Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We begin this week where we left off last week: in the elimination room. Jesse and Aaron have obviously just left and there is silence in the room except for the quiet sobbing of Jessica. We are reminded about how Patrick betrayed his friendship for Jesse by voting for him. Patrick interviews that this was the hardest vote yet, but he had to vote for Jesse because he was partnered with Aaron, whom Patrick considered to be his biggest threat.

Ali points out that we are down to eight people from 21 original contestants. The next Biggest Loser is somewhere in this room. And we're now going to singles. Yes, it's time for everyone to stand on their own two feet. Speaking of which, Elizabeth is mad because Bob and Jillian both went off on a tirade last week during the weigh-in that she was still not standing on her own two feet. So she's excited, and determined to prove them wrong.

In the gym, Jessica reflects on how far she's come - the first challenge was a mile, and she found it extremely hard. But now, it's her warm-up. As they're all warming up. Bob and Jillian show up and notice that Aaron and Jesse are gone. Bob gets a little pissy about this because he was under the impression that Brendan wasn't going to gameplay anymore. (Say what, now? What naive fantasy land are you living in, Bob?) Brendan explains his choice by declaring that he wasn't willing to send Elizabeth home as the alternative. Bob goes off to have a sulk and interview about how gameplay sucks. He gets a bit of it out his system by torturing Brendan one-on-one for a while.

Jessica is struggling because apparently she was very attached to Jesse. She realises that she really needs to learn how to do this sort of thing on her own. Mark reflects that people are really starting to realise that there's no safety net now. Patrick vows to take full advantage of this opportunity. He's been unemployed for months and has had to borrow money from his parents and his wife's parents to get by. Translation: I will do whatever it takes to win this show. He and Bob talk about the elimination and he explains that he had to weigh his family's needs (money) against his friendship with Jesse. Bob is just angry about the situation. He wants good competitors like Patrick to keep other good competitors around him to make winning more meaningful. Y'know, I like Bob a lot, but he can be ridiculously unrealistic about human psychology. NO ONE who is genuinely serious about winning a reality show grand prize is going to keep their biggest competitors around them for honour's sake. Bob needs to stop taking eliminations personally. In fact, he's actually done the opposite of what he wanted: his conversation with Patrick only strengthen's that boy's resolve to "put himself in the best situation" to win the show.

Bob and Jillian then try to get the contestants to destress by watching videos from home. Everyone's really excited, but Bob takes Ada aside to warn her that she doesn't have a video. The show called her family several times and never got a response. Ada is clearly sad about this but tries really hard to put a brave face on it. Sadly, she is also clearly unsurprised, classifying her family's "support" not as loving so much as "you'd better have lost a hundred pounds or don't come back". (Aaaand my burning hatred for her parents ramps up a few MORE notches.)

Awkward silence.

Bob attempts to get Ada to talk about how hurt she's feeling, but she doesn't want to acknowledge that she's sad about it. (God forbid we should display weakness, after all.) Bob then proceeds to demonstrate that he was the last person who should have been having this conversation with Ada, since at NO TIME does he take the opportunity to a) tie in her feelings of inadequacy with her family's unacceptable behaviour and b) tell her that showing sadness does not equal being weak. Jillian, on the other hand, would have been all over both of those points. Mostly, his focus is simply on "overcoming this". Sigh.

Ada tries to pass off her family's disinterest in her as "cultural", which I think is bullshit. I mean, yes, when I was growing up I watched some (not all!) of my Chinese/other Asian friends get ENORMOUS pressure to succeed "or else", but I don't believe for a second that they all experienced the kind of verbal abuse and lack of emotional support that Ada got dumped with. I don't buy that that kind of behaviour is "cultural". (And frankly, to say that it is doesn't reflect very well on Chinese people in general. I imagine that there are now a bunch of white people all over America - those who don't have enough contact with Asian communities to know better - who now think the home dynamic of all Chinese families is abusive and unsupportive. Yeah, that's going to do wonders for racism in that country.)

So everyone minus Ada gathers in the TV room to watch their videos, and there are some mutterings about where Ada has gone. Lisa declares that she's sure Ada didn't actually get a video, and Elizabeth figures she hasn't come downstairs to watch with them because of that. This bums people out, but they have to turn the TV on anyway. Patrick is first, and there are many squeals and aws as we see his super-cute sons. (Who look exactly like him, so sweet.) His wife (who for some bizarre reason is named Bradley) comes on and tells him that she's lost a whopping 40lbs! Patrick is super-proud.

Frado's (young-looking and hot) wife tells him how proud she is of him. His daughter Danielle offers to run the last 10 miles of the marathon together if he makes the Final Four. He would love that.

Lisa has a huge crowd of people on a single couch cheering for her. Her kids tell her they love her and they're proud of her. Lisa starts really feeling like she wants to stay on the ranch. (At last!)

Brendan's mom is as New England as they come. :) She tells him he's great. He interviews that over the past few years, he really hasn't been a good son or uncle or friend, but he has people who love him unconditionally anyway, and that's very special. He needs to stop making excuses and be more thoughtful in the future.

Incidentally, one of the Biggest Loser bonus videos from a week or two back offered an interesting explanation for Brendan's general jerkiness and how he could have become so depressed that he kicked his fiancee out of his life. He apparently has some kind of genetic condition that screws with his hip, causing him a lot of pain. (The added weight obviously doesn't help with this.) As a result, he's been on narcotic painkillers for a number of years, which do help with his pain, but which also contribute to depression. He's now addicted to the painkillers, and freely admits it, but wants to lose enough weight first so that his pain is more manageable when he starts going off the narcotics. However, in the video, we see that his prescription has run out and Dr. H. refuses to give him any more because he doesn't want to feed Brendan's addiction. This pisses Brendan off but he decides to try it Dr. H.'s way. However, he vows that if the pain is unbearable, he will have no qualms about leaving the show so that he can get the prescription from another doctor. (Personally, I think Brendan's argument makes a lot of sense: stay on the painkillers long enough to lose enough weight so that the pain isn't unbearable, and then you'll have a much easier time kicking the narcotics habit.)

Jessica's mother sends her messages of pride, love and support. This seems a far cry away from the emotionally and physically abusive relationship that Jessica described herself as having had during her childhood. So clearly they've put it back together, which is quite astonishing. This makes her mom's message very meaningful.

Elizabeth's mom has lost a lot of weight and is now cooking healthy meals and working out. She points out that when Elizabeth returns home she will be in an environment that supports her diet and her exercise regime. And that is really freakin' awesome. Elizabeth is super-happy about this and is inspired by her mom.

Mark's cousin has lost a spectacular sixty-five pounds while he's been on the ranch! And Mark has been her motivation. That is amazing. Mark thinks so, too, and he's very touched. He's absolutely gobsmacked that he's inspiring people before he even gets home. He points out that his cousin is proof that there's no reason everyone can't do it at home.

So everyone else thinks Ada deserves her own video, so they make one for her. (Awwwww. :) It's really sweet and uplifting and says a lot of wonderful things about how amazing and funny and strong and special and smart and beautiful Ada is. (Although I bet they wouldn't hesitate to vote her big-threatness out if they got the chance!) Ada's very touched and says she's never been in an environment full of people who cared so much about her. (Sad.) Group hug!

Jillian gives us what is probably the biggest laugh of the week when she defines going to singles as "no more gameplaying". Day-um, and I thought it was just Bob who was off in the sunshine, rainbows and sparkly ponies land of naivete!

Jessica tells us she's struggling emotionally and physically this week. Wow, she really must have been attached to Jesse if his departure is messing with her head that much. Romantic possibility, maybe? (They'd make a super-cute couple.) Jillian makes Elizabeth's life a living hell to demonstrate that she doesn't need to be "carried" by other people. With fantastic insight, she brings out a step platform and makes her do the 500 stepups challenge all over again in front of everyone. Because Elizabeth never finished that challenge to get in the house; rather, she came into the house because Jillian chose her for the spot. So by doing this challenge successfully, it will help Elizabeth feel like she really deserves her spot in the house. It seems to work really well and is one of those great Biggest Loser accomplishment moments. Everyone takes turns counting out Elizabeth's steps while Jillian keeps up a running commentary about how Elizabeth will know she earned her spot here and that she's just as good as everyone else. At 360 steps, which is the point where Elizabeth passed out originally, Jillian gives her weights to carry, which she starts pumping (although by 398 she's pooped out from that and is just holding them). She then runs the last ten steps and - tadah! Done! Yay! "You deserve to be here," Jillian tells her intensely. "Act like it."

Bonus video: Inspired by helping Elizabeth redo the step-up challenge, Patrick gets everyone together to try and recapture the helping-each-other spirit that they all had at the beginning of the season. He tells everyone that being with them on the ranch has been one of the most amazing experiences of his life and he's looking forward to all of them being "hot as hell". :) Lisa points out how far they've all come. Frado, in thinking back about an experience with his daughter, reflects that becoming fat doesn't affect just you, and that he will never be a burden on his family again. Brendan says he's been crying every day for almost a week and a half, and he just doesn't cry that much normally. He brings out a letter from his mom which he asks Mark to read because he can't get through it himself. She talks about how many of the things he does in his life are wonderful and make her proud, but watching him stuff himself with junk food and make the couch bow in the middle when he lies on it makes her feel helpless. She blames herself for some of his depression and offers to talk about her divorce from his father if he wants to. Brendan acknowledges that he's discovered he did have an issue about his parents' divorce and has more emotional issues than he thought, and that he hasn't been happy in a long time. Elizabeth interviews that these are things he'll have to deal with once he gets home, and that all of them have to deal with the stuff that got them there. Mark interviews that he's not lying to himself anymore and he loves it. We get a flashback of Jessica in the elimination room saying that Jesse taught her more about herself than she'd learned so far about herself in a long time. She interviews that she hasn't been cared about like that by a guy in a long time. (Ooh!) Ada came to the ranch feeling very empty as a person. But for the first time she feels worthy. She's not used to this, but she feels good about herself and is proud of her accomplishments. Patrick feels this has all solidified the group. "Biggest Loser Ten, Never Fat Again" is their new motto.

Bonus video: Bob talks to Brendan to see where his head's at. Brendan is feeling like a mess because he's starting to deal with repressed issues. Bob points out that Brendan's been so focused on gameplay that the dam is only breaking now. But he thinks Brendan is in a good spot to start figuring things out. Brendan feels that he's on the right track, even if he's just at the very start of the track.

Balance-over-water challenge! This freaks Ada out because one of her little brothers died in a kiddie pool when she was about three. Pools freak her out. (Also, her parents totally blamed her for it and so she thinks that she should have been able to swim and save her brother. Sigh.) Lisa is initially ecstatic because she thinks it's going to be a swimming challenge, but no. The rules are kind of bizarre. One person starts (Frado gets to choose who since he's got the highest percentage of weight loss in the house) and they have to balance on one foot for five seconds. If they're successful, they get to choose the next person to balance. At certain points (I never did figure out how this was determined), the time required to balance gets increased by another five seconds.

This thing where the last person to balance successfully gets to choose the next person to do the balancing means that it's possible for some people to not have to do any balancing while others do it a bunch of times. And sure enough, that's exactly what happens. It doesn't take too long for Lisa, Ada and Mark to be the only ones left (Elizabeth is really pissed off when she goes out, because balancing is her strength), and Lisa and Mark pass the buck back and forth for ages leaving Ada doing zippo for quite some time. Finally, Lisa falls in and it's just Mark and Ada left. Really, it's quite surprising that Mark is still in it, you would think this is a lighter person's challenge what with all the balancing to be done and all, but Mark actually ends up winning it!

Big Subway product placement! The contestants have to make the best sandwich. It has to be low in calories and taste great. They all get to vote on the best sandwich but they can't vote for their own. The prize is a $500 Subway gift certificate, which Lisa wins.

Last chance workout. Bob focuses on Elizabeth. (He should have focused on getting himself into a shirt that didn't have little holes all over it. Are the royalties from the Wii version of the Biggest Loser not paying you enough to buy new clothes, Bob?) Brendan interviews that he feels great in the gym. Frado looks strong, too, and is gunning for hitting the 100lb mark of total weight loss. Elizabeth starts fantasizing about losing six pounds, as that would put her below 200lbs, which she hasn't seen the likes of in about eight years, and vows never to lose sight of again. Jessica's trying to get her head back in the game. Ada's running really well on the treadmill. Bob gets a bunch of people on the step machines and pumps them up to really high levels. "Elizabeth! My head's gonna blow off my shoulders if you stop!" vows Bob, and makes her say, "I feel good, Bob!" Everyone's grunting and groaning except for Ada, who looks awesome. He gets evangelical, making everyone lift themselves off their elbows and raise their heads up. Elizabeth has an asthma episode, but the workout is over and Bob is pleased.

At the weigh-in, Ali announces that everyone really wants to stick around because the next week is...MAKEOVER WEEK! (SQUEE!!!) There is general excitement and anticipation from everybody, making me really wonder...why do none of the men ever seem to pack freakin' RAZORS when they come on this show? It always seems that there are huge beards to shave off every year. I don't get it. (DH mumbles something at this point about playoff beards. Yeah, I still don't get it.)

Once again, all the women are in the bottom half...except Ada, who is the week's Biggest Loser. I luvs her so much.

  • Frado and Brendan dropped below 275lbs
  • Frado hit the 100lb mark of total loss
  • Lisa hit the 20% mark of total loss
  • Mark, Frado and Ada hit the 25% mark of total loss
  • Lisa and Elizabeth moved from clinically obese to obese

Bonus video: It's Jessica and Elizabeth below the yellow line, and they plead their cases. Elizabeth is very frustrated because, with the exception of when they were in two groups, she has been under the yellow line the whole time. She feels that having real proof that she can kick ass and be above the yellow line is more important than making the Final Four or making Makeover Week or whatever. She wants the chance to be above the yellow line, maybe even the week's biggest loser. Jessica reflects that she's latched onto people her whole life because she feels like she can't do it by herself. So this week has made her realise that she has a lot more issues than she thought, and she needs more time on the ranch to figure out how to stand on her own two feet. She asks for mercy.

However, since Frado and Brendan adore Elizabeth and Lisa was Elizabeth's partner last week, Jessica is toast. She goes home, but not before treating herself to a little makeover of her own. Alas, the haircut makes her face look fatter, but she still looks great and feels really confident. Her family is very excited to see her and she is profiled as being down to 200lbs - great! Her goal is to be 160lbs by the finale.

Next week: (SPOILERS)

Next week, watch for less hair and the following milestones:

  • Patrick and Mark could drop below 300lbs
  • Lisa could drop below 225lbs
  • Elizabeth could drop below 200lbs
  • Patrick could hit the 100lb mark of total loss
  • Patrick and Brendan could hit the 25% mark of total loss
  • Frado could move from clinically obese to obese
  • Ada could move from obese to overweight

Video preview: Everybody's favourite episode - Makeover Week! Girly squeals and lots of shaving. (A quick shot of Mark sans beard shows us he's looking pretty awesome - actually, looks like they're leaving him with a little goatee, which looks good.) The screenshots also look very similar to the year they did the Tyra Banks show, so watch out for a potential television appearance. In a waiting room of some sort, contestants meet gobsmacked loved ones. Patrick (who has been given a silly-looking 50s-style cowlick of some kind) hugs his wife while his sons frolic around them. Lisa's daughter tearfully thanks The Biggest Loser for saving her mom's life. Also, on Wednesday, there's a Where Are They Now show, which will be really fun. Sneak peeks: Ed (of Ed and Heba) looks like he's gotten much larger again, and we also see that Max Morelli (Ron's son, Mike's brother) has dropped a lot of weight. Apparently all the previous winners are getting together to inspire someone who's gained the weight back. Warning: I've seen a promo group shot from the Where Are They Now episode, and Daniel Wright has become big again, it might be him.


# loss % total loss % lbs lost total lbs lost BMI
1 Ada (4.04) Frado (27.25) Patrick (10) Mark (112) Ada (30.7)
2 Frado (3.26) Mark (26.60) Frado (9) Frado (100) Elizabeth (34.5)
3 Patrick (3.22) Ada (26.36) Ada, Brendan, Mark (8) Patrick (99) Lisa (34.7)
4 Brendan (2.86) Brendan (24.86) Brendan (90) Jessica (35.5)
5 Lisa (2.56) Patrick (24.75) Ada (68) Frado (36.2)
6 Mark (2.52) Lisa (20.83) Lisa (6) Lisa (60) Brendan (36.9)
7 Elizabeth (2.43) Jessica (19.50) Elizabeth (5) Jessica (55) Mark (38.6)
8 Jessica (0.44) Elizabeth (17.62) Jessica (1) Elizabeth (43) Patrick (38.6)