Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Biggest Loser Review, 2009/10/20

Blue returns from elimination looking glum. Danny pulls out the crazy eyes when Tracey walks into the room. The rest of Black is pretty shocked, too, as they figured Tracey was the obvious choice to go. Rudy explains that Mo fell on the sword. People ask Tracey what she's feeling. Tracey immediately pulls out the crocodile tears and says it was obvious from everyone's faces that they were all surprised to see her there. Shay interviews that she just wants Tracey to shut the hell up and stop making everything about her. Right on cue, we see Tracey sobbing pathetically about the sheer agony of the elimination room. Shay is so fed up with this that she leaves the room. Were I there, I'd be right behind her. Amanda thinks not voting off Tracey was stupid, but is honestly just happy that Tracey's not on her team.

But to training. Black's on spin bikes and feeling good. Blue is on the treadmill and determined not to hit the elimination room again. Rebecca looks strong. Tracey is swinging her arms and breathing out her mouth like she is just the most focused creature ever, breathily giving herself little pep talks every now and then and letting out hard-done-by breathless sighs. She interviews that being on a treadmill is enough to make her feel "so damn accomplished." The rest of her team, however, is capable of shutting up while they work.

(No, I'm not in the least objective about Tracey. So shoot me.)

To the beach at night, for a challenge. The teams have to go digging for keys in the sand. Four keys per team. Each team has a box, and all four keys are needed to unlock it. The prizes are inside. Ali isn't really any more forthcoming about the prizes except that they will "definitely determine who stays on campus...and who goes home". Oh, Ali, you tricksy little minx, you, with your clever wordplay. Daniel thinks it's a huge prize simply because they're not being told what it is. As usual, Tracey and Abby have to sit out, leaving Black one person up, so Amanda also sits out because she hates sand.

Shay opts to use her arms instead of a shovel. Liz uses her feet, egged on by Tracey. Sweat is pouring off of Rudy's forehead and down his nose. (At least, I hope that was sweat dripping off his nose and not mucus pouring OUT of it! Ew.)

The keys appear to be buried really deeply. Even when people actually hit the cases containing the keys, it takes a while to dig them out enough to access them. Danny's the first to succeed. He then helps Daniel. Or, rather, takes OVER for Daniel, who kind of just stands there looking useless while Danny works like crazy. More keys are found. Sweat drips everywhere. Shay tells us that digging in sand is exhausting. (I believe her. I suck at digging.) Finally, Blue gets out their last key and opens the case to home! Rudy and Allen are pretty stoked. Ali offers Blue the offer of declining and giving the tickets to the Black team, since being home means no trainers and no gym; potential disadvantage. Daniel hopes that Blue keeps the tickets. But no, Blue sends Black home. Danny experiences "sweet pain" and is kinda scared about this. Or, as Daniel says, "That's, like, exciting, but sucks, too." Deep, dude. Shay interviews that this is the biggest test.

So it's time for homecomings. Daniel's (I presume) grandmother makes excited little circles with her hands as he comes in the door. Abby has a whole mess of family and friends screaming joyfully at her arrival, which is so wonderful. Dina is really happy to see her son. A little happy to see her husband, but mostly happy to see her son. And Shay is apparently...married? Why is this the first we're hearing of this? His name is Gene and he seems like a really nice guy. (Good.) Shay also has some step-sons, who are diligently doing homework when she shows up. Amanda's family has festooned the house with pink balloons. Her parents are delighted, and Amanda shows off her size 16 pants. Danny's son looks exactly like him. His wife and kids practically pile on him when he comes in the door, it's very sweet. His wife interviews that she sees the old Danny in his eyes.

So onto the business of losing weight in the place where you gained it. Shay goes grocery shopping with her husband and step-kids, looking for organic stuff, and her husband flashes us a Jennie O product placement. Danny shows his daughter his food journal. Abby is tempted by brisket at a family barbecue. Dina goes running alongside her son riding his bicycle. Amanda Danny spends time with his wife by taking her to the gym. Abby continues to work around her stress fracture by swimming a lot and riding a stationary bike. Daniel runs on the treadmill and...uh...mops the floor by hand?

Back on the ranch, Bob brings last chance workout-style hell to his team. Liz thinks she's going to die. Tracey looks desperate. Rebecca looks beautifully determined. Allen looks distressed. Bob is pleased.

Dina has to take her son to the gym with her, which must be pretty boring for him, but at least he brought a book. I don't know why Dina's husband can take care of their son when Dina's at the ranch, but the second she comes home, that support goes out the window? But what do I know. Her son seems really impressed with how fast she can run, anyway. Jillian calls Amanda at the gym and Amanda confesses that she feels totally at sea in a strange gym. Jillian tells her she already knows what to do and suddenly, magically, she does! Shay talks about the difficulty of being fat and walking into a gym. She talks about how people stare at her, but this pronouncement is kind of spoiled by the fact that we're simultaneously seeing shots of her in the gym around people who are not looking at her at ALL. (Whoops.) She, however, is staring at THEM. (Double whoops.) So I'm thinking that a lot of her discomfort is in her head. She says it's really hard without the support at the ranch, but she's determined to do it because she has to. DH: She's wrapped up in terror.

Back at the ranch, Liz and Tracey are really enjoying the lack of drama without Black in the house. (I find this confusing, since I thought that it was Tracey's drama that Liz had a problem with, and that Liz's best friends were really in Black? On the other hand, this could just all be part of Liz's smokescreen plan to make it out like she's Tracey's best friend before sinking a knife into her back.) Bob talks about the importance of what you learn on the ranch being taken back to your home. This segues into nutrient-rich drinks, and THAT segues into the fact that we should all be buying and drinking milk. Liz vows to stop purchasing sodas in favour of sweet, delicious, nutritious milk. Does a body good.

Black team people eat food. Abby warns everyone that she will be really annoying at restaurants from now on. Danny tells his kids they're not going out to eat; instead, he will make delicious-looking kebabs on the barbie. He does all the work and his daughter attempts to get enthusiastic about the food. (She fails.) She later wants to go with her dad to the zoo, but he has to go to the gym. That sucks. Dina and Shay, however, are finding a distinct lack of support in their families. Shay's husband is still ordering the same crap they always did before she went to the ranch and she's horrified to notice that her step-children are, too, because that's the example they've been set. She then freaks out about the fact that she can see oil on her chicken. Dina is having a hard time with the number of appetizers at the table, and they do indeed look grossly fattening. She's shocked at how much her husband eats. She tries to encourage him to stop and take a doggie bag, but he tells her that doggie bags are for dessert. She's kind of disgusted and I don't blame her. She realises she has to set a better example. DH: "Either that or she needs to get a new husband. Why do they think she's there?"

More product placement! Shay's face is definitely looking thinner as she tells us that we should all eat at Subway. She is frighteningly knowledgeable about the product lineup and what to buy in order to get the value meal. As they're eating outside, she and her friends chat about her successes and the tough times.

Danny's wife brings over photos of their honeymoon and we see clips of him with a horrible hairstyle - mullet pulled back into a ponytail. Man, I'm happy he lost that sometime between then and now! He talks about how he never gave his wife the champion that he wanted to be. They talk about how he felt that he was in a hole he couldn't dig out of. (Challenge symbolism!) He wishes this light had come on sooner and is thankful for being on the show. Everybody else starts the tearfest as they head back.

So it's back to the food bank where they held a challenge last year, because the Blue team wants to help out. The guy in charge of the food bank tells them that, by a staggering coincidence, they couldn't have come at a better time. (Oh, Superman, thank goodness you've come!) The team will fill backpacks for the backpack program, for kids who need food at home on the weekend. Tracey explains this concept to us in detail. Liz reflects that it's pretty pathetic that there are children who don't have enough food when the US is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. (Ya think? Didn't Bobby Kennedy say something like that quite some time ago?) Tracey vows to bring her kids to a food bank when she gets home to volunteer some more.

Black comes home and Danny boots them all to the gym for the last chance workout. Jillian implements beatings. which Shay loves. Danny seems to have turned a corner and is "getting his Superman back". He foolishly tells Jillian he feels no pain. Alas, we never see her making him eat these words. Bob says that if his team loses this weigh-in, it'll be pathetic. Tracey loves sweating like a pig. Then Jillian threatens Daniel with death and yells at him that he's not working to his potential. He looks quite distressed. Jillian interviews that she's quite concerned about his low intensity and poor weight loss. She thinks there's a piece of the puzzle she's not getting. Finally Daniel breaks down into tears and apologizes. He talks about how his mom's constant nagging him about his weight as he was growing up made him feel that he wasn't good enough. He feels like crap for treating his mom like crap. It's a breakthrough. Hugs ensue.

Weigh-in time! Black feels doomed. Bob threatens dire pissed-offedness if Blue doesn't win it. Allen has a good result and Rebecca uses this as an opportunity to pat him on the ass. Tracey goes to pieces at her four-pound loss and brings out the crazy eyes. All the other ladies get small results, too, and start getting really annoyed, especially Liz. Rudy, however, pulls out a gorgeous 14-pound loss and his face practically lights up with joy. I really like that man. Ali points out that he's within shouting distance of the 100lb mark, and if he does lose 13 pounds next week, he will have hit 100lbs of weight loss faster than anyone in Biggest Loser history.

Time for the Blacks to weigh in! Danny looks glum. Tracey hopes they ate cake and drank sodas. Bitch. Abby reveals that her parents said the biggest difference they saw when she went home was that they saw life in her again. Cue my tear ducts. Tracey gloats that she thinks Blue will win. Bitch. Things aren't going so great for the Black team until Danny pulls a massive number (YAY!). Liz actually looks pissed off at this, which is weird. I can get on board with her faking being fed up with Black team drama for the sake of fooling Tracey, but to the point where her first reaction at seeing her former partner do really well is to get mad? Mmmm, not so sure what's going on with Liz there. Anyway, it's all up to Daniel, who actually GAINS a pound. He's not happy. It's embarrassing, it makes him a target, etc. He's tearful. He earnestly assures his team that he did not slack off, and they all totally believe him (as do I). Jillian did warn him by phone earlier in the week that you can retain water from travelling, so maybe that's it? Regardless, it's Black in the elimination room this week.

Milestones achieved:

  • Allen, Danny and Tracey hit the 15% total weight loss mark
  • Allen dropped below 275lbs
  • Allen hit the 50lbs of total weight loss mark
  • Rudy hit the 75lbs of total weight loss mark
  • Danny moved from super-obese to morbidly obese

So I thought Daniel was doomed, but it turns out he has enough support that Dina is gone instead. Even in the little clip showing us her first day and her vote-off day, you can totally see the difference in her face, it's great. She vows to win this battle. Her goal is to be "all me". And now she weighs 188 and she looks terrific. She takes her son to the gym and presses him on the leg weights. :) He's her little chererleader, it's so sweet! And, miracle of miracles, she can jump onto a friggin stool! Her son finds everything more exciting now because of his awesome mom. Finally, Dina gets a makeover and they chop off a fair bit of hair. Unfortunately, she's chosen a dress that makes her look kind of huge. The other thing I notice is that her husband is NOWHERE in her profile. That's concerning - methinks the lack of support finally got to her and she kicked him to the curb? Who knows.

Exchange of the night:

Ali: Remember what you're playing for!
Rebecca: We don't know!
Ali: Oh...right.

Next week, look for the following potential milestones:

  • Rebecca could hit 50lbs of total weight loss
  • Danny could hit 75lbs of total weight loss
  • Danny and Rudy could go below 350lbs
  • Daniel could go below 275lbs
  • Liz could go below 225lbs
  • Abby and Tracey could go below 200lbs
  • Liz and Shay could hit 15% of total weight loss
  • Rudy could hit 20% of total weight loss
  • Abby, Liz and Amanda could move from clinically obese to obese

Also next week (SPOILERS)

Jam! listings: Derek Jeter talks to the contestants about teamwork before they take part in a baseball challenge; Curtis Stone prepares a healthy meal for the challenge winner; a contestant breaks a Biggest Loser record.

TV Guide listings: Derek Jeter leads a baseball challenge in which the winner receives a healthy Mediterranean meal cooked by chef Curtis Stone. Also: the players compete directly with a member of the other team during the weigh-in; and a contestant breaks a show record.

I'm guessing that record-breaking is going to be Rudy hitting 100lbs of weight loss, which would be really freakin' awesome.

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