Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Duelling ranches

We are reminded that last week, we lost Ana. Irene weeps in her room and vows to redouble her efforts.

Bonus video: The mood is glum in the house right after the first elimination. The on-ranchers are discussing how badly it sucked. Arthur reiterates that Jesse struggled with his diet last week, but promises that this week it'll be on point. (Holy cow, man, your dad is an independent entity, you can't control him like that.) Back in the kitchen, everybody promises not to think about the off-ranchers and to just focus on doing their best.

The next day, Ali shows up and takes the on-ranchers to the video room. She tells them that last week, the off-ranchers lost more pounds with only five teams than the on-ranchers did with six. Which means the on-ranchers were not simply beaten, Ali points out, they were CRUSHED. (Way to make everybody feel great about themselves, Ali.) Our perky host then ups the ante by saying that if the on-ranchers can beat the percentage of the off-ranchers at this week's weigh-in, they'll all get immunity. Quite the prize! Oh, also, the winning group will win ten thousand dollars. (Later we find out that we're not talking ten grand apiece, but rather ten grand to be split among the team. But still.)

Of course, news of this challenge must also be conveyed to the off-ranchers, who are still working with anonymous trainers cast in shadow. They're all pretty happy to learn via Ali-cam that they kicked all kinds of ass last week. News of the ten thousand dollar prize elicits general promising to beat the on-ranchers.

Meanwhile, the on-ranchers are getting a video montage of the beatings that the off-ranchers got last week. Must've been an impressive montage, because there's general stunnedness in the video room as a reaction. Then Jesse talks some smack to the off-ranchers, and Bob starts talking about how "we gotta lotta work to do". Yep, beatings time.

As Bob tortures part of the on-ranch group, the other part is outside with Jillian, boxing. Jill wastes no time, and starts right in with Jay telling him that he's uber-codependent, which, like a good little yes-man, he agrees with right away. Irene gets some good, mean-looking tunnel vision going. Jillian asks Jen when the last time she really reached for something was. Um...turns out this show is the only thing, responds Jen tearfully. Hannah talks about how Jillian with boxing gloves is scary, but she seems to hold her own nonetheless.

Back in the gym, Dan says that he thinks about his wife and daughter constantly when going through the pain of working out, and this is what gets him through. We then work on Marci's psyche for a while, which is apparently flooded with guilt. She works in the fitness industry yet has a balloon daughter. Courtney is bugged that this bugs her mom, because Courtney accepts full responsibility for what she did her own self. (Go, Courtney.)

Bonus video: The Marci angst is expanded as Bob takes Aqua outside for a heart-to-heart about her guilt. Bob and Courtney encourage her to stop worrying about Courtney, because the light is on. Like, way on. Bob emphasizes that Marci raised a good daughter and that she's not a hypocrite, she's a good mom. Basically it's a feel-good session for Marci. Courtney is so happy that she and her mom decided to stay with Bob and Jillian on the ranch.

Back in the gym, Bob swings the focus over to Arthur. He tells Arthur he needs to start moving like his age (34), and tells Arthur he's got big dreams for him. Right now, Arthur says he's fighting demons in his head. He talks about the angst of not living up to his potential. He got in with the wrong crowd when he was young, not going to class, so he lost all his dreams. Bob tries to go deeper but Arthur wants to walk away. Bob refuses to let him. He promises to be there when Arthur turns corner after corner. Then he takes Arthur for a 30-second jog at 5.0. Gawd, that's gotta be close to impossible for someone his size! But as we go to commercial, we hear a Bob whoop, so it must go okay, right?...

...Arthur pictures his children and gets going. He freakin' does it! Turnin' the corner! Jesse's pretty tickled.

And back off the ranch we go for a different set of beatings. According to Rulon, this is just like being back in the Olympics! (Oh, that boy is on a good workout high right now.) Q says there's no way they're getting beaten this week. Deni tells us that her dad used to tease her with the name "Dumb Deni" because she didn't get as good marks as her brother. So that's whom she beats up on during her boxing sessions. Wow Deni's dad, you sucked.

Bonus video: But wait, there's more of Deni's father's suckage yet to come. For some reason, there is a merry-go-round on the Fitness Ridge location, which Pink is having a stroll by. This makes Deni tear up, and she tells Sarah "the carousel story". When Deni was small, they'd have birthday parties at a local carousel. When they did this for her sister's fifth birthday, it was at a time when Deni and her brother had been gaining a lot of weight recently, and their parents were fighting a lot, so things were tough. Anyway, everybody got on the merry-go-round, but her brother's horse actually stopped going up and down, presumably because he was so heavy. Naturally, this was very humiliating for him, but what made it worse was that their dad teased him mercilessly about it when he got off the ride. We hear again about how his teasing for Deni involved calling her dumb. (Huh. Looks like we know who gets this season's Parents Who Suck label. Deni, please accept the torch from Ada and ride on.) Deni hopes that telling Sarah stories about her childhood will show where her own lack of confidence come from, and inspire Sarah to belive in herself. Sarah's just glad her mom is getting this all out, as hard as it is to hear. She's really happy about all the internal changes that are happening for them.

Back on the ranch (feel like a see-saw yet?), Jillian tells Jen that being on the ranch is a nightmare - not just because Jillian is here (zing!) but because it makes you face all your shit. Especially when Jillian feels like playing psychotherapist, as she obviously does right now. So...what's going on, Jen? Well, Jen feels the burden of wanting to help her dad lose the weight, but she's sick of that burden. So what happens, asks Jillian, if Jay stays fat and Jen doesn't? Well, Jen will feel awful. And that, Jillian ahas, is why Jen never loses weight. So she brings Jay out and makes Jen beat up on him for a while with the boxing gloves. Eventually Jen breaks down crying. So we have a communication moment. There are many tears and they vow to do this as indiviudals. Tadah - breakthrough! Thank you, Dr. Jill!

The on-ranchers decide to spend some extra time at the gym at night, but as they get in there, they find a challenging note from the off-ranchers, accompanied by gooey donuts. Dan and Don, cops who have probably heard every donut joke in the book, feel this is immensely unoriginal and pooh-pooh the off-ranchers' efforts. But donuts are Arthur's fave thing evah, so it's a big temptation. He takes them outside and they all stomp on the box. Later, Arthur grabs the squished boxes and thinks aloud about eating a flattened donut. He says he had the angel and devil on his shoulders at that moment, but he ended up putting it all in the dumpster. He thinks that the fact he was tempted shows that he still needs to be here. He considers this a victory.

But the on-ranchers aren't the only ones putting in extra time. Man, there are a lot of montages of workouts this episode. Can we please see something else?

Oh, fantastic. The "something else" is the traditional doom-and-gloom talk with Dr. H. Predictably, the news is bad. Even champs like Courtney and Arthur, who lost over a hundred pounds apiece before even coming on the show, are not immune. Courtney's inner age is 40. Arthur has the most excess hydrated fat of anyone on the show ever, and has an inner age of 60. To compound the guilt, Dr. H. brings in Jesse's daughter (Arthur's sister), who has Jesse's 10th grandchild with her. (So cute!) She says that the whole family is rooting for Arthur, who in turn says he's representing hard for loads of people. Jesse's daughter then challenges Jesse to do better than the best he can. Jesse interprets this as challenging him to lead the family like he always has, and commits.

Other people then get the Dr. H. treatment. Olivia hears that her size is actually hampering her career, because she can't sustain long notes with all the fat in her system. The twins get the cop angle. What if, asks Dr. H, he was to tell Don that he knew someone was planning to kill Dan. He even knew what the murder weapon would be! Well, weapons, actually: sugar, chocolate and corn chips. To hammer this message home even further. Dr. H. puts Dan's wife and daughter on the phone. (Dammit, I thought it would be Don's estranged son.) Dan has never been away from his daughter more than a few days in her entire life, so this phonecall means a lot. Dan tearfully promises to "do this".

Of course, we can't go too long without some smack talk, so we get another surprise video from the off-ranchers. Marci doesn't want to give them the time of day. The on-ranchers agree to take the higher road and just work hard instead of bothering to respond. DH likes her.

Bonus video: Arthur and Jesse hang out in their bedrooms. Arthur apparently has some serious problems with his bloodwork. Looks like he's going into the final stages of renal failure. (Oh, crap.) He's been told to drink scads of water and sodium, which obviously isn't going to help him at weigh-ins. But Jesse says, that's how things go, and you gotta do what you gotta do. They're here for their health. Nice keeping of the perspective, Jesse. They hug it out, as Jesse says "Your daddy loves you, baby." Awwww!

Beach! Vereen Stadium in Long Beach, to be precise. For today's challenge, the on-ranchers will be competing against the off-ranchers. The task is to get everyone from the beach across the canal using rafts to build a bridge. Every person has to get to the other side to win. Just a few hours ago, the off-ranchers did the challenge in the exact same spot just a little while ago. We see them hauling ass, Rulon and Justin being the alpha males, and the whole team completing it in 38 minutes and 23 seconds. The prize, by the way, is a 3lb advantage for the winning team at the weigh-in.

And right off...oh gawd, the on-ranchers are a committee. There isn't an alpha in the bunch. They're gonna take forever...

...Aaaaand...they do. It takes them longer to get to the halfway point then the off-ranchers did to complete the whole challenge. Sad.

At Fitness Ridge, Moses shadowboxes while sitting on his bed. (DH: He's a force.) He's doing this because he has bursitis in his knee, so he's limited in the kind of movement he can do. (That blows.) He finds that shadowboxing with his family's picture in front of him is very effective. He sure is working up a sweat with it, I'll tell you that. Kayanee drifts in while he's doing this and looks pretty proud. She even tears up and tells him how proud of him she is and that he's a great example for her. Oh, so sweet. They seem like a really loving family. Moses admits he's ashamed of getting so heavy. He's a total family man. I love him already. :)

Bob arrives on the ranch for the last chance workout, to cheers. Jillian is sick, so he's by himself. (DH wonders what could be wrong with her. I speculate that she probably just has a cold. DH counters, saying it must be flu - a mere cold wouldn't take Jillian out! :) The on-ranchers make Bob feel ill by telling him how badly they did in the challenge. He thinks 3lbs is a lot, but he knows they're not going to let it mess them up. Another plus that I'd like to point out: the on-ranchers have Courtney, who, unlike the rest of them, is NOT on her "dreaded week two".

Today's goal: sweat. Jay reflects that Bob is like a conductor in the gym, with eleven people on four or five different machines. It's like an orchestra. (I wonder if Olivia, who actually knows a little something about orchestras, would agree?)

The off-ranchers are working out, too. Austin says that the female trainer asked him to look in the mirror and focus on what makes him who he is. He realisd he doesn't make sense to me anymore. He doesn't know himself, he has no idea who he is. He's starting to realise this is more than just a weight loss journey, and he's still defining it. Go, Austin.

Finally, we get past the six gazillion workout montages and get to the damn weigh-in. And...glory be! We are shown (albeit very quickly, but I taped it for later replay) the numbers of every single person at Fitness Ridge, which of course gives me all the numbers I was missing from last week, too. Hallelujah, my spreadsheet is complete! The world is bright again!

This means I can give a complete list of milestones from last week:

  • Arthur dropped below 500lbs
  • Rulon dropped below 450lbs
  • Jay and Moses dropped below 400lbs
  • Justin dropped below 350lbs
  • Don and Larialmy dropped below 300lbs
  • Dan and Jen dropped below 275lbs
  • Ana, Sarah, Olivia, Irene and Deni dropped below 250lbs
  • Kaylee and Marci dropped below 225lbs
  • Arthur, Jay, Justin, Moses, Rulon and Austin hit the 25lb mark of total loss
  • Deni, Kaylee, Marci, Sarah and Jen went from morbidly obese to clinically obese

There are a lot of successes on the scale. Irene, for example, kicks all kinds of ass. Some people do well but don't appreciate it, like Hannah and Olivia, who lose six pounds each - very good work, I think! Given that it's week two and they're the smallest people in the house, 2.45% and 2.59% is pretty damn impressive.

One thing to note is that Q is, well, kind of sucking with the weight loss. He was the smallest loser off-ranch last week, he's the smallest loser overall this week, and his total loss at this point is only 3.89%. Ouch. Compare that with his nearest competitor, Jesse, who's at a total of 5.12%, especially taking into consideration how big Q is, and you have something weird going on here.

Bonus video: Flash back to earlier in the week, and we see the off-ranchers having lunch outside on picnic tables. They speculate about what's going on with the on-ranchers and talk generally about kicking ass and making sure someone on the ranch goes home this week. (Nice.) But the real focus of this clip is that Q's food choices are not measuring up. Justin and Rulon complain about him in an interview, saying that he chose a chicken sausage with lots of sodium for lunch. We get a lot of cut-in shots where Rulon talks about everyone pulling together...and Q takes a bite of sausage...and Rulon says that everyone needs to do their part...and Q eats some more sausage...and Rulon says...well, I think you get the point. Personally, I gotta wonder, if the chicken sausage is so awful, WHY IS IT EVEN AVAILABLE TO THE CONTESTANTS AT FITNESS RIDGE? Anyway, the strong implication is that Q is not being good with his diet, and also that Rulon and Justin are going to be seriously pissed off at him...

...because the off-ranchers lose the weigh-in! After a lot of really, REALLY annoying overly-cocky talk from Arthur, I might add. (Arthur. Calm down.)

Milestones this week:

  • Courtney dropped below 300lbs
  • Courtney, Jen and Don hit the 25lb mark of total loss
  • Moses hit the 50lb mark of total loss
  • Jen, Moses, Rulon and Justin hit the 10% mark of total loss
  • Courtney and Moses moved from super-obese to morbidly obese
  • Hannah moved from clinically obese to obese

So, no elimination this week! Yay! There is much rejoicing.


Revised and complete Week 1

# loss % lbs lost BMI
1 Moses (9.32) Moses (41) Hannah (35.3)
2 Deni (7.42) Rulon (32) Olivia (36.2)
3 Justin (7.40) Arthur (31) Deni (37.1)
4 Jennifer (7.19) Austin, Justin (27) Jennifer (38.1)
5 Austin (6.82) Marci (38.4)
6 Don (6.80) Jay (26) Sarah (38.7)
7 Rulon (6.75) Don (21) Kaylee (39.9)
8 Dan (6.62) Jennifer (20) Dan (40.7)
9 Jay (6.50) Dan, Deni (19) Justin (42.2)
10 Hannah (6.45) Larialmy (42.7)
11 Kaylee (6.44) Hannah, Olivia (16) Irene (42.9)
12 Olivia (6.13) Jesse (43.5)
13 Arthur (6.11) Courtney, Kaylee (15) Ana (43.6)
14 Marci (5.88) Don (43.8)
15 Sarah (5.36) Marci, Sarah (14) Ken (46.7)
16 Irene (5.10) Courtney, Moses (51.2)
17 Courtney (4.64) Irene, Ken (13)
18 Larialmy (3.99) Austin (51.5)
19 Ana (3.53) Larialmy (12) Jay (52.2)
20 Ken (3.45) Q (11) Rulon (56.7)
21 Q (2.52) Ana (9) Q (57.8)
22 Jesse (2.39) Jesse (7) Arthur (70.3)

Week 2

# loss % total loss % lbs lost total lbs lost BMI
1 Irene (4.13) Moses (12.05) Rulon (17) Moses (53) Hannah (34.4)
2 Rulon (3.85) Justin (10.68) Arthur (13) Rulon (49) Olivia (35.3)
3 Justin (3.55) Rulon (10.34) Justin, Moses (12) Arthur (44) Deni (36.5)
4 Courtney (3.25) Jennifer (10.07) Justin (39) Jennifer (36.9)
5 Jennifer (3.10) Don (9.39) Courtney, Irene, Jay (10) Jay (36) Marci (37.4)
6 Moses (3.01) Irene (9.02) Austin (34) Sarah (38.1)
7 Jesse (2.80) Jay (9.00) Don (29) Kaylee (39.1)
8 Don (2.78) Deni (8.98) Don, Jennifer, Jesse (8) Jennifer (28) Dan (40.0)
9 Arthur (2.73) Hannah (8.87) Courtney (25) Justin (40.7)
10 Marci (2.68) Arthur (8.68) Dan (24) Irene (41.1)
11 Jay (2.67) Austin (8.59) Austin, Ken (7) Deni, Irene (23) Larialmy (41.8)
12 Hannah (2.59) Olivia (8.43) Jesse (42.3)
13 Olivia (2.45) Marci (8.40) Hannah, Larialmy, Marci, Olivia, Q (6) Hannah, Olivia (22) Don (42.6)
14 Larialmy (2.08) Dan (8.36) Ken (45.8)
15 Ken (1.92) Kaylee (8.15) Ken, Marci (20) Courtney (49.6)
16 Austin (1.90) Courtney (7.74) Moses (49.7)
17 Dan (1.87) Sarah (6.90) Kaylee (19) Austin (50.5)
18 Kaylee (1.83) Larialmy (5.98) Dan (5) Larialmy, Sarah (18) Jay (50.8)
19 Deni (1.69) Ken (5.31) Deni, Kaylee, Sarah (4) Rulon (54.6)
20 Sarah (1.62) Jesse (5.12) Q (17) Q (57.0)
21 Q (1.41) Q (3.89) Jesse (15) Arthur (68.4)

Next week: (SPOILERS)

Potential milestones:

  • Arthur could drop below 450lbs
  • Ken could drop below 350lbs
  • Jesse and Don could drop below 275lbs
  • Jen could drop below 250lbs
  • Irene and Hannah could drop below 225lbs
  • Olivia, Marci, Larialmy, Ken, Kaylee, Irene, Hannah, Deni and Dan could hit the 25lb mark of total loss
  • Rulon, Justin and Arthur could hit the 50lb mark of total loss
  • Olivia, Marci, Kaylee, Jay, Irene, Hannah, Don, Deni, Dan, Courtney, Austin and Arthur could hit the 10% mark of total loss
  • Moses could hit the 15% mark of total loss
  • Jay and Austin could move from super-obese to morbidly obese
  • Justin, Irene and Dan could move from morbidly obese to clinically obese
  • Olivia could move from clinically obese to obese

From TV Guide: The identities of the unknown trainers are revealed. Elsewhere, the players compete for a healthy meal prepared by Curtis Stone and a two-pound advantage at the weigh-in; Dr. Huizenga provides more health assessments; Bob and Jillian look for the roots of players' weight struggles; the winner of a water-carrying challenge receives the sole vote during elimination; and a team's weigh-in results surprise the trainers.

From Jam!: The unknown trainers are revealed and share their personal stories; two contestants compete for a two-pound advantage at the weigh-in; a water-carrying challenge.

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