Welcome back to another 2-hour marathon of abuse, recrimination and food guilt, i.e. another episode of The Biggest Loser! According to the voice over, we’re at week eight and the halfway point of the show. Are you kidding me? This is like the Neverending Story. My kids will be graduating from college by the time this show ends....and I don't have kids.
We pick up this week’s action where we left off: in the elimination room. Ali tells the contestants they’re about to face their toughest challenge yet. They’ll be going back to the place that could prevent them from losing weight: they’re going home. They’ve been away from home for 58 days, but for the next week at least, they’ll all be going home. Ali cautions that, while they might think this is a blessing, it could also be a curse. After all, they won’t be seeing Jillian or Bob. This means that, for me, this episode is going to suck.
The next day, everyone flies home to welcome home parties with their family and friends. Here are some highlights from the home visits:
Dan - Frankfurt, IL
Dan thinks it will be good to be able to check up on his mom and get some support from her as well. Everyone is shocked at Dan’s transformation. Jackie reminds us that the rest of the family hasn’t seen him since before he lost 73 pounds. She loved seeing everyone else’s reactions to the new Dan.
Jackie explains that the family runs an after school program for kids and Dan has been a fixture there. The kids seem really excited to see him and all run to him for a hug. He and Jackie then take the kids to the gymnasium for a game of dodge ball. This is huge, Dan explains. Before the show, they never would have been out there playing with the kids.
Mark and Jay – Boston, MA
I just noticed tonight that Mark and Jay barely even look like the same people in the opening credits.
The welcome home party at Mark’s house features donuts, which his son cannot stay away from. After Mark takes donuts away from him twice – he even tried hiding under the table to save his donut – Mark dumps them all in the trash, to the tune of his kids whining. They’re all going to eat healthier now, he lectures. While he’s home this week, Mark will be cooking for his family. This way, he knows he’ll be eating healthy. The kids whine about his first dinner offering, but end up liking it. Maybe this healthy eating isn’t so bad. Of course, it’s still probably not as good as a donut.
It’s time for Jay to deal with the hazards of eating out. He and his wife end up finding healthy options on the menu, but his kids are eating huge platters of fish and chips. Jay knows that will have to change. As he cuts up his daughter’s food for her, you can tell he’s about to cave and dig into some of those fries, but he restrains himself.
Mark and Jay really do have an advantage here. They still have their work out partners with them. Mark is worried they could lose another weigh-in and tries to motivate Jay in the gym. He wants to make sure they both get all of their workouts in.
Paul - Melbourne, FL
Paul’s welcome home party includes his girlfriend, Julie, who looks eerily like a heavier version of Kelly. Julie tells us about how sexy she thought Paul was before he left for the show. Now he’s even more sexier to her. Really. That’s exactly what she said.
Paul’s brother definitely sees the changes in Paul, especially in his attitude: now he wants to live. Paul makes his family promise not to sabotage him while he’s home. This doesn’t seem to sink in. Paul’s first meal out with family and friends doesn’t go so well. It could be a trick of editing (and when does that ever happen on reality TV?), but it appears that Paul eats twice his weight in hot wings. Soon after, gigantic desserts get delivered to the tables. It looks like Paul is trying to resist, but his friends are the opposite of supportive. They all eat the desserts, teasing him and waving it in his face. Nice.
Not only is Paul stuffing his face with hot wings, he’s drinking the devil water, aka soda. We see footage of him relaxing in the hot tub with a can of soda right next to him. If we missed it, the producers have added an arrow pointing to the can likes it’s a smoking gun.
Kelly – Titusville, FL
Kelly’s welcome home party includes her boyfriend, who looks absolutely nothing like Paul. While Paul is eating an entire chicken farm, Kelly tells us she hasn’t heard from him at all. She thinks this week at home will be a test for him.
Maggie – Denville, NJ
Maggie arrives home to her friends and family and Jen. They go to the gym to work out with Jen’s new trainer, who is really like Jillian on, like, ten Valium. He jokingly tapes pictures of Jill to a punching bag. While I’m sure it’s a good workout, it’s not a Jillian-style workout. I half expect the girls to yawn
Brittany - San Jacinto, CA
Brittany is out with her girlfriends at a restaurant/bar. Every one of her friends orders a drink. Brit really wants one, but instead orders water…on the rocks. *har* Just as Brittany’s feeling the frustration over not being able to drink or eat the junk food her friends have ordered, her conscience rings up. Oh wait, that’s Jillian calling Brittany. Brit jokes that she’s having a beer. I’m not sure Jill really appreciates that sort of humor. Brit assures her that, while everyone else is drinking and eating bar food, she is having water and halibut instead.
Because no home visit is complete without some product placement, Brittany and her friend go for sandwiches at Subway. Brit muses that, if her mother had taken her to Subway instead of to fast food all the time, she might not have ended up as heavy as she did. She admits that it feels good to finally get healthy.
Bernie – Chicago, IL
What is with these people and their junk food? The buffet at Bernie’s welcome home party includes Danish. You know, if my son/brother/boyfriend/whatever had come home to visit from the weight loss show he was on, I wouldn’t be waving pastries in his face: I’d be serving healthy food in an effort to support him. Just sayin’.
Aaaand the parade of baked goods continues. Next up, is a trip to Bernie’s favorite dessert café where the employees actually know him. Really – they come out from behind the counter and give him a big hug. If there’s any doubt as to how good a customer Bernie has been, there’s actually a cupcake named after him. Bernie’s Boston Crème Cupcakes probably weigh a full pound each. He holds one and smells it, but he doesn’t eat any.
Roger – Enterprise, AL
Roger’s welcome home part includes half the state of Alabama in his backyard. If that yard was in California, they’d build a subdivision on it. Roger’s doing pretty well avoiding all the traditional Southern food at his party. There seems to be gravy on everything.
Because he feels like Bob is watching him all the time, Roger is having no trouble keeping up with his workout schedule. He knows that Mark and Jay are working out together and Dan has Jackie’s help as well. Things could go either way with Paul, he thinks: he could be working out like crazy or eating everything in South Florida. I know which option I vote for.
Roger also has to deal with eating out. He surveys the menu and lists all the things he can’t eat (basically, any carb every created), including friend pickles. People really will fry anything that’s not tied down, won’t they? While Roger is tempted by the fries – to the point that he holds one up to his mouth –he doesn’t eat any.
Everyone prepares to go back to the campus. There are lots of tears from kids, parents, wives, etc. as the contestants depart and head back to California.
Hey, there’s Bob! He’s just giving tips about eating out, but still, it’s the first time we’ve seen him in 45 minutes. This episode sucks.
Facing the Music
Back at the Biggest Loser Campus, everyone reconnects. The Blue Team guys all greet each other. Jay admits that it’s good to be back with the team. Kelly says it’s good to be back in this environment: she struggled to get enough exercise while at home. Paul admits to Kelly that he gained 4 pounds within the first few days of being home and is worried he might not lose any weight this week. She restrains herself from swatting him over the head, which is what I would have done.
When Bob arrives to meet with his team, he asks each of them if they were able to get in their workouts. They all tell him they did. Dan admits that he had a few glasses of wine and Bob is stone-faced. Hey, maybe we should show him footage of Paul mowing through those hot wings. Dan’s two glasses of wine would look like nothing.
Jillian meets with her team and it’s clear that no one wants to talk about their visits home. Bernie admits that, while the dessert café did name a cupcake after him, he didn’t eat one while he was home. Brit tells Jill that she ate a small piece of pizza, but had a big salad with it…..and one chocolate chip cookie. Jill looks ready to kill. Seriously, it’s one cookie. Chill. Maggie says she ate so much fish and veggies when she was home that she’s practically sweating Tilapia. *snort* Paul can hardly look Jill in the eye. He knows he’s in deep, well, you know. Jill called and called him, but Paul never picked up or returned her calls. He admits, after some badgering, that he screened her calls. Instead of committing a homicide, Jill herds everyone into the gym. After this workout, they’ll just wish they were dead.
Hey, I thought we already had our little corporate sponsor moment. Guess not, ‘cause here’s Jill in the kitchen with Maggie and Bernie. The product this week? Ziploc steamer bags, or something like that. I guess NBC is off the whole “save the environment” thing and onto the “let’s put a bunch of expensive plastic in our landfills” thing. I have this product from Pampered Chef called a micro cooker. It’s like a saucepan made out of hard plastic with this vented lid and you can steam stuff in it. Then, when you’re done with it, you can wash it out and reuse it. Plus, it probably costs about what one box of these steamer bags costs. Take that, Ziploc! (<------totally not a paid endorsement, but if Pampered Chef feels like sending me free stuff, I’d totally take it).
At Least They’re Recycling Challenges
It’s challenge time, once again. Damn, I forgot all about that. I was thinking it was already time for the weigh-in. Bloody two-hour episodes! *shakes fist at sky* So here’s the deal: this is pretty much a rehashing of the “jump rope” challenge from season two. The “rope” is actually a giant rectangular bar thingie that rotates on an axis. This time, the players will have to jump over the bar at one end and then duck under a bar at the other end.
Before they get started with the competition, Ali reminds Paul that he was the Biggest Loser Player of the Week last week. This time, he doesn’t have to climb a mountain and choose between three options. His prize is a lifetime membership to 24 Hour Fitness. Sah-weeeet. I hope he uses it.
Okay, back to the challenge. The winning team will get to choose two people from the opposing team to weigh in 24 hours early. This means that two people will be weighing in right after the challenge. Mark, Paul and Kelly are sitting out challenge, so there are three people from each team participating. The bars begin swinging around slowly, but speed up pretty quickly. Roger and Bernie are out in under 5 minutes and, after 30 minutes and four players still in the challenge, begin negotiating for a draw. Brittany refuses to stop. Dan and Maggie fall out and leave Jay and Maggie to battle for the win. Once again, the Black Team pulls out a challenge win as Jay trips and breaks the “rope.”
Ali gives the Black team a few minutes to discuss which two members of the Blue Team will be weighed in early. They settle on Dan and Roger because they’re the biggest guys on the Blue Team. Yes, this makes sense because then they also have the most weight to lose. Brilliant.
Roger and Dan head in to the weigh in with Bob at their side. Boy, I really like looking at Bob. Yeah, I have nothing else to say there: that was a complete thought.
Dan: was 237 lbs / is now 226 lbs (-11 lbs / 84 lbs total)
Roger: was 292 lbs / now is 276 (-16 lbs / 87 lbs total)
Total: 27 lbs / 2.73% of body weight
Bob is elated, as are Dan and Roger. Ali asks if they’re going to reveal those numbers to the Black Team. They tell her no: they want to surprise them at the weigh-in.
A Bloody Massacre
Back in gym that night, Jill works out her team. She claims that, because her team has won so many challenges as well as the last two weigh-ins, they have targets on their backs. Paul works out especially hard. Probably because he knows that Jillian will make his life Hell if he doesn’t give 100%. Paul actually justifies his slacking off, reasoning that everyone else probably gained while they were at home too.
Meanwhile, Bob is running his team on the treadmills. Mark and Jay still have to weigh in, so he’s not about to let up on anyone. All of the guys are literally dripping with sweat, which really isn’t all that great to look at unless it’s like, Bob. He tells them they are NOT going to lose 3 weigh-ins in a row.
It’s time for the actual weigh-in and wow, Ali looks amazing in a royal blue tank dress. Well done, costume department. Standing alongside her team, Jillian is positive Paul’s weigh-in will be “tragic” because he completely blew her off while he was at home. Her mood doesn’t improve when Ali reveals Dan and Roger’s weight loss numbers. Bernie says he thought their numbers would be big, but he didn’t think they’d be that big. Let’s see how complete the humiliation will be, shall we?
Mark: was 215 lbs / now is 202 lbs (-13 lbs / 83 lbs total)
Jay: was 244 lbs / now is 228 lbs (-16 lbs / 65 lbs total)
Blue Team totals: 56 lbs / 5.57% of total body weight
Bob is elated. Ali breaks the news to the Black Team: they must lose more than 60 pounds in order to beat the Blue Team. Rotsa ruck.
Maggie: was 204 lbs / is now 198 lbs (-6 lbs / 39 lbs total)
Bernie: was 216 lbs / is now 211 lbs (-5 lbs / 72 lbs total)
Brittany: was 188 lbs / is now 185 lbs (-3 lbs / 36 lbs total)
Kelly: was 225 lbs / now is 218 lbs (-7 lbs / 53 lbs total)
Paul: was 241 lbs / now is 236 lbs (-5 lbs / 67 lbs total)
Black Team totals: 26 lbs / 1.96% of total body weight
Jay is the Biggest Loser Player of the Week. The Blue Team won this one by a mile and the Black Team is headed for the elimination room. Kelly was the Biggest Loser on the Black Team, so she’s safe from elimination.
The Black Team returns to the dorms to discuss their decision. Brittany, Bernie and Maggie are clearly a voting block. Paul tells Kelly that he knows their three younger teammates want one of the two of them out. He then says he can compete with the Blue Team guys and put up big numbers like they can. All evidence to the contrary, of course.
Black Bleeds Yellow
When the Black Team settles into their chairs in the elimination room, Alison notes that Paul is wearing his old Yellow Team t-shirt under his Black Team sweatshirt. Paul says he still feels like a member of the Yellow Team, even after being on the Black Team. Brittany says she thought they were all part of the Black Team. After all, you don’t see her and Bernie wearing their old Blue Team shirts. Well, partly that’s because there are four other people wearing that color now. No one points this out to her. Kelly says that she knew, after the last weigh-in, that if the Black Team went to the elimination room, either she or Paul would be voted out. She then claims to be Black and not Yellow.
Now that we’ve gotten that oddly racial-sounding conversation out of the way, let’s get to it.
Bernie says he voted for Paul because he’s a huge competitor.
Brittany thinks the team has changed, as evidenced by Paul wearing his old Yellow Team shirt. They need to be a strong, undivided team and that means getting rid of Paul.
Paul votes for Bernie, claiming Bernie couldn’t make it to the end.
It looks as if Kelly might cave for a second and actually vote Paul out, but she also votes for Bernie. Whichever four of them leave this room, Kelly says, they all need to be united and wearing the same color.
Maggie says this was a hard vote because she’s voting to send someone she adores home. That’s three votes for Paul and he’s out.
Brittany looks smug and Kelly wipes away tears. Paul urges Kelly to keep going, but to not wear her Yellow Team shirt.
Paul says this show wass a life-changing experience for him. He came here with Kelly and, although he has always had strong feelings for her, he realizes now that they’re better as friends than as husband and wife. Paul is now off his blood pressure medication and is taking back his life. Twenty four hours later, Paul is home. It’s hard to be going home so soon, but he vows to keep working.
Not long after he got home, Paul came down with double pneumonia and, while in the hospital, gained 6 pounds. He says his girlfriend, Julie, has been really supportive throughout this process. Julie admits she was worried when Paul went off with Kelly to do the show: she wondered if Paul would fall back in love with Kelly. That would imply that Paul had actually fallen out of love with Kelly, wouldn’t it? Since starting the show, Paul has lost a total of 64 pounds, which puts him 3 pounds heavier than when he left the campus. He hopes to use the time between now and the finale to lose even more weight.
Next Week: The Blue Team heads to Vegas and, what happens there come back to the ranch with them…. Jeez, they make it sound like someone got v.d. or brought back a hooker.