Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/10/06


Flashback to last week: Tracey wins "control" of the weigh-in, Dan asks Tracey to pick him to weigh in, and Tracey seems to go along. But then she picks Shay at the actual moment.

Flash forward to this week: Orange and Purple talking to each other, because Shay wants everything out there and under the bridge. Shay tells Purple very clearly that Tracey said the words "I want to see you stay here" but then put Shay on the scale. Mo complains that people wanted favours from Purple without being willing to give Purple anything in return. Shay accurately responds that when someone says they want you to stay, that is not a FAVOUR. Tracey, despite ALL evidence to the contrary, stammers out, "I am straight up, I really am," which is really quite incredibly delusional, not to mention that she is waaay too white to pull that expression off. :) But the baldface lie sends Shay into renewed tears and incredulity. Tracey tells Orange that she thought Shay would drop a huge number, and then protests in an interview that "I didn't do anything!"

Upshot: Shay doesn't trust Purple. Not Tracey (although I think especially Tracey), but Purple as a whole. Also: Purple is probably doomed.

Bob and Jillian return to see Red is gone. Rudy explains that Antoine and Sean volunteered to go, sacrificing themselves for Shay. Jillian, for some bizarre reason, takes issue with this; apparently Red's display of human compassion and decency is symbolic of not putting yourself first, which is how the contestants got fat in the first place. So today's lesson is, always look out for number one, no matter what the cost. Bob backs her up. I think they're both insane. I mean, yes, absolutely take care of yourself, but there's a freakin' limit, people.

Bob lets us in on the fact that Tracey hasn't even touched the gym because of her mysterious medical issues. This means that she has managed to avoid the beatings that Bob and Jillian like to dish out in order to delve to the root of people's psychological problems, which is of course half the fun of being on the show. So Tracey's really missing out. And so, by extension, are we, since Tracey has psychological problems coming out the freakin' wazoo.

Queue the sweat. Oh, and the jiggly camera movements whenever people's weights touch the floor. (What is this, Star Trek?) Daniel interviews that Week 4 is a big deal for him because Week 4 is when he went home last time. Amanda adjusts her bra strap. People weep and wail as they lift arm weights, and then Bob hustles them over to cardio. Bob reminds Amanda that between two pretty much equally bland young, blonde, perky fat girls to be on this show, America chose HER, and by golly, that toss of the coin must mean that she has hitherto unplumbed specialness and depth, so dammit, MOVE YOUR LEGS ON THAT SPINNING MACHINE!

Meanwhile, Jillian is on Julio's case. She wants to know why he gained weight, but he says he doesn't know. Jillian keeps pushing. Julio says, "But I'm happy!" then repeats it tearfully. Jillian points out that yeah, he looks thrilled. She's not talking about happiness in his family. "Have you ever been good enough?" she asks. "Have you ever been excellent in your life?" Yes, he tells her: in food. He knows loads about it, including how to eat it, clearly. Jillian asks, so is this the one thing you're great at? What happens when that's gone? Julio tells her he won't get rid of his food love, he'll just CHANGE it. That's a pretty good answer, but I think Jillian's kind of missing the point. Anybody remember Julio's phone call home a few weeks ago, when his mom got on the line and asked him accusingly if he was crying? (The very strong implication being that men don't cry.) Yeah. I'm guessing at least some of his issues stem from there. Maybe he could never be good enough for his mom.

Dr. H shows up for Tracey. She's expecting great news, that she can go into the gym now. Dr. H says that her attempt to beat Dan in the mile run caused a serious injury to her muscle. Which muscle we aren't told, but I guess that's not important right now. However, it means they've been doing blood tests on her every few days. Her CPK enzyme levels went up really high, which is an indication of muscle injury. Too much of this enzyme can start to damage the kidneys and other organs, so this is obviously not a good thing. The levels are still high, so Tracey is not allowed to do anything. Seriously, ANYTHING. No walking, no pool, zippo. Tracey gives Mo the lowdown. Mo is obviously pretty bummed. Man, when he got stuck with Tracey he really got well and truly screwed.

Into the kitchen, where Ali is waiting. She introduces the week's twist: lock up your pots and pans, the kitchen is closed! With chains and padlocks everywhere. Cupboards, fridges, everything is off-limits. Shay says, "That's scary..." in a truly scary voice, reminiscent of that "They're here" kid from Poltergeist. Like seriously, Shay, you can keep that voice hidden far away for the rest of the season so I don't have nightmares, mmmkay? Abby puts on her patented thinking face to try and figure out what's going on. Ali reveals that everything will be locked up for the whole week and the contestants are going to have to order out for EVERYTHING. Everyone is gobsmacked, and, I'm guessing, damn pissed off. Ali points out, though, that life involves not eating in for every single meal, so this is going to be good practice for when they all go home and have to film footage for their profiles in restaurants. Tracey interviews that since she can't do any exercise, her nutrition has to be perfect, so this is the worst thing ever for her. Which makes me think if maybe the show's producers aren't trying to kick her off? Oh, what a lovely thought. But anyway...

It's time for a pop challenge. Ali will present three meal choices, and the contestants have to choose the healthiest one. The winner gets free healthy groceries for a year. Everyone LOVES the idea of this prize. Shay reveals that she holds down three jobs (THREE?!?) in order to pay the bills, so this prize is huge. For some reason, only three teams (Orange, Brown and Pink) choose the meal which doesn't involve chicken with the skin on, and thus get to vie for the grand prize by guessing how many calories are in the winning meal without going over. (DH: Shouldn't Bob Barker be asking this?) Pink makes what I think is a ridiculously low guess, but the other two teams go over, so Pink is the grand winnah. Shay shoots them a half-serious, half-kidding look of deep bitterness. But all is not lost, because everybody gets a Biggest Loser book! And just to emphasize the point, we get a closeup shot of the book with Ali doing a beautiful Vanna-style shill.

(What's with the beach ball?)

So it's mealtime, and everyone is freaking the hell out about ordering in. Getting food now carries the complexity and stress of planning a major military manouever. Despite waffling about choices for a really long time and spending forever on the phone being extremely specific about what they want, the contestants experience general dissatisfaction with how things came in. For instance, in many cases, there's cheese all over stuff. Also, Julio's "no melon, I'm allergic" specs were not only ignored, but he ended up with melon over everything. (Great.) This exercise inspires Danny to make big plans for cooking when he gets home. Julio reflects that picking unhealthy bits out of your salad is an indication of personal strength. (Okayyyyy...)

I get all drooly as Jillian plugs cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes. Mmmm, cauliflower...

(Donald Trump has a line of mattresses? MATTRESSES?!?!?!?)

Bob and Jillian are back and everyone pretends to cheer. However, you know that they're actually very un-thrilled to see them, as it probably means another round of getting chewed out. As the trainers blather on, we get very clear product shots of people chewing a lot of gum. Also, Rebecca has insane hair. Finally, Bob and Jillian decide to take the contestants out to dinner at a restaurant to show them what to do. I'm convinced that it'll be Subway, but no, it turns out to be an actual local sit-down restaurant called The Spanish Kitchen. This apparently means Mexican food (I would have thought it meant Spanish food, but clearly I'm just weird that way), which of course is very challenging for the weight-conscious.

Everybody starts off well, by saying no to the bread, and the waiters actually take the baskets away. Then it's Rebecca's turn for the psychotherapy, because she lets on that she'd love to eat all the fantastic things on the menu, no thanks to Jillian, who rubbed it in that it's all stuff the contestants can't have. So Jillian confronts Rebecca, saying that this kind of life change is HARD, so unless there's an actual seriously-desireable goal behind it, failure will result. Rebecca starts in with the pat 'I wanna be healthy' response, but Jillian isn't buying, finally getting Rebecca to name meaningful goals, which I thought was good. Rebecca interviews that all this change is really hard. As Bob backs up the lesson, Jillian gives a sly wink to somebody else on the other side of the table, which was kind of creepy.

Finally, the waiters come to take orders and Bob and Jillian turn into freakin' despots. Then the contestants start ordering for themselves and it's like thirteen individual Meg Ryans from When Harry Met Sally all at the same table. Shay tells us not to be shy about sending things back that aren't to your satisfaction. Apparently, waiters are there to help you and make sure you are happy with your dining experience. Personally, I think she's a bit delusional, and that what the waiters are really doing back in the kitchen is bitching about her to the rest of the wait staff while passing her plate round for everyone to sneeze on. But perhaps I'm too cynical? Meanwhile, Jillian's giving Amanda's dinner the thumbs up, and I do have to agree that the chicken and avocado looks yum. Jillian yells at them all for forgetting their calorie counters at home, and we see interviews with a few people beating their breasts and swearing that, as God is their witness, they will never leave their calorie counters at home again! Bob gives Dina's dinner the thumbs up except for possible salt in the beans. Rudy ruminates on how great it is that he knows he can go home and have dinner at a restaurant without ruining his health.

Onto the challenge, for which the prize is, of course, immunity, so Tracey wants it. Daniel is also pretty keen, as he's dead set against going home in Week 4 a second time. Contestants have to hang onto a bar suspended at a bit of an angle above a pool, so they're holding up a lot of their own weight. If they let go, they're dumped in the water. Tracey and Abby can't play. I'm not sure about the logic of sitting Abby out, since her injury is in her LEG, but whatever. Liz is freaked out by heights, so this is not a fun challenge for her. DH and I both predict Allen as the winner. A lot of people look like they're doing a great job finding their place of serenity. Liz kicks off the flow of people getting eliminated from the challenge. Clearly this is not easy, but Allen looks like he's having naptime. Dina is extremely angry when she hits the drink. Shay interviews that she loves that she was still in there, and Shay, I'm delighted right along with you! She comes in fourth, followed by Julio, leaving just Allen and Daniel. Finally, Allen actually lets go! Daniel wins!

Over we go to the agonized faces and dripping sweat that is the last chance workout. This week's whiner to incur Jillian's wrath is Rudy, who admittedly doesn't do all that much whinging. However, it's an opportunity for Jillian to spout off a pretty good line: "I don't care! I'm not Bob! Pick up the weight!" Tracey, however, is in the kitchen doing absolutely nothing, so Mo's got the pressure on. Julio refers to Mo as "the old warrior," which all sounds terrific until Mo puts his back out and declares himself done. Bob, however, instead of feeling guilt at breaking Mo, says that Mo is just panicking. Apparently Mo is in pain all the time. But cue the overdone triuphant orchestral music as Mo hobbles back into the gym!

It's time for the weigh-in, or, as Danny calls it, a crap shoot. Everyone's stressing about what the order-in twist is going to do to their results. Rebecca's crazy hair is back. Dina tells Ali that she probably went under her calories a lot this week in an effort not to screw up with the food and that she didn't have as much energy. Liz sums it up a lot better, though: "It sucked."

Daniel loses nothing this week and everyone instantly jumps on him for gameplaying. He says, "I didn't, I swear to God!" And y'know, it's my understanding that Daniel is a Jesus freak, so I'm willing to take his word for it there. Jillian, however, is not willing. Liz expresses a complete lack of confidence in herself as she takes her turn to weigh in. DH says: "She seems brow-beaten. That's her issue."

Once again, beyond all reason, Tracey loses weight. She and Mo are safe, and everybody else looks around at each other like, "How the hell are we going to manage to get RID of these people?"

Milestones achieved:

  • Danny, Julio, Liz, Mo and Tracey hit 10% total loss
  • Liz and Tracey hit 25lbs of total loss
  • Allen and Rebecca moved from morbidly obese to clinically obese

At the end of it, though, it's Black and Brown below the yellow line. Since they really love each other, we are faced with yet another this-sucks-rocks decision. Purple is particularly conflicted because Mo promised never to put Julio's name down and Tracey promised the same thing to Liz. (Whoops. Maybe you guys shoulda consulted with each other on that beforehand?) The four youngest people in the house discuss strategies and how they want to play the game.

But in the end, Julio is given the boot. At home, we see that his new favourite place is the gym. He looks much better, and weighs 299lbs! He's trying to get down to 207 by the finale.

Next week, look for...

  • Amanda and Dina could drop below 225lbs
  • Amanda and Dina could hit 25lbs total lost
  • Danny and Shay could hit 50lbs total lost
  • Rudy could hit 75lbs total lost
  • Amanda, Dina, Shay and Daniel could hit 10% total loss
  • Abby, Rebecca, Rudy and Allen could hit 15% total loss
  • Mo could move from being morbidly obese to clinically obese

Also next week: (SPOILERS)

A challenge winner gets to divide the contestants into two teams; one contestant gives another a special gift; a difficult elimination results in another player being sent home.

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