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Before we all got just a little bit too excited at Ali Sweeney's announcement this week that the TBL contestants are all going home - what, there isn't 11 or so more weeks to go??? - we find out that it's only a 2-week hiatus from ranch life. Why the brief vacation? My guess is that one or more of the trainers, or perhaps Ali herself, had something else they had to attend to. And Jillian's already faked-sick once. Or was that last season? Maybe if there were more than 3 weeks between seasons of TBL, it would be easier to remember. I'm just sayin'.
So the contestants are headed home to show off their new bods to family and friends, and to face down the temptations of all the delicious snack foods that abound in the real world. To keep everyone at least sort-of on track, Ali announces that upon their return, everyone will participate in a 5K run.
The Losers head off to their respective corners of the country - Sarah, Rulon and Justin hang their cowboy hats in Utah, while Kaylee, Moses, Marci and Courtney chill out in Indiana. Ken and Austin take the shortest hop, to Pasadena, CA, while Portland, Oregon welcomes back Arthur and Irene (who is blossoming into a positively adorable young lady). Hannah moseys home to Nashville, while Jen and Olivia head far east to New Jersey and Queens, New York. Naturally everyone has a hugely emotional crowd awaiting them at their respective digs, and there's tears galore to the tune of some annoyingly uplifting cheeseball of a song.
Rulon and Justin didn't exactly score in the looks department, but perhaps they are hiding from the viewing public some amazing personal charm and/or big bucks, because each of them have startingly pretty blonde wives. So we know what kind of workouts they did on their vacay, wink-wink-nudge-nudge. Meanwhile, Courtney goes back to work at the family ice-cream shop (what, they couldn't stand to keep her away from the frozen dessert for two lousy weeks?) while the recently departed Jesse cracks the whip on son Arthur at the local gym. Jesse surprises me with an admission of being a former drug user, and he & Art do some on-camera bonding. Austin agonizes over a slice of 21st birthday cake, but ends up turning it down. Olivia and her dad reunite on the volleyball court with an impromptu game. All the contestants find they have to dig deep for motivation so they can get out and train for their upcoming 5K.
Finally, it's another vale of tears as everyone bids their loved ones adieu, and Ali awaits them anxiously at the ranch. As is her wont, she drops another bombshell on the nervous runners - the first seven contestants to finish the treadmill-5K will have the opportunity to choose their trainers. The final seven will get the leftovers. Justin is first to finish with a respectable time of 32 minutes. Rulon puffs to 2nd place, with Kaylee in 3rd. A determined Jen places 4th, with Austin, Marci, and Olivia rounding out the top seven. Hannah, Moses, Irene, Courtney and Ken are next. Sarah, reluctant to have to choose between the two pairs of trainers, has been dogging it in an attempt to throw the challenge and come in last. Hapless Art chugs along with all his might, desperately trying to avoid a last-place finish. With Justin hissing in her ear, Sarah has a last-minute change of heart and manages to pull ahead of Art for 13th place.
At the weigh-in, Ali tells the training duos that the contestants will once again be picking their poison - the tried-and-true Bob & Jillian, or the Brett & Cara slugfests. The contestants come in one at a time and unzip their hoodies to reveal their black- or red-team choices. As expected, nearly everyone returns to the devil they know, with the exception of Jen, who comes back to Black. Sarah opts to remain with Bob & Jillian, leaving poor Art to join the Red team by default.
If you're looking for Shocking Results this week, none are forthcoming. Some people, however, appeared to have a little more vacation than others. These losses are over a period of 2 weeks.
Jen, start weight 211, down to 197
Irene, start weight 195, down to 185
Hannah, start weight 193, down to 182
Olivia, start weight 202, down to 190
Courtney, start weight 256, down to 246
Marci, start weight 181, down to 167
Sarah, start weight 204, down to 194
Total pounds lost: 81, 5.62%
Even better news for the ladies in black - all except for Courtney are now residents of Onederland.
Rulon, start weight 367, down to 350
Austin, start weight 299, down to 289
Ken, start weight 291, down to 286
Moses, start weight 322, down to 317
Kaylee, start weight 180, down to 179
Justin, start weight 270, down to 262
Art, start weight 406, down to 390
Total pounds lost: 58
It's not really true irony, maybe just more of a doesn't-life-suck kind of situation, but Art pulled off the second-highest loss on his new team and still hasn't got a hope in hell of making through the voting-off round. The Red team offers up some mealy-mouthed platitudes (Justin being especially good at this kind of thing) but the writing is on the refrigerator. Art takes his leave, but is triumphant at home - from his show start weight of 507 lbs, he has trimmed down to 345, and is looking positively svelte for a guy who was as wide as he was tall. Literally. Art beams with joy and plans to be down to 250 for the finale. And listen, Art? If you're not, I swear I will come to your house with my pickup truck and if I have to tie you to it, I'm gonna make you push it till you hit that goal weight.