Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Drama Club

Sunrise on the ranch, plus inspiring chamber music. Oh, and cupcakes. Hundreds of them. Why deary me, it must be a temptation!

Adam is unmoved. He's not a cupcake guy. But Burgandy is tempted by the very smell. Apparently when you get four hundred cupcakes all in the same room, it is an olfactory assault.

However, forget about basking in the cupcakey goodness, because Ali reveals that TWO (count 'em) people are going home this week. Yes, this week there will be a RED LINE. And as anyone who's been watching the past few seasons knows, anyone below the red line is automatically eliminated without any challenge or vote to give them the slimmest possibility of reprieve. But today's temptation could pull your ass out of the fire! There is one cupcake out here with the Biggest Loser logo on it. Finding that cupcake means you can choose to have a 1lb advantage at the weigh-in. BUT, for every week you keep the logo and choose not to use it, the advantage increases by another pound the following week. So, for example, Ali tells us, if you held onto the logo for eight weeks, you could cash it in for an eight-pound advantage. So, that's huge. Suddenly, Adam is a cupcake guy.

But it's not just blind chance. If you eat a cupcake and don't find the logo, you will get a clue as to where the winning cupcake actually is. Rick, Adam, Jesse and Elizabeth all play. Rick goes for a small one on the first shot to minimize calorie consumption. Elizabeth had no such strategy and stuffed a big one in her mouth. Lisa's strategy was to just stay away from the whole damn mess. Jesse gets "lapped" in cupcakes by Adam and Rick and wishes he'd never started. Rick eventually gets one more clue than Adam, a clue which REALLY narrows it down, but Adam picks the right cupcake first and gets the advantage. He feels great - this on top of his work ethic puts him in a really good position. The price, however, was 1350 bad calories consumed. He says it's no big deal because he'll just burn an extra 1350 calories tonight. Whispers break out behind his back and someone calls him "cocky". (I don't think it was cocky myself, I thought it was just good sense.)

Ali notes that Frado and Brendan didn't play, and Brendan says he didn't want a target on his back for a prize that wouldn't pay off for a while. Adam reflects that he didn't realise about the becoming a target thing. Oh, well!

Elizabeth is tearful and regrets participating. She's also terrified of the red line and going home. She's trying to work hard but doesn't feel any change. Brendan, standing behind her, comforts her with a bit of a back rub. This makes me realise that what Elizabeth doesn't know is that she actually has a big advantage - Brendan and Frado both competed with her in the city challenges to get on the show, and they like her and seem to have a soft spot for her...and they're part of a secret three-person alliance and could probably convince their fellow conspirator Patrick not to vote for her. So whether Elizabeth knows it or not, if it's between her and someone else (who isn't in the alliance), she's probably got three votes that won't swing her way. That's some powerful stuff.

Ali points out that when they go back to the real world, they're not going to avoid desserts for the rest of their lives. So, for healthier options, she brings in Curtis Stone! (Probably to make up for the woody-fest that was the Anna Kournikova visit last week. Now it's the ladies' turn to get their freak on.) Squeals ensue. "Who needs cupcakes?" exclaims Lisa. Apparently everything about him is "delicious". (I cannot help feeling sorry for Curtis.)

So we're going to make something decadent, delicious, and healthy. The winning cupcake, for example, was one which Curtis made, and it was just 100 calories. So you really can have sweet stuff when you're trying to lose weight, but you need positive temptation. Curtis suggests saying, "Do you mind if I make some cupcakes and bring 'em round?" if you're going off to a party at someone's house. That way, the healthy option will be right there for you.

Use egg whites instead of eggs, honey instead of sugar, wheat flour instead of white flour, use raspberry puree in the frosting. Patrick interviews that the resulting cupcakes are good, and this is great compared to the 5500 calories he was eating every day at home. (Ho. Lee. Shit.) Lisa obsesses about Curtis some more and gives him a nice, long hug.

Bonus video: Elizabeth is still mad at herself about participating in the cupcake temptation and opens up to Rick about it. She doesn't even like cupcakes, she laughs. But she's still terrified about going home. She talks about not having control over her body, and we hear that she once had a benign tumor the size of a softball that had to be removed. Rick reflects that having a high-up yellow line only dials up the pressure. He points out that even if she loses just 3lbs a week like she did at the last weigh-in, she'll be at her goal weight before the finale. (THANK YOU! WISDOM AT LAST!) And that's what we're all here for. Elizabeth talks about her father, whose health is falling apart, and she sees her life as his. Again with the fantastic wisdom, Rick points out that every single person in the house could do awesome, but there's still going to be someone below the red line and people below the yellow line. Does that mean the people under the lines did badly? No. He says the worst thing to do is put pressure on ourselves. Just do the best you can, and at the finale you'll do great. Elizabeth appreciates it and thanks him for always listening to her. "I don't have any of my kids here," he shrugs. :) They hug it out.

Adam and Aaron start talking about the temptation and how Adam now has a target on his back. Meanwhile, in another meeting of the super-secret alliance (only this time with Ada included for some reason), Brendan says that Adam went for the temptation because he's scared of the three of them. (Y'know, I want to like all the contestants, but every week I get more and more evidence that Brendan is a jerk.) Frado reflects that as time goes on, the target on Adam's back will just get bigger, so Adam should play the advantage sooner rather than later. But Aaron and Adam think it'll work out. Aaron is of course on Adam's side because Adam saved him from the elimination challenge last week. Finally, Frado points out that the advantage/target thing is kind of immaterial if you just go and put the work in. Adam, he says respectfully, puts the work in. So they have to put the work in, too. I do like Frado, I have to say. In the other room, Aaron and Adam come to the same conclusion. But Brendan is now on an anti-Adam vendetta. He asks Ada if she's in on the anti-Adam action, and she agrees.

Bonus video: So there's drama. Ada has been getting annoyed by Adam, so she vented to Brendan, and Brendan blew it up into drama, and then Frado got on board. Oy, vey. So apparently Adam thinks that Frado is a "shady", Godfather-like character and that Brendan is his concigliere and does whatever Frado tells him to do. Frado is very affronted and feels that Adam should have said such things to his face. You know, "like a man". Frado clarifies that he doesn't mind being called stupid or arrogant, but shady? That cuts deep. (I do notice, however, that Frado doesn't go back to Adam to confront him about these things. You know, "like a man"?) And it turns out that that is how Brendan ends up getting Ada to side with them against Adam.

Ooh. The plot thickens.

Everyone's sitting around and Rick points out that the trainers will be coming soon and grilling them about the temptation. (Rick just keeps proving over and over that he's the smartest man in the house.) Jesse is really nervous and knows Bob and Jillian are going to kick his ass. Sure enough, the trainers show up. Sophia explains the deal. They're blown away by the prize. Oh, and the red line thing, too. They find out that Adam won and are pretty fatalistic about it and the 1350 calories he consumed to get the victory. Sophia is SHOCKED that they didn't chew him out. "Where the heck is the hellfire?!?" she interviews, as we see Tracey flashbacks from a few seasons ago. Bob and Jillian are just having a really good day, I guess. :) Also, Adam is a hard worker, so I think they trust him.

Workout. Everyone has the red line uppermost in their minds. (Probably because Bob and Jillian keep TALKING ABOUT IT!) People freak out in interviews. Patrick remarks that the girls are under a lot of stress, as Lisa walks out of the gym to have a panic attack. Elizabeth fights through another asthma attack. Jillian feels that this is a defense mechanism and knows, from her years of training experience, that asthma isn't really the thing that's holding her back. So they talk it out. Elizabeth doesn't want to die like her father. But she doesn't really believe in her ability to control that. Jillian says that this internal battle with her crap is holding her back, that's what's affecting her breathing. Elizabeth suddenly seems to realise this and gets back on the bike.

Frado tries to keep a low profile but then Bob grabs him, saying that he loves training guys like him. He says that Frado doesn't even know how far his limits are. But Bob wants more. So Frado yells a bunch more. We hear that Frado was taking an unbelievable amount of pills every day and injecting himself with insulin, but now he's off his meds totally...which, I must say, is completely freakin' awesome.

More beatings.

But then Mark screws up his back on the rowing machine. :( This doesn't look good, and Mark is scared.

Next we focus on Aaron. Jillian has him doing ten two-minute sprints, which is pretty unbelievable for a 431lb man. He doesn't think he can do it, either, but Jillian doesn't let him quit. Then we have one of those great moments that keep me watching this show. :) Right before his last sprint, Jillian asks him how it's going to look, that he has an opportunity to change his whole dynamic and finish strong. She interviews that he needs an experience of success in an activity he didn't think he could do. This will help this whole illusion of inability that he's built up about himself to start crashing down. As she asks, "What's the last one gonna be like," Frado calls out from behind Aaron, "London!" which is the name of Aaron's son, the light of his life. Apparently Frado regularly yells this out whenever he sees Aaron ready to quit, which is fantastic. "It's gonna be my best one," Aaron says quietly. Jillian jacks him up until he's yelling it like he means it. "Come on, let's go!" yells out Frado. Aaron interviews that the two things he wants his son to understand are a) unconditional love and b) relentless, passionate, hard work. And he wants London to look at him and say that he wants to be like his dad. So here we go. Supportive yells and whoops come from all over the gym as he sprints it out. And Jillian actually gives out compliments.

Now that is good TV.

Also, eat broccoli. Bob says so.

So...weigh-in! Adam bets on himself and holds back his advantage. Bob and Jillian get into a philosphical argument of gameplay vs getting your life back.

Milestones achieved:

  • Adam dropped under 350lbs
  • Rick dropped under 300lbs
  • Ada and Elizabeth dropped under 225lbs
  • Ada, Lisa and Jessica hit 25lbs of total loss
  • Adam, Rick and Frado hit 50lbs of total loss
  • Aaron, Frado, Patrick, Brendan and Ada hit the 10% mark of total loss
  • Rick hit the 15% mark of total loss
  • Jesse moved from super-obese to morbidly obese
  • Jessica and Lisa moved from morbidly obese to clinically obese

Sadly, though, it's Sophia under the red line and she has to leave campus immediately. Back at home, she's down to 225lbs (a BMI of 35.2, which is clinically obese on the cusp of moving to just plain obese), and is able to coach her cheerleading team properly without looking like a ridiculous hypocrite. The team, for their part, is really supportive of her and is happy to see her doing so well. She also leads spin classes. Her goal is to be down to 172lbs by the finale.

Frado, the biggest loser of the week (thanks to the extra boost from his obvious waterloading last week) has to decide whom to save from the elimination challenge. So he talks to Mark about how his back is doing. Mark wants to be okay so that he can participate in the challenge and Frado can pick someone else. He doesn't seem very sure, but he tells Frado that he can do the challenge.

Bonus video: Frado continues to weigh his options. He says he truly adores the six people at risk, so it's a tough choice. He talks with Jessica, who calls him "Pops". She's pissed off at being under, because she busted her ass this week. She asks Frado to reward her for doing really well this week. He calls her the "top dog of the bottom six". Then he talks to Elizabeth. He asks whether she wants him to save her, or whether she wants to compete. She says that she will always fight. Lisa gets all tearful, which I have to imagine is at least a little bit annoying for a guy like Frado. She claims that she wants to be here and doesn't feel ready to go home, which is how you can tell that she's not, well, ready to go home. Jesse says he's always up for a challenge, so if Frado doesn't pick him, he'll just do his best. Frado obviously likes this, and they clap hands and man-hug it out. Frado really likes Jesse. Burgandy says she feels like she works like crazy. She's never asked for the nod before, she says (hello? last week with Adam?), but she's asking for it now. However, she says, if she doesn't get it, the two of them are still totally cool. At the end of it all, Frado is torn between Jesse and Jessica.

Hey, did you know that Subway is doing breakfasts now? It's called "Build a Better Breakfast". Like OMG, wow! The contestants had no idea they could get breakfast at Subway! And you can, too! Nutritious breakfasts are now easy and delicious! And also, Subway! For breakfast!

Workout time. Ada is in trouble because she basically asked for beatings from Jillian during the weigh-in. We actually get a good bit of insight as to how the weigh-ins are filmed: they take a really long time to do and there's a lot of downtime, during which there's a lot of opportunity to talk. So Ada made the dumbass move of telling Jillian she didn't feel she'd had a breakthrough yet. But what it turns out that what this all is is Ada's way of setting up a failing experience for herself, because that's what she's used to and comfortable with: pushing Jillian to push her so she can give up. And this is exactly what happens. (Incidentally, Jillian is wearing a t-shirt that says Disco Sucks. I think my husband will now love her forever.) "Does this feel just like home?" Jillian asks Ada. "Yup," Ada responds. Jillian follows through: "Good and comfortable here?" This pushes Ada beyond her emotional limits and she leaves the gym.

Outside, they have a heart-to-heart. Nothing Ada has ever done has been good enough for her parents. They call her an idiot, tell her she's worthless. She's always felt they were never proud of her. She tells Jillian about her brother drowning in the kiddie pool with her when her parents went away to get a towel. She knows that they blame her, even though she didn't cause it. But her parents have actually said, "Why couldn't it have been you." They also go on about her weight, saying that she's so fat, she can't do anything right, and they can't stand to look at her.

Man, you know, I already heard most of this before and despised her parents for it, but hearing it again in greater detail, I now loathe them with the heat of a thousand suns. How CAN you do that to your own children. Children are precious, they're gifts to us. It is our sacred responsibility to build them up, and cushion them always with unconditional love, so that they have stability and confidence and self-belief. Hearing the story of a person who experienced the exact opposite of that just breaks my heart. It goes against everything that is good and right and humane. HOW can you do that to a child. Ugh.

But back to Ada specifically. She wants to be happy about the good things she's achieving on the ranch, but she doesn't know how to have those feelings. Jillian advises her to give herself time. She says that until Ada is strong enough to deal with all of her pain, she's not going to be able to feel the good stuff, either. She also identifies to Ada that the environment she grew up in was abusive. (I'm glad someone finally said it.) But, Jillian says, there must be some part of Ada that doesn't believe she's a complete screwup, or she wouldn't bother being here at the ranch. Ada looks up with a hopeful smile that really is like the sun coming up. She wants to be happy with the person that she is.

Okay, it's a start. I just wish Jillian had pointed out that maybe Ada hasn't been failing her whole life, that it's her parents who have been failing her.

For Bob's part, he's pissed off that the girls (yeah, the show is still calling them that) keep falling below the yellow line. He tries to whip them up into a fury of effort. As part of his below-the-yellow-liners rehabilitation effort, he goes to DESPERATE methods and tries something that has NEVER been tried before.


Wait for it...

It's rather shocking...



Dunh, dunh, duuuuuuunh.

So, unsurprisingly, Bob's home is impeccably decorated. He remarks at how nice everyone looks in their off-ranch clothes and how loosely they fit. :)

Mark asks to see Bob's fridge. It contains a lot of fruits and vegetables. But generally he doesn't keep a lot of food in the house. Burgandy doesn't either, that's why they go out for fast food so much, so she's wondering how Bob hacks it. Bob says that the food in the house should have a shelf life of no longer than two weeks, because that means that the food you have is unprocessed. He also works in a little plug for Brita water filters.

He then treats everyone to a vegan meal. Not that he prepared it himself, of course (although he did consider faking it by putting it in pots, which was hilarious), he got a friend to cook for them, but it all looks spectacularly delicious - roasted wild mushroom leek and fennel salad, tomatoes and basil salad, broccolini with pine nuts, and cauliflower. Gawd that makes me hungry, it all looks fantastic. He points out that colourful food is healthy food, that's where all the nutrients are. He remarks that he's been all around the country and seen a lot of beige food, which is not the way to go. (Take note, audience at home!)

Bob then asks people what dinner at their houses look like. Lisa points out that there's a pizza place near their house where they can get a large pizza to feed the family for five bucks. Bob admits that he can't compete with that, but good food (like a bag of beans or whole wheat pasta) is also inexpensive. But he says that Lisa, as a parent, has a responsibility to teach her kids how to eat properly, and he tells her the kids are worth more than a $5 pizza. He knows she's tired, but she can do things to help the kids more. Lisa is jazzed to show her kids how to eat healthily. Everyone's very enthusiastic about the vegan meal, and thank Bob for his hospitality. They all clink their water glasses.

Back at the ranch, Burgandy has been experiencing shin pain for a while now, and finally went to Dr. H. Turns out she has severe tendonitis. She gets a boot to take stress off the bone and immobilize the tendon. But she's out of the elimination challenge. Dr. H. doesn't care much about the yellow line thing, he's more concerned about Burgandy's long-term health, and gets all Dr. McCoy on her ass: "I don't take care of the yellow line, I'm a doctor!"

So Burgandy is therefore automatically up for elimination. They still need to do an elimination challenge, though, because she needs to have someone else with her so people can decide whom to vote for. Meanwhile, Frado has decided to save Jessica from the elimination challenge because she came so close to making it over the yellow line. She is really grateful. Therefore, we have Mark, Jesse, Lisa and Elizabeth duking it out over...carpet! No, not that kind of carpet, you gutter-minded people (although that would be an interesting challenge of...uh...endurance ;). I'm talking about actual carpet. They each have 300ft length of carpet (weighing over 900lbs) rolled up on a big SQUARE tube (the square part making it damn hard to roll, of course) which they have to unroll over the length of some kind of massive sports arena. Then they have to run back and push their button to indicate they're finished. Last one to push their button is up for elimination with Burgandy.

Mark takes an early lead and stays there. Jesse comes in second, so it's down to Lisa and Elizabeth. Elizabeth struggles the whole time because she has a hard time getting a bounce momentum going with the tube. Lisa loses steam near the end because she gets her carpet off-course, but ends up saving herself, encouraging Elizabeth to keep going as she runs back to her button. Elizabeth refuses to give up the whole time and fights, even when she gets her foot stuck under the thing. Mark, Jesse and Lisa then come out to encourage her into finishing, which she does with fantastic, screaming energy. She seems genuinely happy about how she did, which is great.

Personally, I like Elizabeth a lot better than Burgandy (whom I find a bit annoying), but I think Elizabeth has a better shot of succeeding at home. I keep thinking of Burgandy and her military wife-ness and her five children and her foster children, and her having an autistic child as well, and I just cannot imagine where she's going to get the time to work out.

No one else is thinking along these lines, though, because only Ada votes to keep Burgandy around. However, it turns out that I needn't have worried. Burgandy incorporates fitness into her life and takes her kids with her when she does it. As a result, she's down to 180lbs, which gives her a BMI of 30.9. That's very close to being down to just overweight. So she's doing very well indeed. She also seems to be running a community walking club kind of thing, which she seems really good at. Also, she's looking great. Burgandy is a pretty lady.

Ali then springs a surprise on the remaining contestants. The house is empty by one more person...for the moment. But behind them on a balcony are the five contestants that didn't make it out of the city challenges: Montina, Anna, Corey, Sandy and Shanna. All with arms folded and looking fierce, as no doubt instructed by the producers.

A-ha! I knew we'd be seeing those guys again! This of course explains why the show ditched two people this week - to make room for one more.

Next week: (SPOILERS)

TV Guide: Players who didn't make the initial cut for a spot on the ranch return to weigh in, and the person with the highest percentage of weight loss wins entry into the competition. Later, the contestants are split into blue and black teams and compete in a food-trivia challenge in downtown Los Angeles.


  • Mark and Patrick could drop below 350lbs
  • Jessica could drop below 250lbs
  • Elizabeth could hit the 25lb mark of total loss
  • Aaron, Jesse, Patrick and Brendan could hit the 50lb mark of total loss
  • Elizabeth, Lisa and Jessica could hit the 10% mark of total loss
  • Ada, Frado, Mark, Jesse, Brendan and Adam could hit the 15% mark of total loss
  • Aaron could move from super-obese to morbidly obese
  • Ada could move from clinically obese to obese


# loss % total loss % lbs lost total lbs lost BMI
1 Frado (5.93) Rick (15.14) Frado (20) Mark (60) Ada (36.2)
2 Ada (4.27) Mark (14.25) Aaron (12) Adam (56) Burgandy (36.6)
3 Brendan (3.37) Adam (13.93) Brendan (11) Rick (53) Elizabeth (38.3)
4 Rick (2.94) Frado (13.62) Ada, Adam, Patrick (10) Frado (50) Sophia (39.2)
5 Adam (2.81) Ada (13.18) Aaron (49) Lisa (39.5)
6 Aaron (2.78) Jesse (13.01) Jesse (48) Jessica (39.8)
7 Patrick (2.73) Brendan (12.98) Rick (9) Brendan (47) Brendan (42.7)
8 Jessica (2.68) Patrick (11.00) Jesse, Mark (8) Patrick (44) Frado (43.0)
9 Elizabeth, Lisa (2.62) Aaron (10.47) Ada (34) Rick (43.9)
10 Jessica (9.93) Jessica, Lisa (7) Jessica, Lisa (28) Adam (44.4)
11 Jesse (2.43) Lisa (9.72) Mark (45.1)
12 Burgandy (2.29) Elizabeth (8.61) Elizabeth (6) Sophia (22) Patrick (45.7)
13 Mark (2.17) Sophia (8.09) Burgandy (5) Elizabeth (21) Jesse (48.8)
14 Sophia (0.79) Burgandy (7.79) Sophia (2) Burgandy (18) Aaron (51.0)

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