Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/03/31

So the Tongan Terror Twins are POed because Ron made a case during deliberation last week for sending Filipe home. Now, Ron has one priority in this house, and everybody knows it because he's been completely honest about it from day one: Mike. He wants Mike to stay as long as possible, bottom line. And keeping himself around as long as possible too is a good way to help that along. Filipe's a big threat; Aubrey could probably have been counted on to help keep Ron and Mike safe by falling below the yellow line again. So it shouldn't have been a huge surprise that Ron put forward the idea that Filipe should be voted off. However, because there was an alliance formed among Bob's original team, this move puts Ron in the doghouse, despite the fact that he ultimately was the guy that sent Aubrey home. Bonds have been broken, alliances are in the dust, harmony in the house is crumbling, Tongans are whining, producers are licking their chops at the dramatic possibilities...

Thus opens the Week Of Total Insanity.

We go to the gym to find that we've traded Ali-the-usual-host for Ali-the-season-five-winner. Ali S. has had her baby (Megan Hope), and is now on mat leave. I fully expect Ali V. to be great at this gig. The preview texts for this week's show also tell us we should expect Michelle (last season's winner) to show up and do some hosting as well.

Also thanks to the preview texts, it was fairly clear that this week, at least one person would be coming back into the house. I expected the usual everybody-shows-up-and-weighs-in deal, but instead, just three people were given the opportunity: the three people who only spent one week on the ranch and who were eliminated before the 30-day bring-'em-back mark. I thought that was a FANTASTIC idea! Really wonderful, beautifully fair. (Although I'm really disappointed that we didn't get to see how Dan was doing.) And even before the doors opened and we got to see Estella, Nicole and David, I fully expected that Nicole would be a slam-dunk, whether the method of choice was weigh-in or challenge. Heck, I thought Nicole would be a contender back when I figured ALL the eliminated contestants would be brought back for a weigh-in. I mean, after Week 3 when we saw her at-home profile, she'd lost 58 pounds and had reduced down to an "overweight" BMI. And this bring-back weigh-in takes place AFTER the at-home profile, chronologically, so I expected she'd be even further along with the weight loss than that 58 pounds we saw before. Anyway, we find out that Estella's down to 197 and David's down to 347. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised by David's 46-pound loss, I thought it was going to be a lot less. And Ali V.'s words of encouragement and positive spin on that 46 was wonderful. Dave's not going to win a place back on the ranch, and he's not going to win the $100K at-home game. But if he keeps going with the gradual weight loss, he WILL EVENTUALLY GET THERE, and that's the important thing.

So anyway, we're told that Nicole needs to have lost more than 50 pounds to get back on the ranch, and they actually attempt to put us into suspense at the results by going to commercial. Hello?!? Like the at-home profile hadn't already told us she'd done it? Like we couldn't see her freakin' six-pack RIGHT THERE? (Damn, she's looking gorgeous and vibrant!) Anyway, back we come from commercial and it turns out Nicole's weight is an astounding 182, which gives her a BMI of 27.7, which is the LOWEST IN THE HOUSE. And, as Ali V. points out, she's got the 2nd-highest overall weight loss percentage in the house, too. Mike had it right - anybody who isn't scared of her is so totally lying.

So we go back to the house, and poor Nicole is completely ambushed by every single person. They all want to talk to her about the game. They all want to give her advice (which is really just a front for talking to her about the game). They all want to tell her what's going on in the house, and the alliances, and the drama, and get her to not want to vote for them ever, and on and on and on ad nauseum. I thought Nicole's head was going to start spinning around! You really have to feel sorry for anybody who comes back into this game, doncha? Poor girl can't even go for a relaxing morning run, because Tara talks her ear off about percentages and pressure and blah blah blah freakin' blah.

Of course, Tara has issues of her own. First of all, she's totally threatened by Nicole's presence. Didja notice how she gave the fuck-off laugh to Kristin when Kristin implied that now Tara will have serious competition in the challenges? :) But finally, FINALLY, we see Tara trying to wrestle with her issues, and Jillian actually talking to her about them. Hooray! So Tara has no idea where the weight gain came from, but really wants to know. Okay, fair enough. It's obvious to the viewing audience (major control issues), but often, knowing ourselves is the hardest thing, so I can get that she just doesn't know. Why Jillian didn't slap her upside the head and plain out TELL her is beyond me, but at least Jillian had a great point that just being aware that there's a problem is a huge start. Hopefully we can see Tara sussing it out a little more as the weeks go on.

DH was wondering which trainer Nicole would go with, but of course she started out as part of Bob's team, so it looks like that's where she goes. She walks in, and Bob is totally gobsmacked and delighted. I got a lot of glee out of seeing his reaction.

Bob then discusses Drama with Kristin and Sione. They complain again about Ron's actions in last week's deliberation, and speculate about how far he'll go to protect Mike. Bob, as always, has no control over what his team is doing. Also as usual, instead of trying to fix things by, say, gathering everybody up to teambuild and mend fences, he compounds the divide by pointing out that Ron will drop them each like a hot potato if Mike's at risk, and then plays favourites by giving just Kristin and Sione a tough workout. What Bob is thinking is beyond me.

One thing I've been thinking about since last week is that this season's done a really good job of blurring the lines between Black and Blue. They've done so much team-shifting and trainer-switching that it's not surprising alliances are starting to fall by the wayside. It truly is, for possibly the first time ever, a game of individuals. This might be what's messing Bob up. He's used to unwavering loyalty.

Then suddenly, we're utterly sideswiped! What we think is going to be Jillian discussing house drama turns around into the week's painful product placement! Augh!

And more insanity for the week: Ron's having chest pains with lightheadedness and dizzyness, and goes to the hospital. It looks bad. We find out right away that it's not a heart attack, but it is some kind of bloodloss. Swell. We're treated to closeup shots of Ron's large and hairy chest before cutting to a commercial, during which various famous people are asked to determine who would win if you pitched Celine Dion against Shania Twain. We are treated to Jacob Hoggart imitating Celine Dion. Gold. This puts us in a happy mood, which is totally dashed when we go back to the hospital to totally violate Ron's privacy and hear more about his medical condition than anybody who isn't his immediate family has a right to know. As if seeing his moobs and back hair every week isn't embarrassing enough for him, we also get to see the inside of his intestines! Geez. Fortunately, it's nothing serious, which is an IMMENSE relief to me. Ron's a pretty hard-nosed ruthless guy when it comes to gameplay and making sure Mike is safe, but I love him. And as Ron's interviewing about his diagnosis, I'm struck by how much thinner and better his face is looking. Way to go, Ron. Unfortunately, he later interviews that he had so many fluids pumped into him at the hospital (not to mention three lost days of working out) that he expects to be doomed at the weigh-in. Rats.

Challenge time! With Michelle! This week it's one huge mother-bleepin' "balance" metaphor. The prize is a one-pound advantage at the weigh-in. Mike confesses that his balance sucks so badly that he's doomed. (This turns out to be prophetic, as he becomes the first to poop out of the challenge.) Nicole gets told that her win (since she already has immunity for the week) would allow her to give a one-pound PENALTY at the weigh-in to anyone she wants. DH points out that she does NOT want to win this challenge. She's already overwhelmed by all the drama crap going on, does she really want to sabotage herself by being able to hand out a weigh-in penalty to anyone she wants? I think he makes a good point.

The challenge is to balance on a platform above the pool, which is being held up by 40 ropes, with a single rope dangling down to hang on to with one hand for assistance with balance. The ropes will be cut one-by-one until only one person is left standing on their platform. Filipe complains about the rope-cutting process being too slow, and gets his just desserts shortly after that by being second to go into the water. Tara also pitches into the drink, making this the first time ever that she has failed to win at a challenge as an individual. Kristin, on the other hand, is COMPLETELY in the zone. She didn't even bother to look over at Sione when he cast his Tongan Death Stare at her (Mike's description of that made me laugh pretty hard; y'know, now I think about it, Mike's a funny guy - he almost always makes me laugh when he's interviewing). Anyway, good for Kristin, bless her. I was sad to see her fall off her platform. However, finally winning a challenge had to feel awesome for Sione.

To continue with the insanity of the week, we have to endure TWO painful product placements! Whimper!

General thoughts about the last chance workout:

  • Kristin's face is looking much sleeker this week.
  • How about that Sione doing pushups with Bob ON HIM? Nice.
  • Mike and Jillian wrestle. It doesn't look very tidy, I think they both need to work on their technique.

Finally we make it to the weigh-in. Ali S. is back! And she's crazy. I would certainly not want to go on national television one week postpartum. However, I guess with an entire makeup and wardrobe crew at your disposal, and a poofy top to hide the baby pooch, I guess it's not so bad. Anyone want to take a guess as to how many breaks they had to take in shooting because Megan had to nurse or was crying? :)

And thus begins possibly the saddest weigh-in ever. (And I thought it was bad a few weeks ago.) Suddenly we have this new rule sprung on us: in order to keep her immunity, Nicole can't gain any weight. Sorry, since WHEN? Obviously, this is a special new rule for people coming back into the house, not for regular contestants, since Kristin gained once with immunity and she was still safe. Sure enough, disaster. Nicole GAINS FIVE POUNDS. Maybe she tried to waterload? Maybe she was stressed? Maybe she couldn't get any sleep because people wouldn't stop pestering her about the goddman game? Who knows. And she's not the only one to gain, either. Ron does, as expected, but so does LAURA. Seriously! What the HELL is up with this week?

Lamest commercial ever: the singing Encore guy.

Random weigh-in thoughts:

  • Tara spouts off meaningless psychobabble before her weigh-in. I still have no idea what she was trying to say.
  • It's never a good sign when someone interviews that they EXPECT a good number, and yet, Helen got away with it. She's a machine.
  • Sione's arms are now getting BIGGER...with muscle!
  • DH pointed out that maybe some of Ron's good weight loss the last few weeks was actually fluid loss? Who knows.

Milestones reached:

  • Kristin and Sione pass the 30% total weight loss mark
  • Helen and Mike pass the one-third total weight loss mark
  • Unfortunately, Laura dips back UNDER the 25% total weight loss mark

We do have some good results, but with one third of the house gaining weight, it's still an exceptionally sucky week. I bet Laura was stunned as all hell to end up safe, though. Back we go to the house for the traditional begging and deliberation. I thought Nicole made a BRILLIANT pitch for herself. Ron didn't say much (and he said it lamely to boot), but Mike, obviously desperate, pulled it all out and did a very good job of guilting people into keeping his dad around. After a commercial break that contained an unbelievably surreal ad for Canadian Tire, we find out that Mike was successful. It was a very near thing, but Nicole (with bitter looks) goes home. So after all that "Nicole coming back changes EVERYTHING" stuff we were treated to throughout the show, it turns out that meh, not so much with the everything changes. :) Poor Nicole. Turns out being on the ranch may actually have sabotaged her. Back at home, though, we see that she has continued to kick ass and is NOW AT A NORMAL, HEALTHY BMI! She looked unbelievably good shopping for wedding dresses (although I didn't think much of her choice) and her friends are screamingly thrilled.

All is well. At least, for Nicole. Back on the ranch, lines are drawn. Bad blood occurs between Brown and Blue (and I must admit that the hypocrisy which both teams have been showing - specifically Filipe and Ron - is starting to annoy me), and this throws up a schism in the Church of Bob, not to mention that it threatens to destroy the harmony in the house. Even Helen took a stand against Ron, and Kristin voted differently from Blue! Great. The next few weeks should be fun. (Not.)

Next week, look for the following milestones:

  • Laura could dip back below the 25% total weight loss mark
  • Kristin and Mike could drop below 250lbs
  • Filipe could hit the 30% total weight loss mark
  • Kristin could move from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Filipe, Sione and Mike could move from clinically obese to obese

Also next week: (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.

Week after that: (SPOILERS)

Yippee! The makeover episode is coming: Tim Gunn helps the contestants look their best after they receive complete makeovers; one contestant is sidelined with an injury.

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