Last week on The Biggest Loser we said goodbye to Bryan, the last surviving member of the Red Team. This week we’ll say goodbye to Kim, their trainer. *does happy dance* This week we’ll be saying hello to Jillian’s even more inflated ego over her imagined vanquishing the Red Team. This will make me root for Bob even more….even if that means rooting for Neil as well. To date, the contestants have lost a total of 1,064 pounds.
Following the elimination, the remaining six players reflect on their experiences so far. Julie tells us that the Red team being gone is poetic justice. Whatever. Could these Black Team people get over not being picked for the Red or Blue Teams on day one? It’s starting to smack of childhood playground traumas. Everyone speculates about Kim’s fate and they wonder what she’s going to do now. Oh God, I hope she’s not just going to be moping around the campus and whining.
The next morning, Jillian sneaks into her team’s room and screams like a maniac, jumping on their beds and generally annoying them and me. In contrast, Bob enters the dorm to wake up Neil and Nicole. He actually climbs onto Nicole’s bed and spoons her. You know, I never liked that bitch Nicole. Today is the day when the trainers teach the players about getting back into the real world where they’ll be (theoretically, anyway) working every day. Today, they all go to work. Where? That’s still a secret. Jillian talks about her tough work schedule and how she, too, finds it hard to work out. Okay, I’m confused. Isn’t her job being a personal trainer? She’s in a gym all damn day, right?
Mustering Phony Sympathy
Cue the sad music as Kim walks into the empty Red Team room, knowing that Bryan is gone. She sits in a chair in front of a TV to watch a message from Bryan. On the video, B thanks Kim for everything and she cries as she watches him crying. She says the video was hard to watch, but she’s so proud of Bryan. He’s now a different person. Leaving before the end of the show makes Kim’s experience feel incomplete, but she knows she changed lots of lives. We then get the journey video for an entire team. We see the departures of Amber, Lezlye, Phil, David, Amy the Turncoat (sorry, just channeling Kim there) and Bryan. Kim is sad that no one from the Red Team will be in the final, but she knows their journey isn’t over. What is over is Kim’s time on this show. BooYAH!
So Early, It’s Late
It is 6:30 a.m. Seriously. Bob has hauled Neil and Nicole into the kitchen to talk about portion control and the glories of Ziploc bags. Isn’t it a little early for product pimping? Meanwhile, Jillian is leading her people through an early morning workout. They don’t have a lot of time, she says, so they need to up the intensity of their workouts in order to burn as many calories as possible.
By 7:15, Bob and his team of two are on the run. As Neil takes the lead, Bob whispers to Nicole to run up and pass Neil. He praises a cardio session for as a great quick workout. As Bob leads them through squats, he taunts Neil and tells him to keep on rolling his eyes. Bob now has x-ray vision and can see through the backs of people’s heads. Make a note of it.
In the kitchen, Jillian instructs her people to be sure they have enough food: she doesn’t want them to run out and be faced with a bad situation…..like normal people deal with in the real world every day.
My Dream Job
On the way to their new job, everyone wonders where they’ll be working. Bill and Isabeau hope for a desk job and Isabeau is just praying it isn’t child care or food prep. They can smell their job before they see it. Today, they will all be working at a pizzeria. Now, that just seems a bit cruel to me. They all inhale the aroma of pizza and Neil groans: his biggest weakness was pizza. Everyone is flipping out over the idea of being surrounded by pizza all day and Bill wishes they would pass out nose plugs. I’m just wishing for ear plugs to block out all the whining.
The head chef of Stone Fire Pizza welcomes them and tells them to go get changed. You know, if I were a contestant on this show, I’d be slightly embarrassed about going everywhere wearing the same damn thing as everyone else. It’d be like having one of those mothers who sew matching outfits for the entire family. Alas, I digress.
By 10:30, Neil is wearing a hairnet and washing dishes with Julie. Everyone laughs about the irony of Neil having to wash dishes: he hasn’t washed a dish since he arrived. Julie is mortified at the sheer number of dishes that need to be washed. She immediately decides that people just shouldn’t eat so much pizza because, darn it, they dirty to many dishes. Meanwhile, Hollie and Isabeau clean the bathrooms. They wipe down the walls and the sinks, carefully avoiding the toilets. Isabeau reveals that she’s worked at a restaurant before, but only as a hostess, which I take it is not a strenuous job that involved cleaning toilets.
Bill is on prep dirty and begins cooking sausage, chopping mushrooms, etc. Nicole is given the high danger job of removing the pizza from the brick oven. Julie and Neil catch up with the dish situation and head out to the dining room to wait tables. It’s lunchtime for the crew and they all sit down together to eat the food they brought. This moment right here is another unrealistic “real world” moment. There’s no way all the employees in that place would be taking their lunches together. Anyway, whatever it is they’re eating, I’m sure it’s not as good as the pizza and I’m sure they all know it. While Nicole eats, Julie rambles on and on about the future. Nicole just “mmmhmmms” her. I feel the same way, Nicole.
Neil and Nicole arrive back at campus looking forward to relaxing a bit. Like the proverbial wrench, here comes Bob. They practically weep because they know what’s in store for them. Yep: it’s time to work out! Nicole says that their new selves will just do it instead of complaining or just not working out at all because they’re tired. I guess their old selves would be in a coma from eating an entire pizza. Each. The Black Team isn’t off the hook either: Jillian drags them to the gym for a workout as well.
The pre-challenge workout this week involves improving their boxing skills. Neil vows to win this challenge: he’s sick of losing and doesn’t want to be the only player in Biggest Loser history to not win a challenge. Can we get a fact checker on that? I’m sure there have to be other players who never won a challenge either, although I can’t seem to name one at the moment. Both teams spar with their trainers. Bill, in particular, is having problems: his knees are really giving him trouble.
So, let’s get on with another weird challenge. As we know, this week’s challenge involves boxing or punching or something like that. Everyone meets Ali in an airplane hanger. Again, it's night time. This show is starting to feel all clandestine. There are six trampolines with speed bags suspended above them. The challenge goes like this: each player will have their own trampoline and will have to jump to punch the speed bag. After each three minute round, the person with the lowest number of “hits” is out. After each round, the bags will be raised, so they’ll have to jump higher in each successive round. Also after each round, the scores will be reset to zero.
At the last weigh-in, Neil came within one pound of falling below the Yellow Line, Ali reminds everyone. They should all know how much of a difference one pound can make. Therefore, today’s prize is a one pound pass at the next weigh-in. They’ll also be doing something for charity with this challenge: after the challenge is finished, the trampolines will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Everyone straps on their boxing gloves and hops onto the trampolines.
Round 1 begins and Bill is already having problems with his knees. Nicole is just having trouble finding a good rhythm. At the end of the first round, Julie is at the top with 167 hits and Nicole, with 115 hits, is eliminated. Before the challenge started, she wanted to avoid being eliminated first and wanted to beat Neil. She did neither and that’s got to suck.
With Round 2, the speed bags are raised and Isabeau finds herself in first place with 161 hits. Bill and Neil were only one hit apart, but it’s Bill and his bum knees that came out on top. Neil is out. Oh, the shame of it all. The bags go up again and again, the girls quickly find their rhythm and Bill quickly doesn’t. Hollie wins the round with 116 hits and Bill is finally out.
The final round pits Hollie, Isabeau and Julie against one another. Ali keeps referring to the “former Black Team,” but I don’t see how it’s all that ”former.” In the end, Hollie takes the win with 71 hits. Julie sits on her trampoline and looks bitter, which seems to be her expression most of the time lately.
Do or Die Time
When Jillian arrives to find out about the challenge, she agrees that it’s a very good prize for Hollie, in light of her often lower numbers at the weigh-ins. Before they get in their last chance workout, Jill checks in with Bill to see how his knee is doing. Hollie’s ankle isn’t so hot either. Not that it seemed to hinder her on that trampoline.
When Bob finds out that Neil and Nicole were the first two eliminated at the challenge, he seems resigned to their challenge loser-dom. He also thinks it was a good prize for Hollie and then goads Neil about losing another challenge. He says one of them had better win the show, because neither of them seems destined to win a challenge.
For this last chance workout, Bob wants Neil and Nicole working together. He urges them on by encouraging them: look how far they’ve come and how strong they are. In contrast, Jillian works out with Bill in what seems more like a round of verbal abuse accompanied by calisthenics.
This is the second to last weigh-in on campus and next week’s weigh-in will determine the final four. I’m over this whole 2-hour episode thing, so let’s just get to the numbers!
Hollie: 196 (5 lbs (6 including 1 lbs pass) / 59 lbs total) 2.99% (including 1 pound pass)
Julie: 168 (3 lbs / 50 lbs total) 1.75%
Bill: 213 (9 lbs / 121 lbs total) 4.05%
Neil: 288 (10 lbs / 133 lbs total) 3.35% Neil has lost more weight than anyone ever on the ranch, including last season’s winner, Erik.
Isabeau: 225 (5 lbs / 73 lbs total) 2.17%
Nicole: 211 (1 lb / 68 lbs total) .47%
Julie and Nicole are up for elimination. Everyone looks shocked by Nicole’s 1 pound weight loss, including Nicole. I’m sure they all feel her pain. Nicole’s face tells the story – she knows she’s gone, even though Ali talks about what a tough decision they all have to make. We all know there’s no tough decision to be made here.
The Part Where Bob is Sad…and, therefore, I am sad
The next morning, Bob arrives to learn the weigh-in results. Neil and Nicole look completely dejected and Bob looks crushed. He says he had a bad feeling about this weigh-in. Nicole is obviously feeling horrible, but Bob reveals that he isn’t shocked at her one pound weight loss. She’s been losing so consistently up until now: she was bound to have a bad week eventually. Unfortunately, that bad week came at the worst possible time. In spite of his 10 pound weight loss, Neil feels terrible. He says that some of the other players just squeaked by, while Nicole worked so hard. Neil now feels that he, Bob and Nicole are like family now and he doesn’t feel like celebrating his own victories when Nicole could be going home.
In despair (really) Julie asks Jillian what she could have done wrong this week that landed her in the bottom two. Jill explains that, sometimes, things just don’t go the way they want. She points out that Nicole works really hard, but only lost one pound: it can happen to anyone. Julie is nervous about the weigh-in and thinks she actually might be eliminated. Uh-huh. Then she says “eKspecially” and I tune her out completely. Next!
Bob and Nicole meet for a little reflection. She comes out in the outfit she wore on her first day on the show. The shirt and jeans are literally falling off of her. She then puts on some of Hollie’s clothes, which are much smaller. Bob tells us that Nicole arrived on campus not realizing how much she could achieve. He’s been harder on Nicole than any other contestant ever, because he knew what she was capable of. Bob tells Nicole that success for her will be going home to her friends and family so that they can see how much she’s done. Nicole tells Bob that he’s changed her life and shown her how strong she is. She then tells him that there is a God if he brought him to her. *wipes tear*
The Part Where I Check to Make Sure my Watch Hasn’t Stopped
Good Lord, we still have 20 minutes left. Here we go with flashbacks of Nicole’s time on the show. Hmmmm. Think this is a little foreshadowing? Nicole tells us that she’s always wanted to be there: she’s never wanted to go home. Okay, now we’re getting a Julie journey video, so it seems they’re at least trying to appear even-handed here.
This week, the elimination ceremony seems like a mere formality. Nicole looks resigned to going home. She admits that it’s more than frustrating to work so hard and still not lose much weight. Then Julie whines about being up for elimination.
Neil says that part of him feels as if it doesn’t really matter who he votes for, since the Black Team holds more votes. There’s not much he can do to change things. Still, every vote you cast has statement behind it and his vote will say that he knows they have majority vote, but for rest of Blue Team, he votes for Julie. That is some serious paraphrasing right there. He went on and on (and on and on….)
Hollie says that there aren’t two people she’d rather go to end with than Julie and Nicole (Ooo! Burn on Isabeau!), so this was hard decision. Of the two, one is former teammate and friend. She has nothing but respect for both women, but had to vote for Nicole.
Isabeau says she understands perceptions will be what they will be. Her vote tonight and next week will be for biggest threat in the game. She loves both women and wishes she didn’t have to decide. One of these players has kicked it into high gear as a threat and for that reason, she voted for Nicole.
Nicole is out. She tells everyone that she’s loved every second she’s been there. She never wanted to go home: She wanted to be there to lose as much as she could. In turn, she formed amazing friendship with people. Neil and Bob have had huge impact on her life. It’s been the best time of her life and she would love to be there another week. Nicole says goodbye to everyone and there are tears all around. Her last to say goodbye is Neil. He whispers “I’m so proud of you.” *wipes another tear* <---- proof of my soft, gooey center
As of tonight, Ali says, there are only five players left and one of them isn’t going to make it to final four. That’s some fancy math right there. If Neil falls below the Yellow Line next week, he likely (no, definitely) will be voted out. If that happens, it would be the first time in the history of the show that only one team sent players to the final four. So, no pressure then.
How YOU Doin’?
Nicole is clearly disappointed about leaving, especially so close to the finals. She also very sad to leave both Bob and Neil: she knows she wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without them. Nicole’s proud to have been a part of the show. She’s always described herself as a skinny girl trapped in fat girl’s body because she wanted it so badly: she just needed opportunity. This show was that opportunity.
Twenty four hours later, Nicole comes home wearing a cute little sundress. Her friends and family chant “We want Nicole!” as she emerges into the back yard. Her father is speechless and then tells her she’s beautiful. Nicole tells everyone how blessed she feels to have such great welcome home…she hopes they’re all up for some steamed veggies.
In a follow up, we see that Nicole now weighs 188 pounds, which brings her total weight loss to 91 pounds. She’s smaller than she was as a teenager. She looks absolutely adorable in a grey sweater dress and new hairstyle. Nicole says that, before the show, she was miserable. Now she can get dressed up and go out with friends and be confident in herself.
Next Week: There’s only one more show before live finale. We’ll have one more elimination and one more record broken at most emotional weigh in. Ever. As far as I'm concerned, the only broken record is the sound of the announcer telling us about how emotional the damn weigh-in is going to be.