Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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.

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