home, we see that she's lost an additional 18 pounds since leaving the ranch. (I seriously think they must be filming these at-home sequences looong before they actually air, because people just aren't shedding the huge amounts of weight that I would expect from having approximately 16 weeks at home between vote-off and episode-airing.) She's excited about her life and her family's future, and everybody's happy. Even her children are expressing disgust at cheezies and reaching for asparagus instead! Nirvana has been achieved!

Best line of the night was from Kristin, referencing the face-off between her and Filipe: "May the best woman win."

Next week, we have some good potential milestones:

  • Kristin, Sione and Tara could reach 100lbs of total weight loss; even Ron could do it if he sheds 7lbs in one shot
  • Aubrey and Tara will drop below 200 if they lose any weight at all
  • Aubrey could pass 20% total weight loss
  • Filipe could pass 25% total weight loss
  • Mike could pass 30% total weight loss
  • Helen could move from obese to overweight

Also next week: (SPOILERS)

The contestants spend a week at home, where they must run a half marathon and make healthy food choices. Later, the players face a cookie temptation; and the weigh-in reveals the contestants' progress while at home.

And the week after that: (more SPOILERS)

The players pull cars loaded with extra weight assigned to them by their teammates in a challenge featuring NASCAR's Clint Bowyer. Later, the teams are dissolved, leaving the contestants to compete as singles; a player breaks a record at the weigh-in.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/03/03

What. The.
Was that?

Bite me, Biggest Loser producers! I tune in every week for RESULTS, not manufactured drama! I do not need any stupid "to be continued" message on my screen because your editors are so incompetent that they think two minutes of recap filler after every commercial break (because we're all obviously too stupid to remember where we left off a whole three minutes ago) is more important than editing the show properly so that we can see what actually HAPPENED.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Ohmmm...

We open with a weird recap-slash-sneak-peek montage, in which we see Filipe completely and utterly lose it. It appears that he's upset about a lack of attention from Jillian during the workouts. Since this scene didn't show up this week, I have to assume it takes place in a future episode, which is a pretty good indicator that, whatever the results are for this week, they don't involve Filipe going home. Yay that - I really like Filipe.

So after the montage (which was yet another time-filler preventing us from having the time to see results this week; yes, I'm bitter), we see the fallout from last week's elimination. Tara tells it like it is to Mandi and Aubrey about how dumb it was to split their votes. (And I happen to agree with her.) In response, Mandi goes off and squeaks for a while in registers only dogs can hear about how doomed she is. I wish someone would slap her upside the head and point out to her that she has the lowest BMI in the house, not to mention THE best-looking midriff, no contest. I mean, really - her results are awesome. She needs to grab herself by the scruff of the neck and shake vigorously until some self-confidence spatters all over her.

So then we see our dear friend Rocco getting the contestants to make disgusting faces over the food they used to eat before they experienced The Great Conversion To The Way Of The Weight Loss. Then everybody gets to come up with low-fat versions of typical fast food menu items, and I gotta say that some of the visuals and descriptions of those foods? WANT. And the Ron/Mike pizza-off was hilaaarious.

Just as an aside, I'm really glad that they seem to have replaced "temptations" with these "pop challenges". It sends a much better message. And Laura wins the extra vote in elimination this week. It's not going to help her, because it's still three votes for Jillian's old team vs. four votes for Bob's old team if Black goes into elimination, but it makes her happy anyway.

Also, the black team TOTALLY deserved the water spritzing. I LOVE how the whole house gets along so well.

Blue team got a treat this week: shadow boxing with Sugar Ray Leonard. Aubrey was SO CUTE when she realised who it was in the gym.

Then we get good news from Dr. H. for a lot of folks. But I'm a bit worried, because although they played up the good news for Ron, it overall sounded like things were still pretty bad. :(

Jillian works out her team with a focus on Sione, and he sprains his ankle. This worries me. Of course, it's good that it was the best kind of sprain to get if you're going to get a sprain, but it still sucks.

And then, the challenge: packing up boxes of food for food banks. We learn that when Aubrey had her first two children, she was single and desperate and had to get food from a food bank, so this challenge is particularly meaningful to her. The fact that the prize is free groceries for a year and letters from home only make it more important to her to win the challenge, since she has five children (as we are constantly reminded). Fair enough. The teams are uneven, so one person on the black team has to sit it out. I thought that would be a no-brainer: cut out Sione, give his sprain a chance to heal. But no, they cut LAURA, which I thought was unbelievably weird.

Anyway, Black wins AGAIN and totally whoops it up while Aubrey weeps into her sister's arms. Hey, Filipe, where are your righeous comments now about not lording a win over someone who deserved it more? Hmmm?

But all is set to rights the next day when Mike does the best thing ever and gives his groceries prize to Aubrey. I loved Mandi's face when Aubrey announced it to her team. Ron didn't seem surprised, though, which makes me think he suggested the idea to Mike in the first place? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, Ron gets big kudos for raising such a fine son, and yours truly goes completely vorklempt. I love these guys.

Finally, last chance workout, where Jillian screws up. Tired of Laura's constant reversion into the role of victim/weakling (which I totally agree is a huge problem), Jillian attempts to prove to Laura that she's not weak by getting the entire Black team to tell her that they think Laura's the weak link on their team. Uh huh. Sorry, where were you going with that, Jillian? Oh yes, you were trying to make the point that Laura MAKES everyone think she's weak, but she's actually strong. Too bad Laura got overwhelmed with sadness and humiliation before you could get to that rather crucial element of your argument.

Here's an idea, Jillian: maybe you should have pointed out all of Laura's successes (and there are many, no doubt about that) FIRST; and THEN contrasted them against her team's perception of her. THAT would have been constructive. But the way you did it was just mean. I know you were trying to do something totally different, but you did it horribly wrong and undermined Laura's trust. Way to go. Bad trainer. No cookie for you.

One thing that was great to see throughout the episode was that most people's faces and jawlines are really showing the differences. One contrast that was particularly shocking was the flashback during the Dr. H. happiness session to Tara's initial weigh-in. Big wow there.

So the "feed America" love-fest continues with the announcement that for every pound the contestants lose this week, The Biggest Loser will donate 100 pounds of food to food banks. It's also announced that everybody's weighing in TOGETHER, which is very, very cool. I think it was Mike who said it, that this was what weigh-ins SHOULD be about: everybody doing their very best and helping each other out to get EVERYONE to the goal. So the deal this week is that if the combined weight loss of everyone on the ranch exceeds one pound of weight loss per day per person (i.e. more than 77 total pounds lost among everyone), then EVERYONE will be safe. But if that target is not met, one person from EACH team is going home. (Incidentally, that means the target is a combined weight loss percentage of about 2.5%.)

That said, we begin the weigh-in. Some disappointing results this week, particularly from Cathy and Sione, who each lost just 3 pounds. But a lot of other people do very well indeed, particularly Mandi, who lost 3.94% with her 8 pounds (which traditionally would give her immunity if her team goes to elimination), and Tara, who lost an holy-crap-unbelievable 11 pounds, or 5.21% (again, this would traditionally bestow immunity if her team goes to elimination, unless Mike loses 16 pounds and beats her percentage, which would mean she's safe anyway since that number from Mike would give everybody immunity).

Some great milestones this week:

  • Mandi dropped below 200lbs
  • Aubrey went from being clinically obese to obese
  • Mandi and Tara moved from being obese to overweight (!!!)
  • Laura and Ron passsed the 20% total weight loss mark
  • Kristin has lost exactly 25% of her bodyweight since starting the show
  • Mandi passed the 25% total weight loss mark
  • Tara passed the 30% total weight loss mark

Finally, we're left with one contestant to weigh in: Mike. And he has to lose at least 10 pounds for everybody to be safe. And his last three week weight loss numbers have been at least 10 pounds each. Will he hit a wall and DOOM everyone, sending TWO people home? (Which would be so unfair, since if it does happen, it'll be Mike that is perceived as letting everyone down, when it'd be more fair to place the blame on Cathy, Sione and Ron for pulling less than 2% losses this week.)

Can I just ask? What the HELL is up with constantly putting the weight of the world on this poor kid's shoulders? My heart just about broke watching his face as he realised it was all up to him and he needed a two-figure number. And then - a total kick in the nuts - we don't even get to SEE what happens until next week.

Or, will Mike lose 10 (or more) pounds, pass the 25% total weight loss mark, pass the 100lb total weight loss mark, and maybe even get his BMI down from morbidly obese to clinically obese? Only next week's show will tell.

So let's look ahead to next week and see what kind of milestones we might expect at the NEXT weigh-in, assuming any of these people are still on the ranch at that point:

  • Aubrey and Tara could both drop below 200 pounds
  • Helen and Filipe could hit the 25% total weight loss mark
  • Aubrey could hit a total weight loss of 50lbs
  • Tara could hit a total weight loss of 100lbs

Also next week: (SPOILERS)

The team that wins a 24-hour fitness relay is promised 24 hours of luxury, but some contestants are unable to resist temptation; one contestant has it out with the trainer; one contestant is eliminated.

"One contestant is eliminated"? Is this a hint as to how Mike did? Because if he didn't get 10 pounds or more, then wouldn't it say that THREE contestants are eliminated (two from this week's weigh-in, one from next week's)? Or are they just talking about the next weigh-in? Man, I hate this crap.

Also, I'm guessing that "one contestant has it out with the trainer" is that Filipe-and-Jillian thing from the montage at the beginning of the show. Who knows what'll go down with that.