Is it just me, or is this possibly the longest season ever of TBL? Just as I was beginning to despair that this group won’t be wrapping things up until the end of National Hockey League playoffs – and if you’re a hockey fan, you know how that goes – we’re treated to news of a double elimination this week. As a recapper, I can’t help but love these twofer episodes – killing two birds with one recap, and all that. Jay’s seat in the voting room is still warm when host Ali drops the news that at the weigh-in this week, there will a dreaded red line on the board. Whomever drops below the line will be instantly booted off the ranch. There will also be a vote-off for the team who loses the weigh-in.

The Red Team, deeply concerned at the possibility of losing two more members, allows trainer Brett to drag them down to MMA champ Bas Rutten’s gym. No, I never heard of him either, but he did name-drop Randy Couture, who is well-known enough to make my ears perk up. Rulon’s excited because all these fighting guys know each other and he somehow knows Bas. Inexplicably, he’s excited to see Bas and show off all the weight he’s gained. Clearly, the mixed martial arts world lives by different rules. The focus this week, however, is on Kaylee, relatively tiny daughter of Moses who has been lost in the very large crowd on the ranch. Kaylee finds her mojo as a fighter, or maybe she just likes pretending she’s actually kicking the crap out of her trainers. It looks like damn good fun, but is all this cathartic kickboxing effective as a weight loss strategy? Only the giant scale will tell.

Meanwhile, the Black Team trainers don their hardass hard-hats. Bob’s is fitting him better these days but Jillian remains the Queen of Mean, tauntingly sipping tea while making the team literally run their asses off on the treadmills. Bob’s been drinking from Jillian’s cup, though – he’s devised a new training move called the “scorpion flip” (demonstrated during “Trainer Tips”, and you know you tried it too). It’s positively distressing watching 400+ lb Arthur attempting to perform it, however…he’s less scorpion and more injured walrus.

Today’s challenge involves a football field and big balls. Giant balls, in fact, in hues of red and black. After listening to a spate of tiresome jokes from the contestants about balls, Ali explains the rules of the game. The balls, natch, are colored for each team. The team must transport their balls from one end of the field to the other, batting them over the field goal posts. There are 6 balls per team. The balls cannot touch the ground, the same person cannot hit the ball twice in a row, and the team cannot catch the balls. The teams are to accomplish this while wearing boxing gloves. The winning team will garner a 3-lb advantage at the weigh-in. As one might imagine, everyone looks extremely foolish at this weird game of volleyball-slash-keep the balloon in the air. Because the Black Team has at this point displayed about as much athletic ability as Paris Hilton does while getting a mani/pedi, they are summarily trampled by the Red Team, with a score of 6-1.

The Black Team goes back to the ranch to strategize. Deni and Marci, sharing den mother duties, opine that it would be appropriate for the parents of the group (themselves and Jesse) to sacrifice their weight loss and throw the weigh-in in order to save the young ‘uns. They didn’t actually say “throw the weigh-in” because that kind of talk makes Bob & Jillian very angry, and we all know what happens when the trainers get angry. Besides hurling insults and curses at the weigh-in, that is. This kind of talk enrages Jesse, who drops his usual affable Bill Cosby persona and angrily decries the notion that he should be put out to pasture due to his age, and believes the team should be confident enough about their abilities to win the weigh-in.

It’s already time for the weigh-in, and if that seems fast – an entire HOUR this week is dedicated to this weigh-in. So we must believe that it is The Most Shocking Weigh-In Ever. Dunno about that, but I guess it’s a little more interesting than usual. Ali reminds us that the Red Team has a 3-lb advantage, and that the individual who has lost the least amount of weight will be instantly eliminated.

Red Team

Austin, start weight 306, down to 299, 2.29%
Ken, start weight 296, down to 291, 1.69%
Justin, start weight 277, down to 270, 2.53%
Rulon, start weight 371, down to 367, 1.08%
Kaylee, start weight 187, down to 180, 3.74%
Moses, start weight 333, down to 322, 3.30%
Jen, start weight 211, up to 213, +0.95%

Yikes, Jen. Her gain gives the Red Team a total weight loss of 42 lbs, 2.12%.

Black Team

Arthur, start weight 415, down to 406, 2.17%
Olivia, start weight 206, down to 202, 1.94%
Sarah, start weight 208, down to 204, 1.92%
Irene, start weight 198, down to 195, 1.52%
Hannah, start weight 194, down to 193, 0.52%
Courtney, start weight 258, down to 256, 0.78%

You think that’s shocking? Pffft.

Marci, start weight 181, up to 182, +0.55%
Jesse, start weight 238, up to 241, +1.26%
Deni, start weight 196, up to 204, +4.08%

So I’m not saying that the parents threw the weigh-in, I’m just saying that there may have been some excess Gatorade consumption in the minutes prior. Too bad they didn’t know Jen was going to blow it, because as it turned out, the Black Team could have avoided the red line if just Marci had, um, failed to lose weight.

Deni is dismissed as the not-biggest loser, while Jesse falls victim to the group vote. Both are philosophical, as they’d obviously been prepared to go home. The updates are positive - Jesse announces he’s dropped from a start weight of 293 to 227, and is using all that energy of his to spearhead a walking club in his neighborhood. Deni has enjoyed great success of her own at home, going from 256 to a svelte 170, and is having a fine old time frolicking with her grandkids and making smoothies. Speaking of which, a smoothie sounds pretty good about now. After a few of those scorpion flips.