Last week’s episode of The Biggest Loser brought us the departure of Kae who, in spite of her small size, was considered by most to be the biggest threat on campus. I imagine Bob was crushed to see her leave, although he probably expected it. I say “imagine” because we never get to see Bob’s reaction to Kae’s departure. It’s just as well. He probably cried. This means that I would have cried too.
We begin this week’s show in the gym, where Ali greets the remaining seven contestants. Since they’ve run out of bizarro challenges for this show, the producers are now recycling and packaging this week’s challenge as “America’s Choice.” What this means is that people were able to log into the show’s official website and vote between four challenges from past seasons. Here were the choices: Climbing 74 flights of stairs in the US Bank building from season one. Just to remind us how annoying Lisa was, we get footage of her whining….even as she was being loaded into an ambulance (or was that a WAHmbulance?). Next up is the Ultimate Jumper challenge from season two where contestants faced a never-ending mechanical jump rope. Also from season two comes the challenge where the contestants stood on a pole suspended over water. Those footrests were tiny and we’re reminded of how very long both Suzy and Andrea lasted – over an hour. The last potential challenge is the escalator challenge from season 3, which Alison describes as a never-ending Stairmaster, or what I like to call The Escalator of Death.
Ali tells them that they’ll find out which challenge the voters picked in a few days. For now, they will all just have to train their little hearts out and pray that America isn’t full of nasty masochists. Bill is confident that he can do all of the challenges, but he really wants the escalator. He is insane. Bryan, on the other hand, is hoping for anything that doesn’t involve climbing stairs. Ali sends them off to begin preparing.
The Evils of Soy Sauce…the Silent Killer
Hey! There’s Bob! *jumps up and down on couch* After the loss of Kae, Bob is realizing how small his “team” really is. He then points out the obvious, saying that it’s stressful in the house. In his usual smurfy way, Bob is taking on everyone else’s stress. He says he’s not even sleeping because he’s constantly worrying about making sure Nicole and Neil stick around. In the gym, Bob trains his team of two. Nicole lifts 20 pound dumbbells as Bob praises her: she definitely couldn’t lift those weights when she arrived. Is it wise to have a woman lift weights that heavy? Does she really want tickets to the gun show? Bob continues to push them to the extreme and tries to help them maintain their focus. To release the stress, he leads Nicole and Neil in meditation out on the lawn. It’s all very OHM and Lotus position-y.
Jill punishes her people as well and it’s much less touchy feely. Jillian still can’t seem to let go of Amy. She says they all had to work hard after Amy was eliminated. Since she’s all out of tricks, Jillian will fall back on her time tested strategy: she’ll just beat the crap out of her people. They’re getting more fit now and that means more creative beatings….like Cirque de Soliel….in Leavenworth.
Kim meets with
her teamBryan in the kitchen to have another nutrition talk. Kim wants to get to the bottom of things and find out what Bryan’s doing wrong with his diet. She claims to have never trained anyone who’s more challenging than Bryan in this area. Kim wants to know exactly what Bryan is eating, down to the spices and the oils. He admits he uses a lot of garlic powder and that he marinates his meat in soy sauce. From the look on Kim’s face, you’d think he’d just admitted to ordering out Dominos….every night. Kim lectures Bryan about the evils of low sodium soy sauce and dumps the bottle into the trash.
The Form of the Destructor
It’s time for this week’s challenge and, as the players take in the location, most of them are relieved to NOT see an escalator or any stairs. What they do see is a swimming pool. Yep, apparently, America wants to see big poles. There are a few noticeable changes to this challenge: apparently, the challenges now have sponsors. This week’s sponsor is Wrigley’s Extra gum and there are logos all over everything, including the poles. I’m surprised they didn’t paint a stick of gum on the bottom of the pool.
Before the challenge begins, Neil is feeling pretty confident. He thinks this will be the challenge he wins: he definitely doesn’t want to be the first contestant to never win a challenge. As if this challenge needed another sponsor, here comes Andre Agassi, via video message. Ali tells everyone that Andre is a big fan of the show. Andre is also a big fan of advertising. The winner of this challenge, Andre reveals, will be a week-long, all-inclusive vacation for four to the Tamarack Resort in…..Idaho? Guess who owns the Tamarack Resort. Yep, that would be our favorite recently-retired tennis player.
Once everyone picks a pole and gets situated, the challenge begins. In about 3.5 seconds, Isabeau falls off. She’s followed by Neil, Nicole, Bryan and Hollie. That leaves Bill and Julie as the final two again. Julie admits that, as soon as she heard Bill was still in it, she knew she was in for a long haul. Bill attempts to get Julie to drop with a little trash talk. She remains silent and the other players begin heckling Bill. Finally, even with the other players urging her on, Julie falls into the water and Bill wins another challenge. He’s elated: this is the vacation he promised his kids and this year he can ski with them. Julie swims over to Bill and jokingly attempts to drown him. Isabeau wonders why Bill is still there – he’s not even fat anymore. Um, I thought that was the point of the show. Silly me.
All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
To celebrate having five minutes away from the gym, everyone decides to jump in the pool….all except for Hollie, who admits to being a bad sport. From her spot on the sidelines, Hollie has a perfect view of Nicole jumping headfirst into the pool. She immediately comes up and tells Bill she knocked out her teeth on the bottom of the pool. There is a gigantic “No Diving” sign, Bill says, but Nicole probably missed it because she was standing on it. Everyone searches for Nicole’s teeth on the bottom of the pool, but they’re gone. Bryan hopes they send her to the dentist because you could kick a field goal between her teeth *snort*
After the challenge, Bob meets with Neil and finds out about Nicole’s teeth: both of her front teeth are kaput and she’s at the dentist. Bob worries about her missing even one day of training. Plus, he doesn’t want to lose Nicole right after losing Kae. Neil cheers Bob up by showing him a picture of Nicole and her teeth. Bob thinks she looks like some of his relatives back in Tennessee. *snort again* Here comes Nicole! She has a big scrape on her chin and temporary “corn kernel” teeth. She’s totally chipper and ready to work.
Wiping the Slate Clean
At the beginning of the season, all the contestants went through a battery of medical tests. Now they’ll be meeting with the doctors to find out what their new tests reveal. Dr. Huizenga’s partner, Jennifer, was one of the 50 contestants during season 3 and she lost over 100 pounds. So how are the contestants doing, health-wise? Neil started out as a big guy, the doctor says. He holds up a big Sparklett’s-size water bottle and reveals that Neil has lost 3 of these bottles….in fat. Blech. Julie has lost about 12” off her waist – that’s 45% of her waistline and more than any other contestant has lost.
Isabeau was pre-diabetic when she arrived at the Biggest Loser campus. She now has one of the best insulin levels of all of them. Isabeau is relieved: her grandfather died an early death and diabetes contributed. Bill is now completely off his blood pressure medication and his blood pressure is down to a good level. Bryan’s total cholesterol was 279. It’s now down to 176. Nicole has done something amazing, the doctor reveals: she has lost 74 pounds of hydrated fat, gained 11 pounds of muscle and has, proportionately, lost the highest amount of fat. Hollie has also overcome adversity: a pretty severe thyroid problem. She’s lost more from her hips, proportionately, than anyone. Julie remarks that this experience has wiped the slate clean.
Last Chance Beatings
Nicole has come back like a champ and does exactly what Bob would want her to do in her last chance workout. Bob tells us it will be her toughest last chance workout ever. He basically runs her ragged because he doesn’t want her to fall below the Yellow Line. Nicole says she loves being here and doesn’t want to go home. Bob says that the other contestants think Nicole isn’t a threat and that’s perfect: she’s still flying below the radar. Her weight loss numbers are right up there with Bill and Neil.
Speaking of Neil, he’s having a torturous last chance workout as well. Neil thinks this might be his toughest yet. Bob tries to push Neil over the limit: he wants to break Neil, but only ends up being annoyed when Neil keeps going. Bob reveals that it looked like Neil might start crying at one point, but he didn’t. Bob yells at Neil through the entire workout and I get incredibly turned on. I don’t pretend that this isn’t slightly twisted, but there it is. At the end of his workout, Neil is wheezing and painting like he just climbed those 74 flights of stairs…twice.
For Bryan’s last chance workout, he and Kim go to an actual 24-Hour Fitness off campus. Kim says it’s really important (for her career) that Bryan stays. Really, it seems like a tough workout until you compare it to what we just saw Neil do. They finish up their workout with a game of b-ball and what we learn is that Kim can’t make a basket to save her life.
Meanwhile, Jillian is continuing on with her policy of total abuse. She trains Bill, saying he’s nuts. This is perfect because she, too, is a complete and total loon. Bill is working hard because he knows that, if he falls below the Yellow Line, he’s gone. Julie is now the smallest person there and now has to work even harder than the others to get the same numbers. Hollie had a tough week because of an injured ankle. Jillian had a tough week because whenever she tried to train Hollie, Hollie acted like she was being victimized. Cue the scene with Hollie whining and moping about how Jillian ignored her. The Black Teamers meet and Jillian tells them that this won’t get any easier. Julie worries about losing her support system now that the end of the competition is in sight. Jillian reassures her: she’s not worried about any of them in the real world. She’ll miss them all, but she isn’t worried about them.
And….Yeah, it’s the Numbers Part of the Show <---- Complete inability to come up with a title
After tonight, there will be only two more weigh-ins until we’re down to the final four. Alison compliments everyone on the results of their hard work. Julie admits she was really afraid of dropping dead during her workouts at the beginning of the process. She’s not afraid any more.
Bryan: 266 (4 lbs / 80 lbs total) 1.48%
Isabeau: 230 (4 lbs / 68 lbs total) 1.71%
Bill: 222 (6 lbs / 112 lbs total) 2.63%
Nicole: 212 (6 lbs / 67 lbs total) 2.75%
Hollie: 201 (3 lbs / 54 lbs total) 1.47%
Julie: 171 (5 lbs / 47 lbs total) 2.84%
Neil: 298 (5 lbs / 123 lbs total) 1.65%
Neil is finally out of the 300’s – this is a goal he really wanted to attain. He apologizes to Bryan for knocking him below the Yellow Line. Both Hollie and Bryan are below the Yellow Line this week. Bryan immediately makes plans to lobby everyone to keep him, but realizes the odds are good that he’ll be going home. He’s already worried about breaking the news to Kim about the weigh-in results. In the kitchen, he makes his case to the others. Then he goes to pack.
Kim and Bryan meet the next morning and he tells her he’s up for elimination. She looks crushed that her time on network TV is about to be over. “What a nightmare,” she whines. She’s sure that the others will see Bryan as a bigger threat than Hollie. He tells her that even though he doesn’t want to leave, she taught him well and he’ll be okay. Bryan says he has a new lease on life and is at the start of being a new person. He only sad that the Red Team will be gone. Kim agrees that it’s horrible
that she won’t be on TV any more. Bryan admits he’d be more upset if he hadn’t done everything he could to stay: he knows he worked as hard as he could. Kim tells Bryan that the finish line is…..never. He will have to be on this journey for the rest of his life. I guess she’s trying to be honest, but it sounds pretty depressing. Bryan sweeps Kim up and carries her back to the dorms.
The elimination looms and Hollie feels confident, but not completely. She says she isn’t ready to go home and doesn’t want to say goodbye to Isabeau and Julie. She’s never had any siblings and they have become like sisters to her. Bryan knows that Kim could teach him more if he stayed. He cries as he tells us that he’s really proud of himself.
”Respect, Strategy, Blah Blah Blah”
It’s time for the elimination ceremony. This will be a tough vote: they’re having to choose between two people with whom they’ve spent a long time and who they consider friends. The person who doesn’t go home tonight has a good chance of making it to the final four and that’s something they need to consider. Another thing to consider is that Bryan is the final member of the Red Team. If he goes, it will be the first time in the history of the show that an entire team got eliminated before the season finale.
Before casting her vote, Isabeau says both Hollie and Bryan are people she loves. Unfortunately, one of them is her family and she has to put family first. She votes for Bryan.
Neil says tonight’s decision was tough. When thinking of how to cast his vote, he considered two factors: the majority vote and the rest of the players. Usually, the majority vote rules (yes, hence the term “majority,” Neil), but he wanted to fight that. He votes for Hollie.
Bill says that both Hollie and Bryan have played the game with integrity. He cast his vote for biggest threat and the person who could take his spot in finals. Very strategically and with much respect, he votes for Bryan.
Julie says this is no longer personal: it’s strategic. She adores the person she voted for and this isn’t a personal decision. She votes for Bryan.
With that, Bryan is out. He admits that it stinks to be last member of Red Team. Making Biggest Loser history in this way doesn’t make him feel good. He fought as hard as he could to keep the Red Team there and then apologizes to all the Red Team members on the show. Bryan vows to keep working hard and says his goodbyes.
Bryan began the show weighing 346 pounds and leaves weighing 266 lbs. He changed his life in 3 months. Bryan wants everyone to know that he gave this his all. He is proud that he never quit. Overall, the experience has been great and he couldn’t ask for anything more.
Twenty four hours later, Bryan is standing at his front door looking slim in a black polo shirt and jeans. He opens the door to find a huge crowd waiting for him. He first hugs his wife, Kenisha, who tells us that just knowing that Bryan is going to be around and healthy for their kids is huge. Bryan’s parents, Marilyn and Ruffin are there as well. They’re shocked and proud at his success. Bryan thinks he added 7 or 8 years to his life. He then reveals to everyone that he now wears a size 40 waist: he began the show at a 53 and had to use a lap belt extender on the plane out to California to do the show.
Today, Bryan weighs 228 pounds: he’s lost a total of 118 pounds and is now doing things he never thought he would do. Before the show, he could do maybe one or two pushups. He can do a lot more now. Bryan is now focused on his music career. We see him singing in the studio and he’s not half bad. He also reveals that working out and getting fit has given him more Testosterone….too much, his wife cracks.
Next Week: It’s do or die time with only 2 shows left until the finale and the Blue Team down to only two members. Plus, we’ll see another shocking weigh-in where someone will make Biggest Loser history.