Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't hold back

Bonus video: Sam expresses gratitude for not being voted off, and vows to keep other people working. He's kind of glad that Drea is gone, though, since she has more weight to lose and thus represents a threat to him. Koli knows Sam doesn't have too much more weight to lose but still wants both of them together in the final four. Ashley, however, is just starting to realise how much she relied on Drea and now feels totally on her own.

Sunrise on the ranch. (It's crazy how they try to make this all poetic and meaningful and stuff.)

The "beautiful Ali Sweeney", according to Sam (Steph's gonna kill him), shows up at the ranch with a new surprise. It's a day-long temptation. There's a room upstairs which is stacked with food - some healthy, some unhealthy. This is the only source of food for the day, because the kitchen is closed. This freaks Michael out. After all, he's hungry! And was also not listening when Ali told him there's an entire room full of food for him to choose from! At the end of the day, the person who has scarfed back the most amount of calories gets the only vote at this week's elimination. If, however, the temptation winner falls below the yellow line, it's everyone-votes elimination as usual.


O'Neal points out how powerful it is to have just one person making the big decision.

So just how tempting is this room of food? VERY tempting. The room is absolutely crammed with goodies, which apparently smell fantastic; or, as O'Neal describes it, "It hit me like a overhand right!" We're talking fried foods, cookies, cakes, fries, donuts, chocolate, etc. But there's also fruit, veggies, string cheese, rice cakes, egg white omelettes, that kind of thing. Victoria calls hte temptation a reflection of what they're going back into when they leave the house. O'Neal starts off with a healthy cereal breakfast. Sunshine also decides to eat what she normally eats.

Sam apparently has the biggest calorie budget of anybody in the house: 1,800 a day. So if everyone eats the way they should, he'll win by default. But later he and Koli start talking about strategy. Sam, who's been under the yellow line twice recently, is really nervous. He thinks that if he's under again this week, he's toast, unless the person with the voting power is Koli. He actually talks Koli into stuffing his face so that they can stay on the ranch together. "I'm about to eat today, whoo!" Koli cries out. He decides not to play it safe at ALL. So he really goes for it. Really, really, REALLY goes for it. Like, I want to throw up watching him gorge himself.

Lunchtime! Daris reflects that his relationship with food is totally different now. He's not eating to get full anymore, he has a calorie count he has to stick to. Michael looks verrry speculative as he enters the room for lunch and looks around. Like, mad scientist speculative. Like, the combination of the expression and the hair is giving him a striking resemblance to Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. He is figuring, since he's been a huge temptation player in the past, that everyone will think he's going to go for it today. But...psyche! He isn't. He might've, if the prize had been good, but he doesn't want the responsibility of ending someone's time at the ranch. So he contents himself with some lovely looking asparagus and other assorted healthy foods. Well done, Michael. He does some bad acting, though, trying to convey the impression that he's gorged himself.

Victoria has struggled with a food addiction in the past. but she's trying to change her ways. So it's asparagus for her, too. Good girl.

Koli is really enthusiastic about lunch. We get a closeup of him eating all the meat off a chicken wing in one bite. (Apparently this is his big talent.) Why are they grossing us out like this?

What I think is really cool is that we see the contestants guessing at their calorie counts for these meals, and then we see the actual numbers, and they're all REALLY spot-on! Which means hooray for everyone, even Koli, because they clearly are very well-educated about the nutritional content of food.

At dinner, Ashley is getting really tired of resisting all the awesomeness of the food. She's battling with herself and uses the tongs to fiddle with the fries platter a whole lot while she ruminates on whether to cave. Finally she succumbs and eats one taquito...and it tastes like crap. "Damn taquito!" she cries. O'Neal, however, manages to resist the enticing lure of fries and, even tougher to resist, cookies. He even takes the buns off the two burgers he goes for. ("I didn't want those fries, I just wanted them to make the burger look good," he quips. :)

Koli's dinner, naturally, is a very different story. ("Smells like fffat!" he announces as he enters the room.) He is here at the ranch for himself. Oh, and maybe also Sam. For his part, Sam says he would fall on the sword for Koli, so that apparently makes it okay for him to get Koli to pack on the calories for Sam's benefit. (DH just gets really sad watching all this and knowing that there's a rift coming between the cousins due to Koli's machinations a few weeks ago getting Steph booted off the ranch.) More Koli gorging footage. Gag. Once done, Koli confesses that he feels awful after all this and can tell that he's hurting his body.

Bonus video: Lots of footage of Michael making 'hmmm' noises whilst looking at the temptation food. He eats healthy food, but also tries to be extremely sneaky to make others think that he's gorging. He drinks lots of water to make him feel full and give off really good belches once he's back outside the room, and also empties the buffet tables of majorly unhealthy stuff like fries and chocolate cake to make people think that he's taking this stuff. He doesn't eat this food, of course, but he has to get rid of it somehow, so he HIDES IT IN THE CABINETS AROUND THE ROOM. OMG. He meets Victoria when he gets out of the room and does his big 'Groan, I'm so full' act. She kind of buys it, and then notices the big slice of chocolate cake missing from the whole when it's her turn to go in. She is not the only one, either - Sunshine, Daris, and O'Neal all take note of the missing chunk of chocolate cake. Later, Michael proves himself to be oh such a snake by asking Sunshine whether the cake was "intact" when she got there. Of course it wasn't, so he says it must have been Victoria who ate it! DAWG! This snowballs - Sunshine starts quesitoning where vicky's head is at, and then she talks to Ashley, and they told two friends, and so-on, and so-on, and...and... Finally, Michael's totally busted when Ali announces the temptation results. She tells everyone that he stole a piece of cake. He admits to hiding it to try and get other people to eat the cake (since they might be more inclined to have some if they saw that someone else had been eating it first). This pisses Ashley off, and she makes a mental note to never trust Michael again.

As the sun sets, Ali shows up again to tell people how the temptation went. We see that people did pretty darn well, managing to resist nicely. But of course there is only one winner. Everyone's eyes start bugging out as she goes over the list of what Koli ate. He and Sam are really happy. However, as Michael points out, anyone who falls below the yellow line with Sam is doomed.

Koli is worried - as he damn well should be - about his potential weight gain this week with all those calories sitting on him. So he straps on the boxing gloves and works out, with Sam encouraging him, calling out things like "Hash browns!" and "Bacon!" :)

Regardless of how hard Koli works out, though, he is dead meat, because here come the trainers. Jillian feels a weird vibe as soon as she walks in the door. Michael starts off the temptation explanation, and of course Bob and Jillian are immediately pissed off. Jillian makes an excellent point in an interview that this just indicates how condependent and attached Koli is to Sam. I happen to agree with her. After all, she points out, Sam doesn't even need to be here anymore - he looks fantastic, is seriously committed to a healthy lifestyle, and is just a few pounds away from not even being obese anymore. I'm hoping at some point we see Jillian confronting Koli about this codependency. On the upside, though, she's tremendously proud of everyone else for resisting temptation and making good food choices. Koli doesn't care what she thinks, though. In fact, he's kind of glad to have been the temptation winner, because it ensures that the trainers will kick his ass this week to try and make up for it. Bob hilariously calls him "Chicken Wings" as he yells at him. During his ass-kicking, though, Koli does notice that Victoria is slacking off. We get some shots of her complaining, looking dreamily at the ceiling, and then taking a break while everyone else is hustling on the treadmill.

O'Neal spends a fair bit of his workout looking longingly at how fit Koli and Sam are. We get some photo flashbacks of Young Hot O'Neal. In the present, he is determined to reclaim his glory days. Then ALL GYM ACTIVITY STOPS and everyone's jaws drop, because O'Neal is doing some serious pushups on stools. Cue the Ron-finishing-the-marathon inspirational music. It's pretty freakin' impressive; awesome and uplifting to watch. O'Neal's delighted at how strong he is.

Ashley's having a really bad day, so Bob takes her outside to chat. She's lost without Drea. Bob tells her that she got this far in the competition on her own merits, because of the strength that's in her, and now she has the luxury of no distractions. Make it all about you, Ashley! is his message to her. Ashley reflects that if she can watch her dad die, she can do this. She decides to look at the glass as half full, so we hug it out.

Dr. H is back, this time with some good news! Specifically, we're focusing on how great Michael and Ashley - the two people with the biggest BMIs in the house - are coming along. Michael is 31 and his risk of heart attack/stroke should be 1%, but when he arrived at the ranch, his physical age was 54 and his risk was 84% and his age was 54. He reflects that he never really knew how far off the deep end he was. But now, his physical age is 42 and his risk has been reduced to 31%. So, great strides. But that's still bad. Don't stop now, Mike. Meanwhile, Ashley was diabetic when she started. Now, though, her blood sugar is better than normal, and she has good insulin levels. Farewell, diabetes! Ashley's pretty stoked that she's managed to cure herself like this. Dr. H tells her not to stop. She intends to keep going and is amazingly proud of herself. (As well she should be.)

Bonus video: Everybody's walking around the ranch to exercise. They all seem to be walking in twos, except for Victoria. Nobody ever asks her to join them on a walk, which means she's on her own out there. Which, in her head, means that a mountain lion is going to attack her. Yes, you read that right. To help keep herself safe when she's out in the wilderness that is the paved and well-kept path of the Biggest Loser grounds, she carries a flashlight. Oh, and also, a BIG HONKIN' KITCHEN KNIFE! OMG, this girl has lost all sense of proportion.

Challenge! There's some sort of bizarre setup with...okay, I have no idea how to describe this. There's some sort of metal frame running horizontally really, really high up in the air, and other metal frames running down vertically from it at regular intervals. The vertical frames stop way, way short of touching the ground. There are also coloured wooden blocks piled up on the ground. Ali makes a whole bunch of "laying a foundation" metaphors and then explains the challenge: the contestants have to use the blocks to build some sort of tower that they can climb to reach the vertical frames. Once there, they have to use the frames as ladders, climb up them to the top horizontal piece, and grab their colour-coded banners. The person who comes in first gets a 1lb advantage at the weigh-in. The person who comes in last gets a 1lb disadvantage.

Michael believes he has a secret weapon: he worked in construction for a couple of years. So making a tower out of blocks is totally his thing. He decides to give Ashley tips so that she doesn't come in last. ("She doesn't necessarily have to beat MOI...but, right now I just wanna help her so that she doesn't get that disadvantage.") But either he can't explain things for crap, or she is not the swiftest bunny in the forest (or possibly both), because she totally doesn't understand anything he's saying. Never mind that, though, the challenge is beginning! Having managed to confuse the snot out of Ashley, Michael gets going on his construction with delight. He has big plans for his edifice - he says he wants railings! An escalator! Lights! A chandelier! I would have found all that a lot more funny if it weren't obvious that he was not entirely kidding. Or if Ashley hadn't gotten totally lost trying to copy him. Even Ali, watching him, has no freakin' clue what the hell he's doing. And indeed, he's so into getting a good "interlocking mechanism" with these blocks that he lets everyone get ahead of him. (Now THAT is funny.)

(DH wants to see them all using carriage bolts.)

Daris is first to his ladder, followed closely by Sam. But both of them have problems getting themselves all the way on their ladders, and slip. They both struggle mightily, but no dice. Back they go for more blocks. Daris comes back first for another try, and he gets onto the ladder! ("Good job, D!" shouts one of the cousins, which is nice to hear.) He scrambles up to the top quickly and the 1lb advantage is his. It's his first challenge win - good for him! His confidence grows. Koli's next to grab his flag. Once Daris gets back down, he has a chance to check out what other people are doing, and apparently there are some really scary structures out there. Just as he says this, Victoria's topples right over. She's holding on to the ladder as it goes, but can't get her whole self up on it. She sobs a bit, terrified that she's going to die. (Don't worry, they've all got harnesses, none of them are going to fall to their deaths.) But eventually she manages to get back down onto her (much-reduced) tower and is safe.

Ashley is scared of heights, but refuses to let that stop her. Sunshine is third to get her flag, followed by Sam. (Which makes me wonder what on earth took Sam so long, since he was neck-and-neck with Daris not too long ago.) Unfortunately, as O'Neal is stepping back to the ground for one last block-gathering expedition, he stumbles and lands on his knee. His bad knee. Y'know, the one without cartilege? Oh man, that's gotta hurt. Sunshine, who is clearly not good at emergency situations, goes completely to pieces. The medic folks get O'Neal on a gurney and off he goes, Sunshine riding in the ambulance with him. Naturally, this means O'Neal is stuck with the 1lb disadvantage. Koli reflects that this sucks, but points out that if Sam doesn't fall below the yellow line and O'Neal does, he can vote to save O'Neal. So it's not as bleak as it looks.

Product placement music! I wonder what we're plugging today. Well, Ashley is frustrated that she isn't good at challenges, but knows that what she can do to for herself is lose weight, i.e. do well on her nutrition. Totally on board with this commitment, Bob goes into the Magical Fridge Of Snacks and pulls out something NEW to eat! It's Yoplait "Greek Yogurt". (Greek yogurt?!? I'm betting that means just regular, plain, lip-smacking yogurt, not that sissy flavoured stuff.) Apparently it has a whopping 14g of protein, which makes it awesome. Ashley makes yummy noises. (I really hope these guys get paid well to do this stuff.)

O'Neal returns from the hospital. There's good news and bad news. The good news is that there's no fracturing or tearing. The bad news is that the bone-on-bone crunch damaged a nerve. Accordingly, his knee wrapped up in a cumbersome-looking brace. Michael speaks on behalf of everyone when he says he's glad O'Neal's okay and that they were all worried about him.

For the next workout, Bob and Jillian are sending the contestants to the beach, where a "surprise" awaits them. Bob and Jillian, however, are taking the day off. The surprise is Gabrielle Reece, beach volleyball champion. She is tall and blonde and ripped and gorgeous and the guys are all very enthusiastic about this. :) But we hear that she's a mom, so oh well, I guess. She takes the opportunity to plug her line of fitness apparel. Did you know that simply putting on a 'zippy jacket' can give you all the motivation you need to do a good workout? Like, wow! She then takes them on a series of exercises that can be done anywhere. Everybody's pretty enthused. They end out the day by playing in the water and having fun.

Time to get serious. O'Neal is having possibly the worst week of his life. Not only did he re-hurt his knee, but he just got a phonecall telling him that his oldest brother Arthur died of cancer. The thing that's killing O'Neal, of course, is that he didn't get to say goodbye. He hangs on to the belief that Arthur is in a better place. Oh, poor man. It's the not being able to say goodbye which is really doing a number on O'Neal - he and Bob talk it out a bit. Bob highlights how strong a person O'Neal is, and that he's here for all the right reasons. And today, they're going to work out for Arthur. (I think O'Neal is just loving Bob more and more all the time.) Specifically, they're going to box - this is great because it lets O'Neal hit stuff. He spars with Jillian, who is impressed, because O'Neal is no longer turning to food as a way of dealing with stuff.

People are confident and working out hard. Daris looks damn good running on the treadmill and reflects on how far he's come. Michael has newfound confidence in the gym and his t-shirt is absolutely drenched. Ashley is determined NOT to fall below the yellow line this week.

Meanwhile, recent events have changed the strategy of the Grey cousins. The original plan was to let Sam fall below the yellow line so they could pick someone off, but now that O'Neal has a 1lb disadvantage, they're focused on saving O'Neal. So they're both working hard to stay above the line.

Speaking of O'Neal, he is heartbroken. In the workout, Jillian whips him up so much that he starts beating up one of the exercise machines. :( Jillian looks torn between hugging him and calling security. She attempts, verrry awkwardly, to hug him. However, since Jillian is not Bob, Master Of Hugs, this doesn't work very well, so they go for a walk. O'Neal lets out a lot of grief and Jillian is suddenly faced with the challenge of holding up his weight (approximately 275lbs) as he literally leans on her.

Y'know, I'm thinking here that we really have no right to intrude on this private grief. Shame on you, Biggest Loser producers.

Weigh-in. Michael reflects on how badly this is going to suck for anyone who isn't Daris, Koli, Sam or O'Neal. Daris, for his part, didn't even need the 1lb advantage. He's thrilled with his weight now and tells a story about when he was a junior in high school and discovered to his shame that there was a senior who was the same weight as him. Sam, whose weight is also down to where it was when he was a kid, tells a high school-related weight story.

Milestones achieved:

  • O'Neal drops below 275lbs
  • Sam drops below 250lbs
  • Daris drops below 225lbs
  • Daris and Sam hit the 125lb mark of total loss
  • Koli moves from clinically obese to obese
  • Sam moves from obese to overweight
  • O'Neal hits the 30% mark of total loss
  • Daris and Koli hit the 35% mark of total loss

The end result is that we get some very low weight loss percentages for about half the players, and it's Sunshine and Victoria below the yellow line, with Koli holding the axe. At first, I am absolutely positive that Victoria is toast. Firstly, Koli does not like slackers. And secondly, he adores O'Neal and will do just about anything short of getting rid of Sam to keep him around. So it's kind of like Grey and Yellow make a voting block of four people, which is huge. Also, sending Sunshine home would make O'Neal sad, which I don't think Koli wants to do. Oh, and extra bonus, Sunshine is pretty - I'm sure that hasn't escaped Koli's notice. :)

However, as we go into the elimination, Koli interviews that he has decided to do what's best for him, so suddenly I'm not sure. "Best for him" presumably means getting rid of the bigger threat? Sunshine works hard and has shown herself capable of putting up massive percentages, whereas Vicky hasn't "clicked" yet and can probably be counted on to keep falling below the yellow line until she does, which of course is good for Koli. On the other hand, maybe "best for him" means getting rid of the person who has the most weight to lose, i.e. Victoria? Or "best for him" could mean keeping someone around who's less likely to vote him off if he falls below the yellow line, i.e. Sunshine?

Turns out my original guess was right - Victoria's going home. As Koli votes for her, he tries to encourage her to step up her game. He tries not to be mean about it, but it is hard to tell someone they've been slacking off without sounding mean. For her part, Victoria is shocked that he would say something like that. Which means either Koli's expectations of people are way too high, or Victoria is in denial about her capacity for hard work. (Or both.) Personally, I'm inclined to believe Koli's version of things - he's been on the ranch longer, isn't complaining about anybody else, and Victoria is very new to the ranch and only just discovering how hard she can be pushed.

At any rate, Victoria tries to be nice about it and says that she will take Koli's advice to heart and do her best to step it up at home. She arrives to an incredibly anticlimactic party of just three people (her mom Cherita, her trainer, and her pastor). Geez, what's wrong with her friends and family, doesn't anyone like this girl? The three people who are there, though, are all thrilled to see her, so that's nice. Cherita's looking good, that's awesome. Vicky tells us her plans for her immediate future are gym and home, gym and home. :) Also, she's totally not over how Koli said she wasn't working hard and goes on about that for a while. Then in the gym, she works out with a punching bag, saying stuff like, "This is for you Koli, for voting me off!". We also see her telling the camera, "Koli, you will be SHOWN how hard I work!"

Holy crap sweetie, you are letting Koli live rent-free in your head.

Flash forward to her after-ranch profile, and she's down to 240lbs! She is looking just as beautiful as I thought she was going to. She plugs some sort of 24-Hour Fitness special that they're having on now for Biggest Loser fans or something. She and Cherita then get on stationary bikes. The first day in the house they were kicked out because they came last in the stationary bike marathon challenge, so now they're proving that they can finish the challenge together. Of course, they do, looking strong. Turns out this is also an at-home profile for Cherita, who's doing really well despite her ridiculous hairstyle during the biking - she's lost 77lbs and plans to keep going. Good for both of them!

Next week (SPOILERS)

Look for the following potential milestones:

  • Michael could drop below 350lbs
  • Ashley could drop below 250lbs
  • Ashley and O'Neal could hit 125lbs of total loss
  • Koli could hit 150lbs of total loss
  • Michael could hit 175lbs of total loss
  • Sam could hit the 35% mark of total loss

TV Guide: The players go to Dallas to run a 5K at the Cotton Bowl and recruit locals to join them for the race. Later, a contestant wins immunity by wrangling calves in a rodeo challenge; and Season 8 contestant Abby Rike asks Jillian to speak at her high school.

(Squee! Abby!)

Video preview: The contestants realise that they really are inspiring people out there. One woman tells O'Neal that watching him come so far makes her think she can do it, too. Meanwhile, Abby shows up and gets Jillian to speak at a local high school. One enormous girl gets to talk with Jillian afterwards. Jillian encourages her and the girl is astonished that Jillian really listened to her and didn't push her away like everyone else does. Oh, poor thing.


# This wk % Overall % This wk lbs Overall lbs BMI
1 Koli (3.70) Daris (36.71) Koli (10) Michael (168) Sam (29.9)
2 Daris (3.10) Koli (35.48) O'Neal (8) Koli (143) Sunshine (30.8)
3 O'Neal (2.88) Sam (33.87) Daris (7) Daris (127) Daris (31.4)
4 Sam (2.38) Ashley (32.09) Sam (6) Sam (126) Koli (34.3)
5 Ashley (1.55) Michael (31.94) Michael (5) Ashley (120) O'Neal (37.7)
6 Michael (1.38) O'Neal (30.59) Ashley (4) O'Neal (119) Victoria (39.3)
7 Sunshine (0.52) Sunshine (30.55) Sunshine, Victoria (1) Vicky (92) Ashley (42.3)
8 Victoria (0.37) Victoria (25.70) Sunshine (84) Michael (44.7)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So brilliant me over here started taping on the wrong channel before zipping upstairs to continue putting the kids to bed. Captured about 10 minutes of NCIS before DH alerted me to the fact that he thought I wasn't taping the right thing. Curses! At least I'm able to start near the beginning of the week with a...

Bonus video: Andrea is delighted to have been chosen to stay in the house. Koli says it's because Drea needs to be here and she had a bad week, evn though Drea is the bigger threat. We also get a clip from last week's elimination that was not aired where Melissa turns to Andrea and says that she doesn't think Drea an dAshley did their best that week. She also slams Drea for eating breakfast in front of the TV, saying that doing so is just "setting yourself up for failure". Without changing one's lifestyle, she admonishes everyone, returning to the outside world means that you're just going to be fat again. But back into the post-elimination moment, O'Neal says that's ridiculous. Koli goes on to say that the players in the house represent an awesome group and he loves all of them. (Oh sure, he can say that now that he's gotten rid of Stepanie and Melissa.) He loves being around people who want him to succeed, and getting rid of the negativity that is Melissa just makes everything better because now people don't have to worry about watching their backs. I agree with him. Koli also goes on to say that he doesn't like manipulation and deceit, and wants to win honestly. (I wonder what he thinks what he did to Steph was?)

My tape starts in the middle of some kind of pop challenge where people are holding up trays with one hand. The trays are hinged on one side to a post, and they have coins on them. Quarters, apparently. DH fills me in on a bit of what's going on - apparently each contestant got to pick how many quarters to put on their tray, and each quarter on your tray will translate into $10 dollars won if you're the last person holding up your tray. As my tape cuts in, only Drea, Sunshine and Michael are left, and Drea drops out. Sunshine is playing for $650, and Michael is playing for $1,000. Sunshine struggles really, really hard. Her hand is seriously shaking, she's drenched with sweat and tears are rolling down her face. Also, O'Neal seems to be putting a lot of pressure on her here to win. As she pushes quarters back into the centre of the tray(at O'Neal's urging), she loses her hold and the quarters crash to the ground. Michael has won his $1K, although as he hears Sunshine's feeble whimpers, he doesn't look too thrilled. He then gives Sunshine a really beautiful and tender embrace, wiping away her tears and saying, "Don't cry, you were strong, okay? Beautiful, I love you. You put up a big fight," plus some other murmured stuff I couldn't catch but which sounded like it was really sweet. The way he looked at, spoke to and held her is verrrry interesting! Makes me wonder if there's something-something happening there?

(Yes, I'm seeing potential relationships everywhere. So shoot me.)

But the good news is not over yet for Michael - because he gave 100% by putting 100 quarters on his tray, Total (the provider of the prize) is doubling his winnings to give him $2,000. Awesome! And it gets better - Total feels Sunshine did so well, too, that she is going to get the $650 she was playing for! That's great!

Speaking of money, though, there's a surprise - Suze Orman is visiting the house. I find her super-irritating, so this is not going to be a pleasant segment for me. Michael is nervous. Suze, with her oversized coat, too-dark tan, over-enunciated words, and usual self-glorification, interviews that she's on the show today because health and wealth are connected. She talks to the contestants about how heavy debt can feel. Winning the competition means taking responsibility for the financial debt they've all created. (Actually, no, winning the competition means not having to WORRY about all the financial debt you've created, since the prize is a quarter million dollars.) Apparently, last season, she looked at the financial situations of the contestants and predicted that Danny would be the winner because his FICO credit score was the highest. I have no idea what a good credit rating has to do with your ability to exercise hard and count calories, but in Suze's mind, clearly the two things are connected.

As we go to commercial, Bob encourages people to start their own office Biggest Loser competition going.

Suze then brings out Danny, last season's Biggest Loser! Everyone's very excited, and I'm very glad to see him, too. He still looks fantastic. Danny talks to the contestants about how he was $40,000 in debt with credit cards before coming on the show, and compares putting off his debt problem to the way he put off his weight problems. I think he's wearing eyeliner, it's very distracting.

However, Suze is not ready to leave the spotlight, and keeps talking. She wants the players to take full responsibility for their lives. Taking responsibility = winning. She advises anyone with debt already in collections who wants to settle to call their debtors. She is "sure" that if they offer about 40-50% of what they owe, the debtors will settle it with them. She offers no advice, however, on what to do if you don't have that 40-50% to offer. We also find out that Michael has so much debt he can't even count it, and doesn't know what to do to get out of the spiral he's in. Suze doesn't give him any advice about that, although she does say it can't possibly be as bad a burden as being 300lbs overweight, which he's now fixing. Danny follows this up by saying that the debt is something he has to deal with, just like he's dealing with the weight. (I'm not sure how one "deals" with debt when one doesn't have any money, but whatever.) Suze also avoids giving Michael advice by asking who in the house counts their calories. Sunshine and Michael do, sure, but not Koli, who looks embarrassed about admitting it. Busted! Suze originally thought the winner of the competition would be Koli, but hearing that he doesn't count calories has made her drop him like a hot potato. Instead, she taps Sunshine, who's pretty jazzed about that. Koli, who wants to be like Danny, is just going to have to start counting calories if he wants that confetti that he's obsessed with.

Suze then, mercifully, leaves, so Danny takes everybody to work out!

Bob and Jillian are really happy to see Danny. Jillian's particularly proud. "Hi, Skinny!" she exclaims.

"Oklahoma is in the HOUSE!" Bob pronounces as we see Danny and Daris working out together. Danny calls Daris a machine, and confesses that he forgot how hard the ranch is. There's then a pretty intense moment between Daris and Bob. Bob is very concerned and doesn't want Daris to have any stress. This kind of comes out of nowhere with no background or explanation, so...moving on...

Koli and Sunshine work out together. Bob tells us that these two are the most competitive in the house. It's indeed a pretty powerful sight. Koli is still obsessing about confetti. Sunshine: "I didn't know they do that for the at-home winner." Oh, SNAP, girl!!! :D

We then have a Danny-and-Drea moment. She says that she didn't think she deserved to be in the final four until just recently. Danny knows where she's coming from. He came to the show for his kids, but eventually started wanting to do it for himself, and that's when he took off. This resonates for Drea.

There's lots of running on treadmills, and Michael REALLY looks like he's working, good for him. Victoria grabs the handlebars and incurs Jillian's wrath. Thus we begin a series of profiles on how Victoria is struggling emotionally in the house. Jillian says she's so far behind psychologically, which is really hurting her in the gym - the other contestants had their 'aha' moments in week three, and Vicky is still aha-less in week thirteen. So Jillian's focus is on giving Vicky some breakthroughs. You know what that means - insults! Accusations! Yelling! Beatings! Jillian accuses Vicky of having an "everything's perfect" facade. What's stopping her, Jillian asks. Vicky has no answer, so...she gets to run while she comes up with a good one. Vicky interviews that she just doesn't know why she gained so much weight, but is looking forward to figuring it out.

Bonus video: Danny concentrates on Victoria, who seems lost and confused. He advises her to take advantage of things and change herself, instead of simply losing the weight. He says that what got him to his win was realising things about imself. He advises her that it may not actually be just one single answer. "Does it get any easier?" she asks him. "Yeah," he replies, "it does." He loves running now, which is way easier now that the weight is off. Vicky looks really happy to hear about how it truly is going to get better. "Win this game by winning yourself back. That's the way you win it," Danny says.


We continue the Vicky focus by seeing her telling Sam she doesn't know why she got so big. Sam says he can relate, that's how he was when he got to the ranch. He advises her that if she doesn't get anything out of the ranch experience emotionally, she's missed the point. Weight is fluid - it goes away and comes back, unless you figure out what's going on mentally.


Ali shows up in rain gear, looking - as Drea notes - very cute. She announces today's challenge, after which, two people are going to own brand-new cars. This of course is the American dream, so everyone loses their minds. Mazda is our automotive sponsor today, and two 2010 Mazda-3s are up for garbs. "TWO cars!" flips out Michael. Ali sells us on the vehicles by expounding their features. After she's done shilling, we hear how the challenge will actually work: on the hill outside are seven giant floating balloons, tethered by rope to the ground. Along the rope of each balloon are 20 keys, for a total of 140 keys. Two of them start one of the cars. Keys can only be brought back one at a time. And did we mention it's pouring rain? And didn't Benjamin Franklin do this with kites?

Sam tells us that it was so wet and muddy during the challenge that he wished he had an ark. He and Drea are the first ones back with their keys. They try them in the ignitions...and now the car seats are all wet! Man, I hope interior detailing comes with these free cars, because you know that as the challenge continues there will end up being mud on the seats, too. Oh, and then the wind picks up. This does not make grabbing the keys easy.

Continually running up a hill to grab a key that doesn't make a car start begins to grate on the contestants. Sunshine gets to the point where she believes she can "feel the energy" of the keys. (She can't.) O'Neal reveals that if he wins, he's giving the car to Sunshine. Drea tells us that she's desperate to win a car because what she owns now is more like a go-cart than an actual car, which doesn't work well as she also owns a 90lb dog. Incredibly, she then manages to start a car! Much screaming ensues. She and Michael jump-hug together in triumph. (That's pretty unselfish of Michael to be so happy for her.) DH mentions that he would've been happy simply to not have to venture back out in the rain anymore.

Everyone keeps trying to find the key that starts the other car, but it just isn't showing up. It takes a ton more tries, with very few keys remaining on the balloon strings, before O'Neal finally hits the jackpot. Sunshine, hearing the engine and seeing her dad at the wheel, runs back to the garage full-tilt, screaming her head off. "This is your car! This is YOUR car!" O'Neal yells back gleefully. She run-hugs into him so hard I think he's going to go down - but he's a rock. Good times!

For the next workout, Bob and Jillian divvy everyone up. Jillian's plan is to run Victoria through the exact same thing she did the previous day. But first she shills Body Buggs for a bit. Vicky is very unimpressed when Jillian announces she has to do five sprints with every single person on the treadmills, for a total of thirty sprints. Off she goes.

Meanwhile, Bob talks to Drea about the breakthrough moment she had last week. Drea tells him that she didn't want to touch people when she was fat, because she didn't want others touching her and going all, "Ew!" Bob asks how come, if she hated being fat so much, it took coming on the Biggest Loser to make a change? Drea tells him it's because she's really good at putting things off, but it's huge that she can hug people now. All this Drea focus is making me think she's going to be the one who's toast this week.

By this point, Victoria is wiped. Jillian compounds the problem by announcing that she has to do five more sprints than originally stipulated. But Vicky pushes through and does it, looking pretty strong, too! After which, Jillian says they have to box. But first, time for a chin wag. Jillian tells Victoria how far she's come from yesterday, to do 35 sprints so quickly. However, Vicky is still acting like the victim of a Greek tragedy, like she's being punished. Also, Jillian still doesn't know why Vicky got so heavy in the first place. Finally we get a few answers. Victoria says she sometimes feels like she's not worth being the best, that she isn't worth good things in general. When Jillian asks where else she's felt "not good enough", Vicky says in friendships and in being a daughter. Why? Because she felt like her parents should have a more beautiful child. This stuns me, because fat or thin, Vicky is a very pretty person. So I have to wonder where this all came from? We don't find out. But Jillian does tell Victoria that she is as deserving and special and beautiful as anyone else on the planet. She then tells us that on the show, you have to figure out the root of your self-destructive behaviour. Vicky appears to be starting to do this. They hug it out.

Meanwhile, in order for Vicky and Jillian to have all this precious private time together, Bob has taken everyone else to work out in the mud. Doing pushups in this is of course bound to get messy, and eventually the contestants all drag each other and Bob through the muck. "There is so much payback in this bitch right now!" exclaims Bob as he pulls mud out of his undies. The best is yet to come, however. When Vicky and Jillian are done with their 'moment', Jillian opens the gym doors to discover all the mud-sloshing, and Bob tells her that she's next. At first, Jillian doesn't take this seriously, but then realises that she is indeed in for a soaking and gets the most HILARIOUS 'oh shit' look on her face before turning and fleeing. We are talking SERIOUS fleeing, y'all. Ripping off her jacket as she goes because it probably cost her a pretty penny and she doesn't want it to get ruined.

DH: "Jillian Michaels! How fast can you run! You have made them strong, and you have made them fit...and now that's gonna put your ass in a sling!"

Needless to say, she is chased down and given a right royal muddification. They even smush a bunch of mud in her hair. "My extensions!" quips DH. :D Jillian swears that there will be revenge at the last chance workout. "I'll have you know that I hold a grudge!" she vows as she limps away from the mudfield.

And speaking of the last-chance workout, here it is. Bob warns everyone that five of the nine people left are NOT going to be in the final four, so they all have to push themselves accordingly. Jillian, however, doesn't care about any of that game crap, she just wants sweet revenge. It's not just a generic butt-kicking today, boy howdy. Sunshine's attitude is "bring it on", she just wants to get the most out of the workout. (Good for her.) Jillian says, "I beat them and beat them until the pain of the mud went away." It's pretty hilarious stuff. And everyone looks good and strong. Michael runs for 5K, to general applause, but that's not good enough for Bob, who makes him go on to do a full five miles. And Michael DOES IT! Bob is impressed. So am I.

Bonus video: O'Neal has been listening to Bob, and realises that his odds of being in the final four are worse than fifty-fifty. So he and Sunshine talk about how they can both get in there. They both really believe they can do it. O'Neal announces, "I'm here for one purpose - that's to get healthy, lose weight, and US go to the final four." O'Neal honey, I love ya, but that's THREE purposes. Sunshine is glad to see her dad getting the same kind of tunnel vision that she found last week.

We then go to weigh-in. Drea is feeling confident. Koli is also expecting a good number because he was much better with his food this week. (I guess he started counting calories.) Michael has so much confidence that he runs up the steps to the scale. Alas, he has a ridiculous ponytail that ruins the moment for me. Amazingly, I think I prefer the 'fro for him.

Milestones achieved:

  • Koli drops below 275lbs
  • Andrea drops below 225lbs
  • Andrea hits the 75lb mark of total loss
  • Victoria goes from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Andrea moves from clinically obese to obese
  • Andrea and Victoria hit the 25% mark of total loss
  • Ashley, Sunshine and Michael hit the 30% mark of total loss

When it's all over, it's Sam and Drea below the yellow line, Sam having lost no weight at all, and Drea having her second bad week in a row, about which she is, understandably, totally pissed (although I wasn't too pleased to hear her saying that Bob and Jillian could "contest" to the fact that she'd worked hard...sweetie, it's "ATtest"). Back in the house, Sam is hilarious. He refers to the strategy of badmouthing his fellow yellow liner as "going the Melissa route". I heart him. The house ends up voting out Drea. Personally, I think this is a poor choice. Drea needs to be in the house more, and Sam is a bigger threat in challenges. I know everyone loves Sam and everything, but come on. Still, we say goodbye to Drea. Off she goes, driving her new car. :) Her dad Darrell is excited to see her, and DH is excited to see that Darrell now has a neck. We both notice that there are a lot of obese people in that group of family and friends. They all go crazy when they hear about the car win.

Some time later, we find that walking her dog is no longer a chore for Andrea. Also, she gets a DVD from Bob which shows herself on day one talking to herself in the future. She knows she's come a long way, but she's not finished. I agree, it's clear she still has a lot more weight to lose, although her face looks thinner. She's also now a spin instructor, and we watch her do her stuff. Darrell, who takes her class, thinks she has a real knack for it. She plans on becoming a certified personal trainer focusing on children with special needs.

Next week (SPOILERS)

Look for the following potential milestones:

  • O'Neal could drop below 275lbs
  • Sam could drop below 250lbs
  • Daris could drop below 225lbs
  • Daris and Sam could hit the 125lb mark of total loss
  • Koli could move from clinically obese to obese
  • Sam could move from obese to overweight
  • O'Neal could hit the 30% mark of total loss
  • Daris and Koli could hit the 35% mark of total loss

The contestants eat at a buffet featuring a variety of foods. The player who consumes the most calories wins the sole vote at elimination. Elsewhere, Gabrielle Reece works out on the beach with the players; a building-block challenge tests the gang's climbing skills; Dr. Huizenga reveals updated health scores; and a player receives bad news before the weigh-in

(Remember that the bad news is going to be that one of the male contestants loses a brother, as tweeted in early February by Jillian. The remaining male contestants are Daris, Koli, Michael, O'Neal, and Sam. I don't want any of them to go through this, but if anyone has to, I'm hoping it's O'Neal, because he's 51, so his brother would be old enough to have lived a fair bit of life instead of dying tragically young. The other guys, however, are all young so their brothers probably are too: Daris is 25, Koli is 29, Michael is 30, and Sam is 24. But no matter what, it's going to suck large.)

Week after next: The remaining seven contestants head to Dallas to inspire Texans to live healthier lives; a wild challenge involves wrangling calves; the elimination leaves one player feeling lonely.

(TEXAS?!? Lordy, I hope this doesn't mean we'll be seeing Melissa again.)


# This wk % Overall % This wk lbs Overall lbs BMI
1 Daris (3.00) Daris (34.68) Michael (9) Michael (163) Sam (30.7)
2 Michael (2.42) Koli (33.00) Daris (7) Koli (133) Sunshine (31.0)
3 Ashley (2.27) Sam (32.26) Ashley, Koli (6) Daris, Sam (120) Daris (32.4)
4 Koli (2.17) Ashley (31.02) Andrea (34.8)
5 Victoria (1.84) Michael (30.99) O'Neal, Victoria (5) Ashley (116) Koli (35.6)
6 O'Neal (1.77) Sunshine (30.18) O'Neal (111) O'Neal (38.8)
7 Sunshine (1.54) O'Neal (28.53) Andrea, Sunshine (3) Vicky (91) Vicky (39.4)
8 Andrea (1.33) Andrea (25.50) Sunshine (83) Ashley (42.9)
9 Sam (0.00) Victoria (25.42) Sam (0) Andrea (76) Michael (45.4)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Button, button, who's got the button?

Back we come from elimination. As you'll recall, the house almost unanimously sent Steph home last week. Victoria remarks that her first elimination was not what she expected. She feels that Stephanie still needs to be here and it was not in the least bit fun. She assures us that it is very different being on the ranch vs. watching at home.

Meanwhile, Melissa is still wondering why people are still not in gameplay mode, and is still calling her competitors "these people" in interviews. To everyone, Sam says he's grateful for the compliment of being kept around. He then says that the house has been really close so far, and not to be surprised if "things" happen this week to make people think otherwise. This would appear to be a preemptive strike against whatever ideas Melissa might have of persuading people to start gameplaying.

Everyone joins Ali and a big red button in the gym. She announces that someone could win immunity by pushing the button. She demonstrates, causing an air raid siren noise to echo around the ranch and red warning lights to start flashing around. Also, the doors to the scale opens up. (This also clearly wipes out all my theories from last week about which contestant was going to try the button. The preview for this week's show gave us a shot of some white woman's arm slamming the button down, but now it's clear that this shot was Ali's demo. Dammit! So now I have no idea what's going to happen with this immunity challenge. Diabolical.)

Every person gets an access card to hang around their neck. The card allows you to access the scale, if you want to use it by pushing the button. The cards have numbers on them, indicating how much weight each person has to total a loss of more than 2% for the week. The first person to push the button and post a 2% loss has immunity. But if you try and fail, you don't get to try again. Melissa is hopping with glee and anticipation, because of course she loves getting immunity. Ashley accurately points out that weight loss this week has become a race.

Michael watches the wheels turning in everybody's head as they consider the implications of this little twist. He also points out that a person who wins the immunity early in the week has the added advantage of having the whole rest of the week's loss AND the following week's loss to count for the subsequent weigh-in, which of course is a huge deal. Ashley later follows up on this line of thinking by saying that it's like being given immunity for two weeks. However, instead of working out and getting started, everyone starts circling the box with the button on it.

The trainers arrive in the middle of all this and are caught up on what's going on. So they start working out the contestants right away. Michael does some great treadmill running. Jillian concentrates on Sunshine and tries to bring out her potential and spark. She tries to get Sunshine to look inside herself and get really focused. For her part, Sunshine's pretty jazzed that Jillian believes in her like that.

Meanwhile, Bob sits Melissa down for a chat, but all she wants to do is talk about gameplay. But Bob wants to help her discover who she is. He warns her not to lose sight of what the house is really about. He's worried that the game will bite her in the ass. But all she's thinking about is having her immunity prizes snowball week after week so she can get into the final four. (I don't know why she wants to be in the final four if she's so sure she has no chance of beating anyone once she gets there, but whatever.)

In order to prevent the show from being sued by the families of Americans who die whilst trying to lose 2% of their bodyweight in a few days, Dr. H shows up to talk to them about the 2% challenge. Is it really safe to do that in such a short period of time? Well, yes, as long as the weight lost is fat, as opposed to muscle, water, electrolytes...y'know, important stuff. He talks about the "sweet spot" of exercise vs. calories.

Disclaimer taken care of? Great! Let's move on.

Day two: Jillian works people out and is pretty pleased with what she sees. Everyone's working hard. But there's also a lot of strategy discussion. Sam fondles the button and freaks Koli out. Ashley and Drea talk about the correct timing of the button-push and laugh as they hear Melissa making the rounds trying to figure out when others are going to push it. "I think tomorrow's too early for ANYBODY," Melissa tells Daris, in what is clearly a ruse so that she can have a clear path to the button tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sunsine tells O'Neal that she doesn't want to participate in this at all, because she's close to dropping under the 200lb mark. She wants that milestone to come on the scale this week at the real weigh-in, and not miss it by going early this week.

Someone is ballsy (or dumb, take your pick) enough to try it, though: Victoria. This doesn't appear to be the smartest move in the world, because not only does it look like it's still just Day 2, but it also looks like it's night, which is a bad time to weigh in. People are generally lighter in the morning. "Victoria, you are a baaaad girl," O'Neal quips, as everyone joins her in the gym. Nevertheless, she is now committed. She scans her card and up she goes. I start thinking that maybe this is a good idea after all - what if Victoria waterloaded last week when she had immunity, and now she's peed it out and she really does have the 2%? Alas, no. She's only lost three pounds. Melissa is gleeful.

Bonus video: Sunshine gives Victoria props for being gutsy and tells her not to get discouraged at all, but to view the three pounds as an awesome start. Victoria says she's got a lot of things on her mind, like what to eat, when to eat, and when to work out. She feels like she's by herself in her house and isn't into the gameplay. Sunshine of course can relate because she went through the same thing when she came back into the house. But eventually she realised that she had to stop worrying about all that and just focus on herself. She advises Victoria to keep her head up and tells her she looks good. After all, she is keeping up with everybody in workouts. She also tells Vicky not to be afraid to ask questions, like if she sees Sunshine talking with Drea, not to assume that she shouldn't go over there, but to come on and hang out, take every moment. Gosh, Sunshine's a nice person.

Water challenge! There are 1,000 weights out in the middle of the pool, each weighing a pound. They're colour-coded, so each player has 100 of them. You have to go out to where the weights are, dive down, grab no more than two of your weights, and bring them back to the side of the pool, where you have to dump them into your colour-coded scale. First person to get all their weights in their scale wins a two-week trip for two to the Biggest Loser resort, Fitness Ridge. The last person to do so gets a 1lb disadvantage at the weigh-in. Such a disadvantage is not such a big deal for Michael, but is a massive deal for people like Sunshine or Melissa. Also, a little twist: when you're done with all your weights, you can choose to help other people. To start them off, Ali throws the demo weights she's been using out into the pool, and Koli and Sam approve of her throwing arm. :)

Everyone is waaaay better at swimming than I could ever hope to be. Sunshine looks strong and gets an immediate lead. But it's a bit dangerous, this challenge - there's some traffic congestion and people are getting kicked in the head. Melissa also complains about being caught in Michael's backwash. Sunshine admires how awesomely fit all the players must be to be doing this, and gives everyone kudos. Fifty weights in, Sunshine's leading and Sam's right behind her.

Suddenly, DH and I look at the leaderboard and realise that once people start finishing, they're probably going to start helping all the people who are under Melissa so that she gets the disadvantage. I'm thinking that'd be AWESOME.

Sunshine is very worried that O'Neal is last on the leaderboard, and is inspired to pull ahead of Sam because she wants to finish and help her dad. He's very touched. And indeed, she wins it! Yay! Sam is next to finish, and Koli insists that he go help O'Neal. They like O'Neal a lot, they call him "Unc". Mike starts reflecting that he does not want to lose this. And good on Victoria, she's third! This is followed by Koli, Drea, Ashley, Daris, and O'Neal. Mike and Melissa are left, with Mike losing. This worries me a lot, but at last, everyone comes to help him out, which he's totally stoked and grateful about. Sam tells us that this sends a clear message about what the house situation is. (Ya think?) Personally, I have no complaints, I happen to like that "clear message". As clear as it is, though, one person fails utterly to receive it: Melissa. She just interprets it as an indication that people are not here to win. Why else would you help the biggest person in the house, the biggest threat? Well, honey, newsflash: IT'S BECAUSE THEY ALL CAN'T STAND YOU. Wake up.

So Sunshine gets the prize and is pleased as punch. She's so pretty. Melissa comes last and gets the 1lb disadvantage. This makes her think that maybe she needs to hit that red button.

Night. People dozing on sofas. (Don't tell me THAT wasn't staged.) Koli and Sam deliberate about whether they should press the button, and are thinking, yeah, let's go. Sam's keen on doing it tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, Melissa is munching on something and drinking water while writing in her journal or something. So if she's ingesting stuff, there's no way she's planning to push the button now. Grey works out until really late at night. Turns out Melissa's intention is to wake up in the wee hours and work out. DH and I agree this is a stupid idea, because lack of sleep gives you a disadvantage. But sure enough, at 3:12am, Melissa gets out of bed and hits the gym.

Sunrise. Breakfast. The remaining sleepers are awoken by sirens. This makes Koli look worred, and everyone heads to the gym. Yep, there's Sam waiting for him. Melissa is kicking herself. She vows to go straight to that button if Sam doesn't get the six pounds he needs for immunity. All the ladies eye him as he walks up to the scale. DH: "Stop drooling."

The scale dials up reaaaaally slowly, dragging out the suspense. But finally, Sam hits his required six pounds, and has immunity! However, the losses keep piling up until we discover that he's lost TEN FREAKING POUNDS! What I think is especially hilarious is that he's so amazed and humble when he's learning about his success, but when it's all done, he feels he has to go all frat boy with the animalistic roaring triumph. :) Sam, you're not fooling anybody, you're just a big sweetie. :)

Melissa still cannot stop kicking herself for not getting to that button earlier: "Shoulda been me," she says. DH: "It's not all about you!" (AMEN.)

Bob and Jillian show up and notice that everyone's weight tags are gone from around their necks. They get the low-down on what happened, and are amazed by Sam's result. Then they hear about the water challenge, and are proud of Sunshine. Jillian is stunned that Melissa came last at the challenge, but then Melissa explained about the helping others thing working against her. Bob tells us that the game turned on Melissa. His subtext: Well, that's just her too bad. The sympathy is not exactly oozing out of him. (Go, Bob.)

Everyone goes to the gym to work out, but Bob holds Victoria back for a talk. This is ostensibly to talk about nutrition, but of course it's really a product placement for Fiber One breakfast cereal. Gawd, poor Vicky, this is two weeks in a row that she has to do the shilling.

Bob calls out Koli during the last chance workout, making him lift a big weight (165lb) while stepping onto a stool. This is a hard task, and Koli has self-doubt, while Bob tries to prevent more lawsuits by telling us not to try it at home. DH: "He better have a belt on." Koli winds himself up to meet this challenge by picturing confetti falling on him at the finale. DH, on the relationship between Sam and Koli: "It's awful to watch that bond and know what's coming." (Stephanie did an interview in a magazine last week where she revealed that the Koli situation has not been resolved yet. Sigh.)

Jillian concentrates on Daris because he's so nice and quiet, and she doesn't want him to get overlooked. He really is looking more and more like a '93 Phillie all the time. We get a flashback of Fat Daris and the difference really is awesome. Jillian gets him to run like a bat out of hell on the treadmill.

As Jillian calls out Melissa, Bob reflects that he loves tag teaming people with Jillian. Melissa tells us that the last chance workout is most important for her of all people because of the disadvantage. Again, lady, not all about you! Arg!

Bonus video: Bob and Melissa have a private talk. Melissa thinks she's not part of an alliance because of her AGE. (No, the fact that you are not in your 20s is not the reason.) And she calls her competitors "foolish". (Yes, the fact that you are contemptuous of your fellow players and ignorant of how annoying you are? THAT is the reason. Okay, reasons.) She barely lets Bob get a word in edgewise, but when she does, he says that this season's roster is simply not full of gameplayers. He then drops a massive hint (which she fails to pick up on) by saying he finds this refreshing. So Melissa's only move here is to kill it in the gym and stay above the yellow line. Bob approves of Melissa's positive attitude and predicts that she won't go home this week.

Bonus video: Jillian does boxing workouts with the contestants, but rarely can she truly allow them to spar. Koli and Sam, however, are exceptions. Jillian remarks on their "boy" aggression and brotherly relationship, and how boxing is a great way for them to get a bunch of stuff out of their system. Koli promptly breaks Sam's nose. (Well, she says it's fractured, but it looked okay, and I'm sure they would have brought a medic in and taken a hospital trip if it was truly broken.) "Is somebody BLEEDING out here?!?" calls Bob from inside the gym. Jillian puts on what is possibly the world's most annoying cutesy voice and blames Sam for getting himself hurt because he "dropped his hand" (i.e. let his guard down). She complains about the boys getting blood all over her nice clean ring and calls the fight, but not before admonishing Koli to keep his head up and Sam to not drop his hand.

Jillian attempts to do flamenco clapping to encourage everyone's pushup timing. (Epic fail on the flamenco stacatto, BTW.) She then takes some one-on-one time with Sunshine to talk to her about, y'know, stuff. Jillian brings up the idea that Sunshine became fat to have a bond with her dad. Jillian wants her to break away and lead parallel lives with her dad instead of their being so enmeshed as they are (although I believe Jillian calls it "ameshed"). Sunshine seems to be onside with this, and Jillian encourages her to step into the spotlight and her destiny. She anticipates that Sunshine and o'Neal will need a Conversation. At some point. Probably soon.

Very very soon, apparently, because instead of going to the weigh-in, we have Sunshine wiggling her foot around nervously in her bedroom as O'Neal comes up the stairs. She tells him she believes she's beautiful now and she really believes in herself, which sends him to pieces. She says she needs to stand by herself for the first time. O'Neal says he could never have let her go until he heard her say she could do it. So now he's letting her go. Everyone's really happy. Yay, Hampton family. :) DH on O'Neal: "He is the reincarnation of Michael Landon. Am I WRONG? My gawd, those tears could float a battleship!"

At the weigh-in, Ali's dress has great potential, but the execution is poor. For one thing, her right boob has been stuffed into it incorrectly, and for another, it's really not that flattering from the waist down. Other interesting moments at the weigh-in include Daris having a bad week. His frustrated yell in an interview FREAKED me out! Michael is HILARIOUS. He flexes his biceps and gets Ali to feel them, immediately thereafter admonishing her: "Didn't your mom ever tell you not to play with guns?" It's so obnoxious that it's really funny. :D As Sunshine goes up the steps to the scale, I notice that DAY-um, she's got great curves! Unfortunately, Andrea has a lousy week with a loss of just 2lbs. Jill and Bob give her a beautiful pep talk, and Melissa looks at Bob like, why the hell didn't I get this when I put up shit numbers all those weeks ago? But Andrea really shouldn't have worried - it was clear it would be either Melissa or Daris with her below the line, and either way, no one is going to send Andrea home under those circumstances.

Oh hey look, my ex is in a fiber 1 bars commercial.

Milestones achieved:

  • Victoria drops below 275lbs
  • Sunshine drops below 200lbs
  • Sunshine hits the 75lb mark of total loss
  • O'Neal hits the 100lb mark of total loss
  • Koli hits the 125lb mark of total loss
  • Michael hits the 150lb mark of total loss
  • O'Neal moves from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Sam hits the 30% mark of total loss

At the end of the day, it's Andrea and Melissa below the line and me doing the ol' fist-pump at the prospect of Melissa going home. Andrea and Melissa end up making their appeals to the rest of the house privately, as per Andrea's request. Drea's appeal is personal and tearful. Melissa, naturally, gets lawyery on everyone. (Which I actually can't complain about, since it's the only legitimate move she has in this situation.) She calls herself everyone's "fairy godmother", and points out that she will continue to fall below the yellow line every week. This will enable people to pick off the strong competition, which is a very tempting scenario if you want to make the final four. It's not about people or relationships, she says, it's about getting to the final four and that confetti that Koli wants. I have to hand it to her, she presented that all really well, without any whining or overdramatization. And it looks like she made some people consider her words a bit seriously.

So, how effective was Melissa's closing argument? Turns out...not so effective. This season's house is not about the gameplay. Koli is tired of it all, and his vote is for Melissa. O'Neal thinks Drea still needs to be here, and his vote is for Melissa. So things are not looking so great for the lady in red. She tells everyone that she thinks the choices have been poor so far. (I suppose looking within yourself to evaluate the choices YOU made is out of the question here.) Daris responds: he doesn't WANT to go the easy route of picking people off, he wants competition that pushes him. His vote is for Melissa. Michael says that the players have gotten close, and gameplay has never really cropped up (when he chose the Black and Blue teams doesn't count, I guess) and he doesn't want it to start doing so, so he votes for Melissa. Vicky wants to repay Drea for voting her back into the house, so she votes for Melissa. Ergo, buy-bye. She talks about how really tough it was for her the first time she went home, but now she has Lance there, plus a gym and a trainer, so it's okay.

Unsurprisingly, no one hugs her goodbye or shakes her hand, or anything. She exits.


Melissa reflects on the original weight-in she did in front of family and friends. She says she was lost, angry and sad, but is not that girl anymore. The house is not what's important to her in life. What's truly important are her husband and children. DH: "What's important to you is control, and until you deal with that, you've got a problem."

Speaking of Lance and the children, they're waiting for her to arrive. Her son is proud of her being back, and her daughter finally gets some air time! Lance thinks she looks great. Melissa tells us she and Lance are solid, and their marriage is saved. Lance concurs - he says they're in a great place and so are their bodies. Well, I can't help but approve of happy families, and DH is also glad to hear they're doing well together.

6 weeks later, it's Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where Melissa is going to run a half marathon to celebrate her 40th birthday. Lance runs with her, and they're both in red Biggest Loser shirts. Running with Lance makes the run easier for her than she thought it would be. She uses the half-marathon as a metaphor for her marriage. They finish in 3:49:18. I think Melissa's time could've been way better than that, but I think Lance was slowing her down. However, nobody seems to care, so all is well. Melissa plans to run a full marathon this summer.

Next week (SPOILERS)

Potential milestones:

  • Koli could drop below 275lbs
  • Sam could drop below 250lbs
  • Andrea could drop below 225lbs
  • Andrea could hit the 75lb mark of total loss
  • Sam could hit the 125lb mark of total loss
  • Victoria could move from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Andrea could move from clinically obese to obese
  • Sam could move from obese to overweight
  • Andrea and Victoria could hit the 25% mark of total loss
  • Ashley, Sunshine and Michael could hit the 30% mark of total loss

Weight predictions

  • Andrea: 220lbs
  • Ashley: 256lbs
  • Daris: 225lbs
  • Koli: 267lbs
  • Michael: 361lbs
  • O'Neal: 276lbs
  • Sam: 244lbs
  • Sunshine: 190lbs
  • Victoria: 266lbs

Video preview: Danny's back! He's there to inspire the contestants. Then apparently everyone drags Jillian through the mud. Good times.

From TV Guide: Suze Orman assesses the players' financial health and predicts who will win this season. Also: The contestants balance quarters on a platter to win a cash prize; a challenge to find keys in the pouring rain yields the winners a huge prize; and Bob holds workouts in the mud.

Week after next: The contestants eat at a buffet featuring a variety of foods. The player who consumes the most calories wins the sole vote at elimination. Elsewhere, Gabrielle Reece works out on the beach with the players; a building block challenge tests the gang's climbing skills; Dr. Huizenga reveals updated health scores; and a player receives bad news before the weigh-in.

In terms of timing, next week's show must have been filmed around January 20, because that's the day that Bob tweeted a picture of him absolutely covered in mud with the caption "this is me at work today"; and when Jillian tweeted "I am going to F#%*+#* KILL @mytrainerbob" with a link to a photo of both of them all muddy. As well, Ali tweeted around this time "Was insane challenge. Rain, sun, wind, rain again... Amazing prize... Incredible finish", which seems to match TV Guide's description of the April 20 show, especially since Ali followed it up with another tweet saying "Think it'll air mid-april".

As for the week-after-next show, that has to match up with Jillian's tweet the morning of Feb 2: "Today was rough on BL. One of my contestants had his brother pass away yesterday. He was wrecked - then i was wrecked for him. Ughhhh so sick with heartbreak for him tonight." The male contestants left are Daris, Koli, Michael, O'Neal, and Sam, so we're going to have to watch one of them get that horrible news. So brace yourselves.


# This wk % Overall % This wk lbs Overall lbs BMI
1 Victoria (3.89) Daris (32.66) Victoria (11) Michael (154) Melissa (28.2)
2 Sam (3.82) Sam (32.26) Sam (10) Koli (127) Sam (30.7)
3 Sunshine (3.47) Koli (31.51) Michael (9) Sam (120) Sunshine (31.5)
4 O'Neal (2.75) Ashley (29.41) O'Neal (8) Daris (113) Daris (33.4)
5 Ashley (2.58) Michael (29.28) Ashley, Sunshine (7) Ashley (110) Andrea (35.2)
6 Michael (2.36) Sunshine (29.09) O'Neal (106) Koli (36.4)
7 Koli (1.78) O'Neal (27.25) Koli (5) Vicky (86) O'Neal (39.5)
8 Daris, Melissa (1.69) Melissa (24.89) Daris (4) Sunshine (80) Victoria (40.2)
9 Andrea (24.50) Melissa (3) Andrea (73) Ashley (43.9)
10 Andrea (0.88) Victoria (24.02) Andrea (2) Melissa (58) Michael (46.5)