"Extra" has always been a good thing. Extra cheese on your pizza. Extra oil in your massage. Extra men in your weekly night out at Buns and Roses with the laydays. But extra show...extra footage? Not always the most riveting of things. Now granted, I'm coming at this from a distorted point of view. And by that I mean......drunk. Okay, not really. But I do take an inordinate amount of notes on the goings on in this show, and in this particular episode, there is a whole lot of....extra. And this time, it ain't the good kind of extra. We're talkin' filler. The bread crumbs in the meat loaf. The celery in the potato salad. The crappy comedian that people toss batteries at during the opener for a Guns and Roses concert. (True story. It's just that.....I just had so many extra batteries that night. And the comedian's pun-like jokes were ticking me off. And his face had that, "I want to be hit in the left nostril with a battery" look. Wish granted. But again, I may have come at that from a distorted point of view at a Guns and Roses concert. And by that I mean.....sober.) Tonight, I will provide you with the filler. And I will also be the crappy comedian. It's two for one, really.
First up is post elimination time, and we spend mucho footage on chit chat over how everyone wants to stick around and keep livin' the good life at ranchero thintacular. All think they're in some kind of danger zone and nobody wants to go home. *cue Kenny Loggins* Blah blah. Gary says he has an alliance with Molicious, but it’s all about staying above the yellow line or winning immunity.
First up, the trainers come bright and early in the a.m. for a surprise workout. And by that I mean...mime practice. It surprised me too. But a fake tug of war really works the arms. Okay, no. Aparently they're all leaving the ranch, and this freaks them out. And to stretch the show out further, is complimentary footage of every contestant stating this.
They take the peeps in a short bus to a track at a nearby high school. Why? Fitness test! They’ll trudge around the track and time themselves and their trudging. Everyone is told that they’re only competing with themselves, and Bob feels especially concerned about telling Mo this, as he believes the Mo-ster is very unmotivated easily. He has a way of putting his head down and shutting down when he sees a goal he doesn’t think he can reach. So Bob starts whipping out the Bob goodness in the form of “you can do it’s” and “you’re only competing with yourself, bubb!” and, "I like cheese!" <--I'm desperate, and stold that from myself, from a previous recap. *hangs head in shame*
Everybody lines up on the track, and prior to the whistle blow, all discuss how they never would have been able to run this track when they first arrived on the show. The air horn is blown, they all take off, and everyone gasps and sweats as per usual. Kelly has no doubt that Gary would beat them all because he’s the most in shape, and sure enough, he comes in first. Mo said he could barely make it around the track and was completely exhausted after he ran. He stands around and pants and wheezes. Poor wheezy.
Everyone thinks they’re done. Are they? Au contraire, mon fraire. They have to do it again, but this time they all must beat their time. And for extra motivation, says Bob, whoever beats their time by the most, will get this 100…dollar…bill!! He holds it up in the manner of a sales and/or Amway seminar where your success-hunger is meant to be brought out via a dangling one dollar bill at the front of the stage. Only those "foolish people" who don't knock down all the other little Amwayettes...and/or...morons...on their way to the
greasy bill, cheap incentiveopportunity are probably "making the biggest mistake of their life". Or at least, that's what they said at my Amway seminar. Anyhow, you're just not a go-getter unless you go balls out for money. “Who wants it first? Who? Polly want a cracker?” All the peeps hop at it like seals.
Lisa says she will do anything for money. End statement.
Success-hungry, everybody beats their time the second time around. The people: fast. The incentive: worked. Prior to finish, Mo's the last one trudging around the track. Bob joins him and pushes him, and halfway through........Mo actually sprints! He works it hard and says he wanted to show everyone he deserves to be there. Mo beats everyone's time, and ends up sucking on the bill that Bob slaps into his choppers. Mo states he can "taste the money" and it's "low-cal". Har har.
Oh God, do I look like that???
More stretchification of footage occurs pre-challenge, when absolutely everyone gets a clip telling us how sore they are and how nervous they are to find out what’s going to happen at the challenge.
They all arrive back at the high school track blind-folded. Caroline is waiting for them, and we all see them standing next to cardboard cutouts of themselves, life-sized, near dummies with harnesses/life jackets on them, and big piles of food next to each cutout. Blindfolds off: everyone freaks out.
Caroline tells them that these are cutouts taken of them the first day they arrived. Lisa grips her head and says “oh my God” and all the peeps look somewhat sad. Lisa says when she saw the cutout of herself she had no idea she was that wide. She thought she was smaller than that when she arrived. Mo says that looking at his cutout was like looking at himself through other people’s eyes. And it hurts. He wipes away a tear. Gary asks Caroline if he looks as large as his cut out, and she says no instantly, but he says he still feels that way. He had no idea he looked that big. He says he still has a long way to go, but to see where he’s come from is amazing.
Caroline asks Ryan how he feels standing next to his 77 pound heavier cut-out. He weeps and says he doesn’t know if he wants to talk about it. Lisa asks him if he’s okay, and Ryan just says he feels happy, doesn’t like his cutout, and just wants to keep changing it. He says he remembers being that weight and thinking he was a-okay and the picture of health. But the cutout has shown him "the way". As all cut-outs do. Especially...my James T. Kirk cutout. Ahh...so much wisdom. But anyhow, seeing how far he's coming is amazing for Ryan. Caroline says that he’s lost 77 pounds, and just to show him how much that is, piled next to him and his cut-out is 77 pounds of his favorite food: apple pie.
In fact, every contestant is standing next to a large pile of food. Their favorite. And enough of it to match each individual's current weight loss.
Kelly: 48 pounds of pizza
Mo: 50 pounds of fried chicken
Lisa: 45 pounds of macaroni and cheese
Gary: 44 pounds of spaghetti
Caroline tells them that it must feel wicked sweet to be free of the weight they've been carrying around for years. But…for today’s challenge, the peeps are going to put all that weight back on! No!! Yes. Today they’re going to run the same track they did yesterday, but they’re going to do it wearing the weight they lost. Everybody gasps and looks at the little mannequins next to their cut-outs. Each mannequin is wearing a weighted vest. Ryan cries foul when he realizes that his vest weighs more than anyone elses. No one gives a hoot. Well they might, but we don't hear it.
Whomever comes closest to their running time of yesterday, wearing the weighted vest, wins the challenge, immunity, and a big 32 inch LCD TV from CompUSA. Blah blah everybody wants to win, they all think Gary might...etc. etc.
All the peeps pull the vests of their mannequins and immediately flip out as the vests flop to the ground heavily. They groan, they sweat, they can't believe how heavy these suckers are! Like a life jacket..only the opposite! Everyone has trouble just getting them over their own shoulders. Ryan says he can’t believe how much extra weight they’ve all carried around with them on a daily basis. He said it was like he’d been carrying a 10-year-old. Lisa puts on her vest and says/whines, "I'm already tired and I just put it on!" Gary sums up how everyone feels, “we’re screwed.”
Again they all run. Again they all struggle. Everyone meanders around the track like a granny in a three legged race, without the third leg. Well except for….no I won’t really go there. Halfway around the track, all the peeps are behind their previous time. Gary finishes first again and immediately heaves off his vest, saying it felt like weeks of work just dropped off his back. Ryan comes in and collapses on the grass without any energy at all to get the vest off. Kelly said she wanted to collapse, but had to get the vest off first or she would die.
The last person to make it around the track is Mo. Mo is tired. Mo is starting to walk. Mo is pretty much looking like doesn’t want any mo. <--*snorts* But Gary comes to the rescue. Yep, sweet, saccharine, newly svelte Gary runs back to jog alongside Mo for encouragement. All the peeps think this is sweet, and Kelly thinks it a sign of Gary’s amazing character, and his tight bond with Molicious.
Lisa is right there to bring the warm fuzziness to a halt, when she says that on the one hand, she wants to congratulate Gary on really smokin’ everybody, but on the other hand, she wants to say, “Thanks, Gary, you totally screwed me.” Awww...so tender. Like raw chicken. When Gary walks by and shakes everyone’s hand and congratulates them for finishing, Lisa bitterly and insincerely says, “congratulations Gary” in a very, “Good Morning Mrs. Crabapple” drone. Gary insists he didn’t win, and Lisa pipes up with, “yeah right”. She tells Kelly that this whole thing is physically unfair because Gary is physically stronger, and she hopes he doesn’t get immunity.
Mo in fifth place.
Kelly in fourth.
Lisa in second.
Which means Ryan wins it! And he’s the only one who beat his time! The second Gary hasn’t won the contest, Lisa becomes extremely kind to him. She says she wanted immunity but still thought it was way cool that a red won it. Gary immediately starts saying his good-byes to everyone and that it’ll be nice to see them all at the reunion show. The scene finishes with all the peeps attacking their own cutouts, kicking them down and makin’ those cutouts beg for momma. Mo tells us that his relationship with fried chicken has finally ended for good. The fried chicken is sad, but it understands, as chicken has always been the most compassionate of all poultry.
And we’re seeing this because???
Up next is an entire segment of the show dedicated to stretching this sucker into Amazing Race time. Now…it actually is pretty motivating and inspirational. We learn about how people’s diets have changed, how the trainers have supported them, and a bunch of other exciting and truly inspirational things. But…again…I could see this on the editing room floor if they didn’t need to stretchify. And again...I'm lookin' at this from a weary and distorted viewpoint. I.e..........hungry. <---not as good as drunk, I know.
In the kitchen, Ryan and Mo talk about the magical power of McGriddle sandwiches. Apparently the lure of the cakey/sausagey goodness gets them in trouble every ding dang time. He and Mo laugh over how they relate over the griddle love. There is much merriment. The merriment only possible while talking of sausages.
All the peeps say they’ll miss the controlled food environment of the ranch. Mo says he’ll miss not having to drive past fast food restaurants etc. But Ryan says he’s actually excited to get back into life, so that he can pass over those temptations on his own. He’ll know that he’s really changed as a person at that point.
Up next is a bunch of mano a mano with Gary. We see Gary in pain. We see Gary working out. We see Bob being concerned about Gary. He’s starting to give up, and is entertaining thoughts on going home and just plain misses his family. Bob won’t let him. Oh no, sister girl, N..O. He tells the Gare-ster to keep perspective and says all he has to do is get through the next workout and next weigh in and he’s as good as gold. He solves the Gary “problem” by working him like a cadette, pushing him harder and faster than he’s ever gone on the treadmill, with a supportive Mo behind him cheering him on and hugging him for his success. “Gimme summa that, G”, says Mo. And I say, gimme summa Mo. He’s such a sweetie.
Post Gary-time, is Mo time. I.e. it’s time fo mo! *chuckles* Ahh…I kill me. *slaps artificial knee* Anyhow, Mo hasn’t run to the front gate and back: a two mile trek. Everyone else has done it, and it’s a right of passage. People are psyched and supportive and we see a tired Mo workin’ it with Bobberino as he goes up hills and nearly dies. Or he thinks he nearly does. At one point he did indeed think the life force would be sucked from him ala Darth Vadar. But Bob talks him through it, “how bad do you want it, Mo? You don’t know HOW to quit, Mo! You’ve come way too far, Maurice!” Mo eventually makes it, and all are happy. His goal when he got to the ranch was simply being able to walk better. He’s thrilled that now he’s actually running. Bob makes him sprint to the end like a long-distance runner, and then he hugs Bob like a cabbage patch doll, almost lifting him off the ground in delight and telling him he’s the best trainer in all of America. Bob is happy. And Mo says he’s going to continue to push himself.
This whole scene ends with a bunch of peeps talking about how, wow, they’re still here, and wow they have a 1 in 5 chance at 250k. Ryan tells Kelly there’s strength in numbers, and if the three reds stay together, it makes them all stronger. He says you never know when someone could have an off week, so he needs his little red alliance. They decide to pinky swear on their deal to stick together, which according to Ryan, is the equivalent of swearing on your mother’s grave for Kelly.<---foreshadow.
You’ll get what you deserve, my pretties!!!
Time for the laydays and the men folk to hop on the scale again. Blah blah blah, people didn’t know they’d last this long and all talk to the little wine cellar confessional camera. Lisa says she has a personality that you either love, or hate, there’s no in between. Hmm. She’s jazzed she’s made it this long. Mo says that everyone doesn’t view him as a threat because he’s so far under the yellow line, and that can work in his behalf. More of the same from Gary, but Ryan leaves himself a personal message for the Ryan of the future, who oddly, appears to be wearing some kind of unitard. (Are you getting tired of the unitard? How is that possible? My unitard love = boundless.) Anyhow. He tells himself to never forget the happiness that exercise can bring him, that he doesn’t need to snack all day long, that he should find the joy in experiencing life, friends and family, and that he should tape Lost on Wednesdays.
Somewhere in here, Lisa talks about her worries about being below the yellow line and then says something very witchy. She says that if Gary’s below the yellow line, he’ll “get what he deserves”. What? Did he actually do something wicked other than….*gasp*………..lose weight? According to Lisa, that’s right up there with devil worship.
The weigh in: I’m sparing you the catchy puns from this point in the show.
Ryan: 3 pounds, 24 percent weight loss
Mo: 5 pounds, 12.6 percent
Kelly: 2 pounds, 20.7 percent
Lisa: 2 pounds 19.9 percent, 3rd place
Gary: 6 pounds, wow!! 22 percent!! He’s the biggest loser of the week.
Lisa and Mo are now below the yellow line, and she says that all she’s imagined has come crashing and crumbling to the ground. Immediately Lisa begins talkin’ to Kelly and says she’s worried about Ryan. She thinks he’s avoiding her and has a different plan. She thinks he might keep Mo around because he’d have a better chance at winning. Kelly reassures her that there’s no WAY that’s happening. Ah ha ha ha ha ha. I cackle. But not in a Lisa way. In a Shazz way. Which is surprisingly delightful. Trust me.
In the meantime, Mo makes a pitch to Ryan in order to stick around. He says he’s the friendliest person there, he’s easy to get along with, and he’s cuddly on a cold night. So what up, Ryan, why not keep Mr. Teddy around? Ryan says he can’t go back on his word, and can’t betray the red girls. He has to keep the numbers on his side.
Aha! But Gary also tries to work it with Ryan. He tells him if he can be guaranteed a way to get to the finals, then he’s in. He wants Ryan to turn on Lisa. He says the girls have each other, and Ryan needs to think about that. Lisa is more of a threat than Mo, but Ryan says he knows that voting her off is stabbing her in the back. He’d not only be hurting her, but he’d be hurting Kelly too. He needs to think about it.
Jillian gives Lisa a mini pep talk and says that she’s come such a long way from her days as the “I can’t” girl. If, for some reason, Lisa goes home the next day, she’d be heartbroken, but she knows she’ll continue her progress.
Vote time is nearly upon us, and Mo spends the morning crying. He sits on his bed with Kelly and Lisa by his side, and all three break into tears over him going home. He says the girls are great people, and he’s going to miss them. Kelly says that it’s very hard because she loves Mo and to know that she’s responsible for him going home is horrible.
*gasp* Say that again??
Up next, vote time. We see them arrive, platters in hand, yada yada do I really need to describe this portion? They arrive. End of story.
Caroline fires off her Probst questions:
Ryan: what have you learned about yourself most? That he can do anything, including break dance.
Mo: each week you lose more weight, but are somehow always in last place, how does that make you feel? Like crap. Actually, some answer that never really answers the question, all about how the game is the game and a possum is a possum and I don’t know what all. But his health is improving. And he’s a new man. As opposed to a new ride at Disney World. Which honestly, would have been wayyy cooler. The Mo. Insert your own ideas. I’m thinking of a flume-ish water ride. I don’t know why.
It is now time…to cut…the fat! *gong* <---added for no reason. Let’s see how the votes went down.
Gary: these people are awesome, he didn’t know what to say to Lisa at the beginning, he appreciates her humor and her caring. Mo, you’re like, awesome. He’s supported him more than anyone else on the planet besides Bob. Blah blah blah, he’s voting for Lisa.
Kelly: Both she and Lisa begin to cry. She says that both her and the Mo-ster are classy people, and she has no doubt that those two are her friends. But there’s one person she can’t imagine this experience without, i.e. her little Lisa-love. So she's voting Mo.
Ryan: He’s the deciding vote. Ryan says that it gets tougher as time goes on, and both Kelly and Mo have worked very hard to get where they are. But Kelly summed it up perfectly when she said she could never vote for Lisa, and because of that, he chose to vote Lisa off.
Lisa immediately busts into tears. Kelly never stopped, she just cries harder now. Lisa can’t believe the man behind the plan, i.e. Ryan, the one who thought up the whole alliance, is now the one responsible for her departure. He explains that Lisa and Kelly both professed that they could never vote for each other, so he knew that if he ever had the unfortunate experience of being below the yellow line, he’d be going home. And because of that, he has to break up their alliance. Lisa’s shocked but says out of everyone there, she knew that he’d be the one capable of something like this. She tells Mo, Kelly and Gary to watch their backs, because he’ll backstab you no matter what he says. She hopes he’s below the yellow line one day and will eventually know how this feels. She finishes by saying she should have gotten rid of him when she had the chance.
Lisa walks up the stairs while Kelly cries and tells her she loves her. Lisa say she loves “all of you…well…most all of you. Smoke his ass.” And with a poof of smoke, she disappears.
Lisa is most proud of the fact that she came to the ranch with a whiny, negative attitude and is leaving with a much more positive outlook. She knows now that she CAN exercise and diet. The thing she’ll take from this place, like a thief in the night, is an I Can attitude. I can exercise, I can eat right, yada yada. The next time America sees her, she’ll be thin.
Since the start of the show, Lisa has lost a total of 61 pounds and looks completely stunning in a black strapless dress. She’s hired a personal trainer and enjoys burning calories at her latin dance classes now.
Next week: no more ranchy. The final four go home to their families and try to live out their newfound habits on their home turf. Will they succeed? I think...yes. Stay tuned.
Chew with your mouth closed. firstname.lastname@example.org