Welcome back for another super-sized episode of The Biggest Loser! It looks like this season is going to be chock-full of 2-hour episodes. Darn writers strike. Last week, the 10 teams got acquainted, were assigned trainers and received their team colors. Mother-Son team Jackie and Dan won the weigh-in and Father-Daughter pair Lynn and Kelly were sent home. We’re down to nine teams of two, which means that’s only 18 people whose names I can’t remember.
The morning after Lynn and Kelly’s ouster, the remaining teams hit the gym. Bette-Sue is happy to still be there, but now realizes she’ll have to work even harder to stick around. Bob and Jillian arrive to find out who got sent home the night before and to make a momentous announcement. It seems Jillian and Bob have decided to make a big change. They’re going to team up and train everyone together. Yay! Dual beatings for everyone! Jillian explains to us that she and Bob have very different training styles. While Bob is all yoga and feelings, Jillian is a screamer. I’ve always suspected this, but I don’t want to think about it too much. Bob calls Jillian the craziest person he’s ever met. As if to illustrate the craziness, Jillian admits that, in the gym, she loves a good faint and a good puke. She probably considers that foreplay.
The workout goes on…..and on and on. It’s night time and everyone is still in the gym. Jeez, do they chain these people to the treadmills or what? I hope they’re at least getting bathroom breaks. They’re all clearly exhausted, especially Bette-Sue, who chooses this moment to do a header off the treadmill, much to daughter Ali’s horror. To Bette-Sue’s credit, she pops right back up (after explaining that her hand was stuck under the treadmill) and finishes her workout. I think Jillian just found a new pet.
Shock and Awwww, Crap
It’s time for a little exercise in horror. The teams meet Alison in the kitchen. She tells them they’ll be confronting one more truth: food. The bottom line is that they’re all here because of food and they’ll have to confront that truth. They won’t be able to move forward unless they see how bad things were before, Ali claims. One-by-one, each team enters the Hall of Truth (seriously) to find videos of themselves on a huge screen. In the videos, the player talk about their eating habits, while calculations of how much fat, sugar, calories they ate in a year are superimposed over the video. The numbers are pretty bad, but I’m sure we’d all be horrified by our numbers. Mallory and Curtis both cry as they watch their video. “We’re killing ourselves,” Curtis cries. They vow to change their lives.
Back in the gym the next morning, Jackie and Dan laugh over how little effort Neil is putting out. Neill tries to defend himself, saying he’s just a relaxed guy. In reality, Amanda is working her butt off, while Neill is talking about Mrs. Butterworth and vowing to do everything he can, without burning himself out. Amanda claims Neill doesn’t take any more breaks than the others, but she doesn’t sound very convinced.
Soon enough, Jillian storms into the gym loaded for bear. She finds Neill standing on the sides of the treadmill while everyone else is working out. Jillian accuses Neill of quitting, but he claims he’s just taking a break. She yells at him to get his ass back on the treadmill and then announces that if he doesn’t walk for an hour on the treadmill, no one will be leaving the gym. Jill counts down from 5 as Neill whines about how he has no energy. She asks him why he’s there and, when he replies “To get thin,” she calls b.s. He then admits he’s not sure why he’s there. Neill tells us he just didn’t want to work out and was close to leaving after Jillian got on him. At this point, I’m feeling pretty bad for Amanda and wishing Neill actually would leave.
Just Like Steel Dental Floss up Your Butt
It’s challenge time again and damn, it’s another weird one. The teams greet Alison, who stands amid a group of giant seesaws. These things are huge – the “up” ends are at least 12 feet in the air. Every partnership has its ups and downs, Ali tells them. The first team to go up and down 100 times on their seesaw will win the challenge. Bette-Sue’s mouth hangs wide open. This seems to be Bette-Sue’s natural expression. Ali goes on to talk about how long they’ve all been there. Wait a minute. They’ve been there maybe 2 weeks, right? Please. Because everyone’s got to be hellaciously homesick at this point, the winners of the challenge will receive 2 calling cards to call home.
The challenge begins and immediately I know I’d be getting sick, just like on the dragon swing at the state fair. Within a few ups and downs, Trent hits the bottom hard and knows his knee won’t be able to take much more. He and Roger bow out of the challenge. Neill and Amanda aren’t doing so well either. Of course, this is because Neill is whining and not working hard. Brittany and Bernie are pushing hard. Unlike the other teams, they don’t have one of their support people there with them and would love to be able to call home. In the end, the Black Team of Mark and Jay win their second challenge in a row. Bernie announces that he’s pleased he didn’t puke, although he thinks it might have been fun to puke on the seesaw. Bernie needs to get out more.
Even though Mark and Jay win the challenge, Bernie and Brittany, as well as Curtis and Mallory, finish the challenge. Neill and Amanda only get to 72 before quitting. Ali hands over the calling cards to Mark and Jay. They can call whenever they want, but they have to do it before the next weigh-in. Ali then reveals that she has 3 sets of calling cards. As the winning team, Mark and Jay will get to choose 3 teams to receive calling cards.
Back in their room, Mark and Jay write all of the teams down and begin deliberating on which of them will get the calling cards. The other teams wait for the verdict and Amanda cries, saying it will be okay, whatever the guys decide. Mark and Jay know that some people will be unhappy with their decision. They first choose Curtis and Mallory, followed by Trent and Roger. The final team chosen is Amanda and Neill. Mark and Jay tell Neill they hope he will step things up and work as hard as Amanda has been working. Neill didn’t seem to realize he wasn’t working as hard as the others. He has the self-awareness of Paris Hilton, that one. Mark admits he wasn’t sure about giving the calling card to Amanda and Neill because of how little effort Neill has been putting out.
Everyone is back in the gym for more abuse….all except for Neill, who is back for more recreation. Neill really wants to use his calling card, but Jill tells him he’ll be making the call after she’s done with him. He snaps back, telling her she can kiss his ass. He then whines, saying he’ll just quit right then. Jill yanks his butt off the treadmill and pulls him outside for a little chat. She admits she isn’t sure how to deal with him. Part of her wants to put him out by the pool until he realizes he needs to be working. The other part of her wants to just keep pushing him until he gives in. Jill thinks that, if Neill loses weight, he won’t have any more excuses and that scares him. She wants to get him to look at why he’s padding himself emotionally and thinks others are misinterpreting Neil’s lack of effort. Jill tells Neill that if he doesn’t put out the effort, there’s nothing she can do to help him. She then tells him that the exercise won’t kill him, it will make him feel better
One-by-one, each of the “card-holders” makes their call home. Mark cries as he hears his daughter’s voice. Even though it’s hard to be away from his family, he’s willing to sacrifice 4 months away from them, to gain 15 more years with them. Jay immediately begins crying when he hears his wife’s voice. She sounds less than excited, but tells him their son is asking for him every day. Amanda and Neill make a one-sided call to their son, Aidan. Aidan isn’t really speaking in full sentences and is kind of hard to understand, but Amanda says it was the boost they needed.
Back in the gym, things change for Neil and he says he’s actually enjoying himself in the gym. Paul notices the change in Neill’s work ethic. Neill admits this is the first time in his life that he’s tried to do this for himself.
Roger decides to make his phone call during their traditional Friday night pizza dinner. He starts to cry when he talks to his son, who asks if his daddy will bring him back a prize. Trent calls home to speak to his wife and learns his son is now eating cereal (he was only on breast milk when Trent left for the show). Finally, Curtis and Mallory call home to talk to their girls. Their oldest gives them a pep talk that really is pretty adorable. Curtis says he feels rejuvenated.
Eating Corn Dogs for Fun and Profit
Ali greets everyone in common area. She’s about to throw them a curveball, she announces. By virtue of the fact that she’s announced it, I don’t think it’s really a curveball, but whatever. She asks one member of each team to get up and go into the other room. It’s time for their first temptation challenge. Each of them will go into the other room alone to see the feast set up for them. They will have four minutes to eat as much as they want. Later, their partners will have same opportunity. The team that eats the most calories will win $5,000. Paul quickly calculates: that’s 5 mortgage payments, but it could also send them home.
The room is filled with tables pilled high with fattening foods. Each food item has a sign with the calorie count listed. Curtis is up first and he’s immediately drawn to the hot wings, but doesn’t eat. Amanda doesn’t eat and hopes Neill doesn’t either. Paul is thinking strategically. He announces that he has about 1,000 calories left today and decides to go for it. Mark quickly does the math and decides to go for it as well. Curtis tells us he’s sure Mallory won’t eat as she stuffs a bunch of M&Ms in her face.
Ali then reunites the teams to announce the results: three teams ate. Mallory managed to get down 210 calories of “chocolate candies” (apparently, M&M Mars is not a sponsor of this show), much to Curtis’ horror. He was sure she wouldn’t touch any of the food. Kelly is just as sure Paul didn’t eat and she, too, is dead wrong. Ali reveals that Paul ate 912 calories. Kelly is mortified. Jay is positive Mark didn’t eat and he’s wrong also. Jay admits he might have eaten if he knew Mark was going to. He then says he hopes Mark’s decision won’t put them below the Yellow Line. The winners of the temptation challenge are the Black Team. Mark ate 925 calories. Paul can’t believe he lost $5,000 by 13 calories. Ali is just glad she won’t be there when trainers find out about the temptation challenge.
Bob and Jillian arrive and find out that both Paul and Mark stuffed their faces and they look piiiissed. Bob says Mark is the last person he thought would eat. Jillian is especially angry (although it’s hard to distinguish this look from her normal, everyday angry): this is the night before the weigh-in. Mark rationalizes, saying he thought it through pretty carefully. Jill argues that people would pay to be there and Mark risked his opportunity to be there for $5,000. Paul apologizes for letting the trainers down. Bob just hopes the challenge won’t mess things up for them at the weigh-in.
M&M’s Weigh Less Than Water
It’s time for the weigh-in and the various players are either overly confident or extremely nervous. Mallory is sure that her eating the M&Ms didn’t affect her weight loss this week.
Roger: was 343 lbs / now 340 lbs (-3 lbs)
Trent: was 407 lbs / now 401 lbs (-6 lbs)
Totals: -9 lbs / 1.20% of body weight
Brittany: was 211 lbs / now 210 lbs (-1 lb)
Bernie: was 266 lbs / now 261 lbs (-5 lbs)
Totals: -6 lbs / 1.26% of body weight
Paul: was 286 lbs / now 283 lbs (-3)
Kelly: was 258 lbs / now 257 lbs (-1)
Totals: -4 lbs / .74% of body weight
Paul admits he feels bad for eating during the temptation challenge. He feels like he let Kelly down.
Mark: was 268 lbs / now 261 lbs (-7 lbs))
Jay: was 280 lbs / now 275 lbs (-5 lbs)
Totals: -12 lbs / 2.19% of body weight
Maggie: was 229 lbs / now 227 lbs (-2 lbs)
Jenn: was 242 lbs / now 240 lbs (-2 lbs)
Totals: -4 lbs / .85% of body weight
Bette-Sue: was 245 lbs / now 239 lbs (-6 lbs)
Ali: was 215 lbs / now 212 lbs (-3 lbs)
Totals: -9 lbs / 1.96% of body weight
Jackie: was 231 lbs / now 223 lbs (-8 lbs)
Dan: was 285 lbs / now 277 lbs (-8 lbs)
Totals: -16 lbs / 3.10% of body weight
Mallory: was 203 lbs / now 204 lbs (+1 lb)
Curtis: was 359 lbs / now 356 lbs (-3 lbs)
Totals: -2 lbs / .36% of body weight
Amanda: was 190 lbs / now 190 lbs (zero, zip, nada, goose egg…..)
Neil: was 304 lbs / now 298 lbs (-6 lbs)
Totals: -6 lbs / 1.21% of body weight
Jackie and Dan win the weigh-in and Ali names them the Biggest Loser Team of the Week. The Yellow Team (Paul and Kelly) and the Brown Team (Curtis and Mallory) are up for elimination. The other teams have one hour to decide which team will be going home.
Saving a Life
Back at the dorms, both teams pack their bags and Kelly says she feels like she doesn’t have control of anything. She cries and Paul, the binge eater, tries to comfort her. Kelly tells us that, for Paul, this is life and death, so she really wants them to be able to stay. Curtis says he doesn’t feel the need to lobby to stay: all of them are good people. Mallory says she isn’t ready to leave. Paul, who’s clearly thought about this quite a bit, lists all of his male family members who died at age 50 or younger. Paul is 43 and going home isn’t a happy thing if he isn’t going to be there for very long.
The other teams debate their choices. Maggie says she isn’t sure what to do because some of the people involved might die if they don’t lose weight. Kelly tells us she doesn’t know if she’s strong enough to do this on her own. If she and Paul are eliminated, they will go their separate ways. Curtis and Mallory will be going home together and can help support each other.
This episode has dragged on long enough. Let’s just get to the votes.
White Team: Amanda explains that they bonded a little more with one team than the other. They vote for Curtis and Mallory.
Pink Team: Curtis and Mallory
Grey Team: They both hope that the eliminated team learned enough on the campus to continue on with their journey at home. They vote for Paul and Kelly.
Black Team: It was a difficult decision, but they vote for Paul and Kelly.
Purple Team: They’ve grown close to both teams, so they made their decision based solely on the numbers from this week’s weigh-in. They vote for Curtis and Mallory.
Orange Team: They chose to vote for a strong team that has a great commitment to each other and who will be able to succeed at home. They vote for Curtis and Mallory.
Blue Team: They chose a team that they knew would be stronger at home. That makes four votes for Curtis and Mallory. They’re out.
Mallory begins to cry and Curtis comforts her. He wishes the other teams all the best. He urges them to work hard and says he understands why they voted the way they did. Curtis vows that he and Mallory will continue to be focused. They have no regrets. Curtis and Paul hug and Paul cries. He seems to realize he’s been given a second chance.
Curtis tells us he’s heartbroken and would have liked to have been there for the long haul. He again vows that they’ll continue working when they get home. Mallory is glad they had this time to be together: she doesn’t like achieving things without Curtis. In a follow-up, we learn that Curtis now weighs 298 pounds, bringing his total weight loss to 83 pounds. Mallory now weighs 184 pounds (that’s a 33 pound loss) and can fit into her daughter’s size 9 jeans. Mallory tells us that the whole family is now eating healthy and that they’ve learned eating low-fat doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Just when I think we’ve gotten through an entire episode without some blatant product placement, Curtis and Mallory head to Subway and extol the virtues of low-fat sandwiches.
Next Week: Last week’s disappointing weigh-in puts relationships to the test. Also, Bette-Sue and Ali get a second chance at a relationship. Were we aware there was a problem with those two?